Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I don't know who will win. And I certainly don't know what kind of changes to expect in America after the election. I don't know a lot of things.
But this I DO know:
I know that I love and serve a God who never changes. Who is the "same yesterday and today and forever" (Heb. 13:8)
I know that my GOD can carry the weight of my worries and my government, for as Isaiah 9:6 says, the "government will be on his shoulders."
And I know that instead of worrying about all the questions, or even the answers, that I should look to His Word for truth and for comfort. Phil 4:6 says "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
So I petition to our GOD to hear our prayers.
Lord, I thank you for your strength in times of uncertainty. I thank you for your leadership in our lives. Help the change, that we so desire, to begin in our own hearts, in our own families. Use our new leaders in America for YOUR glory! Help me Lord to be a good citizen of the United States and most especially, a good citizen of your kingdom. For we know Lord, that one day "every knee will bow" to YOU! Father, I praise your HOLY NAME!
Friday, October 24, 2008
When the storms roll in, there is something protective and comforting about returning to old habits. The danger here is that sometimes those old habits are not necessarily healthy habits. Sometimes they are, in fact, downright destructive. Like answering an emotional afternoon by returning to the pantry...seven times. Or cleaning out the freezer, and by cleaning I don't mean scrubbing. Or by extending the warm time under the blanket way past the rainy day.
It is why formulating these new healthy habits are so important. Drinking adequate amounts of water. Tracking our First Place week. Eating a diet full of God's great foods, varied and delicious. We must prepare! The storms will come in a myriad of ways. Let's get ready by ingraining these healthy choices into our lifestyle. So that they become our "old habits" that we return too!
Proverbs 3:5-8 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. "
Monday, October 6, 2008
They were blessed with a wonderfully skilled and seasoned climber as their instructor. They both donned special climbing shoes, a climbing harness complete with a belay loop, a carabiner(which looks like a keychain to me) and a helmet. After instruction time, they each began their ascent. Molly made two climbs and fell in love with the sport. My husband was satisfied with one attempt.
Now here is the interesting part. When you descend, you must put your hands at your side, and just sort of bounce back down using your feet only. The belayer below holds the rope. Talk about trust. Your life is literally in the skilled hands of the instructor below. Try taking back control of the return to ground , like my husband said he did, and you will find your moving shins introducing themselves to mr. solid rock wall, making life much more difficult. My husband made it down safely, but not without scrapes, bumps, and bruises on those legs of his. I admit, I would have been just like Chuck. Holding onto the rope for dear life. I do not know many who would relish letting go of the the life-line holding you 160 feet above ground. Surrendering both life and limb into the hands of an instructor who you met only hours earlier?
Obedience and trust. Huge issues in rock climbing. They mean the difference between a smooth return to ground and a bumpy ride down. Unharmed shins or bruised ones. Huge issues in Christ following too. Obedience. Deferring to the expert. Following the instructions. Submitting to another's will. And Trust. Placing yourself into the hands of THE skilled Expert.
Psalm 9:10 :" Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you."
Thursday, October 2, 2008
That is exactly what I was doing this afternoon, when along comes this adorable boy walking with his Dad. He was actually bouncing along, with his end-of-the-day, boyishly sweaty, brown hair and a big toothless smile. You could tell by that bounce in his step he was excited about something. His dad's car was parked next to my own so I overheard some of the conversation. The dad was busy loading up the jeep with the goods from Walmart. His son was holding what appeared to be a special purchase. This fellow looked about 7 years old and apparently had had a good math lesson today. He looked down at his purchase and read, "Dad, this has a one-seven-O on it. Dad, did you know that if you take away the zero you have 17?" He chattered on, "and if you add 3 to the 17 you get 14?" ( I am guessing he meant take away, not add.) Then as he was climbing in the car he said, "and Dad, did you know if you can't get the difference, you re-group?" Then the door to the jeep shut, and the excited youngster's conversation with his dad disappeared.
