Monday, April 28, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Short sentences - words strung together - create immediate impact for the recipients.
Two weeks earlier. I was at the Dollar Store in a giganto line. YES, it was the ONLY lane open in the place and Belle & Christian were in tow. They've pretty much outgrown the stuff that you can strap them too like the good ole days of strollers and carts that their hineys fit comfortably in, so they trail behind... the little wandering ducklings that they are. The Dollar Store line is a feast for the eyes of any child aged 4-6... heck even I can find stuff that I suddenly feel the urge to need. So, as I gazed upon some cheesy magnets stuck on the checkout pole, Belle pondered over the beauty of tacky jewelry, while Christian found yet another weapon he desired. This time it was a suction-cupped, dart throwing, bow & arrow - thingy. He REALLY REALLY wanted it. Okay, I'm no mommy-pro, but I'm not even tempted to give in to these things, especially not in the line. I ooohed and aaaahhed over the trashcan-destined toy, calling it "really cool," and told Christian he could pick up 100 pinecones and come back and buy it himself. "NOW, go put it back up, sweetheart." He did it. phew.
The lady behind me, also a 60-something member, said, "You handled that beautifully." Oh, that was sooooo precious to hear! After you wrestle purchases and a list, (either mental or on paper) admist saying no, and being thoroughly interested in what your children have to say about EVERYTHING (mine are super verbal!!!!), you just feel dang worn out. I cannot tell you how grateful I was for her encouraging words. Those will replay and inspire me for weeks... if not, years to come. Her words were from the Lord.
Speaking of some of HIS:
Pleasant words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who
speaks rashly will come to ruin.
Unfortunately there are some words that have been spoken both to me AND FROM MY MOUTH, that were far more sinister and hurtful than those of lady #1.
(Trust me, her's were puzzling, but no big deal.)
I praise the Lord for His grace to forgive and restore.
Let us remember, my sweet friends; old ladies like to voice their opinions... they're not alone. Think honey, Honey!
Psalm 141:3 Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
The LORD Our Protector
A song of ascents.
1 I raise my eyes toward the mountains.
Where will my help come from? (A)
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth. (B)
3 He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber. (C)
4 Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep. (D)
5 The LORD protects you; the LORD is a shelter right by your side. (E) [a]
6 The sun will not strike you by day,
or the moon by night. (F)
7 The LORD will protect you from all harm;
He will protect your life. (G)
8 The LORD will protect your coming and going
both now and forever. (H)
"Psalm 121 [paints] beautiful brushstrokes the image of a traveler on his journey. He looks at the hills in the distance, wondering and probably even fearing what might be on the other side. He anticipates the long, arduous journey ahead and, like all of us, wishes he could arrive in teh blink of an eye rather than feel the effects of life on the road." -B. Moore
-was reading this and the question was later posed:
What connection do you see betweeen taking an uncertain journey and wanting a reminder that your LORD is the uncontested Maker of heaven and earth?
Physically to any onlooker, I'm going nowhere. There is no 5 year plan - i have peace in that.
Tomorrow, I'll wake up and drive to Chesterfield, SC and teach a whole lot of precious children.
I'll come home and Belle, Christian, & I will do what we usually do.
I entitled this blog "my dot on His line" in reference to seeing my life in perspective of His eternal timeline, physically here in the "church age" awaiting the kingdom to come. but as I was driving to my ordinary, country school this morning, I thought...
Oh to go places in my faith! To look at 4/22/08 and say, look where my heart went with the LORD! Where... I might remain in a county, who's latest growth is marked by the ONE Wal-Mart being upgraded to the status of "super," (very willing to go elsewhere, as sent!) BUT experience what it means to KNOW Him here. Where will I go tomorrow? Where will He lead me!? Could we dare to desire to know the LORD, the Maker of heaven & earth, the covenant establisher, builder, redeemer more intimately than anyone else? Shocking statement, I know. But not for the sake of claiming the title, "closest-to-God-person-on-earth!," but with the HUMBLE desire of saying, "Lord, I want to be that dear woman, the one after Your heart, the one that knows You so intimately, to hear your secrets, because Lord it is just so GOOD and because I want to honor Your desire, because i want to die to me and be Yours, be Yours in a way like no other, solely because You are NO OTHER.
