Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Excuse me?!

"I only do what the bear tells me to." Seriously, she said those very words. See that little white bear peeking out from the blanket...? Apparently, when you are 5 you only take directions from the bear (and really good kindergarten teachers!!) I suggested to the bear to have the 5 year old eat her breakfast...!

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

"Moreover, Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, "Please inquire first for the word of the Lord." 1 Kings 22:5. Hmnnn.....we are an inquisitive bunch. We seem to want to know everything about anyone or anything. My husband and I have noticed (for years) that my oldest son always inquires of me - no matter what. He might know the answer, may have asked someone else, but always comes and inquires of me. We were experiencing it, but didn't quite recognize it until watching some old video footage from when he was a toddler and we saw him first hand his inquiring of me.

Where do you inquire first? The above scripture says it politely, "please" inquire first of the Lord. It is a holy habit to take all we are and all we experience to Him first. May we never move out in front of the Lord. May we always inquire of Him first, and when we fail to....Lord, make us quick to come to you to receive your amazing Grace.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wandering and Listening

I was reviewing a bible study I had completed a few years ago recently and came across this quote, "Don't make your petition longer than your time to listen." Now that reverberates a bit. I was reading in Isaiah recently (30:18-21). I have always loved verse 21 which reads, "Your ears will hear a word behind you, 'This is the way, walk in it,' whenever you turn to the right or to the left." Both of these quotes cause me to consider my wanderings and listening ears. In our too busy, too self indulged world that surrounds us, satan is the master of causing us to wander and not listen to the true Master's voice. Where are your wandering and listening ears today? Are your petitions longer than your time of listening? Are you hearing the Lord say, "...This is the way, walk in it." Find some time today to sit at the feet of the Master.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

200th Post!!!

Happy 200th Post.....thank you for reading along!!

It is fitting that this post is being celebrated today. I am just finishing a weekend of "girl time" with some "girls" I hold deep in my heart. Our local church just concluded our annual Women's Conference. I was able to soak up God's word from the inside out as it was delivered by three of the best, Liz Young, Sue Donaldson and Laurie Potratz. They collectively spoke on Colossians 2:6-7. The Lord makes Himself BIG when the word is humbly spoken....

A few take aways....Liz Young, "The Father's voice comes from the word of God", "Does Jesus have a level of importance in our lives that we always expect to see him?", "Exercise your knowledge in faith.", "Resting in His word is what it means to be grounded."

Sue Donaldson..."Growing has to do with progress and process", "Spiritual growth is developing a family likeness to Christ", "What distractions are we indulging in that are decreasing our appetite for Him?" "A good friend points you towards Jesus!", "He wants us to finish. He doesn't care what the finishing time is..."

Laurie Potratz..."God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him", "God who knows us best, loves us most", "Our (eternal) destination should make a difference and allow us to live in victory", "Lets be thankful for who God is - not for what He does"

Well done, ladies. A lot to Howard Hendricks words..."The Lord was well pleased, the work well done, and the word well used."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Haman, Hanon and Princesses

Actual words heard from my children's mouths...

Out of the mouth of my 8 year old comes the question, "Where is the Hamon Book? Do you like doing those Hamon exercises?" Ok....he is a little confused and his older brother had to put him back on the correct trail. "It is Hanon, not Hamon." For those with piano in their background you are cracking up at the moment - those who don't are asking, "what is she talking about?" There are a series of exercise books put out by Hanon. They are excellent, they are laborious, they strengthen those fingers and perplex young struggling pianists. Haman on the other hand was a bad guy in the bible. Spend some time in the book of Esther and you will get the full impact of who this man was. Easy confusion on the 8 year olds part, both are a bit tortuous.

"The Princess doesn't like waiting for her food." Said by my 5 year old daughter. You would think it should have been said by me, but no....only one princess in our house (emma and I are the suffering servants!!) At least she could have added a thank you somewhere in there!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Do I Have To?

Gathered up the troops for a ride through the Bob Jone's Trail...
ended up at the pier in Avila Beach...

saw this on the way...

not many people soaking up sun today...too windy.

A good way to spend a Sunday afternoon...