I keep thinking about that conversation. It was late afternoon. The end of probably a long day at school and work. But there they were. Dad listening quietly. Son voicing every lesson that he learned during the day...and with an almost ecstatic voice. This boy truly wanted his dad to know everything he knew. He wanted his dad to understand that this had been a momentous day, at least as far as math goes. You could tell this little guy just wanted to share, with his dad, the great joy that learning that math had brought him.
It made me sit quietly in that breeze I had been reveling in all day. And I wanted to tell DAD, my heavenly DAD, all about the joy that cool, crisp, sunny day had brought me! Praise Him!
"Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts."
Monday, September 22, 2008
Matthew 6:33 says "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
Keep seeking Him first! You never know what he may add along the way! I learned that again!
Monday, May 26, 2008
I remember that God is my Deliverer. He is the "ever present help in trouble" (Ps.46:1). I remember that His faithfulness assuages the hangover of alarm left by the nightly news. "He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD."(Ps.112: 7) I remember that when these disturbing feelings of anxiety envelope me that I have a Savior who calls me to Himself, calls me to bring my burdens to Him. Phil 4:6-7"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. "
Yes, even though American Airlines has announced they will begin charging for each piece of luggage you check, we have ONE that has promised to carry all our baggage. The price to us: FREE. So when the world seems to be falling apart, and worry seems to be your constant companion,stand on the ONE who is not falling apart. Stand on the truth of HIS Word. No matter how you feel.
Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."
Monday, May 12, 2008
It hardly seems right to tell HIM some of the "stuff" of our lives. Even though He knows it all already, it still tears at our core to hear ourselves utter the wrongs we have done. Utter the pain we are in. Utter the despair that we feel. Rebellious wrongs. Unimaginable pain. Abysmal despair. This perfect God surely doesn't want to hear it all....again. Does HE?
I don't pretend to understand it all. But I trust HIM. He says to call out. To cry out. Over and over throughout His word we see it. Those lost, wandering, rebellious, hurting, shoulda-learned-the-first-time people found themselves in messes. The Israelites, Samson, the Israelites, Jonah, the Israelites, David, well you get the picture, they cried out to God. And not just once. Many times. And guess what? He heard them. He rescued them. He had mercy on them. He had compassion on them.
I love the way the Message describes God. In Nehemiah 9:26-31 God, Our God, is described as the God of "bottomless compassion". So think this black hole of pain, suffering, or sin is your eternal abyss? Not with Christ. Because His mercy trumps our failings every time. His peace is the soothing balm for our pain. And His "bottomless compassion" goes deeper than any despair. Cry out to HIM. Maybe for the first time. Maybe for the millionth. He will hear you.
It is just who HE is. And He is who HE is no matter who we are. That is the simple truth of it all. No matter what dilemma we face. No matter what sin we have committed. No matter what unknown future awaits us. No matter what. HE IS. HE will always be. Rest on that friend.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
I will tell you what my parents told me when I was a little girl. Actually,they told me all of my life, how much they wanted me. "Of all the babies in the world", they said, they chose me. In my own mind, as a young child, I imagined that my parents walked along a long corridor with all the young babies lined up in bassinets behind a large picture glass window. I could just imagine them walking slowly along, just a few steps at a time, until they spotted just the right baby. Then they stopped, pressing their faces up to the glass to get a closer look. They pointed me out to a masked angel, disguised as a nurse, who brought me over to the window as they shook their heads yes, yes, that's the one! That's the baby girl we came for!
Isn't that just what Christ did for us all. When the world says we are abandoned, orphaned, or destined for nothing, Christ Jesus,with outstretched wounded arms, peers down from the cross. I can almost see HIM scanning the faces of the crowd. Looking, looking until His eyes rest on you. Or me. Can't you just imagine the moment. When no more are you abandoned, or lost. Because He calls to you....Yes, yes, that's the one! That is the child I came for!
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
I was there just one short year ago. Explaining to others why my conversations were stilted. Why I couldn't walk up the stairs any more quickly. Why I couldn't play basketball with my son. It is amazing what extra weight does to our bodies. It is amazing that it took me so long to do something about it.