Protector is especially sweet to me right now. John will be on a plane headed back to Afghanistan in the morning. I have certain peace for his safety. Please pray for peace that passes understanding for the heart of John.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Every time I drive between Bethune and Camden (en route to Columbia) I end up behind someone who is AS SLOW AS DIRT! Now, I know that there are laws, speed limits we all should obey. Sure. Personally, I like the unsaid 5 over the speed limit rule. It feels safe; the cops don’t seem to mind.
But those who are on their way to… perhaps NOWHERE in this little corridor of Highway 1 do not observe the speed limit. Oh no. They drive at a pace “a-suitin-them, I reckon.” (no offense to your country grandma)
So slow in fact, that I pondered this post’s topic, jotted down a few notes, thinking I could type the darn thing, while driving, if I’d had my laptop, at the well-under speed limit rate at which we were “truckin” (pun very much intended – see pics). At the time of my mulling of these ideas, there were at least 4 other cars in front of me. I, #5 in line, seemed to be the only car with a sense of urgency… or a place to be, perhaps! Cars, number 1, 2, 3, and 4 all were at ease in their lackluster velocity (OBVIOUSLY, as there was ample opportunity to pass, with clear vision of the 2-laner), leaving me thinking…
One could easily argue that a post on “speeding up” in a culture that drastically needs to take measures to “slow down” would be a backwards suggestion. I agree… to an extent. But here’s what God laid on my heart, while I took hold of the patience He grants me and giggled over my own thoughts – until thank the Lord, I got to I-26!:
Some things are worth moving toward at an adequate pace, as if you plan on getting somewhere!!
Here are some quick examples worthy of much more in depth study. (well, duh they’re from God’s Word, but you know what I’m sayin.)
This morning I was in the Patriarchs filling in a Bible Study day I had left blank, where God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah. God had this to say to Lot about swiftness:
22 But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it…” Genesis 19:22
From what I understand, the Hebrew form means “hasteth, hastily, at once, quickly, soon, speedily, suddenly.”
Moving when God says, “MOVE!” is for our own well-being. In Lot’s case, it was life or death.
Then there’s this in the New Testament:
Matthew 28:7 "Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."
Here, I’m not sure which Greek definition of “quickly” actually applies. But once again… they all speak, MOVE IT!.. in the now.
See for yourself:
tacheos takh-eh'-oce adverb from 5036; briefly, i.e. (inOkay and then I looked up “urgent.” I expected to discover more end times scripture with that word, but it resulted in scripture about what the Macedonian churches were LEARNING! Read this (emphasis added by me) and then check out the concluding definition of the Greek for “urgent.”
time) speedily, or (in manner) rapidly:--hastily, quickly, shortly, soon,
5032. tachion takh'-ee-on neuter singular of the comparative of
5036 (as adverb); more swiftly, i.e. (in manner) more rapidly, or (in time) more
speedily:--out (run), quickly, shortly, sooner.
5033. tachista takh'-is-tah
neuter plural of the superlative of 5036 (as adverb); most quickly, i.e. (with
5613 prefixed) as soon as possible:--+ with all speed.
2 Corinthians 8
1And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 5And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will. 6So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us[a]—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
10And here is my advice about what is best for you in this matter: Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not.
4441. punthanomai poon-than'-om-ahee middle voice prolonged“…implies a search for something hidden, which involves the idea of urgent need.”
from a primary putho (which occurs only as an alternate in certain tenses); to
question, i.e. ascertain by inquiry (as a matter of information merely; and thus
differing from 2065, which properly means a request as a favor; and from 154,
which is strictly a demand for something due; as well as from 2212, which
implies a search for something hidden; and from 1189, which involves the idea of
urgent need); by implication, to learn (by casual intelligence):--ask, demand,
Oh, you mean like Proverbs 2:3-5!:
3 and if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the
knowledge of God.
