Monday, June 29, 2009


I can't explain why, but I felt joy today. Watching Justin and Lily, a little girl I babysit for, swinging on the swings, smiling, I felt joy. (Now part of it might be that they can pump their feet this summer, and I can read a book while they swing.)

I don't want to over-analyze the feeling. I felt joy when I should have felt exhaustion after a very long night with a sick hubby. I felt anticipation and excitement for the future, not really knowing what it holds, but knowing my God and that is enough.

I felt joy today.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Why Listen?

If you trust me to do what is best for you, will you do what I ask? That is basically the question, and the paradox, that God puts before us. Do we love Him and trust Him by following His rules, the Ten Commandments? Or do we follow what He says because we know He has our best interest at heart?

I used to view church and the Ten Commandments as just more rules to follow designed to keep me from having fun, pretty much the same way my kids view what I say. The difference came when I realized that God loves me, even though I was not following His rules, which made me want to follow His rules. It is a process to learn that there is so much freedom and protection in staying on the path.

The very first thing God says when He gives Moses the Ten Commandments is I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD. If we would base everything else on that, things would fall into place.

Why would I need idols, when You are MY God?

Why would I speak Your Name with anything less than reverence, because You are my GOD?

Why do I need to make something to represent You, when You ARE my God?

Why can't I set aside even one day to worship You, when YOU are my God?

Why don't I honor the parents You gave me, since You are MY God?

Why do I worry that what my neighbor has is better than what I have, because You ARE MY GOD?

Why do I consider adultery as an option, in all its forms, when You are My God?

Why would I color the truth, even a little, when You are My God?

Why would I want to kill someone, when You are My God?

Why do I need to take what doesn't belong to me, when You are my God?

I think the reason we decide it is okay to compromise these commandments is because we haven't taken the time to get to know Him. It is much easier, desirable even, to serve someone you know. We are so blessed to serve a God who puts relationship at the beginning of everything. Having said all this, God knew we would not be able to do all of this all the time. That's where grace comes in, but that discussion is for another blog post.

If you are still seeing Him as a rule setter, fun stealer, and generally a kill-joy, I would challenge you, plead with you even, to get to know Him. Allow yourself to be proven wrong.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Life has been busy lately, full of good, godly activities. But why does that sometimes leave me feeling sad, smug, and alone in my house? I think I've stumbled onto a different kind of selfish. I could spend every day of my life doing good things for God, but if I have alienated my family or judged their leisure activities as less than worthy, I am not doing anyone any favors. I am even doing harm to myself and to those around me. When I get bent out of shape because my husband finds more pleasure in watching SciFi all weekend instead of doing things I deem more worthy, I am disrespecting him.

I have put some things on the back burner, like training for a run I really wanted to do. Pick your fights, I always say, when it comes to parenting. I have had to take my own advice. Even though all the things I would like to do are extremely worthy in my eyes, God wants my heart above all else. And if my heart is full of myself, it won't be full of Him. So, once again, I am praying for humility, which is kind of like praying for patience. You never know how God will provide that lesson...stay tuned.
"Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all." Mark 9:35

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Pour Out, Pour In, Pour Forth

I am loving the Beth Moore Living Beyond Yourself study. In this last video she talked out Pouring Out, Pouring In, and Pouring Forth. Pour out our confessions of sin and our concerns so we can make room for Him to pour in His Holy Spirit. Pour forth into the life He has placed us with in.

In my quiet time this morning I listened to Matt Redman's Facedown. Love, love, love the lyrics of that song. We are welcomed in to His holy presence, King of Glory here be found. I will take those words with me as a prayer today, reminding me that even though quiet time is over, literally and figuratively, I can take Him with me.

To be truthful, I am not looking forward to leaving my little room here and going upstairs to face the chaos of the day. Selfishly, I want to sit here at His feet, feeling the way I do right now. I am wondering how long before the peace I feel will turn to irritation and frustration. But that is forgetting the whole point of why God has put me in this place right now. To share Him with everyone else, through my thoughts, words, and actions.

On the other hand, taking the time to fill up with Him is number one, because you can't give what you ain't got. Not that I am competent to claim anything as coming from me; my competence is from God, who has made me competent to be a minister of a new covenant.
2 Cor. 3:5-6.
Author's Note: I just went upstairs and Connor says,"So did you have a good reading time?" Hilarious.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Strengthened by Unbelief

In the weird way of needing our parents to be right, it is a hard place to be when you find yourself in a polar opposite viewpoint. I am in a constant battle of trying to assimilate Christianity and Buddhism, because my mom is a Buddhist. But, I believe 100% that Jesus Christ was sent by God to die for my sins, and provide a way for us back to Him. I believe 100% that the Bible is the Word of God, and provides all truth for this journey. I was praying this morning for some clarity and strength in my belief, to not be swayed or confused.

I am encouraged to know that God does not want anyone to perish, and that we only come to faith in His timing. I think that God will use the unbelief of others in our lives to strengthen us if we let Him. I have been challenged to know why I believe what I believe in my call to stand firm on the Rock. I cannot allow myself to be swayed by someone's arguments of their own faith. That is hard sometimes when it is your mom thinking you are wrong. You try to find a happy medium, but there isn't one. "You, therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, beware that you are not carried away with the error of the lawless and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 3:17-18

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Enough is Really Enough

Each time I sit down to blog, I pray first. I ask God to show me how I can be an encouragement to you, my reader. Sometimes a funny story comes out. Sometimes a not-so-personally-flattering story comes out. Because deep down I struggle with pride, (ok, for those of you who know me, not so deep down), it is a prayer of mine that if God needs to humble me to get His point across, I will take the hit. Being put in my place by the Almighty, who loves me in spite of myself, is not a bad thing.

