Friday, January 30, 2009

Jesus the healer

Mark 5: 24-34
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"
"You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?' "
But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."
I can't even begin to count how many times I have heard this message preached in my lifetime. The Lord really showed me somethings in this passage that I haven't ever seen before.
Everyone always talks about "The woman with the issue of blood". She had not only been bleeding for 12 years but the word says that she had suffered a great deal under physicians care and that she spent all that she had. I think about this and think about how bad people can take advantage of people that are desperate. This lady had been so taken advantage of for so long. In those days if you were bleeding you couldn't go around people because you were "unclean". So I see her not being able to go to the grocery store, have coffee with her girlfriends, take her kids to school. Her whole life became isolated to just her home and doctor's offices. Can you imagine the despair in her heart? The depression that would set in?
The great thing is she heard of Jesus. Faith sparked in her heart. You see when you have lost everything you have nothing to loose. So she put it all on the line to go just try and touch this Jesus. I see her on the street desperately looking for Him. Knowing if someone sees her in the public that she would surely be punished. Her heart must have been racing....but the chance of hope that stood before her was greater than the risk that she was taking.
In my mind I see her eyes finally spotting him, and with all the people around that she could have mistaken for Jesus I believe her heart immediately knew that, that man was her saviour. "That is the very person that will heal me to the uttermost."
I love that in this text it says immediately her blood flow stopped and she knew that she was healed from her suffering. This is the thing about Jesus I just love. He felt the power leave Him. He knew that someone was just healed. See that wasn't enough for Him. He didn't want this woman to just receive her miracle with out seeing the face of God. He wanted her to see the love and compassion in His eyes. I believe He wanted her to leave there knowing that He wasn't like everyone else that had judged her and taken advantage of her. He was a loving compassionate God. Then he tells her be freed of your suffering.
You see it isn't enough for God to just give you what you have been praying for. He wants you to live a full wonderful life. He doesn't want to fall short at just your miracle. Jesus wants you live a full wonderful life. Life to the fullest!
Come to Jesus with this in your heart
1. That He will answer your prayer
2. That He doesn't just want to fix the problem you are in, but He wants to fix your heart and all of the things that have held you back in life.
Blessings on you all! I pray that this has helped you! Please if you need someone to stand with you to get your miracle leave a comment and let me know! I would love to get in contact with you and help you stand for your answer to not just your problem, but for the life that Jesus wants you to live!!
Crystal Sparks

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Things I love about my kids

1. They have a love for life. Brailey and Rylan wake up every morning just happy to be here. They are excited about each new thing that we will do that day. Each day is full of new things to explore and discover. Things that are so routine to me often times are the highlights of their day. They teach me each day to just enjoy life right where I am.

This is Rylan with Daddy on a golf cart :)

2. They have never known embarrassment. I love the way my daughter will just start singing and dancing anywhere we are. She is so full of joy she just oozes it out of her pores at times. We will just be in the middle of a store and she just can't contain it she has to sing and dance. Then Rylan is my little guitarist and drummer. Like Brailey he too just can't stand it and has to drum on something at all times. All objects must be tested for sound potential. They do it so unashamed. Where in life do we loose that?

My babies "rocking out" after a Chik Nite

3. Brailey reminds me everyday to be confident in who I am. On the way to take Brailey to school today this is our conversation:

Brailey: Mommy Mrs. Rebbecca is going to think I am cute today.

Me: I am sure she will honey. Even though clothes are great what makes you cute?

Brailey: My heart mommy.

So we get there and Mrs. Rebbecca is talking to another parent. Brailey will not walk into the classroom. The parent quits talking to the teacher Brailey lights up and runs into the classroom declaring "I AM HERE" Mrs. Rebbecca says "Hi Brailey aren't you cute today?" She looks back at me and says "I told you I looked cute!"

That totally cracked me up.....I love that she is so confident in who she is.

4. They remind me of the goodness and faith fullness of God. I remember when we lost a baby before we had Brailey. The enemy tried to tell me I would never have a child. I found scriptures and held on to them. I know what it means in the word when it says "for this child I prayed". They are a constant reminder to me that God will give to you the desires of your heart.

There are so many more things I love! My mind is overwhelmed with them all right now! But it is getting very late so I am going to call it quits! I will add more another day though!

Blessings Girls!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Please don't shave!

This is my wonderful hubby! He has been home for five wonderful days. Since he is a firefighter/paramedic he has to keep a clean shaven face so their oxygen mask can get a good seal on his face to keep him safe while fighting fires. There is only one problem with that....

