Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Thought for the New Year


"Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.com"
Warning: This is a long one folks, hope you're up for it,
because I believe strongly there will be a blessing from it!!

I'm tired of the old adage, "New Year's Resolutions"
quickly followed by the "shoulda, coulda, woulda's"
that's not all, then the "I'm gonna', and I will's"
but never do's!" (for all those grammar
enthusiasts, this sentence was deliberate)

How about a new thought for the new year!
Is anybody game for this?

I was reading some devotions this morning and one quote in
particular really struck me. It says, "Being deprived of something
you desire is better than having something you despise."

This quote is my running theme of this message by the way.
First thought... Ah! WHAT? That's from a selfish perspective of course.
But seriously, read that again and then again. Does this make sense
to anybody? My guess... not a first sight!
But then, after re-reading it, it occurred to me that it makes
total sense but can be quite a challenge to admit and here's
the kicker... accept it!

As far as my personal desires... gee, where do I start? I have probably
too many of them, some justified, realistic... others, I could still
live without. God knows em, in fact, He knows everyone's desires,
which is where this story gets more interesting... or at least, I think
so!

"Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires
of your heart" Ps. 37:4.

After remembering and reading this scripture verse, I'm
thinking, but why God, why do you take SO LONG to
answer them??? Does anybody else go through this?
Then, His spirit tugs on me again, Nichole, 'have you
really been delighting yourself in (Me) the Lord?" OR
are you relying too much on others to satisfy? Ouch!
Sometimes, I really dislike the truth, because it hurts.

Now that first quote is really making sense isn't it?
But its that dreadful word: DEPRIVED that
saddens me and even, some may agree, disappoints
honestly. I can't help but think about this verse
when I hear that word, DEPRIVED."1 Corinthians 13:1-3,
something like, ...but do not have LOVE, it profits me
nothing.

The crux of the matter:
The bible speaks about this subject more deeply in
1 Corinthians 7:5 -
Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time,
so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together
again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack
of self-control.
I believe, this quote applies to every part of our lives, not
just intimately.

In closing...
Here's the NEW THOUGHT for you and me:
Let's STOP depriving one another and challenge
this quote to its limit! Then, when you do, and still
nothing changes around you (lest you begin to
despise others), remember, God has your back
and will commit and fulfill His promises for your life
no matter how difficult it can be to live without.

Just LOVE, when people fail us, Just LOVE
when husbands won't understand and seem
angry all the time, Just LOVE
when wives are emotional and you can't figure
her out, Just LOVE, when parents
push our nerves, Just LOVE, when children make
mistakes, Just LOVE, when your friend forgets
something special, Just LOVE, when churches
fall away or apart, Just LOVE, when presidents follow
their hearts instead of God, Just LOVE, when a co-worker
refuses to cooperate, Just LOVE, when neighbors aren't
there for you, Just LOVE, when relationships don't seem
to ever look up or are unwilling to change, Just LOVE,
when landlords are greedy, Just LOVE,
when you are misunderstood, Just LOVE,
when someone gossips about you, Just LOVE,
when dreams are unfulfilled, Just LOVE,
when a loved one devastates you, Just LOVE,
when you are out of money and a ton of bills,
Just LOVE, when you
get what you want and find out its not what
you need, Just LOVE, when
your self-esteem is low, Just LOVE, when
promises are broken, Just LOVE.

LOVE... what does it really mean?
Seek Jesus Christ, He'll give you the strength to
even LOVE the unlovable.

We all have desires,
so why not BE the vessel God wants, to fulfill it for
others? Otherwise, you may very well end up
looking like the clipart image above if you don't act now...

Life is too short, lets start
loving through our actions, not just with our
thinking caps!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Jesus arrived... for us!

People were bringing little children
to Jesus to have him touch them,
but the disciples rebuked them.
When Jesus saw this,
he was indignant.
He said to them,
"Let the little children come to me,
and do not hinder them,
for the kingdom of God
belongs to such as these.
I tell you the truth,
anyone who will not receive
the kingdom of God
like a little child
will never enter it."
And he took the children
in his arms, put his hands on them
and blessed them.
Mark 10:13-16

As another Christmas season comes to pass, I'm thinking about the
reason we celebrate this moment. I've been known to get caught up
in the movement with the rest of the world during this time, you know,
fast paced shopping, spending, spending, spending, not spending
quality time with those close because I have too much on my plate to
handle with the holidays, "it can wait" mindset and
then wondering if my children will really enjoy the gifts we bought for
them and dare I say, IF it was enough...

The Holy Spirit has been patient with me and has been tugging on
my heart strings during those busy times and so I've decided to
stop and listen realizing and bringing back into perspective that,
God is greater than me and "my shopping", because He is greater
than all of the toys and other material possessions out there...
because He is worthy and enough for me and that is what I want
my boys to know.

