Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Introducing the 2011 Names of God Calendar

Introducing the 2011 Names of God Calendar by Robbie Iobst and Tonya Vander.

We are so excited to announce the completion of our new calendar!

Using beautiful photography from Tonya and devotionals (Joyvotions) from Robbie, 
we have created a twelve month display of the majesty behind the Names of God.

Here's a taste from the calendar. June's theme is Jehovah Shalom- The LORD of Peace-
displaying a lovely peace rose.

If having trouble seeing the joyvotion:

Jehovah Shalom – The LORD is peace 

Remember those 3-D pictures in the 80s? If you stared long enough and let your focus relax, you could see a 3-D image appear.This photograph is of a Peace Rose. If you stare at it long enough, and let your focus relax, you might find yourself noticing the details. The hues of pink and rose blending with the soft white. The way the rose seems to hug itself in the middle. All yellow comfort. Peaceful.

Jehovah Shalom, the LORD is peace, is similar. If you gaze at Him long enough, and let your focus shift to Him rather than the problems of today, His peace that passes understanding will rise up within you and it will guard your heart.

Jehovah Shalom, cause us to focus on You.

With Christmas just around the corner, this calendar makes a perfect gift for friends and family and an uplifting touch to your own home. Throughout the seasons of the year this will be a wonderful reminder of the Power of the name of the LORD. The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10

To order please email Robbie at robbieiobst@hotmail.com or go to PayPal here:

Amount of Calendars

Friday, August 27, 2010

See You at the Finish Line!

“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12: 1c

Last week I did something I never thought I’d do. I signed up to walk in a 5K race. That’s 3 miles to those of us who have no need to ever know what a 5K is. After walking each day for weeks, it occurred to me to start measuring how long I walked. Soon I discovered that I had gone over 2 miles. Then 2.5. Now I have reached 3 miles several times. Yes, I am now a bona fide athlete. Not. :0)

I am not a fan of exercise in any way shape or form. Sometimes if I’m bored of walking, I put on a Jillian Michaels workout video instead. Jillian Michaels is the she/devil physical trainer on The Biggest Loser. I know that this woman is on a DVD and therefore not actually in my home. But when she instructs me to move my muscles in ways that I’m sure are illegal, she becomes very real. At least in my bitter resentment. But I don’t throw the video away. I keep it, hoping that one day, I’ll show Jillian, and I will be able to finish her 25 minute power sculpt. So far, after 10 to 15 minutes I hit the off button and limp around the house looking for Ben Gay.

But I keep going. I don’t quit. At least not yet.

I mentioned that I might sign up for a 5K to my sister-in-law Lory said she said she would do it with me. Thrilled, I went to The Running Store, an establishment that I have now gone to three times. Before I started walking I looked at this building as a place for “those” people – the skinny ones who did marathons and bought stock in spandex. Now that I’ve frequented this establishment, I understand that “those” people are just normal folks, trying to be healthy. I’m still not one of “them” but I don’t resent them. At least not as much. :0)

Along with my registration for the 5K, I got a t-shirt. I registered for Lory and filled in her form. On mine, I checked the largest size available – XXL – while Lory asked for a medium. Um…okay…I can do this, right? A fleeting vision ran through my mind of Lory sitting in a Lazy Boy chair waiting for me at the finish line, while I walked up with my oxygen on wheels beside me. But I dismissed the thought and turned in the forms.

After registering I looked at the day’s events. 7:30 – 8:00 register. 8:15 aerobic warm-up. What? They actually think I am going to waste what precious energy I have warming up? I don’t think so. While “they” do that I will look for a Lazy Boy.

8:30 race begins. When I saw the word “race” and I was immediately transported to Junior High track. The first day my coach suggested that I go out for shot put while she assigned different races to my friends. I didn’t know enough to be insulted until she told us all that we were going to run a 440, once around the track. By the time I finished, my friends were headed to the showers. My coach waited for me to finish and then explained that I had done well, that it wasn’t a race. I’m pretty sure that everyone in my class believed it to be a race. As I stared at the 5K form, I told myself that this 5K is not a competition for me. Adult Robbie vanquished Junior High Robbie and reasoned that my goal is to finish. Alive. With no ambulance needed. I’m not going to worry about the other Junior High girls. Well, the other participants.