Come on, let’s urgently seek like the Macedonians. They were urgent to give… to learn about giving. Wow. And Paul, furthers that by urging them to wrap up their work.
Nutshell of what I'm beginning to grasp:
1) Move your tail when He’s trying to save you. Critical delay (and unbelief) for Lot’s son-in-laws equaled smithereens.
2) Stop sitting there marveling at that empty tomb and go tell somebody!!!! Go quickly.
3) Learn. Let’s learn like time is of the essence, cause, sister, it is… like there’s a destination worthy of speed, haste, departure even.
4) That going 40 or even 45 in a 55 gets on other people’s nerves, and should not be perpetrated unless one owns a truck that looks like the pictures of these I took today (yes, while driving… it was slow!), or maybe if there’s something giant hanging out your trunk. That will be greatly appreciated.
Lord, thank you for your WORD. I do not deserve the way(S!) you teach me. Thanks for the giggles along the way. I know You crack up and that delights me so!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Hey, you most darling of all Siestas! I hope you guys are doing well and seeing some fresh revelations of Jesus in His Word and in the blooming Spring. In my own quiet time this morning out on my back porch, God spoke to me about getting the "full measure" (those are the two words I kept hearing in my spirit) of God out of every trial or season. In other words, if I have to be in it, I want every drop of God I can get out of it. Milk that thang, Girls. Milk that thang. He didn't allow you to be in that situation for nothing. (Beth Moore)
Ezekiel 34:26I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.Ezekiel 34:25-27 (in Context) Ezekiel 34 (Whole Chapter)
Daniel 2:21He changes times and seasons; he sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning
Acts 14:17Yet 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."
Result of search for "season":
655 'ophen o'-fen from an unused root meaning to revolve; a turn, i.e. a season:--+ fitly.
2165 zman zem-awn' from 2163; an appointed occasion:--season, time.
John 17:13"I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.John 17:12-14 (in Context) John 17 (Whole Chapter)
Romans 15:29I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ.Romans 15:28-30 (in Context) Romans 15 (Whole Chapter)
Ephesians 3:19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.Ephesians 3:18-20 (in Context) Ephesians 3 (Whole Chapter)
Ephesians 4:13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.Ephesians
4053. perissos per-is-sos' from 4012 (in the sense of beyond); superabundant (in quantity) or superior (in quality); by implication, excessive; adverbially (with 1537) violently; neuter (as noun) preeminence:--exceeding abundantly above, more abundantly, advantage, exceedingly, very highly, beyond measure, more, superfluous, vehement(-ly).
4057. perissos per-is-soce' adverb from 4053; superabundantly:--exceedingly, out of measure, the more.
5234. huperballontos hoop-er-bal-lon'-toce adverb from present participle active of 5235; excessively:--beyond measure.
5249. huperperissos hoop-er-per-is-soce' from 5228 and 4057; superabundantly, i.e. exceedingly:--beyond measure.
Okay, I’m don’t know which of these definitions applies to which verse. I invite you to research that yourself! I need to. But I wanted to throw this out there. My goal is to seriously seek excessive wisdom, excessive love, to receive humbly all that is promised for this time, which revolves… Praise You that they revolve. We’re not stuck! Also, that they are appointed… we’re not on some Wheel of Fortune, season spin. It’s come your way via love and a message, of “this is for YOU for NOW.”
Lord I praise you for this appointed season. May I receive the blessings, the lessons, offer Your Glory to its full measure. I see in Your Word that this is Your desire for us Lord, and I’m in agreement, saying, “Yes! I want that.” Teach me how to receive that kind of overflow in my life.
Monday, April 14, 2008
It's so fun to announce answered prayers.
I love it.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Right now, Katie's water has broken. They'll know in the morning what the next days and weeks will look like. We're praying for bedrest for 4+ weeks. Join me!
Praise you Lord, that you prove Yourself ABLE.
Lord you are who you say you are; God of wonders blow us away.
(a link to her blog is on my page.)
Thursday, April 10, 2008
That’s where I’ve been. That’s where I am. Haven’t always… oh no, it’s been bad, really bad at times.
First thing, I’ve gotta say is this!:
Friend, if you’re tired, if you’re hurting, if it looks bleak, if your worn… to tears, if pain is gripping, if you’re deafened by the silence, if lonely is camping darkness or sadness on your heart, if you’re terrified, weighed down by guilt…
If you don’t know what in the world to do, if your heart aches and you’d rather sleep and the next breath is a trial, if you’re disillusioned by the mundane or perhaps the evil that you see (or anything in between), if you don’t even feel like you can talk to the Lord, much less seek Him for help, if you’re mad that everyone else is doing so well, or hurt that someone you love isn’t…
I’ve been there.
AND GOD IS FAITHFUL.
When I picture His LOVE, I get this image of a rider on horseback. The horse's muscles strong and sure, flexed purposefully. The rider, unseen… certain. A vision of One pursuing, galloping, mud flying as the horse’s hooves hammer the ground. I hear the horse breathing vigorously, powerfully, not out of desperation, but with the goal of LOVE.
That is how I feel His pursuit.
The current lesson:
Galatians 5:22-23 (New Living Translation)
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control.
There is no law against these things!
Romans 5:5 (New International Version)
5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
I'm learning that love is beyond a choice, far beyond emotion; it's our call. The highest call.
I am discovering what that looks like in reality. What sacrificial love can mean.
I used to view selfless love as actual acts... you know - doing the chore, nobody else wants to do, giving a gift rather than buying something, or going to the movie I didn't want to see...
(by the way, I wasn't so good at those either).
Now I see a deeper element. True sacrifice is the willingness to invite the pain that love requires. Loving in the face of rejection. Loving in the face of doubt. Loving in the face of loss. Loving because the LORD called you to - with no other bonus in sight. The sacrifice of putting your heart on the line
"...is a daily commitment of the will to vacate the heart's premises of its own preferential affections and make its chambers fleshy canteens for the liquid love of God. Yes, it's still a challenge, but it's no longer the impossible dream. We live by faith. We love by faith. Faith and love are inseparable housemates that offer hospitality to hope. When we lose our faith to love, we lose the energy to love. Then we lose our hope." (B. Moore)
Sweet friends... when I started this blog, I told you of a hand knocking with all its might.
Now, let me tell you about big time amazement... undeserved and overwhelming, sweeping wind and rushing "liquid love."
"Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops." James 5:17-18
A man - JUST LIKE US. Claim it.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Our God is soooo ABLE. He blows me away with His amazing ACTIVE answer to prayers.
It just makes me want to silly old school rap. Dance to this one!!!!
pump, pump, pump it up
Friday, April 4, 2008
I want you to turn off your tv for a week... pick a Monday-Friday at least. I'm daring you!
Don't stop reading. Hear me out for a few more lines.
I like tv. I have some shows that brighten up that particular weekday when I realize that they are available for my viewing pleasure that evening. I'm a fan of the Biggest Loser, of What Not to Wear, other HGTV shows (like those house flipping ones), Extreme Home Makeover - I'm a sucker for a makeover of any kind.
Okay, what's good about tv? Lots. Sure. There are shows that inform, shows that inspire, and yes you can have some good times watching a game with friends, or that show that you just LOVE for whatever reason.
I hear you. I agree. Close your eyes and try to imagine the content of the shows you watch or know exist. Think morning to night line ups of most major networks.
Now, let's consider the following truth with an open mind; soak these in:
2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.
(2 Tim. 3)
Shoot, these verses COULD very well me describing me without Jesus. I'm playing no "holier than thou role" here. I'm asking.
Am I a weak-willed woman? What am I allowing to WORM it's way into my home?
Look, every word above describes our culture. And I highlighted verse 5, because having a form of godliness but denying its power may very well be the most dangerous. Yikes.
I want to be relevant! But, I can tell you this. If I err, let it be on the side of being more irrelevant to our culture than to my God.
Hey, I know this isn't comfort-reading, nor is it a new suggestion. It's a dare.
Please PROVE ME WRONG. Let me know how your life becomes dismal without the TV.
I have a sneaky suspesion that you will find a crazy amount of minutes to do some real life, get some much needed rest, or just be still before the Lord.
The scariest part for me is how scary it is to consider my upcoming week of notta, no shows. Big black screen, quiet house, and just me. I like to fill the quiet void with noisy yuck. There is a problem when my grip is that tight.
Let's loosen them, one by one. Did you say "no thanks." Be bold enough to ask yourself, why not?
Psalm 46:10"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Unlikely - I mean... I'm so stinkin selfish, so prone to wander - that sounds too "pretty." Heck, I'm prone to grossness. This woman is scary without Jesus. I am insecure as all getout. And, well, that could be 4 descriptive sentences followed by a litany of other true statements which would frame me accurately.
haha - I just had a monster truck image flash through my mind. OKAY, you KNOW that you have lived in rural SC for possibly too long, when that comes through. But seriously, my LORD enables monster truck smashing on my stack... no, my heaping piles of raw, achy wounded, "frames." (for the unnecessary record: I have never attended such an event. Maybe I should).
In case you think I've lost it - I'll continue and stop soon. Be not alarmed.
So now that that is straight. Let me tell you what my God, has been showing me.
I told Him, "Lord, I'll take it! I'll take plan A, plan B, or plan C for my life. As long as it is YOUR plan, I'll take it! I want YOU." Of course, if a plan Q or something comes along, that will be quite fine as well. Here I am, 26. We don't have time to sit and wish or boowoo over the might have beens. Geez, let's do this thing! Let's dare to say, OKAY, that sounds amazing... most likely trembling as we say it, but meaning it. I do not know much beyond my intentions tomorrow. I have a hazy glimpse beyond that. But, I have CONFIDENCE. I declare and claim that I AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE. It's gonna be good. He said so.
Yesterday, I saw my baby battle... battle with her own sin, and the darkness which can grip us in ways that make us want to scream and cry, even as saved. But I saw my LORD take that battle and teach my child faith - teach her how to ask for forgiveness when every part of her soul desired to stay in sin. Her faith will be taught upon this foundation.
Have you ever been there?
I have. I've wanted to remain in sin.
I saw my children delight in "pretending" to put on the full armor of God. It's fun to play dress-up, especially when it comes to spiritual warfare getups. I mean, how cool is that helmet of Salvation, and how heavy is that belt of truth, and the sharpness of the sword of the spirit, of the Word. Can you hear the clashing?
I don't have enough money this month. For once, I prayed, and took God up on real trust and faith, rather than running solely to chocolate and that sick feeling that credit might be my only solution. Got a call; God is sending it my way. PRAISE HIM.
This is it! Let's do this. Let's look beyond the blanket of classrooms, offices, loads of laundry, of paved roads, and gas stations, of dinners, and see the fight. See the soul in the "face."
I know, I know, I know... trust me I know. There are so many fun, now, pleasures of this world. But sweet one - it's not our home. Please, do not get too comfy. Get excited in this.
"One thing is impossible with God: it is impossible to believe Him in vain."
Look up Habakkuk 3:2. Pray it. Please pray for me right now. As bold as I sound, the second my face fails to look upward, I am as brittle as some thin glass figurine and sooooo likely to fall. Pray that I'll "keep my chin up;" not for optimism, but for a glimpse heavenward to my God, whom I commit myself. I cannot risk looking away.
I'll borrow this from Beth Moore to conclude; it's too powerful not to re-read or share:
"The God to whom you commit yourself and everything that concerns you is huge. He is the omnipotent Maker of heaven and earth. He is the One who sees. He is the One who knows. He is the One who acts on behalf of His children. He is the Mighty Warrior. He is the compassionate Father. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He is the coming King. He is love. He is light. He is good. He is right. He is your soul's delight. He is ... whatever you need. He alone is wise. In Him alone life makes sense, and apart from Him all is chaos."