But here I am, one year later. Although this weight loss journey is FAR from over, I am closer than I could have imagined 13 months ago. Sometimes all it takes is to take the first step to health. The first day of healthy eating. The first moment of surrender.
Just over one year ago, I surrendered "oreo" cookies. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with those delicious creme filled chocolate cookies. But they were representative to me of all that was wrong with my diet. I tell you this, and you can laugh if you want, but in my spirit I heard the need to lay them on the altar. So I got off of the couch, where I had planted myself along with the cookies and milk, and physically put the package on the fireplace...the closest thing to anything resembling an altar in my home. I knelt before the Lord and surrendered to HIM. I couldn't do it my way any longer. And as my friend Lauren at Faith Fuel http://championyourdreams.blogspot.com/ writes: "He takes the white flag of surrender out of your hand, and in replacement,He puts His own Hand in yours. " What a beautiful picture!
Waving the white flag is not a sign of defeat to HIM, it is a request for victory. Victory in HIM. It is a sign of our hope in HIM. And in that hope, we are promised renewed strength.(Is.40:31) Please know that surrender, for me, is not a one-time event. It is part of my daily walk with HIM. I guarantee you that everytime I attempt to do this weight loss dance without HIM, I end up with egg (or is that ice cream) on my face and extra pounds in my pockets. But with our GOD, we can begin again. And I do.
Oh, I am so very thankful for HIS invitation to surrender. Grateful that His invitation is open to all. For I have learned that I am a winner when I walk in Christ's victory. And in HIS victory I am a loser....of pounds that is! Thank you Jesus! Praise HIM!
Please read the prayer request post below this post. Thank you!
Is 40:31: "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
Contrast that to our Savior's finish. Dragged through the city. Beaten repeatedly. Derided. Nailed. Can you see it and hear it right now?Arms extended outward. Hanging from a cross at the top of Golgotha. Looking over the faces outside Jerusalem. Knowing that He was ready. This was a man/Savior ready to be crowned. "It is finished".
Living in obedience does not always have a pretty finish. Our work is not always tied up in 2 hours of reel with beautiful music playing in the backround. Sometimes it is hard. And dirty. And difficult. Like feeding the children amongst the refuse of years of yesterdays in faraway lands. Or working in the pits of medical facilties to make sure that the forgotten are fed and bathed. Or searching endlessly for a home for a weeping unwed mother whose family has abandoned her.
It doesn't appear so picture perfect. But HE did it. And He calls us to it too. Want to be His followers? Then expect to get a little dirty. It may not be pretty but it is the most beautiful thing you will ever do! And the rewards? They are eternal!
Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."
Monday, March 24, 2008
It is one of those moments to hang onto. The moment to remember when life doesn't sing. Like when the new sheet doesn't fit the mattress. Or when the spaghetti sauce adorns your new spring shirt. Or when your best laid plans are interrupted. Little things or big things. Whether it is a blip on the screen of your day or a life altering event, unexpected, unplanned, and even dreaded things happen in our lives.
There are not many things in this world that we can count on to be fitting, true, or lifelong. But this one thing I KNOW: Jesus loves me. And He loves you too!Isn't it wonderful to have that kind of surety. Isn't it wonderful to hear the voices of young children remind you of this truth! The God we serve, we can count on! Forever!
Exodus 6:7 "I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians."
1 John 3:16 "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. ..."
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Large, bulky first generation video camera in hand, my husband and I joyously looked forward to filming her feat(or feet). Out came her class parading to the music. The dance began. And the shimmery gold sequins began flying off the costumes as the girls tapped away. Chuck panned the camera to make sure he got the entire class on film and then zeroed in on our own cutey pie. And there she was. Dancing? Why, NO. She was down on her hands and knees scraping up the fallen gold sequins. Scooping them up and tossing them back into the air. Having an absolute blast as we watched and wondered why we paid the lesson fees each month. Would have been a lot cheaper to hand her a bottle of shimmering sequins just to throw around! But Ash was happy as a lark! Our little red headed sweetheart had discovered gold while all her classmates continued to dance for the audience.