I've been spending a lot of time in the Psalms recently for various reasons, but was overtaken once again with Psalm 145 which reads:

"I will extol You, my God, O King. And I will bless your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You, And I will praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised, And His greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise Your works to another. And shall declare Your might acts.
On the glorious splendor of Your majesty and on Your wonderful works, I will meditate.
Men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts, And I will tell of Your greatness.
They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness and shout joyfully of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.
The Lord is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works.
All Your works shall give thanks to You, O Lord, And Your godly ones shall bless You.
They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom And talk of Your power,
To make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts And the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And Your dominion endures throughout all generations.
The Lord sustains all who fall and raises up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to You, And You give them their food in due time.
You open Your hand And satisfy the desire of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds.
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.
The Lord keeps all who love Him, But all the wicked He will destroy.
My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord, And all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever."

Travis Cottrell sings this Psalm almost word for word in the song Forevermore. (You can download it from itunes). After hearing the song several times I realized it was a Psalm and went on a hunt to find it - and find it I did. My mind expands when I hear or read this Psalm. That is exactly what God's word is supposed to do. When I feel satan start to stir the pot I say out loud the last line of this Psalm, "...My mouth will speak the PRAISE OF THE LORD, and all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever."

God thoughts and satan thoughts don't mix. They are like oil and water - they never bond and can't be in the same space at the same time. What are you filling your tank with when satan starts to stir....try a healthy dose of the Lord's word said out loud.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Little of This and a Little of That

A Little of this.......

will always give you these....

and some of these....

and energy to do this...

5th grade girl Grace Church Sunday school class having some Friday Night Fun of treats and games. I love their smiles...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My emma and I went to San Diego to attend a Living Proof Ministries Live event led by Beth Moore. I have had the honor of hearing Beth Moore in person a couple of times and our women's bible study at church has utilized several of her studies. There most definitely was a special anointing this weekend. 10,000 women together worshiping our Lord and Saviour and hearing Psalm 139 taught like I've never heard taught. It was extraordinary. My emma loved it as well. The theme of the weekend could be said in two ways - "Known" and "The Divine God and the chosen you." I think Emma came away with recognizing at her 11 year old level her specialness to the Lord. Beth gave 8 points which were:
1. I am known
2. I need to be known
3. I'm scared to be known
4. I've always been known
5. I can know because I am known
6. My enemies are known
7. My anxieties are known
8. Search me and know me

All 8 points correspond to the different verses in the Psalm. She taught in depth on each point, but some of the take aways for me were: The Psalm speaks of all the Omni's of God (His omniscience, His Omnipresence, His omnipotence) - those are attributes of God, not attributes of us. We are not to be omni's, there is knowledge that is to be His and His alone (see Gen. 2), God's way of knowing us is to search us, we continually get God mixed up with people, self loathing and humility are not the same thing, "anxiety is always rooted in the need to control or a loss of control", "see if I have made an idol of my pain!"

It was a good time. It was a deep time. It was God's time...well worth the effort, fatigue, lines (don't get me started on exiting the parking structure). The Lord chooses different times and places to show himself BIG. He was HUGE this weekend!

Monday, April 14, 2008

LPL - San Diego....

This video is posted on the LPL Ministry blog as well as Travis Cottrell's blog. Just look at those women's faces....!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Having Some Picture Editing Fun....

I'm using new picture editing software called Picnik and loving it!! Had to play a bit today with it...

Jemma Leech

Beth Moore at Living Proof Live in San Diego this weekend played this video clip. I was having trouble loading the video so at the ABC home page, type in Jemma Leech in the search - it will bring up the video. Click on it to play. It will change and enlarge your view of God. When I post on Beth Moore's teaching this weekend I will explain how she utilized this clip - at this point. .....just watch it. (Grab the kleenex....)

Gone...for a good reason

I've been gone for a few sunny San Diego with Emma....for this...

Always some waiting time when you are with over 10,000 women...

A quick shot of us gals....soaking up some fun and sun...

Surprised her with a visit here....

And amazed once again by this...

and this...

I'll blog on the Beth Moore event in another post. Words don't quite suffice.....yet.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Fun in the Sun

Our friend Nate Maas, rescued (not that he needed it) my husband on Sunday by scooping up my two boys and whisking them off to adventures unknown...Nate sent along these pictures. Looks like fun to me...