9:00 awards begin. At this I cringed. WHAT? This must be a mistake. They expect us to finish in 30 minutes? This is when I lunged into a bitter imaginary conversation with the organizers of the 5K. I used words like prejudice, unfair and illegal practices. I got it all out of my system. And I didn’t quit. I decided to still do it.

Not long ago, I saw a video of a runner who was expected to win the 440 in the Olympics but tore a hamstring at the 220 yard mark. He fell down in agony. The guys with stretchers approached and he waved them off, got up and started limping to the finish line. His dad ran up beside him and helped him to the end. One of those moments that made everyone in the crowd, from all nationalities, stand to their feet and cheer on this guy’s commitment and perseverance. Very moving.

If I pull a hamstring at mile marker 2, I will not get up and limp to the finish. I will whine and ask for ice cream. But I admire this young man’s perseverance and I admire his dad for coming to his rescue to help him finish his race.

We all have our own races in life to run, don’t we? It may be walking a child through a rebellious stage or working through a difficult season of marriage. Or it might be getting up every morning and exercising to get healthy. Whatever it is, let us all persevere. And when we fall, our Heavenly Dad will come running up beside us, put his arm around us and help us finish. Or buy us ice cream. :0)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Need a Christmas Tea/Brunch Speaker? I'd Love to Come!

“The Gifts of Christmas”

We shop, we decorate, we bake and
we shop some more!
Tis the season for busy-ness!
But in the midst of the malls and
the gatherings of goodies,
Jesus awaits to restore your strength.
In fact, He has gifts for you!

My name is Robbie Iobst and I would love to
bring to your ladies a message of laughter,
freedom and the love of Jesus. In my talk, I open
 three Biblical gifts we women can enjoy this season.
This is a perfect talk for a Christmas tea
or brunch! Great for any age and setting!

“Robbie Iobst is a wonderful speaker. ‘The Gifts of Christmas’ was a breath of fresh air during the busy holiday season. Her love for the Lord, family, and life shines through her. Robbie is insightful and funny, a perfect combination. She allowed everyone to take a step back, laugh and remember the reason for the season!”
Stephanie Wooley – Christmas Brunch Director, South Suburban Church

To inquire about booking, simply email Robbie at robbieiobst at hotmail dot com

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Just Say No To Bunny Sandwiches!

“…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles…” Hebrews 12:1b

On walks with Scooby, I always hold the leash tight. If my puggle happens to see a bunny, he’s off. No thought. Just reaction. I am surprised he doesn’t have doggie whiplash because many is the time I’ve had to rein in him from a bunny sandwich.

A few weeks ago, Scooby saw a bunny and took off so quickly and forcibly the leash slipped out of my grip. Within seconds, he was out of eye shot. I walked around an apartment building into a parking lot calling his name. Nothing. Then I heard a little whimper. I looked in the direction of the sound, down a long line of the backs of cars. Between a pair of them, I saw Scooby’s nose. As I neared him, I found him whimpering, no bunny in sight. In fact, his leash was tangled up around the tire of a car.

When I read this part of verse 1 from Hebrews 12, I think of Scooby all tangled up after hounding that bunny. The lure of the chase called to him and off he went, only to find himself wedged and whimpering.

Sin does that to us, doesn’t it? We chase after our desires without any thought to the consequences, only to end up wedged in and immobile.

Faith requires action. But chasing the adventure of where our faith may lead is much more difficult than following our carnal whims.

Every morning I have to make a decision. The easy route that lures me like a bunny sandwich is the choice to stay on the couch, eat a donut and slip into mindless TV. The other path requires me to put on my walking shoes and take off. My faith in God assures me that putting in the time to get my body healthy will result in His blessings and the freedom to experience more of life. But to get there, I have to throw off the temptation, the laziness that would love to hinder my progress. Otherwise, I will end up entangled in exhaustion and more bad news at the doctor’s office.