As I look at Joshua in this photo, that song comes to mind: "be
careful little eyes what you see..." and basking in his innocence
and don't want him to ever lose that! However, knowing that
because we are all born in sin, we can still make opportunities
to guide them away from evil pursuits and teach them the
Good News (aka: The Gospel) that Jesus came to SAVE -
He really didn't have to people, but, He did! All because
we matter to Him. We love, because He first loved us...

I am so excited to see what God has in store for my
children's lives, as they too, have a purpose to fulfill for the
kingdom and that is so cool to me!

Remembering the Lord and feeling so grateful for the God Man, Jesus,
who physically came down off of His throne to become one of us,
and bonus, in the form of a baby growing through adolescence into
adulthood... did you catch that? He physically left His place on High
for you and me and discovered all of our temptations and fought
them and succeeded!
Logic would conclude... that that, makes Him The One who
we CAN fully trust and have faith in!
WOW... have you ever really thought
deeply about that part of the Christmas story, The most
Holiest of all, Almighty King became
man in the flesh... human.

May this post and those coming thereafter reflect Jesus, the
One true God of the universe, His universe.
The coolest thing ever... is that, Jesus is preparing me, my kids
and you, if you believe, for Holy worship in all of its forms and much
more we can't even fathom, for eternity with God!
What a truly magnificent
place that must truly be.

So, as our lives unfold, may they be as bold as our living King and
an honest example that, God IS alive and well within us and shaping His
people for great things!

Merry Christmas my brothers, my sisters... my family!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy 9th Birthday SPENCER!




Spencer turned 9 on December 18th, 2009!
We celebrated his birthday on Saturday, 12/19 in the hopes
of having a lot of friends and extended families over, however,
a rather uninvited guest arrived instead... SNOW!!!!

But that didn't stop us! We started the day off
with his favorite breakfast (lucky charms) then
playing with his new toys/games (star wars light saber)
dinosaur dig, air plane shooter and for the big surprise....
a new educational laptop from Mom and Dad!
We had one of his favorite dinners too, dinosaur chicken
nuggets and fries then topped it off with candy treats
and cupcakes for dessert.

The boys played all day long and even enjoyed some of the
snow, they never missed a beat! Me on the other hand, I stayed
warm and cozy inside with Josh :)

We LOVE YOU Spencer and hope you had a great day with your
family!!! You are getting so grown up and we are very proud of
all of your accomplishments this year.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

No regrets...





As another year approaches, do you find yourself
thinking about the shoulda, coulda, woulda's?
aka: "regrets" in your life?

Emotionally & Visually Provoking... this video reminded me that,
whatever season
of life we encounter, admittedly, having regrets about my past
making bad decisions, poor choices or question our lot in life...
I/we must learn to embrace every challenge
and learn to forgive ourselves and ultimately others,
with the divine forgiveness God offers to us,
unconditionally!

It can be difficult to live joyfully without having first confessed our sins,
our deepest need for repentance
and mercy.

Each day I live, I do know that God can take something so broken and make it
whole & new again
but not without our personal decision toward change.

My Prayer to all this season!
Jehovah Lord of Heaven, You are unchanging and so faithful
to Your word,
may we learn to imitate Your character more often toward
our loved ones and those we encounter with a
compassionate and tender heart. Help us
to bear each others burdens and learn to forgive so
others can truly be set free.

May this New Year be one
that is mighty indeed with Your strength to mark a special
occasion that You are our coming King to save
us from the evil one. God's blessings to you and your
families, Love the Allen's

Friday, November 27, 2009

Joshua's First Thanksgiving Dinner!

video

Joshua was sleeping during our thanksgiving
"photo shoot" in case you were wondering...

When he woke up; (after I finished my plate "in peace" :)
it was time to feed our little guy his first "turkey, rice
and sweet potatoes" meal with apples/blueberry treat
to top it off!

I think he enjoyed it... see for yourself on this
8 1/2 min kideo.

Our Family Gives Thanks...

Beautiful Lord... we give thanks for the colorful world
and everything in it that grows perfectly in Your time.

Beautiful Lord... we give thanks for preparing a place
for us in heaven!

Beautiful Lord... we give thanks for the feast to come!

Beautiful Lord... we give thanks for the ability to share
our gifts with others.

Beautiful Lord... we give thanks for creating the family
and expanding Your kingdom here on earth.

Beautiful Lord... we give thanks for the opportunity to
love, laugh and grow in faith with one another.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ever heard of... KIDEO?

A must see... add your child to the videos for some laughs!!!
Absolutely funny and you can order videos too, so your child
can be the star of the show.
How can we pass this up?

Here's a link of Joshua dancing with Dora The Explorer...


Pop Pop & Joshua

Last Saturday, my parents visited our family and we always look
forward to their visit because of all of the fun conversations and
food...
Joshua and Pop Pop are really bonding lately and I caught
this most adorable moment between them, yes, Josh started
sucking on his thumb and we caught it on video too... See below!


video



Thursday, November 12, 2009

Backyard Gang!



Look at those faces...
Our boys just love to have fun every chance they can get!

Smile Josh...