I love him with a scruffy face. There is just something about it that just makes my heart race. He always laughs at me. When he is on duty my sweet hubby gets girls hitting on him all of the time...All these girls like men in uniform. Not this girl I love it when his face is scruffy, and put him in a tool belt working ohhhhh girl that is what I love.

So it is always a tradition with us while he is on vacation he gets to grow out his go-t and make me happy :) I have the best husband ever. So I made him take these pictures to remember how down right hot he looks with the face scruff, before he had to go shave it off....

I know this blog is a little random. But it is good to be attracted to your hubby. I love you Bryan you are amazing! :)
So girls now the ball is in your court what do you love that your husband does? Is it a shirt, haircut, something that he does for you what is it that makes your heart race a little?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Where are the smiles these days?

I get more hits on this post on my blog than anyother one! I hope that this helps you in some way.....Please stay and look around my site and if you need prayer please e-mail me and be sure to leave a comment so I know you came by!
I just got back in from a girl trip to Oklahoma. One of the youth in Bryan and my youth group is going to be going to ORU this next year. We are so proud of her! We love you Bonnie! So myself and another youth leader went with her to get somethings lined out for her to attend there this fall......

This is Bonnie at summer camp :)

A smile says so much. I am a outgoing person. I feel like any trouble or obstacle can be conquered with a smile. I don't think I have really ever met a stranger for long. It doesn't ever take me too long to get to know someone. I truly believe that a smile can change some one's day.

Proverbs 17:22

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

I can't tell you how many times I have quoted this scripture to my children. It is amazing how just changing your countenance changes your attitude.....

So you are wondering why am I saying this right? Well it was the craziest thing. From the time that we left to Oklahoma we got nothing but sour people in our path. I don't know what the deal was but it was as though everyone we came in contact with was not a very happy person. It became a joke by the end of the trip. We were a little leery to ask people something for fear that they would be rude.

Psalm 68:3

But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.

We are called to be a light in the darkness. What kind of light are we to those around us if we are sad? I know that troubles will arise. I know there are hard days. But girls I just want to encourage you to find joy in everyday. I am so thankful for my life and how blessed I am. That doesn't mean that everything always goes my way. That hard days don't come my way. I always say you can't control what happens in a day, but I can control how I handle what happens.

Psalm 118:24

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

I looked up rejoice to see what the definition is to be happy about another's happiness. WOW! So in other words if you can't find anything to be happy about get happy about someone else's happiness. That is so good.

There is something that happens when we decide that we are not going to let what is happening around us to determine our happiness. Happy comes from the word happening. Interesting huh? Happenings are always changing.....There is something that doesn't change

The Lord....

That is what the scripture that says "The JOY OF THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH". Joy here is dependent upon the Lord. The word says He is the same yesterday today and forever.....HALLELUJAH! So if you are having a hard day, maybe even a tough season of life. I want to encourage you to get a deposit of the Lord's joy in your life! Let's be that smiling face to those around us that changes lives!
That means we don't have to live a yo yo life of happy sad happy sad. We can have a joy that is the same no matter what our happenings are! So smile the joy of the LORD the joy that doesn't change with the value of your home, what is in your bank account, how your kids are acting, what your husband is saying, or what your mind is telling you. You can lean on the Lord and His joy will overtake you. But it first starts with a prayer and a smile in faith that more are to come!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cookies in your p.j.'s

There are such special memories that are made when you cook with your children. An excitement fills my house when I pull out my mixing bowls and start getting into the cabinet in my kitchen that is just for yummy baking treats. I have been in such a busy season in my life that it was so nice this morning to just wake up and bake with the kids and myself all in our pajamas!
Make me to hear joy and gladness and be satisfied
Psalm 51:8

So I am making my favorite kind of cookies other than (Mrs. Patti's cookies that is) I am making Neiman Marcus Cookies. They are simply Divine! I love them so so so much! The only thing is make sure that you have a BIG bunch to be cooking for because this recipe makes a lot of cookies!

2 c butter 4 c flour 2 tsp soda 2 c sugar 5 c oatmeal
24 oz milk chocolate chips 2 c brown sugar 1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder 2 tsp vanilla
3 c nuts(walnuts or pecans)
Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla mix with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add chocolate chips and nuts!
Now time to put them on a cookie sheet! I love these baking stones! They are all I use for cookies :)

Bake in the oven at 375 for 10-12 minutes

New thing I learned is to take cookies out of the oven and immediately put them on wax paper. This keeps them from continuing to cook while on cookie sheet!

