29 August 2011

A Material Girl

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”
- Matthew 6:21

I think most of us can remember the song “Material Girl,” by Madonna. Whether we realize it or not we are all either “materialistic” or affected by others that are “materialistic. We are all living in a material world. This is such an important and complicated issue that I will devote my next four blog posts to related subjects: materialism, shopping mall theology, the characteristics of poverty, and financial peace.

Materialism can be defined as “the tendency to give undue importance to material interests; devotion to the material nature and its wants.”

In other words, materialism is:

• when money and “things” control your life
• thinking that “bigger is always better”, or “more will make me happy”
• hoarding things instead of sharing our blessings
• worshipping the mighty dollar instead of turning to God for our security

The “grip” of material things: This weekend as Hurricane Irene forced people to leave their homes and “things” in order to be safe. I got to thinking about the hold that our material things have on us. How many people had to go without electricity - which meant a loss of food, power for computers, TV’s and many other conveniences? How many couldn’t drive their cars because of flooding? How many lost telephone/ cell phone service because of downed trees and power lines? We definitely live in a technological, gadget, and materialistic world – but how do we react when there is a threat of losing everything?

What material things in your world have a “grip” on you?
Would you find it harder to go without your cell phone or without your Bible?

The “real stuff” of life:  Our heavenly treasures are not like the “real stuff” of this life ... or, is it the other way around ... our material things are nothing compared to the “real stuff,” our heavenly treasures. I find it sad how some people have things in their homes that they never use, touch, or enjoy because they are so precious or valuable. They are packed away for “safe keeping.” But, when we leave this earth, we will not be able to take them with us. We go to extremes to protect, preserve, and store our material things, but earthly treasures spoil, rust, get broken or used up, or become time-worn and outdated. On the other hand, our heavenly treasures will last for eternity. You might be asking what exactly are “heavenly treasures?” Some examples of heavenly treasures include: salvation, studying God’s word, living a Christ-filled life, evangelism (telling others about Christ), giving (to those in need), and serving others.

Can our earthly treasures even begin to compare to our heavenly treasures?
Are you gathering early or heavenly treasures?

What the Bible tells us: There are many scripture verses that address materialism and the attitudes associated with worshipping our early treasures. Here are just a few examples...

“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised. Amen” (Romans 1:25 NIV).

“Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves” (Matthew 6:20).

“He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the kingdom of God your primary concern” (Matthew 6:33).

“Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2).

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3-5).

We do not have to try to be “poor and humble” (false humility) to avoid materialism. Jesus wants us to continue to work hard. But, we need to be careful not to make the process of attaining our earthly treasures our preoccupation, or object of our worship. It is not the amount of our money, but what we do with our money that matters. The Bible tells us we should tithe (Deuteronomy 14:22) – our way of giving back to God and thanking him for our many blessings. We also need to provide for our necessities (shelter, food, clothing), but after that we have a choice as to whether we become “materialistic” or invest our money in God’s kingdom here on earth. Jesus had the best idea ... “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness [as described in the Bible] and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

So, how will you answer the following question ... “Are you a material girl?” My prayer is that God will give us all the wisdom needed to balance our needs and our wants in a way that will please and glorify Him. Be sure to check back Friday as we take a closer look at “shopping malls.”

Seeking peace and obedience...
Blessings, Donna Weaver

“Any so-called material thing that you want is merely a symbol:
you want it not for itself, but because it will content your spirit
for the moment.” - Mark Twain

26 August 2011

Kidz Topic ... WORRY

This is a new segment of my blog where I will be sharing a variety of thoughts, scripture verses, and “sparkle” ideas just for kids. Feel free to pass them on to your children, grandchildren, or any other young people that God has put in your life.

KIDZ ☮ PEACE … It’s that time of year when you see friends that you haven’t seen for awhile. The new school year also gives you a chance to meet some new friends. It is important for you to know that God loves you and he wants this time of your life to be filled with peace and joy.

1. God doesn’t want you to be stressed, worried or unhappy.

• Are you concerned about what others think of you?
• Afraid that kids will make fun of you because of your size … too thin, a little overweight, too short, taller than others your age?
• Self-conscious because of new braces, new glasses, or new hair style?
• Worried that you don’t have the perfect wardrobe or the coolest school supplies?
• Uncomfortable because you aren’t super smart or have trouble in a particular subject?
• Or maybe studies come easy to you and you get embarrassed because you always know the answers?

 2. Good News.   God loves you just the way you are. How you look, the clothes you wear, or the book bag you carry aren’t WHO you are - they are just material things. You are what is on the inside… and God knows your heart. He knows your thoughts, your likes, your dislikes, your moods, and your feelings, too. He gave you creativity (like music, art, writing), talent (sports, cheerleading, skateboarding, dance), interests (books, video games, riding bike), and personality (outgoing, caring, helpful, friendly, humor). You are Perfect in God’s Eyes!

