Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Top Twelve Reasons to Buy a 2011 Names of God Calendar as a Christmas present:

This photograph, taken by Tonya Vander, is December's photo,
along with the name of God, Jehovah Shammah, the LORD is here!

Top Twelve Reasons to Buy a 2011 Names of God Calendar as a Christmas present:
(I'm avoiding copyright infringement and there are 12 months :0) )

12)  You don't have to face crowded malls - Just click on Pay Pal.

11) A year full of my words - it will be like having me in your house! And I know you want that. :0)

10) You can buy the calendar and then mark your birthday on it, so your friend/family member will see it and buy you something.

9) My birthday is September 10th - you need a place to write that down.

8) Let's face it - no one can remember that many names of God without help.

7) There is a time for every purpose under heaven. You need some place to mark them down.

6) You feel sorry for me.

5) You don't feel sorry me, you just want a good looking calendar.

4) The photography, taken by my friend Tonya Vander, is outstanding!

3) The devotions, written by yours truly, will point your friend/family member to God.

2) This calendar has absolutely nothing to do with TSA screening.

And the number 1 reason for buying a 2011 Names of God calendar:

1) The name of God has power! Even in a calendar!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Today is the Day to Give Yourself a Break!

Today is the day to give yourself a break!

You can't do it all.
So do what you can do
and then
Give yourself a break!

You can't please everyone
So please God and yourself
and then
Give yourself a break!

You can't be perfect
No one can. So do the best you can
and then
Give yourself a break!

You can't solve the world's problems,
But you can do your part.
So do it.
And then
Give yourself a break!

You can't save everyone,
But you can introduce them to THE Savior,
So love someone in Jesus' name,
and then
Give yourself a break!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Slow Down

Lately, I've experienced several interruptions to my schedule. Life happens, I know, but it is difficult when you have one plan and that agenda which you believe to be important gets shelved.

Today I experienced yet another interruption to my intentions for the day and the week. It forced me to sit
and do very little. As I sat there I picked up an old journal that was nearby and flipped open to something that I wrote a while back.

It reminded me to slow down. Even stop and relax. It occured to me that the interruptions that have happened lately are probably reminders from God to stop running, slow down and breathe. It is often in those moments that God's love is clear.

The following is what I wrote. I was at a retreat center hanging out with Jesus, sitting on a porch of a cabin named Shalom. Are you rushing? Take a minute. Slow down.

The Porch at Shalom

I'm bundled in a cocoon of warmth
Gazing up through the pine trees' arms.
It too lifts its branches in praise with
The azure blue sky hovering in grace.

It is good to get away and sit on the porch of Shalom.

Colorado forest, blueberry bushes, wild dandelions -
A committee of creativity, whispering Your Majesty.
It's time to watch nature and see Your face.
Just sit and watch on the porch of Shalom.

Restoration, a date with my King,
Time to listen to no one else.
He knows secrets to massaging my soul,
His love soothes the aches. He is the Balm of Gilead.
And He meets me and holds me close
Here on the porch of Shalom.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Voices in My Head

How do you know you're crazy? Insane? A lunatic? Demented?

I would think it'd be difficult to diagnose yourself. So I don't. And ergo, I have not made an appointment with anyone who might dare use those words with me.

I don't have an official mental disease and those that do have my empathy. Seriously.

But there are days that I take a minute or several and ponder my mental health. Often, I'm not that impressed. If you need an example, let me tell you about last night.

I made homemade potato soup and we ate it for dinner and it was delicious. The three of us watched "Kung Fu Panda" and laughed. A nice evening. Between 8:30 and 9:00 John and Noah went to bed, leaving me to watch my DVRed "Dancing with the Stars." They refuse to be in the same room when it's on.

So there I was, me, alone with myself watching dancing. I was happy. But then the voices started.

"I wonder if I should have eaten that soup. Way too many carbs."

"I don't feel really well."

"Am I dying?"

"What if I have a horrible disease?"

"I don't want to leave John and Noah."

Variations continued until 11 p.m. at which point I woke up John, crying.

"Please pray for me. I don't want to die."

John can be a saint, as he was at that moment. He woke up and said in that husband voice of his, "Ooooookay."

He prayed and made me laugh, bringing a little reality back into my world. And then he went back to sleep. Within seconds.

I woke up this morning and I was alive.

No voices today. At least not yet.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

52 days left 'til Christmas! Consider buying a calendar as a present!

Can you believe it's 52 days 'til Christmas? For the first time in my life, I've done some early shopping. Just a couple of presents, but I usually wait until December 10th to start. I feel...a little more adult, actually. :0)

The 2011 Names of God calendar (displayed on the right) would be an excellent gift for one of your friends or family members. Beautiful photography by my friend Tonya Vanders and each month includes a Joyvotion (devotional) by yours truly talking about one of twelve names of God. Great way to remind yourself or someone else about the character of God.

Contact me at robbie iobst at hotmail dot com you would like to order one and send me the money. Otherwise go to the Pay Pal button on the right and click away to pay with your credit/debit card.

And on another note, I now have a WEBSITE! Woo Hoo! Check it out - and let me know what you think! :0)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Family - Take it up with God!

This is my last week's Joyvotion. As always, if you want to sign up to get a free Joyvotion in your email once a week, email me at robbieiobst at hotmail dot com.

“A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”
Ecclesiastes 3:4

John and I often look at our son and say, “Noah, we’re your parents. Take it up with God.”

I believe God uses all of life’s circumstances to build our character and draw us closer to Him. So it is logical that He would use our families to mold us into what He wants. Sometimes that means He allows us to go through difficult times with family. We all know, to different degrees, how that feels.

But I also believe that God uses the joy of family. This past week Noah and I travelled to Baxter Springs, Kansas to visit my Aunt Carol Jo and Uncle Henry. We also got to spend time with my cousin Bert and his family. We toured Baxter Springs, which didn’t take very long. We drove to Joplin, Missouri and ate and we took a stroll to Oklahoma. Uncle Henry spent some time teaching Noah about the Civil War history of Baxter Springs. My cousin Bert let Noah drive a tractor. Most of all, we visited and laughed. And I got to just be with my aunt whom I adore.

A wonderful time.

I have a “colorful” family. And I love the colors. My mom and dad were both raised in Texas, so many of my relatives have a southern twang when they speak. Add to that the language of many of my aunts and uncles and you get a unique group of folks. Profanity is used with the care of an artist’s brush. Nothing blasphemous, just…colorful. Plus, they use idioms that I feel are gems like: “He’s as worthless as spit in a puddle” or “Don’t go having a squealing worm fit.”

So visiting Carol Jo and Henry was a blast for me.

But I didn’t choose to be in this family. I didn’t ask to be in a family that makes me laugh so hard I cry or be in a family in which both my parents died before Noah was five. As that old saying goes we get to choose our friends but not our family.

God has taught me a lot through my family. Acceptance and honesty. Unconditional love. And of course, the joy of playing dominoes until late and visiting just for the sake of telling stories. I look at Noah and I hope he learns some good lessons from our family too. Time will tell.

Tonight, I was thinking about this Joyvotion and I asked Noah, “What is the best thing about our family, Noah?”

He answered, “The kindness. The love.”

Surprised, I asked him, “Are you being serious?”

Quick as a flash he said, “No. It’s the fact that we can afford video games.”

I’m Noah’s mom. I’ll take it up with God.