This morning as I sat in my blue computer chair, this is what God told me: Tell them that I AM ENOUGH FOR THEM. I know what it means to me.

It means that even though I may not get the ROI ( a little business term that means return on investment) I am seeking in my life through what I give to those around me, GOD IS ENOUGH.

It means that when I intentionally reach out to my husband in love and he doesn't slow down or notice, GOD IS ENOUGH.

It means that when I have had an awesome God moment and really want to share it, and there is no one in my house who "gets" it, GOD IS ENOUGH.

It means that when I do my best for the people I care about, but it still isn't good enough, GOD IS ENOUGH.

Mostly, though, it means that when I am lonely, afraid, or let down, GOD IS ENOUGH.

I needed this reminder today. I have been lazy in my quiet time, and missing out on the "enoughness" of God. I have been wanting the people in my world to be enough, and they never will be. I will never be. It isn't a slight, but a fact. Only God can be enough to fill all the empty places. When I start putting my hope, trust, and confidence in mere people, I am setting myself and them up for failure.

Today is a good day to start fresh, seeking Him first thing in the morning. Why would I wait until my cup runneth completely bone dry, when the Lord, who is my portion forever, is waiting to fill it to overflowing?

What areas in your life are you not letting God be enough in? Pray about it. He is standing at the door, knocking, waiting. How long will you drown in your own self-sufficiency before you take His hand?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ready for Battle

Connor and I had a funny time in the church parking lot this morning. He and Justin were allowed to use their own money yesterday to buy a pirate hat and sword. Connor wanted to bring his sword to church today. I let him take it in the car, with the condition that it stay there while we were inside. Then I remembered Ephesians 6, which talks about the whole armor of God. We had a good teaching time standing outside the car, him holding his sword and hat, me holding my Bible and reading out of Ephesians 6. He had a good time pretending to put on his belt of truth, his breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and finally, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. I tell you, I was feeling a little underdressed without a sword and a trifold hat.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

One Prayer

One prayer. If you could pray just one, what would it be? Too hard to choose? If you could pray one thing this week, what would it be? What if we each prayed our one prayer for each other?

Pastor Guy talked about synergy last Sunday. Synergy is one of those buzz words of this century, but what does it mean? It's more than working together. Here is the illustration he used: If you have two horses that can each pull 1,000 pounds, how much can they pull yoked together? 2,000 pounds? Nope, 4,000 pounds. So, if we were all praying each others one prayer, can you see how we would work together to storm the gates of heaven? Which, by the way, are just waiting for our storm.

My one prayer is this: Ok, it is hard to put into words. Good thing the Spirit intercedes for me so God knows what I'm trying sputtering about. I want the people in my life to see God at work in theirs, without me having to point it out to them all the time. Aahhh, that may be the problem. Maybe my one prayer should be for God to shut my mouth. Maybe that was someone else's one prayer...wouldn't that be something?

Anyway, if you would like to add your one prayer to mine and we could pray for each other, leave it in a comment. If you don't want it public, but still want to be prayed for, email me. I would consider it a privilege to do some gate storming on your behalf.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Purposeful Irritation

I'm hearing grumbling in cyberspace. Everyone is ticked off about something. To paraphrase George Bernard Shaw, you are upset because the world is not devoting itself to making you happy. That does make for a rough day, I agree. I know my day goes better if everything goes my way. But let's take a step back, and up. Higher. Higher still. Let's get a heavenly perspective.

What is one of the promises we get from the Bible? One that we don't like to think about or hope He was only kidding about? "In this world you WILL have trouble." What that looks like for each of us is going to be different. It might be complaining neighbors. It might be neighbors we are complaining about. It might be a tough boss to work for. It could be family-related. Kids. Husbands. In-laws.

Is it just possible, though, that you have been given these particular stressors for a reason? If you are a follower of Christ, you have a light to share. If you only want to share it while you are standing in the noonday sun, what good is it? Take your little light and shine it into someone's darkness. Maybe the neighbors who are stressing you out could use a little light. Or at least someone to pray for them. And maybe, no pressure here, they are watching you to see how you handle things as a Christian. God promised us persecution. If our boat is never rocking, and we are never made to feel uncomfortable (read: given an opportunity to glorify God through adversity), then we are flying too far under the radar to be a thorn in Satan's side.

So many times I hear people say "God wants me to be happy." To that I say, yes and no. God wants you to be holy (like him) first. The happy comes as a result. Praying for Him to remove the irritations from your life is missing the point. Praying for Him to use you, however He chooses, is spot on. Bottom line: God is good. God is just. God is sovereign. God is in control. So, stop wallowing in the things that upset you, and ask your Maker how He wants you to handle things. I promise you will find the answers when you open His Word. Remember, pigs wallow. We're not pigs. We're sheep.

Monday, June 1, 2009

LPM Verse #11

"But blessed are those whose trust is in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried about long months of drought. Their leaves stay green and they never stop producing fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8 NLT

This verse spoke to me for many reasons. I am in a tough season of parenting right now, watching an almost grown child deal with some serious issues. I have given him, and myself, to the Lord in prayer. There is nothing sweeter than knowing God has heard my cries, and has a plan for this. I don't know what exactly, but I don't need to.

A friend drew me a word picture of my name a few months ago, with the letters placed in a scene with a sunrise, a forest, and a river. There is a tree stump in the foreground. Fog separates the trees from the river. She prayed that I would be able to clear the fog from my life that keeps me from having a clear view of God. The reference in this verse to the trees by the riverbank reminded me of where I need to be. Not curled up in a corner, but living. Living out loud, without fear or anxiety, bearing fruit in every good work. Living with my roots deep in the River of Life.