3. What does God’s Word tell us?  When we go to God in prayer and read our Bible, we can find words that give us confidence, comfort, peace, hope, strength, and a whole lot more. Check out these verses: 1 Samuel 16:7, 1 Peter 5:7, Psalm 120:1, Romans 12:2, Psalm 139: 14.

Sometimes we can’t stop how we are feeling - we just need someone to talk to. Here are a few suggestions: parents ... older brothers and sisters ... friends ... or other trusted adults such as... teachers ... school counselor ... pastor ... youth group leader.

Remember God loves you and so do I ... having confidence, comfort, peace, hope, and strength doesn’t mean you are perfect – because nobody is perfect - it is knowing you are priceless and important to a lot of people. And last but not least, never try to be someone you are not, because you are worthy of being loved, respected and accepted just as you are ... YOU are “beautifully and wonderfully made.”

Kidz Thought for the Week: “Try to be like the turtle – at ease in your own shell.”  - from Bill Copeland

Keeping you in my prayers.   'til next week, Don't Worry, Be Happy!
God's Peace, Donna

Eye of the Storm

The Lord gives strength to His people;
the Lord blesses His people with peace.
  – Psalms 29:11
My east coast family and friends have certainly been through an emotional roller coaster this week - an earthquake and now a hurricane!  As I pray for their safety, I am reminded that whether we are dealing with a storm caused by nature, a personal storm (turmoil) caused by circumstances such as a job loss or health issues, or an internal storm caused by worry or stress, we can find peace and comfort in knowing that God is in control.

I recently read a devotion on the Christian Broadcasting Network website entitled “The Storm before the Calm.” I went back and re-read it tonight because it seemed so appropriate as Hurricane Irene begins to pound down on the eastern part of the US. CBN guest writer, Missey Butler said, “Oh, how we want to stay in control, when all the while God is saying, 'I don’t want to have to allow another Northeast wind to blow into your life in order to get you to release your hold on that situation. I long to bring peace to every storm that has been raging within you. Allow Me to speak Be still to every tempest and wave of adversity that pounds against your soul. Come and release to Me now the full reins of your life so that I may lead you to the lush green valleys of peace where the waters run deep and still, where there is a welcomed and restful calm after the storm.' ”

Jesus calms the storm

“Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
                                                                 - Matthew 8:23-27


What are some of the “storms” that God
has calmed in your life?
     Have you thanked him lately?

What are some of the storms raging
in your life right now?
     Have you prayed about them lately?

One of the main concerns that affect everyone when anyone in their life is going through a storm is communication. Here are some tips...

1. To get information during a disaster:  Turn on your television or radio to a local station. If power is out, use a battery operated radio or your car radio.

2. To help communication systems work during an emergency:  Do not make unnecessary phone calls (too many calls could overload systems and may prevent emergency calls from getting through). If you get reliable information, pass it along to your neighbors.

3. Keeping in touch with family and friends:  Be sure to write down important phone numbers - don’t rely on the numbers stored in your cell phone. If you have a large family, have one main contact person or a relay system so everyone is not spending time trying to get a hold of everyone else. It really helps if the contact person is not in the threatened area.


He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.
They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven.
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
-Psalm 107:29-31

In peace I will lie die and sleep, for you alone, LORD,
Make me dwell in safety.   – Psalm 4:8

When you go through deep waters and
great trouble, I will be with you.  - Isaiah 43:2

We are pressed on every side by troubles,
but we are not crushed. We are perplexed,
but not driven to despair. - 2 Corinthians 4:8

Shaking up the earth
God is always in control
Now calming the storms
       - Donna Weaver (haiku)

It’s Friday, Let’s “Sparkle” … action required… 
Hurricane Irene is going to affect many people. So this week’s sparkle idea is to reach out to those in need. If you are in a threatened area, check on elderly neighbors that may not have family in the area – help make sure they are taken care of.  If you are not in immediate danger area, maybe you could be a safe house for people being evacuated. If you are in an area that will not be affected by the storm, offer up prayers ... begin right now and don’t stop until the storm has been calmed. You may also want to reach out to those around you that are going through personal storms in their lives. Words of encouragement offer hope, prayers offer comfort, a kind deed offers peace. And as I’ve said before, that’s what the journey is all about, my friends…God’s Peace!

Have a safe and blessed weekend everyone!
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

“To share often and much ... to know even one life has
breathed easier because you have lived;
this is to have succeeded.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The Storm before the Calm” by Missey Butler...

22 August 2011

Chattin' about Rag Dolls & Girlfriends

I have a “rag doll” stitchery in my dining room.

She reminds me of my younger years...

Simpler times.... best friends, hopscotch, creamsicles.

Dreams, diaries, and secrets.

Laughing the afternoon hours away!

Recently I read the following quote and I was reminded that we should never let life get so busy that we forget to spend time with our girlfriends....

“No matter who you are you GOTTA have you some girlfriends
to laugh & cry & pray & eat & dance & shop & do life with.”
- Anita Renfroe, comedian


Why not bake a cheesecake (easy recipe below), set out a few dainty tea cups, and invite a friend for an afternoon (or evening) of reminiscing and thanking God for the blessing of our girlfriends..


1 graham cracker crust
16 oz. Cream cheese, softened
1- 6 oz. Can frozen orange juice
1 can Eagle Brand Milk
10 oz. Cool Whip

Mix cream cheese, milk and orange juice with
mixer. Fold in cool whip. Pour into crust &
refrigerate at least 4 hours.

A time worn Rag Doll
she now sits high on a shelf
True Friends Forever
               - Donna Weaver (haiku)


Who is your oldest and dearest girlfriend? Does she know you are thinking of her today....why not let her know!

Who are the girlfriends on your spiritual journey?
Do they know how important they are to you.... why not tell them today!


What shall I bestow upon a friend?
Laughter to sustain when sorrow may bring pain,
a bright song of life, a belief that winter ends in the glory of spring,
and a prayer of hope for peace that will forever stay. – Lea Palmer

Sometimes it is a slender thread,
Sometimes a strong, stout rope;
She clings to one end, I the other;
She calls it friendship; I call it hope.
- Lois Wyse

I just got off the phone with my best friend.... it was our weekly “girlfriend fix” ... our sanity check! Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we cry, and sometimes we share our dreams and prayers. She lives far away, but we’ve already decided that next time she visits.... a “tea party” we shall have!

Hope you have the blessing of a “girlfriend fix” this week!
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

19 August 2011

Kidz Topic ... ATTITUDE

This is a new segment of my blog post where I will be sharing a variety of thoughts, scripture verses, and “sparkle” ideas just for kids. Feel free to pass them on to your children, grandchildren, or any other young people that God has put in your life.

KIDZ ☮ PEACE ... For kids everywhere, it’s Back to School time. The routine of your day - school, after-school activities and family life can be just as hard for kids as it is for adults. When you are feeling “down in the dumps,” overwhelmed, or just plain tired out, God is sad. He wants you to be happy and filled with peace. Here are 3 steps that can change your ATTITUDE:

1. Turn to God.  When we go to God in prayer and read His word we can find comfort, peace, hope, strength, joy and a whole lot more. Let's get our Bibles and check out these verses: Philippians 4:13, Psalm 46:10, Matthew 7:7-8, Jeremiah 29:11, 2 Corinthians 12:9, Proverbs 3:6

2. Rest.  Grown ups aren’t the only ones who get tired or weary. Maybe you need to find some quiet time – why not read a book, try taking a long shower or soak in the tub. Why not put some awesome Christian tunes on your headphones. Or, maybe you just need to get some extra sleep – why not go to bed a little earlier than usual.

3. Do something nice for someone else.  Feeling bored, sad or lonely? That is a great time to do a “random act of kindness.” When you make someone else happy, you will be surprised how that makes you feel. Remember, you don’t have to spend money, or give a gift to someone to make them feel happy … just be friendly and spend some time with them.

Here are a few ideas you can do at school:

• Make a new friend – introduce yourself to the new kid at school, or someone new on your sports team - and don’t forget to introduce them to others.

• Is there someone in the lunchroom that always seems to be sitting alone? Introduce yourself… you could even bring a snack to share with them.

• If you see someone that is having a bad day, offer them a smile, a kind word, or a helping hand.

Kidz Thought for the Week:  “Be yourself! Who else is better qualified?”
- from Frank J. Giblin

Keeping you in my prayers.   'til next Wednesday, remember we're working on our attitude.

God's Peace, Donna

I am but a "flicker”

“There are days when you don’t have a song in your heart.
Sing anyway.” - Emory Austin

This week I’ll admit that I started off feeling a little weary.  My “shine” was unsteady - just a flicker - but God doesn’t let us wallow in gloominess or hide in the shadows.

Tuesday I got to work in the morning and turned on the radio (K-Love, of course).  The song “The Light in Me” by Brandon Heath was on the air.  As I listened to the words, they triggered some thoughts about my feeling of weariness.  There was a line in the song that said, I was a flame burning down, I was burning out.  The lyrics were talking about someone’s life before they knew Christ. I thought to myself, “That is exactly how I am feeling, but I do know Christ.”  The more I listened to the words, the clearer my problem became… my light has been flickering, like a fluorescent bulb right before it burns out.  I attributed the “cause” to my busy-ness, stress at work, and some financial concerns, but really those issues were just everyday challenges, not anything devastating.

In my mind I understand that we all have to deal with “troubles, burdens and hardships” and that God is with us through it all.  But, my heart had forgotten the words of Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  No, my “challenges” were not the cause of my feeling of weariness it was my “attitude.”  The way I was reacting to my challenges was the real test, and I think I failed with a big red F.   I had been letting my attitude steal my joy, peace, and yes, even my love.  Instead of listening to God’s word, serving others, and turning to friends for encouragement, I had isolated myself (once again).  I asked myself… if I know what is right, why do I keep doing the things I know are wrong?

Funny how God is unrelenting when He wants us to get the message.  It just happened that K-Love’s encouraging scripture verse for Tuesday was taken from John 8:12, “Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” Coincidence?  I think not!

So, I thought about how I could change my attitude.  Three alternatives came to mind for when I know what I should be doing but am tempted to do something else instead.

1 – Turn to God.

Through prayer and reading his word, we are kept on the right path and re-assured that He is on the journey with us at all times…. as a result, we experience hope and peace in His presence and our hearts are filled with love.

2 – Serve Others.

When we give from the overflow of our heart, God continues to fill us up.  It is in serving others that Jesus is met… as a result of sharing God’s love, we are filled with joy (and many times we discover that our challenges may not be so tough after all).

3 – Be Accountable.

As Christians, we know that God holds us accountable.  It also helps to have others that we answer to as “accountability partners.”  The benefit of having an accountability partner is that we have someone else, here on earth, to walk with us through our highs and lows… sharing our joys and praying for us through our challenges.

1 - 2 - 3…  I wrote them down, re-read them and prayed about them…

By the end of the week, God gave me a little re-test…. He put someone along my path that needed a few words of encouragement (because they were feeling “weary”).  Since my attitude had changed, I was able to share some of the thoughts that I had been putting together for this blog and also gave witness to how God had helped me through many of the challenges in my life.  In doing so two things happened… 1) the person left with a smile on his face, but not before saying he appreciated a listening ear, and 2) in sharing my challenges, I realized that God had seen me through my struggles before, and will do so again (and again, and again).

It’s Friday, Let’s “Sparkle” … action required…  Not sure where God will lead me this weekend, but I plan for my smile to shine a little brighter because of His love.  My servant attitude will radiate with a little more sparkle because of the joy in my heart.  And my spirit will be refreshed, because I’ve found peace again.  That’s what the journey is all about, my friends…God’s Peace!

Another line from Brandon Heath’s song says ‘Cause in Your perfection, I’m just a reflection' … so this weekend SPARKLE in whatever way you choose, because we are reflecting HIS LIGHT!  And if our paths ever cross on one of my “bad attitude” days, I give you permission to hold me accountable and tell me to read the words of this blog ONE MORE TIME!

Until next week ... remember you have been blessed to be a blessing ... (Genesis 12:2).   God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

“If you ask me what I came into this world to do,
I will tell you: I came to live out loud.”
- Emile Zola

15 August 2011


“I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God
who is sending a love letter to the world.”
– Mother Theresa

If I knew that nobody was reading would I continue to write, out of obedience?

I’ve put a lot of thought in to answering that question, and I’m happy to be able to say that my answer is “yes, I would continue to write.” Writing is not only my passion, but a blessing from God. When I started writing my blog I made a commitment to use my writing to glorify Him. In the process, I’ve tried to be more disciplined, to write on a more regular basis – a lot more frequently than I had in the past. Since I am usually not a very disciplined person there have been times when this has been very challenging, however, there have been many more days when I have experienced such joy and peace as I put words to paper.

God looks at our hearts and motives, and he knows our faithfulness. I am reminded of the words found in Ephesians 3:20, which say “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”

What commitment have you made to the Lord lately? 
How are you showing your faithfulness?

Everyone one of us has been called to serve and glorify God in different ways, but it is important to remember that what really makes us a Christian is our faith in God, not our works. Our greatest ministry is when we become highly committed to God.

When our life is over and we stand before God, there is only one we should desire to hear, and that is "well done good and FAITHFUL servant!"

