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Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Way To Pray Today

Often times, many times the Bible needs no commentary and is able to explain itself quite well. I love those places where the message seems perfectly clear. Consider the following passage from John 17: 25-26:

25"Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."

Could this not be our prayer today? How is it that man seems to think it has no need for God, a Savior, a Lord of all? Self-sufficiency in concept is as a winter coat filled with holes and containing no buttons.

As I review the news and observe the World today, I take on the heart of this prayer.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


While Alaska was nothing like camping out, while it's scenes and settings and surroundings define spectacular as never seen before, this cartoon aptly describes our glad return! (Click on the caption to enlarge the view.)

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Letter From Far Away

The setting: My favorite place to sit and read my Bible looking out of the window toward a far-away mountain range. As I read my Bible I realized His words were not really touching me that much. While that's not necessarily a serious concern, in my heart, I wanted His word to come more alive to me. Here is the scenario that became mixed with my thoughts:

I imagined being the wife of a soldier stationed far away from his bride and his children. I imagined the letters that he writes and sends to her, to them. I could then see that wife pouring over the letters, standing on the curb reading and not even waiting to get in the house. She was absorbing his words, imagining the sound of his voice speaking them, and then perhaps the joy and tears being mixed together as she admires the love of her life, their children's hero. I could see her reading the letter multiple times until the next one would come, and writing her own in return. Then I thought of the words in print before my own eyes, The Bible. His letter to me.

In Psalm 144:1 David says, "Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle." And he goes on to praise and acknowledge his Lord so beautifully. Though he was a weary soldier, he did not lose his awe of his commander. He never lost sight of his position; that he was a soldier who hung on every word of His Lord.

The connection for us is that we do lose sight of our commander. We're the soldiers. We're in training. Though He has left His mighty Holy Spirit here, we do not see Him for who He is. His words do not stir our hearts as they once did. Do we take seriously His orders, His commands? Do we long for Him? Do we long to see Him again? Are we more in love with the world? Do we think we love Him because we're currently somewhat comfortable and taken care of? Would we still love Him in the heat of a new kind of battle?

My encouragement to myself, and to us, is to read His word in a new way. We are to recall and remind ourselves that He is alive, He intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father. His Word is living. We ARE in training. Are we asleep? I ask that He would stir in us a new love and longing for His Word, the Bible; that we would long for it as a battle weary and tired soldier would long for bread, simply bread.

Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thanks to my friend, Kathleen, for this helpful insight. I thought this was worth sharing!

"Before making your "to do" list, make your "to be" list. Before starting your daily activities, create your "to be" list and write down what you wish to express in this day. Do you wish to be generous, loving, patient,... bold, light-hearted? Do you want to be orderly in your thinking, organized, and focused in your direction? Write this down on one list, and then write down what you wish to do on another list."

To that I say, Jesus help me with this part of my life. Be the center, the core of my being. My motivation, my purpose, my vision.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Dangers of An Inquisitive Mind

Not related to the Bumbling Genius' most recent post whatsoever, but it seems our house has been graced with atleast one inquisitive mind.
Although he has been calling himself the "man of the house" while his Daddy is out of town, it is apparent that the mental faculties of our youngest are not nearly as developed as those of the Bumbling Genius.

Daniel became curious. He became curious about what it would feel like if he put his finger into an empty lightbulb recepticle while the lights were on. (If I fill out a Science Experiment Sheet complete with hypothesis, could I count this for today's science? Anyone?) Um, if he would have only asked! His inquisition led to a shocking realization, you might say, that it hurts like the dickens!

Moms, you'll have to forgive me. I am so very thankful that nothing life-threatening happened, but I admit, a grin surfaced and nearly took on a life of it's own in the form of an actual laugh when he told me he just wanted to know "what it would feel like." I think I'll take a raw egg to a tall hill to demonstrate what happens when we try to do things like...say, defy gravity. While I'm at it, I'd better bump up our science a little this year. Curiosity at this age appears to have a few kinks to be worked out!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bill and Hill, On the Road and At Home

What can I say, but "great minds think alike".

We'd just seen each other this weekend in Memphis at my Mom's Birthday Celebration. Knowing my brother was on his long drive back to Houston, I called to check in. Except that I called in as Bill Clinton, and left a "pretend" prayer request about marital discord between "Bill and Hill" in my best Bill voice, only to be outdone by his "better" Bill voice as he returned my call. Funny part was that he hadn't checked his cell to pick up my message which had been left only 30 minutes earlier. He thought he was initiating the "Bill and Hill" moment! To boot, he was calling me from Hope, Arkansas, the birthplace of the former Mr. President.

What a fun way to interrupt the welcome home cleaning and laundry that always has to be done. Thanks, J.D.! (Or was that really Bill?)

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Picture this: Mom folding clothes quickly yet carefully. Those clothes will be packed for a trip to see Grandma to celebrate her 70th Birthday. Each child has a list of chores to keep them occupied and productive. Youngest comes downstairs and rests his chin on his hands as he stares. Staring at the Mom who is quietly wondering if it's possible to complete the tasks remaining.

