Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Entire Book

OK.....you might as well just go and buy your own copy of Ruthless Trust. I think I am going to be commenting on it for awhile. Then again I most likely will comment on anything I read. Here is another quote.....chew on this for awhile.

“To be grateful for an unanswered prayer, to give thanks in a state of interior desolation, to trust in the love of God in the face of marvels, cruel circumstances, obscenities and commonplaces of life is to whisper a doxology in darkness.”

...isn't that great? To be grateful is to whisper a doxology in darkness. I was talking with a friend today. Who are the people in your life that the above quote would describe?

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Thank you Ryan, Lance, Seth....and those who didn't come home. It is for our freedom that you labor so hard. Our words will never be enough. His eternal Glory will be....

Friday, May 25, 2007

Back to Trust

I mentioned in an earlier post a book I am currently reading. It is entitled Ruthless Trust by Brennan Manning. I am taking my time reading this as I am studying it with a friend, but I keep coming across amazing thought provoking quotes. I hope you don't mind if I post a few occasionally. I would love to hear your thoughts after you read them.

Based on this thought, "The foremost quality of a trusting disciple is gratefulness. Gratitude arises from the lived perception, evaluation, and acceptance of all of life as grace-as an undeserved and unearned gift from the Father's hand. Such recognition is itself the work of grace, and acceptance of the gift is implicitly an acknowledgement of the giver."

That being said and understood here is a quote by Henri Nouwen.

"To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives-the good as well as the bad, the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections-that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for. Let's not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God."

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Proverbs 31

"Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future." Proverbs 31:25

This is part of our future. My daughter's fourth grade Sunday School class gets together one Friday night a month just for the fun of it. It is simple and sweet. They are a unique and gifted group of girls. There is no question God will use this group in a mighty way. It was our turn to host this past Friday. We didn't manage to get the entire class there, but those who were had a good time. Lots of games as shown by Tummy Ha, Ha below. Cookies and M&M's galore.....

I am so thankful for the families of these girls. Our daughters are growing up in a challenging time. The world influence is strong. It will take deep prayer, "...the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit" Eph 6:16-17 for these young ladies to stand strong.

We have enjoyed the blessing of mentors already in our childrens lives. My son, Joey, has been attending a bible study for two years called, "The Backyarders". It was started by two older boys at our church, Justin Hooper and Charlie Grey, who recognized the need for older young men to step in and mentor younger boys. Trust me when I say 10 year old boys need to have positive older male influences in their lives besides their dads. These two young men meet once a week with a group of 11 year olds. They are just boys....they play (or I should say wrestle), they read and study scripture, they ask questions and they pray together. We are so blessed that this type of mentoring was modeled in Justin and Charlie's lives and now they are living the gospel with our boys. They will need the same "shield of faith, helmet of salvation and sword of the Spirit" that our girls need. God has uniquely brought these young ones into this time in History for specific reasons. May we not hinder His work.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Keeper of the Lulls

A few years back my oldest was entering the summer of the 5 year old. The summer between preschool and Kindergarten and this Mama was struggling with the transition. My heart was anticipating many changes. Changes that I wasn’t quite ready to accept. A good friend told me about an article she read about this magical summer. The article completely put words to my heart song. I am now in my 4th summer of transition. It is also my last transition from preschool to Kindergarten as my youngest will cross over this bridge this summer. As my heart strings continue to be played I went back to this article entitled Keeper of the Lulls by Kathleen Hirsch. I have put several sections of the article in the blog. Enjoy

Keeper of the Lulls

We are hunting frogs, and my five-year-old son has almost got the hang of it. A stealthy hand comes up behind his prey, the other forms a gently cup in front. A few feet away from the edge of the pond, I sit watching. Now it happens. William has managed to coddle his pulsing green quarry of these long, languid days. Only – he hasn’t the heart for capture. I watch as he lets the frog bound away, out from between his hands into the cold, clear depths of water. When the Lord told Adam he was to have dominion over the animals, I believe that he had in mind the sensitivity of the five year old.

The gift of this season has been learning that the fifth summer of life is one of the sacred pauses of childhood. Poised between preschool and kindergarten, my son knows better than anyone that as summer draws to a close, his world will utterly change. Part of him experiences this anticipating like a great hunger. It rises like sap in his veins, charging him with the enchantment of mastery. To know! To do! To grow up!

…Yesterday’s world was a circle of two. Regularly, indeed incessantly, the baby’s first business is to complete our circle, to sit contentedly in the haven of mother’s breasts and arms. In hindsight, I see that all of our visits to neighboring farms, all of the stories read and told, were merely glosses on the essential circle dance of childhood. At five, his gaze has shifted beyond my shoulder. It’s not cuddling he hungers for, but himself. And for this he must leave the circle, he must go more deeply into his emerging self and at the same time, out into the world.

…I have come to see my role this summer as the “keeper of the lulls,” the protector of these tranquil hours when William can reflect on nature and himself with the same unhurried at-homeness with which a frog gazes at the bottom of the pond.

…This summer, on the cusp of waning babyhood, I realize that for a long season to come – perhaps for the rest of the journey – I must content myself with this role as the keeper of the lulls. It is my task now to learn to keep my hands as open as my son’s, to watch and to cherish his tight-coiled brightness and ripeness, know that this life force will surely lead to yet another leap – into a new and unimagined distance. But I also know that one day my little adventurer will return to the boy in the summer of five, in search of his buried treasure.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Deeper Still, The Event

As many of you did, I attended the Deeper Still put on by Lifeway Ministries in March of this year. It was an incredible, life changing experience for me personally. I'll post on that at a different time, but I wanted to put a link here in this post to a 4 minute video recap of the event. Beth Moore, Priscella Shirer, and Kay Arthur were beyond expectations. Three broken women who God has used mightily to further His Kingdom. Yep, you can praise Him for that! Anyway...if you have a minute click on this link Deeper Still, San Francisco then click on the video clip on the left side of the link page for the Deeper Still Event (it is the option directly above the slide show option).

Let me know if you have link problems. Enjoy it.....

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Chickens, anyone?

Yes, we are now the proud owners of 5 baby chicks. Not all of them have names yet, but Rosemary, Tiger Lilly Sister, and Rainbow have been given identities. They are the cutest little things. We have had chickens in the past, but it has been several years. The kids are ecstatic. I can't wait until they start earning their keep with fresh eggs. We have two more to name.....any ideas? David suggested, "Make mine deep fried", but Emma didn't much care for that one.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Reflections of Living Beyond Yourself

On Thursday we finished up our year long study of the Fruits of the Spirit. We utilized the Beth Moore study Living Beyond Yourself. Can you recite the Galations reference from memory? Better yet for those who attended, can you say the verse and do the sign-language at the same time?!!

It was a very special year for our Thursday morning bible study. I think many had preconceived ideas of where this study would go. Were you surprised? You betcha.....I haven't spoken to one gal who attended reguarly that wasn't absolutely changed by the teaching of the Lord's word. Week after week the Lord showed up and showed us a different facet of Himself. He is worthy of our Praise!

I personally was blessed beyond belief this past Thursday morning. We asked each small group to in some creative way express an assigned fruit of the spirit. What a bunch of characters we have. I don't think I will ever get over Davia Rusco dressed as Vanna White and Donna Jeffery as the MC in their groups version of Wheel of Fortune! The word that was spelled out, by the way, was Makrothumia. I'll give you a hint.....it has a lot to do with the fruit of patience. Hearing Terri Hanson and Rhonda Greenelsh, with their group as back up, sing It is Well with My Soul, was tremendously uplifting. I can't list it all here, but I'm glad there is a video of it. It filled my heart.

We also had a very challenging year with great loss experienced amongst our gals. I will never forget the blessing of sitting next to Leslie Cone the week after she buried her beloved Andy or the incredible prayer time and outpouring of love towards Julie Theule in the passing of her sister, or the giving of over $1500 plus hundreds of dollars in food gift cards to one of our members who was in need. All collected within one week. It was true Agape Love.

The Spirit of the Lord is strong in this group. They truly live beyond themselves.

Monday, May 07, 2007


Did you see the post on Pastor Tim's blog this morning? We are in the midst of a baby boom at Grace. We have had several babies born to our bible study ladies as well. It is a huge honor and blessing to pray over these little ones. To watch these mommies as they navigate pregnancy and then standing next to me holding those precious babies as we pray over them......It just doesn't get any better. The picture on the blog is absolutely hilarious.....you brave women! Next time show some skin! Oops, better not say that. Those gals would do it! I want to see a picture in the Fall posted of the same group holding those children.

Lord, I ask your continued blessing on those women. Give them strength and endurance to endure their pregnancy. Life comes from you father....you open the womb. Give each parent group an added measure of grace as they strive to raise those children in your name. Help us as a body of Christ to look for active ways we can support, love, and encourage them during this very special time. We Praise you Lord!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Happy Birthday, Sheri

I am probably the only one who calls my sister, Sheri. She is Sheryl to everyone else. Don't know exactly why that is. Probably the same reason I am Missy to most people but Melissa to a few. Today is a big day.....the 50 year old Big Day for my sister. She is the elder and I am the younger with two bros in between. She is more beautiful today than ever. She is as stylish as ever and is transitioning well into the phase of her life where her oldest will be married in the Fall and her youngest is in college as well. I'm going to ask her today......"If someone came to you today and you could describe your first 50 years in one word.....what would it be?" I think I know the answer, but am looking forward to hearing it! The party was last weekend. She is headed to a special weekend away with her hubby.

Happy Birthday, Sheri! Live every day for Him....

PS....yes, I am the one in the middle being held on to by my sister. Every picture of me with my siblings they have someone holding onto me! I didn't sit still very well....still don't!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Are you Reading an Interesting Book?

Do any of you actually have time to read? I mean the hold the book in your hand, feel the cover, smell the pages type of reading. I'm not a fiction reader. Most of the reading I do seems to always be for a purpose.

OK....sidebar....when in Disneyland a few weeks ago we went on a new ride. It is the new Buzz Lightyear ride. My boys in particular would have loved it. You sit in these little cars that go through a building in chase of some bad action hero. Each car has two handheld blasters. There are targets up all over the place and you point your laser at them and shoot. I got off the ride and said to my husband, "No women were involved with the design of this ride." He had a big smile on his face and said, "I know". I asked him how he knew and he said, "Because there is no purpose to the ride!! Isn't that great!"

Allright back to the post....A friend suggested a book to me that deals with the topic of trust. Here is a quote:

"Craving clarity, we attempt to eliminate the risk of trusting God. Fear of the unknown path stretching ahead of us destroys childlike trust in the Father's active goodness and unrestricted love. We often presume that trust will dispel the confusion, illuminate the darkness, vanquish the uncertainty, and redeem the times. But the crowd of witnesses in Hebrews 11 testifies that this is not the case. Our trust does not bring final clarity on this earth. It does not still the chaos or dull the pain or provide a crutch. When all else is unclear, the heart of trust says, as Jesus did on the cross, 'Into your hands I commit my spirit.' (Luke 23:46)"

What do you think? The book is titled Ruthless Trust, by Brennan Manning. You can pick it up at the Parable.