I believe he thinks he's funny when I ask him to smile!
He's been sticking out his tongue a lot these days... lol
A new discovery I suppose.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Voice of a Veteran...In case you didn't know


Thank you isn't enough, but we say it anyway...
You are the brave ones,
the bold ones, the courageous ones, who truly bring change!

May God continually bless your lives for giving yours...



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

FALLabulous!





Fun at Valley Forge, Pa! Please Welcome Tim (Tony's son, my step son)
to our family... he's been such a blessing to our home and life, we love
you Tim.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Satan's Meeting...

I confess... I'm a little video crazy lately.

Here's another good one!
At least I think so... see for yourself:
I must admit, I was taken a back by the title of this video
on Tangle and so of course,
I investigated it and found it to be quite emotionally provoking and
got me thinking about how much "life" gets in the way so easily
and that we truly do need to take more time for our Living Savior
who patiently waits for our conversation and is so long suffering
over all of us - gee, this could be very serious if we're not careful!

I hope you are humbled by this subtle, yet convincingly true video
about satan and his real life schemes to distract us away from
the Lord... that is, after all, Satan's plan, so why are we so quick to
say otherwise or ignore it?

We can't give excuses forever when we answer to a Holy God
someday -- this is what was brought to light to me after
viewing this example of what happens when we try to control
our lives...

May we be reminded of how important our
relationship with God truly is -- FIRST - at least God should be at
the top of that to-do list!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Child's Laughter...

video

Joshua would not go to sleep "on time"
a couple nights ago and seemed quite restless
for a while so,
we decided to let him play a bit...
then he surprised us with some
heartwarming chuckling
fun as he started giggling at daddy's silly noises...
check our little guy out - this is just another reason
why I'm in love with God so much...
these moments are just priceless!

Don't forget to pause my playlist below to hear
all the fun :) Enjoy!

**The video is a bit dark, but the light comes on soon
during the filming. Also, is 4 mins. long, but worth
every minute!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Spiritual Warfare - Do You Have It On?


PARENTS... LET'S RETHINK THOSE SCARY COSTUMES OR ANYTHING REPRESENTING EVIL!

So Where Did The Elements Of Halloween Come From?

Trick Or Treat. "The modern custom of 'Trick-or-Treat' began in Ireland hundreds of years ago. A group of farmers went from house to house begging food for the village Halloween festivities in the name of their ancient gods. Good luck was promised to generous donors, and threats were made against those who would not give." 3Thus these ancient pagan traditions continue today as youngsters, masquerading as ghosts, skeletons, and demons go "trick-or-treating" - begging in a sense for food while promising to refrain from evil deeds...

October 31ST. Though it was the Roman Catholic church who designated the October 31st date as All Hallow's Eve, or "eve of the holy one's day," in prelude to their November 1st All Saints' Day, it was earlier pagan peoples who gave the annual holiday the sinister meaning and traditions it still holds.

It is obvious that the elements, symbols, and traditions of the Halloween observance with its emphasis upon goblins and demons, witches and skeletons, ghosts and apparitions rising from cemeteries constitute a dabbling with the very things, which Scripture forbids to God's people and an open invitation to demonic activity. (Deuteronomy 18:10-13, Lev 19:31)

It is at this point that many will say, "But we don't worship demons on Halloween. It doesn't mean the same thing today as it did in the past. It's now just a harmless, innocent time of fun for the children and the young people."

Yet, history clearly shows that Halloween is unmistakably a "religious" (pagan and Roman) holiday. Religion is the adoration, obedience, and service rendered to the object of one's worship. It presupposes profession, practice, or observance of whatever belief and practice - in this case Halloween - as required by some superior authority. It is indisputably clear that Halloween is NOT commanded or sanctioned by Jehovah God - the true Christian's Superior, Authority - in the Scriptures.

Eph: 5:11

References sighted: The Holy Bible through research & Crosswalk.com

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Did You Know? Provoking Video...


In the book of DANIEL Chapter 12 with reference to verse: 4
it speaks about in the end times "knowledge will increase"

Quite frankly, I'm very excited by the fact that I'm living
and witnessing such an "intellectual age" in that, My Savior,
Jesus must truly be on his way SOON to save those of us
who have repented and are transformed
by The Holy Spirit aka: "saved" and set apart
from the terrible tribulation that
awaits the earth and all that is in it someday!

I've been reading The Holy Scriptures more often
now and in prayer about my salvation as well as
those around me and am realizing more and more
everyday, how much we really need to fear and respect
the Holy King of Heaven - His words are to be taken
seriously, not lightly. Living in "this world" is troubling,
attractive and tempting -- and
Satan or "the enemy" is working overtime to distract
and mislead the world through many "idols" including
the internet even as I type these words to you now...
but I want to ask you, Is God
enough? Or would you risk your eternal soul all because
it seems odd in front of others or too difficult to follow
Christ truly, in ALL things great and small? What does
your life really reflect? Are you set apart or do you look
and act like everybody else out there? Will God know you
and will you honestly know God?

Lord please put Eternity into the hearts of us all.
It matters the most and our lives
are but a vapor...