Joey - all smiles...

This picture so describes this young boy of mine....he does things his own way...

Jacob was the brave one who picked up the snake. My first question when told about this was, "Now, you are sure it wasn't a rattlesnake, right?" Oh no, Mom. Mr. Maas checked. I was glad to see the picture and know for sure!! Second question (or command...) Go wash your hands.

Five boys out for some Sunday fun...

Thanks for the pics, Nate. They had a great time!!

Sunday, April 06, 2008


I was given the gift of a weekend to myself this weekend. Not easy to accomplish when you have a husband and 4 children. It is not only a weekend to myself, but a weekend to myself IN MY HOME. There is something very renewing to a woman to have time to herself (whether she be single or married with children). Due to circumstances out of our control my usual two weekends a year of down time has not happened for two years. I was overdue and worn out. The Lord cleared the weekend, strengthened my husband, and met me for a weekend of rest and renewal. Travis Cottrell has a song on his Alive Forever CD which the Lord gave me to contemplate for the weekend. It is entitled Search are the words:

Search me, know me, try me and see every worthless affection hidden in me.
All I'm asking for is that you would cleanse me Lord.
Create in me a heart that's clean,
conquer the power of secret shame.
Come wash away the guilty stain of all my sin.
Clothe me in robes of righteousness.
Cover my nakedness with praise.
All of my life before you now I humbly bring.

(If you have not heard this song then download it from itunes). I heard an interesting and thought provoking sermon this morning. The teaching was from Colossians 3:12-14 and was entitled "Life Together -- Forgiving One Another". Many good things were shared from this very familiar passage of scripture, but a couple of thoughts were worth more pondering. One is the use of the phrase "put-on". The phrase in the Greek refers to the immediate - not working towards putting it on, but as in it is raining, "put-on" on your raincoat or you will get wet. If you only put your coat on part way you will get wet. Another thought (always good teaching) is to look at what God's agenda is in the scripture. In this case the Lord gives it to us when He says, "put up with one another and forgiving one another..." The pastor used an illustration of sheep to get a very important point across. Sheep will do three things (always)...1. whine 2. wander (isn't there a scripture about one of those wandering sheep and the Lord seeking him...?!) and 3. wound.

Now we are talking about Christians when we reference the sheep - yep, we really do whine, wander and wound. The pastor ended the message with these thoughts: "Forgiveness is anchored in what Christ has done, it is acted out, and it is authentic in spirit." Someone asked me recently what I thought John Piper's response would be to Christians being stumbling blocks to other Christians? I think his answer from the book entitled Future Grace responds to that question. ..." All the wrongs that have been done against us by believers were avenged in the death of Christ." Beth Moore's take on the Godly result of wounding is this..."I know God did not author my abuse as He is light and that which was done to me was in darkness and God does not dwell there. So then the question always is why did God allow it? Maybe it was allowed because we need something from the healing process that would only be attained through His grace within that healing process." By the way...this applies to all wounding. Hers was sexual abuse, but the thought really speaks to every type of wounding.

Lots to think about...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

It Moved

Do you ever have the experiences of studying, listening to music, a conversation with a friend, overhear someone, a pastor's message in which seemingly random thoughts by others are used by the Lord to bring a point home? I have had that experience recently and I love it when the Lord does that. It seems that everywhere I turn recently I am reading or hearing about how the Lord encircles, or encamps, or protects us. Two very recent examples are from scripture. Psalm 34:7 says, "The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him and he rescues them." Psalm 139:5 says, "You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid your hand upon me." Psalm 62:8 says, "Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge before us."

I've heard all of those recently. This morning I was reading out of Exodus 14, specifically verse 13 and 14 which talks about not being fearful and knowing the Lord will fight for you. I was reading further, starting in verse 19 and came across something I never knew. This is the part of biblical history when the Israelites were up against the red sea and the Egyptians were hot on their tails. The verse talks about how the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them. Is that amazing? The pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them. The Lord moved in between the Egyptians and the Israelites. It provided a night of rest for them.

Those who know me know I don't like to be closed in (the Lord has a lot of fun with that!!). I am finding these scriptures very comforting. The thought that the Lord would enclose and surround us is amazing. For me, I need the reminder that He has surrounded me for my good. How about you?