Imagine hearing this: "Mom," "Yes, son?". "I like watching you work." Mom says, "You do?" "Why?" "Because it seems like you're working hard to be a Momma, and to be kind." Now, take that and magnify it 1000 times and you would have a glimpse into the heart of a Mother who needed to hear that. Think hard work, think toil, think a little bit of stress, and then think oil. The heart of a child became the balm of Heaven to this Momma as her son said, in so many words, "Thank You. Your work makes me feel secure." I'd like an instant replay!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tea anyone?

We're coffee drinkers around this house, but in case you're not, and you're one who prefers tea you may want to stop reading now.

I've heard the expression about tea being "so weak, it tastes like bathwater." Well, how about bathwater that tastes like tea! Mmmm. Now you're interested, right? To see how that works, please join me and my two students at Field Notes: Our Homeschooling Journey for our version of The Boston Tea Party.

Monday, August 10, 2009

About Yesterday

I have to write about yesterday. I have to say that I had a wonderful time on all sides in our service at church yesterday. I am blessed to lead the worship, but the best part is when I get to see how much God is leading and I am simply following. Yesterday was one of those times.

Because rehearsals are work (any disclaimers I could add here are really their own posts, so I'll keep it that way), and I was really feeling that yesterday, I had to somehow find a getaway spot in my heart with the Lord prior to our service beginning point. I needed to quiet my own heart so I could hear His. Our Elders and Staff also pray for the Pastors and Worship Leader prior to the service, and I was able to find that spot with the Lord during that time also. And yes, I am aware that even if my own heart does not feel quiet I remind myself that the Lord loves His flock way more than I do, and I can count on Him to feed them what they need as far as my part goes. Feelings are just that, feelings.

ONE of the awesome parts of the service (along with several other significant times) was when we were doing a song we had not done before, "Holy Is Our God" by Robin Mark. The guys back in the Sound Booth, (sound techs that double as true worship fanatics, and that is a compliment!) made a sign and held it up. The sign said, " We Love Jesus!" Well, that was like saying, "siccum" to a dog, and what can I say! I got so excited in my heart because all of a sudden I had a vision of lots of signs just like that one throughout the congregation all declaring our love for the Lord. Part of the joy was realizing that no one asked them to make the sign, no one preplanned it, it was simply a spontaneous "I can't keep silent about my love for God" expression of worship in worship. Yes, a handwritten sign can and did become an expression of worship!

Protesting made sense in that moment. Think of the many signs declaring a purpose for the protest you may see on capitol steps, or in front of abortion clinics. What about proclaiming and protesting (Latin- prōtestārī to declare publicly), our love for Jesus. Protesting is not always against. How can we be silent? No rocks, no trees, just clay pots consumed by the Lord. What a beautiful scene it was. So beautiful I almost derailed the band as I motioned for the sign to come forward while trying to lead them and us through a brand new song. It's what I called an off-road worship experience! It's hard to explain that it went beyond emotion. We knew and tasted life in Christ with each other. Mixed into that was a portion of our service of no instruments, stepping back from the mic, and truly hearing unity. I heard the sound of unity, one voice to One God, and it was amazingly beautiful. The beauty in worship is giving, then receiving, then giving, then receiving, and being thrilled beyond words to know for a Christian it's a part of living and loving the Lord that never has to end. A song, a sign, a dance. It's worship and it's all His.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The List

I have a son who likes lists. Hooray! Another list maker in the world! This is a night of fun before bear de papa has to return to the friendly blues, thirty-five thousand way up in the air. Son's heart's desire is in writing on his list.

It is a scene to behold. In his effort to recount exactly what will happen next he consults and reads out loud the list like the Town Crier announcing the next hanging. Only, it's lots better! First legos, then mystery (it's a game they play), then Lost In Space, then Larry Boy, then.....I'm afraid to ask. The stage for fun is set as boy is snuggled with Dad in the rearranged easy-chair conveniently located in front of the computer. Here Hulu gifts the household with Season One of Lost In Space, episode.....forever! Daughter/sister is close by, Mom makes a cameo appearance and recalls silently that computer episodes of L.I.SP. (as I now call it) leave a lot to be desired. It's my permission slip to somewhere else in the house, here to be exact, to tell you of this happening, this night of checking fun things completed off his very own hand-written list.

One last addition: Stuffed Larry Boy, son and Dad are leaving to have lunch at the Alligator Pond (a real place in our real desert with no water and no alligators), and it looks like I'm babysitting Bob the Tomato. The honor is all mine!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Great hands, able to form a universe, able to form a man,
Naming stars, calling wind forth, staying the waves.
Giver of life, taker of sin, bearer of shame.

What is my fear in the face of this God?

Intimately acquainted with me, Holy and just, full of grace.
Be still my soul, this God and King fills the temple. Heaven is His.

And I shall always turn to follow Him.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Deep Breath

Sometimes we need to take a deep breath and just remember that all of His promises are true! Go to sleep with that in mind, and rise up giving thanks for the same!