So maybe Ashley was right. Maybe we are all so busy dancing for the applause of man that we miss out on the real treasure. What a blast is in store for those who find it!
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
Saturday, March 15, 2008
But there are some things I don't ever want to forget:
I don't want to forget that I was chosen.
I don't want to forget that I am loved.
I don't want to forget that I am valuable.
I don't want to forget that my life came at a high price.
And so I will remember that He gave His life.
For Me. And for You.
So let us, you and I, never forget to praise His HOLY NAME!
1 Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-
3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children-
18 with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.
21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the LORD, O my soul.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Me: That's OK, I was tired too. I'll walk or run later.
Friend: So... Libby picked me up yesterday in Charlotte and we went shopping.
Me: I bet that was fun!
Friend: (Laughingly)Hey, I thought I may get a job at J.Crew. Libby told me that you get 75% off three items a month because they want you to wear their clothes. But I found about 150 things I would like to buy.
Me: You get 75% off?? Wow! That is great! And you would be great in retail. You know how to talk to people so well.
Friend: Yeah, but .....
And the dialogue moved from the light-weight surface chat to the deepest thoughts and concerns that are only shared between good friends. Quickly immersed into a conversation that runs the gamut from shopping to politics to family concerns, all in the span of 30 minutes. This particular conversation is one that began over 37 years ago. It matters not that we live in different states. Or whether it has been 10 minutes or 10 days since our previous talk-fest. It is easy. Comfortable. Truthful.
Conversations. Rich repartees over politics. Whispers of secrets told in the dark. Recollections of youth leading to the inevitable return of muscle-aching belly laughter. Or deep discussions of life that begin at the dinner table and continue well into the late night. Conversations with friends.
Oh, what a blessing these are!
I am especially thankful for the conversation with the ONE who "sticks closer than a brother". Who has listened and responded throughout the peaks and ebbs of my life. Sometimes the conversation consists of an admonishment resonating from a Mighty God to this obstinate child. Other times it is the gentle utterance of encouragement as I cry out in despair. Always a resounding of HIS Word as I seek direction. Not always comfortable. But always truthful.
This particular conversation is one that began many years ago between a girl and her Savior. One that started with a merciful whisper penetrating to the very depths of a young girl's soul:
"Step close child. Step close to the cross. It is ME. I AM your Savior. I came for you. Now come to me."
Lord, I pray for the one who is reading this post who is not already in conversation with You. I ask that they will have ears that will hear You calling them! So that they can begin a life-changing conversation that will forgive, save, heal. A conversation like no other!
Proverbs 18:24 24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
If you haven't begun a conversation, please talk to someone who is a Christian. Seek out a Bible believing church in your area. OR email me at the address on my profile. HE calls to you friend!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
How much time we spend waiting for the perfect shot. Dancing around the edges rather than stepping confidently into our place of purpose. Half-hearted attempts to know Him more. A Hokey-Pokey type of existence summed up with "you put your right foot in, you take your right foot out". Never fully committing to that which we have been called to. Our purpose.
So as for me, well it's time to stop dribbling around the court. It's time to turn my eyes toward the goal and take the shot. Releasing control of the ball. Putting aside the desire for my own perfect game. Surrendering all fear of failure. Giving my all over to this God that has proved Himself over and over. It is time to trust Him fully. Time to seek HIM earnestly. Time to live wholeheartedly for HIM and in HIM. Time to let HIM bring me into my own land of milk and honey. My purpose place. The purpose He created me for, that which will bring HIM glory.
Numbers 14:24 "But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it."
1 Kings 8:22-24 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the whole assembly of Israel, spread out his hands toward heaven and said:"O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. You have kept your promise to your servant David my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it—as it is today."
Joshua 14:7-9 "I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, but my brothers who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt with fear. I, however, followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly. So on that day Moses swore to me, 'The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.' "
Hebrews 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. "
Sunday, February 17, 2008
I felt like we took a quick tour through the history of America. Our visit began at the FDR memorial. Next, we visited the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and viewed the many changes in flight that have taken place throughout history. We toured the United States Capitol and spoke with our Congressman who was busy making policy and law. We marched up the steps of the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. We even treked along the same ground that George Washington once plod, Mt. Vernon. The docents there shared that in just one year, George Washington had over 612 visitors to spend at least one night on this plantation. Can you imagine the conversations that must have taken place as this young country began! But you know the most amazing aspect of this trip...it was that everytime I looked over I beheld this slender, bright eyed, red-headed young man alongside of me!