Please celebrate with me....
Many of you have heard the continuing saga of my efforts at writing, so I wanted to share some exciting news.  I have written a story called Some Occasions call for Purple which has been selected to appear in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspirations for the Young at Heart.  This newest Chicken Soup book is scheduled to be available in bookstores, Target, Wal-Mart, and K-Mart stores beginning August 23, 2011.
  Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for the Young at Heart celebrates all the fun and wonder of getting older. This collection of 101 stories is full of humorous and fun adventures from those who are actively enjoying their “senior years!” Readers will revel in these stories about dynamic older singles and couples finding new careers, new sports, new love, and new meaning to their lives. Topics covering love, family, and travels will amuse and invigorate readers.

Excerpt from my story "Some Occasions Call for Purple" ... And, here we were, she in her big, purple hat and me in my mismatched blue hat and purple scarf. To top it off, we were actually taking pictures of each other -- right in the aisle of the department store. Needless to say, the sales clerk thought we were crazy, but we gave her a look that said, “We’ve earned the right to every bit of this silliness” (page 72).

Thank you to my friends and family that have been a constant source of inspiration and encouragement for my writing. I feel blessed to be able to share this special occasion with you. I hope you enjoy reading my story, as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Have a blessed week,
God's Peace, Donna Weaver

“The soul's deepest thirst is for God Himself,
who has made us so that we can never be
satisfied without Him.” – F. F. Bruce

12 August 2011

A Promise - a GIFT from God (Part 4)

“Will you be the rock that redirects the river?”
- Claire Nuer

There is a Chinese proverb that says, “The journey of one thousand miles must begin with a single step.”   Our spiritual journey, our journey for peace, also begins with a single step.

Over the last two weeks I have been writing about taking children along on our spiritual journey.  We have talked about praying for all of the children that God has put into our lives.  We have discussed teaching them scripture and Bible stories.  We have also realized the lessons that children can teach us along our journey together.  Years ago I lived in the same town as my grandchildren.  Every other Sunday my granddaughter and I had a routine... we would drive through Taco Bell, and take our food down to the riverfront.  We would sit amidst nature and talk about anything... everyday things, our hopes, our dreams, our future... it was a very special time of sharing... it was “peace by the river.”

There is an old hymn called, “It is Well with My Soul.”  One of the verses goes like this:

No I am not one who can move high mountains, or cross the big red sea. Nor can I walk on the water like Peter or Jesus, or set the lame man free. It's all I can do some days to get through, the valleys here below.

Chorus: I got peace, like a river, flowing deep, in my life. I got peace, like a river, and you know, it feels so right.

Like the lyrics express, we may not be able to accomplish “mighty” works or miracles, but when we are living a life that is right with God and using our gifts to glorify Him, we can experience God’s peace and it feels so right!

Those times my granddaughter and I spent by the river have become cherished memories... she is now almost 20 years old and we live quite a distance from each other.  Kylee has persevered through some difficult times in her life, but her determination, hopes, and dreams for the future are stronger than ever.  She is now a college student – struggling for her independence, trying to discover her passion... attempting to find her own “peace.”

As I conclude this series of blog posts (- a GIFT from God), I am reminded that scripture is not only filled with the tools for living out a Christian life, but God’s Word also contains His promises.  We need to share those promises with our children, their children, and the generations to come (Joel 1:3).

God has given us many promises of PEACE.  The words of Psalm 29:11 tell us, “The Lord will give strength to His people, The Lord will bless His people with peace” and John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I will give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Jesus said, “My peace I will give to you.”  What an awesome promise!

The peace that Jesus is talking about is not something we can earn or buy, it is a GIFT.  Human peace is based on circumstances... if everything is running smoothly and stress-free in our lives, we think we have achieved peace.  But, when busyness creates the chaos we have talked so much about, then peace quickly disappears.  On the other hand, we know that God’s peace is unique because it is eternal (internal) peace which cannot be affected by external circumstances.

PEACE is our birthright as a child of God, and to make it ours, all we have to do is claim it!  The way we go about “claiming” God’s peace is by making an individual commitment.  The last 3 blog posts have taken us through the steps we need to take to make this commitment.  Today’s post is the final step.

Part 1 was our responsibility to pray for our children, grandchildren and our own relationships with God.  We need to accept ourselves as God accepts us. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  By seeing ourselves the way God sees us, we can love and accept ourselves, and love and accept others... we can be at peace.

Part 2 and 3 reminded us of the need to search scripture committing it to memory, and hiding God’s Word in our heart.  Psalm 119:165 tells us, “Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble."

And the final step, Part 4.  We need to put in to action what we have learned in the Bible – living a life in Christ – only then will we have a life filled with God’s Peace.  Isaiah 32:17 tells us, "The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever."

It's Friday, Let's Sparkle... action required....  Thank you for allowing me to share the personalities and adventures of my grandchildren with you.  No matter whether you have teenagers in your life, like Brooke, young children like Kaleb and Aydin, 20 somethings like Kylee, or any age in between – God desires a relationship with each one of us and wants us to experience a life filled with PEACE.  Take time this weekend to not only nuture the relationship you have with the children in  your lives, but help them start their own journey to seek more peace. 

Remind them: NO GOD, NO PEACE... KNOW GOD, KNOW PEACE.   It’s a choice!  Watch for the new addition to my Friday post... KIDZPEACE helpful tips, scripture, and activities for kids who are on their own "peace journey."

Grace, Peace and Love, Donna Weaver

Thank you Lord, for peace-filled moments with my
grandchildren, and for your PROMISES that continue
to be passed on from generation to generation. Amen.

FYI: The Christian group Kutless included a version of It is Well on their CD entitled It is Well: a Worship Album. Click the link below to check out the song:


08 August 2011

An Adventure – a Gift from God (Part 3)

“Why, sometimes, I’ve believed as many
As six impossible things before breakfast.”
- Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

This week I’m continuing my series about lessons I have learned from my grandkids. They each have their own unique talents and gifts, and my youngest grandson is no exception. He has quite an imagination, and if you combine that with his creativity, it is a recipe for fun and adventurous stories.

One afternoon last summer, we went to lunch and during our meal I asked him a bunch of questions to inspire a story. A few hour later our stomachs were full, and I had an entire story written down as told to me by Aydin. For Christmas I typed up the story, added some pictures, and presented him with his first “published” book. I have no doubt that he will become either a writer or an actor.

Stories can make us laugh or cry. They can take us on a magical adventure or teach us about faraway places. We can meet some interesting characters or hear about the lives of people from long ago.

As I read God’s Word, He takes me on personal adventures. It is within the pages that I find truth. It is here where I can read a list of God's commandments for daily living. I can learn things like “how to pray,” or other lessons from biblical leaders, parents, servants, and friends. I can hear the most beautiful love story ever told.... and find out about the depth of God’s love. And if that’s not enough, I can also be entertained - battles between nations, miracles of healing and rescue, celebrations such as weddings, births, and home-comings, and even stories set in some great vacation spots including the Garden of Eden, a mountaintop experience on Mt. Sinai, and boating on the Sea of Galilee.

In Exodus 10:2, the Lord said to Moses… “You will be able to tell wonderful stories to your children and grandchildren about the marvelous things I am doing among the Egyptians to prove that I am the Lord.” And in Psalms 78:2-4 Asaph tells us, “I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.”

It is important that we share Bible stories with the children in our lives. They become the foundation of our faith. Just as prayer and scripture are an important staple in the life of a Christian, so are the Bible stories that teach us the history of biblical times, tell us about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, inspire us, provide lessons, and set guidelines for our daily living... parables, miracles, examples of the disciples.... all of these details are important in our spiritual journey.

If you want to try a fun activity, read a short Bible story to a group of kids and ask them some open-ended questions.... their creativity and imaginations will blow your mind! I once read the story of Noah’s ark to a group of 5 – 10 year olds. We had quite an interesting discussion about who had ever seen a rainbow and what the colors represented One little girl asked if there were unicorns on the ark, and a young boy raised his hand to ask the group if they knew that a rainbow is a sign of God’s covenant to us. ... And the children shall lead them!

My grandson will continue to come up with new and imaginative adventures, but God’s Word is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  At this stage in my spiritual journey, my Bible study seems to be getting more and more exciting. I love when pieces of the puzzle finally come together. Identifying the places where events actually happened, what was going on at the time, how traditions and customs affected the way people acted or re-acted to different situations, and realizing the deeper meaning to some of the simple lessons I learned in my youth... priceless! Greater understanding can only happen when we build layer upon layer.... reading and re-reading our Bibles and hearing once again all of those amazing stories.

What is the first Bible story you ever remember hearing?
What is your favorite Bible story?
What Bible story will you choose to re-read today?

Blessings for a week filled with His everlasting stories.
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

Dear Lord, Thank you for the opportunity to share your
stories with my grandchildren. Bless them as they develop
their talents and use them to glorify you! Amen.

05 August 2011

A Challenge – a GIFT from God (Part 2)

“You never really lose until you stop trying”
- Mike Ditka

The Bible can transform the heart and minds of people of all ages, including children. When I visit my grandchildren, one of the favorite things that my grandson and I like to do together is go to the Christian bookstore. We spend hours walking the aisles and talking about everything from crosses, to children’s books, to CD’s, church, God and so much more. On our last shopping trip, I learned a valuable lesson. While we were browsing through the store, I found a CD of scripture verses that were put to music for children. I decided to buy it for the kids and all day long they listened, learned, and began to sing along with the words. I was very surprised when later in the afternoon Kaleb came to me and asked if I could write one of the verses on a piece of paper so he could put it next to his bed. He said, “Grandma, if I read that verse then I won’t be afraid at night.” The verse he wanted me to write down was "I will give you peace...and you will be able to sleep without fear” (Leviticus 26:6).

Kaleb is eleven years old and he loves to play soccer. He dresses for the game with his team jersey, soccer shorts, sports socks, shin guards, and soccer spikes. As he runs on to the field, he has confidence in his role. He is dressed and ready to take on the challenges of the other team. After his comment about the scripture verse, it occurred to me that God has given us a responsibility to teach children to spend just as much time dressing for the daily challenges against the enemy of God, as they do for their other activities. By having them put on the armor of God, they will learn to successfully stand up against temptation and danger and learn to make wise choices.

Biblical Reference for Armor of God - Ephesians 6:11, 14-17...

"Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.... Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

The verses about the Armor of God may seem hard to understand, but here is an easy way to explain them to children:

Belt of Truth: If we are to stand up against evil, we must stand by the truth. The Word of God is truth and shows us the right way to go in life.

Breastplate of Righteousness: Jesus makes us right with God – He protects our hearts.

Sandals of Peace: As Christians, we need to walk with inner peace. Our feet should always be ready to take us places to tell the Good News to others.

Shield of Faith: Without faith it is impossible to please God. He is willing to give us the faith we need to defend ourselves against Satan, and walk boldly.

Helmet of Salvation: We have salvation through Christ today and forever. We must guard our minds – the Bible tells us to think on good things.

Sword of the Spirit: The Bible is our sword. God’s word tells us what is right and wrong, and shows us how to live. Our battle is fought by prayer.

In order to put on the Armor of God, we all (adults and children alike) need to read God’s Word, and keep it in our heart and minds! Whether we are battling the enemy, confronted by a non-believer, or put in a position to make a choice between right and wrong, scripture gives us commandments for living a life in Christ, and the foundations of truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation.

I don’t know about you, but I find the challenge to memorize scripture really hard. Kids learn quickly by repetition... my old brain is a little more challenging. So here are a couple of different things that I have found helpful:

1. Highlighting scripture verses in my Bible has not only helped me remember the verses, but also where they are found. Sometimes I will write a date next to a verse, like my favorite verse from a certain Beth Moore study and the date I started the study, or like the verse Kaleb asked me about. I wrote his name and the date next to that scripture, and every time I come across that verse, it brings a smile to my face. My Bible has become not only a resource, but a journal of memories from my spiritual journey.

2. I’ve created a word document on my computer and every time I hear a verse I want to keep close at hand, I add it to my “scripture file.” I use it when I am writing verses in greeting cards, need an encouraging word to offer someone, or a quick reference for a “bad attitude” day.

3. I also like to purchase small scripture cards from the Christian bookstore and post them on my refrigerator, my work computer, my mirror, use as a bookmarker, etc. They’re not only great reminders, but as I see them over and over again, it helps with the memorization.

It’s Friday, Let’s Sparkle.... action required... Colossians 1:28 – 29 declares, “We proclaim Christ, admonishing and teaching our children with all wisdom, so that we may present all of our children perfect in Christ. To this end we labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in us, their parents.”   This week’s sparkle idea is helpful tips for teaching children scripture verses:

• If they are old enough to read a Children’s Bible, you could encourage them to do so by giving them bible verse stickers for each day they read their Bible.
• Some other resources that are available on christianbook.com include posters with Bible verses on, a memory verse flip calendar for children, memory verse mystery books (grades 1-3).
• As I mentioned earlier, there are also great CD’s of scripture memory songs for children of all ages.
• Bible puzzle books and coloring books are a way to learn and have fun at the same time. I’ve found these items are available at most Dollar Stores.

Why not take a child shopping this weekend...and check out your favorite Christian bookstore. Time invested in the spiritual lives of children is an eternal investment!

BTW... When I began my blog in January, I compiled a “Life List” of mini-goals that I would like to accomplish in my lifetime. One of those items was memorizing Bible verses... now is as good a time as any to challenge myself. So, my goal is to have my first 25 verses (and their reference) memorized by the end of the year. Want to join me?

Let the countdown begin...
God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

Lord, your Word is a lamp unto my feet. Thank you for giving me
the opportunity to help teach my grandchildren your Word. Amen.

01 August 2011

A Responsibility – a GIFT from God (Part 1)

“She has the spirit of the sun, The moods of the moon,
The will of the wind.” - Julie Perkins Cantrell

On Friday I picked my granddaughter up at the airport. She will be spending the next 10 days here in Colorado. I feel so blessed to have some “one-on-one” time with her, because it has been a year since we’ve seen each other. A 15 year old, is constantly growing, maturing, and changing, and in a year’s time the changes have been amazing.

She has always been a beautiful child but I look at her now and see how her beauty shines from the inside out. Her smile and enthusiasm reflect her love of life. She has a peace and joy that allows her to find good in everyone, fun in everything, and hope in every challenge. For all of this, I give thanks to God.

We all have children that have blessed our lives; whether it is our own children, our grandchildren, nieces and nephews, neighbor or friends’ children, kids at church – you get the picture. God has blessed us with their presence, but He has also given us a responsibility that goes along with the His gift. Philippians 2:4 says “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interest of others,” and Isaiah 38:19 tells us “Each generation can make known your faithfulness to the next.”

As we love on the children that God has put in our lives, I believe that it is also important (and our responsibility) to pray for our relationship with them and their relationship with Christ. One tool that has been so helpful to me is my “Grandmother’s Bible.”

The Grandmother's Bible offers spiritual nourishment for our own faith, through daily devotions written by well-known Christian grandmothers such as Sheila Walsh, Neta Jackson, Corrie Ten Boom, and Karen Kingsbury. It also offers unique ways to encourage conversations about the Bible, and tips on nurturing our relationships (ie. being a long-distance grandma, leading a child to Christ). And the tool that I absolutely love is the daily guide for praying for your children/ grandchildren. It offers 14 prayers for specific areas in a child’s life - the prayers rotate every two weeks as you read through each chapter of the Bible. What a wonderful resource to help us pass on a legacy of faith to tomorrow's believers.

Since I have 4 grandchildren, I pray for each child for a two week period, covering all 14 areas. I have also gotten in to the habit of signing their name and the date I pray for them next to the prayer. Below I have listed the 14 prayer topics and a brief overview:

SALVATION – prayers that they will know and love God, walk closely to Him throughout their lives, and for His guidance with choices that have eternal consequences

PHYSICAL WELL-BEING – prayers for their physical development, healthy awareness of their body, that diseases will be few, injuries minor, and infirmities brief

EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT – prayers for emotional health and strength, that anger will be turned to peace, difficulties to hope, confusion to clarity and focus

SPIRITUAL GROWTH – prayers that they would desire to read and memorize God’s Word, and have a passion to communicate with God and serve Him daily, that their lives would reflect God’s grace & love

RELATIONSHIPS AT HOME – prayers for blessings in their home and family, relationships with parents and siblings that will enhance their well being, support their self-confidence, and increase their faith

FRIENDS – prayers for close and caring relationships, a social life and diverse friends that bring love, encouragement, joy, laughter, comfort and support into their lives

SELF – IMAGE – prayers that they will embrace their uniqueness, hopes, and dreams, that they will stand firm in who they are, and for positive self-worth

PROTECTION FROM WORLDLINESS – prayers that they will set appropriate limits, avoid temptations, use sound judgment, and be safe from physical and mental harm

RESPECT FOR AUTHORITY – prayers for a cooperative spirit, fair in work and play, and for relationships that are respectful, constructive, and caring

COURAGE – prayers for the courage to stand for what is right, guard truth and ensure justice in their lives, and proudly proclaim God as their Lord of lords

FUTURE SPOUSE – prayers for sexual purity, patience and discernment, for a loving and caring life partner, and that together they will glorify God

SCHOOL/ CAREER – prayers for a sense of wonder, clarity of mind, concentration, perseverance for their challenges, and an appreciation of their strengths

CHARACTER – prayers for a peace-filled spirit that reflects kindness, love, joy, patience, self-control, integrity, generosity, compassion and a sense of justice

TALENTS –prayers to help them identify and develop their talents, to be proud and confident, have a healthy desire for achievement, and success that brings glory to God

This list of prayer concerns may seem a little overwhelming, but the Grandmother’s Bible breaks it down in to a manageable task. A few minutes a day – time well spent for those you love!

My granddaughter, Brooke has lots of plans to squeeze into the next 10 days. They include reuniting with some friends (and probably hanging out at the mall with them), spending a week at a summer camp (praising God and fellowshipping with other Christian teens), chilling out with Grandma (me) and Uncle Eddie, and of course, taking lots of pictures. Time will go by quickly but I have to remember that it’s not the amount of time we will be spending together, it is the quality of our time that is important! I thank God for placing grandchildren in my life and into my care as a grandmother.

I would love to hear how you embrace the gift of the children God has put in your lives. Feel free to post your stories or comments...

Have a blessed week... God’s Peace, Donna Weaver

Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to have time with my
grandchildren, to laugh and to make memories together. Amen.