When I found Scooby tangled up, I laughed at my dog and then crawled under a car to unwrap the leash from the tire. He can’t help chasing those bunnies, but I have the power to say no to mine.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Son's Baptism

My heart leapt when Noah decided he wanted to be baptized. He decided he
wanted to live for Jesus when he was 7, but he has always been reticent to be baptized publically. This month Noah decided he wanted to stand up and tell everyone he was a follower of Jesus, so why not follow Jesus' example and be baptized. Our church does their summer baptisms at the Cherry Creek Reservoir. So we went there for the big event and then after, we had a lunch celebration at Noah's favorite restaurant.

My joy and pride were obvious!
My brother Phil and his wife Lory. Great friends and encouragers of Noah.

Hunter, Noah's cousin, is a terrific example for Noah.

John, Noah and me on a wonderful, blessed day!

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Choose Joy

(This is a little blurry - but it's a picture of the Iobsts about to engage in a Lazer tag war.)

Abraham Lincoln said, "I have found that most people are about
as happy as they make up their minds to be."

I am a naturally optimistic person; I was born that way, I think. It's just part of who I am to try to find the silver lining in life. Not to say that I am always happy. Not at all. In fact, I've dealt with depression, both chemical and emotional. But a while back I made a decision. A choice to choose joy.

Joy is not always about emotions. It's about belief that God is in control. So when I choose joy, I am choosing to believe that God has my back, no matter what. Ergo, I find myself looking up (literally and figuratively) often.

A woman told me once that it was easier for me to have a happy-go-lucky attitude than her because she was not born optimistic like me and she had gone through some horrible experiences in her life. I don't want to sound cold hearted about anyone's hurts, but pulllllllleaassee! A positive attitude is not some nebulous ephereal substance that sometimes may happen to fall upon us. IT IS A CHOICE.

Choose to see something good in that person who is irriatating as helicopter. :0)
Choose to think about something wonderful that is possible in your life.
Choose to hope in God, even as you are crying in pain.

Choose Joy. Practice today. Choose Joy.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Are you lonely?

A while back I attended a large Christian conference on living for God as a single woman. One of the statements I remember from the speaker was "Loneliness is a call from God to act."

At the time I was impressed with this ideal. When I hurt and wanted so badly to find a husband, God wanted me to use that time to get closer to Him or to help others. I tried it. But the loneliness, the anguish of living life without a significant other, did not leave me.

Loneliness is a difficult emotion to bear. It is easily connected to self worth. What's wrong with me that I can't have some one? I remember screaming that out to God as I drove around the desert after my mother died. My three best friends had all gotten married within the previous couple of years. I'd spent that time trying to help my dad and my mom as she dealt with lung cancer. That loneliness was some of the deepest pain of my life.

Right now, I have three close friends who are all single and who all want to be married. I cry out to God for them because I know, I know that pain.

But I also know that being single has so many benefits. All three of these friends travel more than I could ever hope to. They are more focused on causes and their jobs than I have ever been. I never tell them that their loneliness is a call from God to act, though. I just try to remind them of how much God loves them and cherishes them. And I feel their pain.

Loneliness is not only for single folks. It is common to feel horrible loneliness in marriage, especially when

you or I expect our spouses to fulfill needs that only God can. What pain it is to be in the same house with  someone you cannot connect with.

I am friends with a couple of new empty nesters, and their loneliness at being apart from their children cuts to their hearts. Going from their constant helper to just their "base camp" is excruciating.

Jesus knew what loneliness was like.

Mother Teresa wrote: "When Christ said: 'I was hungry and you fed me,' he didn't mean only the hunger for bread and for food; he also meant the hunger to be loved. Jesus himself experienced this loneliness. He came amongst his own and his own received him not, and it hurt him then and it has kept on hurting him. The same hunger, the same loneliness, the same having no one to be accepted by and to be loved and wanted by. Every human being in that case resembles Christ in his loneliness; and that is the hardest part, that's real hunger."

I know now, that while I was screaming in my car so long ago, Jesus was sitting right there with me. He wasn't offering meaningless platitudes. He was holding me as I felt horrible pain, the same pain He felt long ago. I don't think He was calling me to do anything at the time, but allow Him to be with me. So I did. And the pain passed. If you are experiencing loneliness, look up and let Him comfort you.