I loved being so near to him as he learned, as he explored, and as he interacted with his many friends and teachers. I was especially delighted when he occasionally ran up and swung his gangly 14 year old arm around my shoulder and and quietly told me "I'm glad you came, Mom!" Just a few simple acts allowed me to hear those precious words. Setting aside time from work. Packing a bag. Pulling out my snow boots. Three little things to prepare me for the great pleasure of walking alongside my boy. To know him better. That friends, is joy! Time well spent!
I love the fact that we have a Father who invites us to walk alongside Him. And all it takes are just a few simple acts. Setting aside a time. Finding a quiet place. Pulling out our Bible and partaking in the conversation He begins in His word. Three little things to allow us to know better this Creator of the Universe. This Savior of the world. To know Him more. My friends, that is joy! That is time well spent!
Deuteronomy 4:7 " What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him?"
Matthew 4:18-20 "As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him."
Lord, thank you for inviting us to walk alongside you! For inviting us to know You more. Your word is a "lamp unto my feet" and I praise you for that light. I thank you that I live here in America where I am free to read your Word. Let me never forget that freedom. Lord, continue to give me and others the desire to spend time with YOU. For Lord, every minute with You is time well spent! I praise YOU!
Monday, February 11, 2008
Dear sweet precious one,
I remember the day you were born. You and I both labored for you to make your way into the world. Each of us struggling with one final push and then there you were. That moment everything changed. I was captivated by you. Oh, how I cherish that first moment when the doctor handed you to me. I held you close and watched you breathe. I felt your little heart beating so quickly under your tiny chest. I looked at your tiny fingers and toes, counted them one by one. I breathed deeply the sweet scent of your freshly born baby skin. I touched your nose and lips and precious downy hair. I peered deeply into your eyes and wondered what you must be thinking. I remember whispering "Hello little one. I am your mommy and I love you. Your daddy and I love you." Yes, precious one, everything changed.
It has been a while since we were first introduced. I no longer have to count your fingers and toes. But sweet child of mine, I still like to step into your room at night and watch you breathe peacefully as you sleep, or smell your sweet skin, or touch your hair. O child you are more precious to me than you were even the day we first met. I have watched you walk and stumble, pray and fall, wound and be wounded. I am still watching, waiting, hoping and loving. I love you dear child. A love that at times completely overwhelms me.
I am at once struck by both amazement and peace to know that I have a Heavenly Father who chooses to love me like that. A FATHER who has watched me walk and stumble and pray and fall. One who has watched me wound and be wounded. A Father who still watches and waits, who hopes and loves. Who calls me His child. Who loves me. A love that at times completely overwhelms me.
Father, thank you for choosing to love me. Sometimes it is easy, so easy to love my own beautiful children and yet so difficult to understand how you could love me. But I thank you that you do and I humbly accept your love Lord. I thank you for the moment that YOU changed everything.
Romans 8:38-39For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Monday, February 4, 2008
Did you know that when we fill ourselves up with Christ and His power, we can smell up a room for HIM. Not the noxious odor that comes along with last night's spaghetti. But the sweet, sweet aroma of a saving GOD who reaches to all the senses of the lost! The "fragrance of the knowledge of him" that "through us" Christ "spreads everywhere". Why that makes me hungry! For HIM! A hunger that is satisfied only with this God who fills up our lives, and penetrates all our senses. I want to be the child that with just one sniff, others will know whose I am. I want each exhaling breath to deliver a whiff, a whiff of an incomparable God! Who, when we are in HIM, makes us a new creation. Not a fixed up reproduction of our old selves, but a totally new creation! (2 Corinthians 5:17"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!")
So breathe deep. What do you smell? May each breath deliver a whiff of Christ who is in you. Anything else just stinks.