*Also you can make little balls of the dough and put into the freezer for unexpected company when they come by you can just pop into the oven*

I hope that you all love these cookies as much as I do! I think the kids and I have more fun making them than anything! Blessings on all of you!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A change in seasons

The last month my grandpa has been here from California. In that time he has been in and out of the hospital. I have watched how he isn't the grandpa I remember from my childhood. Full of life and zeal. His health problems have so increased the last year. It breaks my heart.

With all that he has been through the last month, my sister's wedding, Chik Nite, youth events, sister in law's surgery, preaching at various places, and Christmas it has been a very busy season.

I am so thankful for God's never ending source of Grace that we can draw on at any time. I have had to draw on it so many times the last few weeks. The thing I love about God is even when our strength ends His is never ending. There were times that my spirit felt so empty. Just a few minutes in God's word and a little worship left me feeling so energized.

God is so faithful to help us through anything that we are going through. My husband also has been my strong rock through all of this. Now that my papa is on a plane back to California I am just in awe of the grace that God poured over me through this last month. There were times when watching him sick and having two kids to take care of, of my own I thought there is no way I am going to be able to get through this season of my life. Through God's faith fullness I made it through.

I am looking forward to the change in seasons to see what God will do in this next season in my life now that is over.......I love you papa see you this summer......

Monday, January 12, 2009

It was amazing


We ended up having 163 people on the list for CHIK! That is so amazing! The Lord did awesome things! My heart is just so full of the goodness of God. The Lord is so faithfull to the dreams that are placed on the inside of you! When you have something in your heart don't ever hesitate to reach for it. If God places it in your heart He will make a way for it to come to pass! I hope that if you didn't make this Chik event hopefully you can make one in the near future!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

So it is almost time for another Chik Nite! I just can't express how excited I get before each event! Every time I think there is no way we could possibly top this one and somehow we find a way to do it! My Chik Team is so amazing and they have been working like crazy planning every last detail to our evening. If you are wondering what the theme is or what we will be doing my lips are sealed! All I have to say is you will be left in total awe of all that has been done!

**This was the setup for our Warrior Chik Nite!**

What I will say is April Simons is our guest speaker. On Sunday we only had 35 sold tickets to the event. Now we have 115 sold tickets pretty amazing huh? I am so excited! I knew that it would be a success but this is just really breath taking how much it is really gaining momentum. I just know that God is about BIG things I am so looking forward to seeing all that will happen Friday night!

Monday, January 5, 2009

My Wonderful Grandfather

This is my papa. He has been here visiting with us for the last few weeks. Every girl has such special memories with their grandpa, this week I have new memories to add to all of the special ones that I have in my heart. New Year's Eve night he started having a hard time breathing. He got so bad that my mom had to take him to the ER. Things went from bad to worse while he was in the ER they moved him to the ICU. There his breathing still wasn't improving so then had to transport him to a bigger hospital outside of town. When we go to the hospital to be with him they told us that we needed to find out his final wishes. The doctor talked about how he really did not look good for him.

The thing is I have never known if my papa had ever asked the Lord into his heart. I had always prayed that an opportunity would arise that I would be able to minister to him and make sure that he was saved. So after the doctor left I knew in my heart that this was the time to talk to him. So I sat there at his bedside and asked him if he had ever asked Jesus to be in his heart. He said no. I wept like never before. I couldn't believe that I got the privilege to lead my grandfather to the Lord.
Papa is feeling better as I type this in his hospital room I am hearing his laugh. He should have surgery this week sometime. I have total peace though, because I know now that papa will be with me forever in heaven. I can't tell you how many people I have led to the Lord. Papa is the one that I will always remember.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's Eve Party

Well our youth New Years Eve Party went wonderfully Wednesday night! There was lots of food, movies and no sleep for all!

I don't know why it is that kids love staying up and just goofing off with friends! There is something that just seems to be so wonderful to them to be up at 3 a.m. laughing it up having fun!

I did realize one thing....I am too old to stay up all night that is for sure!

One good thing about the festivities is that I finally got to kiss my hubby at midnight! After 8 years ma and pa Sparks finally stayed up till midnight on New Year's Eve! Kind of funny huh!?

I am so looking forward to things to happen this year in 2009. We are just a few days into the year and already I have gotten to lead 5 people to ask Jesus to be their Lord and Savior. If that doesn't make you excited I don't know what will! I hope all of you had a wonderful New Year!

Crystal Sparks :)