2 Corinthians 2:15 "For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing."
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
He documented on film her laughing, her crying, her crawling, her walking, and her eating out of the dog bowl....Yikes! (You could hear me scolding him in the background on that one!) We filmed Chad our youngest when he was able to participate in his first Easter egg hunt. We would ask, "do you see an egg?" and he would respond the same way everytime in his 2 year old delighted and oh so squeally voice "Yes, I doooo!" Adorable, at least to us.
But one of my very favorite memories that we relived Sunday night was when Ashley, who was about 3 and 1/2 years old, tried to teach her one year old sister how to play golf. Our own budding Tiger Woods first tried explaining directions on how to hit the golf ball. Next, she tried showing Molly by example. " See, you put your hand here and here. Then you swing at the ball. Look Molly!" She finally grabbed Molly's hands and put them on the club "Like this Molly". Attempts by the young student to remove her hands from the vice grip were thwarted handily by Ashley. Determined , Ash continued on. At last, the teacher was able to keep the bare tips of her young pupils fingers on the club and actually swung for her. Encourager that she was, she then said "that was great Molly!"
We all need a little help sometimes. There are times when we need some explanation. Other times we need to be shown by example. But sometimes, sometimes when we just can't do something by ourself, we need a fellow sojourner to grab us by the hand and swing for us!
Lord, I am thankful that when we need help, You are there. I praise you for your Word which instructs us, giving us directions and DIRECTION. I am overwhelmed by how over and over You show us by example how to live. How to love. So that all men will know that we are your disciples. And in those times when we keep trying to do life on our own, attempting failed swing after failed swing, you gently grab us by the hand and swing for us! I Praise You LORD!
John 13:34, 35: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
Thursday, January 17, 2008
I was thinking about that as I spoke with a student recently about his career plans. This young man, a senior in high school, with great theatrical talent, told me how others constantly remind him of how few people really "make it" in the theater. I agreed that those he had talked to were correct. Indeed, many of my students do dream of performing on stage or film and yet, historically only a few are living that dream. But I wanted him to focus on those who do "make it". What was different about them? Some would say it is luck. But most successful people, of any field, will tell you that what kept them on the road toward their destination was hard work. Diligence.
At just over the two week mark into 2008, I am finding that I need to be reminded of just how this "diligence" thing works. For I am quite sure that diligence doesn't mean "try hard for the first few days of the year and then coast". Nope. Diligence is defined as "constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken", "steady effort", "attentive care". Constant, earnest, steady, attentive. Not quick. Not temporary. Not rash. It is a life change that He seeks, not a momentary blink. It is a renewing and not a short term fix. It is a steady endurance of all that may come our way in order to reach our final destination. It is this constancy, earnestness, steadiness, and attentiveness that He is characterized by. So when Christ calls me to be diligent, He is calling me to follow on His road. For He himself, our Savior, traveled down a path that had a lot of exits available, none of which He took. Hebrews 12:2,3 finishes with "who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. "
Lord, let me remember your own endurance of the cross when I grow weary on my sometimes long road.
Ezra 7:23 says:
"Whatever the God of heaven has prescribed, let it be done with diligence for the temple of the God of heaven..."
1 Timothy 4:15 reads:
"Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress."
Lord, I desire to give all my desires, dreams, and goals wholly to You, being diligent in my pursuits so that all will know I am Yours.
Oh Father, forgive me for so often taking the exit ramp instead of persevering down this road. Help me to stay on the path you have set before me. I await the day I arrive at my final destination, looking up into Your Devine presence. For the fullness of Your Glory awaits me! That is worth the long road!
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
What a great God we have! That He, the creator of the universe, would take the time to give a bunch of middle aged grown ups and their kids, reason to run around outside in their jammies celebrating the momentary change in seasons! Ah, though it may last only an hour or two, it has filled our hearts with joy!
Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy."
Friday, January 11, 2008
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
I think it is her attentiveness to her audience and their busy life that makes this show so successful. For although the purpose of the show may be to demonstrate how to change simple staples into a wonderful meal, the real beauty is that she has changed simple viewers into cooks. All this because she tells us we can and then shows us how. Replacing thoughts like "there is nothing to cook" with "there is something here I can put together". Substituting feelings of inadequacy at the stove top with knowledge of how to whip up a great dish in no time. That is empowerment! You just gotta love a gal like that.
What Rachael has managed to do for lowly kitchen slaves like me, our God has been doing since time began for all men. Transforming the lives of lowly sinners into people who live and serve and become ever more like HIM.
Philippians 3:21"who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."
Who replaces thoughts of "I'll never be good enough" with the truth that HE alone is good enough!
Romans 8:1-3"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering"
Who substitutes the wages of my filth and sin with the willing sacrifice of His precious atoning blood. Blood spilled for me. For us.
1 Peter 1: 18-19:"For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect."
You just gotta love a God like that!
Monday, January 7, 2008
–verb 2.to send or receive information, data
To all you much more technologically savvy friends, you already knew this definition. I had heard the word tossed around several times never giving it much thought since my husband is my very own "go-to man" when it comes to anything techie. Typing I can do. Surfing I can do. But reconfiguring or rebooting or re-anything is way out of my area of expertise. And so, I didn't really understand a modem's use or it's importance. Until it stopped working. So now you know why I have been off-line the last several days. My husband has been out of town and I was home with a broken computer.
I cannot even count the number of times I attempted to connect to the internet. Last evening, after much long-distance coaxing from my husband, I even tried to unplug lines and re-start the computer. Then I finally gave up on the methods I had tried and I called for help. Did you know that the Time-Warner cable technical support team was just waiting for me to call? Emily, the precious tech, pronounced the diagnosis right over the phone! She thought the modem didn't work. She was right. The cable worked. The computer worked. But the little electronic device that transmits incoming and outgoing data had seen it's final day. Therefore, even with power, the internet was inaccessible. I only wish I had not waited for days to call.
I've experienced this before. Oh, not with the cable. But with my own faith walk. Maybe you have had these times yourself. Times when you desperately try over and over to reconnect. Furiously attempting to create a breakthrough. Knowing full well that there was a problem. But not wanting to give in to defeat. All the while slipping deeper and deeper into "the mud and mire". Allowing our heart to harden slowly, becoming less sensitive to His prompting. What I have learned, mostly the hard way, is that I should just give up. Call for help. Those of you who know our Savior know what I always re-discover. God Himself, the God of the universe, has been waiting for me to call. Waiting to lift me out and "set my feet" back on a rock, giving me a "firm place to stand". Waiting to transmit His forgiveness and mercy through my own little modem, a heart now ready to receive.
Oh gracious Father, forgive me when I am slow to call out to you. When I continually try to do it on my own. And yet, when I do cry out to You, You respond. Thank you for answering my call. Always.
Psalm 40:1-2, 17
"I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand."
17 "Yet I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me. You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay."
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
I was taken back to a memory that was made just short of four years ago. It was a warm April afternoon and my Mom wanted to go out on the front porch. My father and I carried her and helped her into a small lawn chair. She had been diagnosed with lung cancer just two months earlier, leaving her frail and weak. As she sat on the chair, I sat on the step below, leaning my head against her knee. She gently scratched my head. I can still hear the crackling sound as my hair moved about on my scalp. The sun, peeking through the canopy of trees, poured it's warmth down on my head, increasing with the every touch of my mom's hands. I remember the profound sense that pounded in me "remember this Kim, don't let this memory go un-marked". It was such a time of uncertainty. I realized that this could be one of the last times that my Mom would be my Mom. That she would be mothering me. Comforting me. Touching me. Me, her little girl, sitting at her feet. No words were spoken. It was just the stillness of the moment. A peace permeated through the uncertainty as I sat there just being her child. It is a treasure I will always cherish.
And so as I knelt at the foot of the bed this morning, the Lord reminded me of the peace and certainty He offers. If I will just sit at His feet. In the stillness of the moment. Just being His child.
Psalm 46:10-11 "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah