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Monday, July 31, 2006

Prayer Request



Spiritual attack seems to be rampant in and around our lives right now. Denbigh and I have both recently entered into a new spiritually fruitful area of our lives and we are feeling the fierce attack of the enemy. It seems to be rampant even with our friends and our church. I ask that you would pray protection and victory for all of us involved. Pray protection and peace over Denbigh and his band. Pray full recovery for all sick or hurting. Thank you.

Thank you, God, for allowing me to see fruit from ministry at a time that I am deeply burdened.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Gospel According To Oprah

  • Oprah's Gospel"


  • I was reading a Christian artist's comment on liking Oprah. She said that Oprah didn't claim to be a tv evangelist and didn't think it was a big deal to watch her.

    Oprah has claimed to be a Christian though. God's Word says not to associate with an unrepentant brother or sister. Telling people that Jesus cannot be the only way to God is definitely sin.

    Do we refuse to associate even through the tv medium? You decide.

    Wednesday, July 26, 2006

    Halfway to the Peak?



    I was rereading some of my journaling from the past few months and came across some interesting quotes from great authors. I thought I would put them here to pique your interest. Enjoy.

    *"Mediocre comes from 2 words meaning halfway to the peak." - AW Tozer

    *"Jesus often withdrew." Luke 5:16 Jesus often went to a solitary place.

    *"We testify to His Scripture but we refuse to come to Him to have life." -Nancy Demoss

    *"It is a disservice to the female body of Christ to allow people/friends to be self-absorbed or to be self-absorbed ourselves. It hinders repentance. As God softens the heart, they still cannot see past themselves." - I think I wrote that.

    *"The greatest human tragedy is to give up the search." - John Eldredge

    ... more to come

    Is Denbigh Terribly Interesting?"



    My husband has declared himself to be Terribly Interesting. He says he fits all the criteria. Here is what he thinks makes his claim credible:

    *He loves Jesus and lives his faith out in tangible ways.

    *His name is Denbigh.

    *He has a cat named Kevin Bacon.

    *He is married to me.

    *He is a musician with long hair.

    *He is funny.

    *He believes dark chocolate is a food group.

    *He can swing dance.

    I told him that he probably needs one more quirky thing to put him over the top. Also, I named the cat. He steals my jokes and my chocolate! I will let you decide his fate. Is he terribly interesting?

    Tuesday, July 25, 2006

    A Woman At Rest



    I love this woman. It isn't for her daring sense of style. She isn't in a hurry to get anywhere or do anything. She is enjoying her moment. It is something God is teaching me and sustaining me by...simplicity and rest.

    One hand full of rest is better than two fists full of labor and striving after wind.
    Ecclesiastes 4:6

    The Rest of God



    A few weeks ago I read a book by Mark Buchanan called the Rest of God. It is about restoring your soul by restoring Sabbath. I truly enjoyed this book. It inspired me to take the tv out of the living area and put on some classical music. I thought I would share the highlights with you. I cannot remember everything I wanted to share since I am pregnant. Bear with me and try to get the main points.

    *" For those who number their days aright gain wise hearts. Only they become God's sages: those calm, unhurried people who live in each moment fully savoring simple things, celebrating small epiphanies, unafraid of life's inevitable surprises and reverses, adaptive to change yet not chasing after it. Able to pray with those who pray."

    *"The driven get caught up in their striving and forget their purpose."

    *Time hoarders: The truly purposeful have an ironic secret. They manage time less and pay attention more."

    *"The logic of Sabbath in Deuteronomy: Don't remove what God has placed. Don't gather and piece back together what God smashed and scattered. Don't place yourself in a yoke that God broke & tossed off with His own hands. Just as we ought not pull asunder what God has joined, so we ought not join what God has pulled asunder."

    *" We refuse to rest as though we are controlled by a task master. Rest is a condition of freedom."

    There is an idea that we have become hurried in everything. Our brand of worship and church are hurried. We mock anyone who does not subscribe to our branding. We are so fierce to guard our time and agonize over how little of it we have and how we use it that we are ineffective with it. We need to learn to listen. We need to be still. Satan is stealing our time by causing us to hoard it for ourselves.

    Life is in the interuptions.

  • The Rest of God

  • Saturday, July 22, 2006

    Pure Clean Fun



    Last night I attended Zilker Park's Summer Theatre's production of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers. It is an excellent adaptation. The energy and talent are outstanding. It comes to you highly recommended. It runs Thursday-Sunday into mid-August. I enjoyed it because there was nothing in the musical that I would want to avoid. The language is appropriate for any child. There is not any glorified pre-marital sex (just the opposite). The biggest shock- there was still a preacher and the Bible in the Austin production. The interesting Austin crowd is there to view pre-show and there is no smoking! Go check it out!

    Zilker Hillside Theatre

    Friday, July 21, 2006

    Rest Together



    When is the last time you did something fun and relaxing with a friend? We tend to look to others to meet all of our needs and usually meet with an agenda. What if we met purely to enjoy the moment? What if we met to rest in quiet and create? We tend to fill the air with superfluous words and miss what God might be saying to us in the stillness and the creativity.
    Anyone want to come paint?

    Thursday, July 20, 2006

    Terribly Interesting (part deux)



    This "Terribly Interesting" thing is really catching on. Who knew you could inspire people by becoming inspired! I think I should market a t-shirt. It will say, "You wish you were this terribly interesting." I also think a line of terribly interesting dark chocolate is probably in order. All I know is that everyone I have told or has been told has been inspired to do something new in their life. People are painting, writing, applying for master's degrees, gardening, singing, buying a mandolin or taking up harmonica. It is terribly interesting to see. I encourage you to do the one thing you would love to do and long to do but don't.
    Pursue life.

    Tuesday, July 18, 2006

    Phantom Limbs















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    More Deserted Photos



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    PHANTOM LIMBS

    Anne Michaels


    So much of the city
    is our bodies. Places in us
    old light still slants through to.
    Places that no longer exist but are full of feeling,
    like phantom limbs.
    Even the city carries ruins in its heart.
    Longs to be touched in places
    only it remembers.

    Through the yellow hooves
    of the ginkgo, parchment light;
    in that apartment where I first
    touched your shoulders under your sweater,
    that October afternoon you left keys
    in the fridge, milk on the table.
    The yard - our moonlight motel -
    where we slept summer's hottest nights,
    on grass so cold it felt wet.
    Behind us, freight trains crossed the city,
    a steel banner, a noisy wall.
    Now the hollow diad !
    floats behind glass
    in office towers also haunted
    by our voices.

    Few buildings, few lives
    are built so well
    even their ruins are beautiful.
    But we loved the abandoned distillery:
    stone floors cracking under empty vats,
    wooden floors half rotted into dirt;
    stairs leading nowhere; high rooms
    run through with swords of dusty light.
    A place the rain still loved, its silver paint
    on rusted things that had stopped moving it seemed, for us.
    Closed rooms open only to weather,
    pungent with soot and molasses,
    scent-stung. A place
    where everything too big to take apart
    had been left behind.


    From: The Weight of Oranges/Miner's Pond (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1997). p.86.

    Monday, July 17, 2006

    Crying Out

    There seems to be attack and tragedy all around us lately. God gave me these verses today to cry out for all of it.

    Galatians 4:6, "Because you are God's children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into us to call out, "Abba! Father!"

    Psalm 3:4
    To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill.

    Psalm 142:1
    [ A maskil of David. When he was in the cave. A prayer. ] I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy.

    Friday, July 14, 2006

    Drop Your Rock



    great read! (by Nicole Johnson)

    Overview:
    Rock-throwing is one way to settle hostilities or to exchange accusations. You can knock Goliath flat if your rock hits him in the right spot. Not bad, if your goal is to kill your enemy. You can express your moral outrage by joining the angry mob howling for a sinner to be stoned. But what if that sinner is your friend, and you would rather change their heart than shed their blood? We don't have to hurl the rocks we clutch in our judgmental hands. With tender words and touching photos, Nicole Johnson guides us toward the 'flat thud of grace' that can change our lives when we drop our rocks and choose to love instead.

    (Luke 6:27-31, "But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have the do to you."

    Thursday, July 13, 2006

    Jesus Loves The Little Children


    My friend Jill sent me this - thought I'd share.

    Deep in the Shadowlands

    Deep in the shadowlands
    People neither thrive nor die
    They exist
    Empty

    No one remembers going there
    It’s just a place you end up
    It is a place of empty whispers
    Forgotten dreams

    There you build monuments
    That resemble tombs
    But they have no eyes to see
    They cultivate their own bareness

    Never known is what is just over the horizon
    Like an unturned page of Scripture
    They choose to linger in the stench of death
    Never Dying

    Their only hope is avoided
    Though they say they belong to it
    They are hardly recognizable
    The flesh they love eaten by greed

    They avoid eyes that convict, reveal, and heal
    Just make eye contact with Him
    You will see no more shadows
    You will not know emptiness

    S Cherry 2006 ©

    T S Eliot

    Today I was reading some TS Eliot and I just find his visual analogies to be breath-taking. I was reading his poem The Hollow Men. It is said to be written before he became a Christian when he met the state of utter despair. The rhythmic patterns mirror the Lord's Prayer. He is said to be describing the state of society and church. Are you stuffed with dead straw whispering the meaningless? I will include it at the end. Christianity Today says he is of 131 Christians we should all be familiar with. I am not sure who decides that, but I find him intriguing and slightly frightening. Here is my favorite verse from one of his poems:


    The dove descending breaks the air
    With flame of incandescent terror
    Of which the tongues declare
    The one discharge from sin and error.
    The only hope, or else despair
    Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre—
    To be redeemed from fire by fire.





    The Hollow Men

    T. S. Eliot (1925)



    We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
    Our dried voices, when
    We whisper together
    Are quiet and meaningless
    As wind in dry grass
    Or rats' feet over broken glass
    In our dry cellar

    Shape without form, shade without colour,
    Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

    Those who have crossed
    With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
    Remember us -- if at all -- not as lost
    Violent souls, but only
    As the hollow men
    The stuffed men.

    II

    Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
    In death's dream kingdom
    These do not appear:
    There, the eyes are
    Sunlight on a broken column
    There, is a tree swinging
    And voices are
    In the wind's singing
    More distant and more solemn
    Than a fading star.

    Let me be no nearer
    In death's dream kingdom
    Let me also wear
    Such deliberate disguises
    Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
    In a field
    Behaving as the wind behaves
    No nearer --

    Not that final meeting
    In the twilight kingdom

    III

    This is the dead land
    This is cactus land
    Here the stone images
    Are raised, here they receive
    The supplication of a dead man's hand
    Under the twinkle of a fading star.

    Is it like this
    In death's other kingdom
    Waking alone
    At the hour when we are
    Trembling with tenderness
    Lips that would kiss
    Form prayers to broken stone.

    IV

    The eyes are not here
    There are no eyes here
    In this valley of dying stars
    In this hollow valley
    This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

    In this last of meeting places
    We grope together
    And avoid speech
    Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

    Sightless, unless
    The eyes reappear
    As the perpetual star
    Multifoliate rose
    Of death's twilight kingdom
    The hope only
    Of empty men.

    V

    Here we go round the prickly pear
    Prickly pear prickly pear
    Here we go round the prickly pear
    At five o'clock in the morning.

    Between the idea
    And the reality
    Between the motion
    And the act
    Falls the Shadow

    For Thine is the Kingdom

    Between the conception
    And the creation
    Between the emotion
    And the response
    Falls the Shadow

    Life is very long

    Between the desire
    And the spasm
    Between the potency
    And the existence
    Between the essence
    And the descent
    Falls the Shadow
    For Thine is the Kingdom

    For Thine is
    Life is
    For Thine is the

    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2006

    Word of the Day

    Theocracy

    Main Entry: the·oc·ra·cy
    Pronunciation: thE-'Ã-kr-sE
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): plural -cies
    Etymology: Greek theokratia, from the- + -kratia -cracy

    1 : government of a state by immediate divine guidance or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided

    The word theocracy originates from the Greek theokratia "the rule of God" (Josephus), itself form Greek words (theos, of unknown origin, perhaps not Indo-European), God‚ and (kratein), to rule.

    Biblical Theocracy means affirming the crown rights of the Lord Jesus Christ over every area of life.

    We should distinguish between theocracy (the rule of God) and ecclesiocracy (the rule of the church).

    *I bring this word before you because I am more grieved and desperate to see it manifested in my life and church than anything else.



    Today I clearly see we can have no crown without a cross.

    Psalm 60:1 O GOD, You have rejected us and cast us off, broken down [our defenses], and scattered us; You have been angry--O restore us and turn Yourself to us again!

    (Amplified) O God, You have rejected us You have broken us;
    You have been angry; O, restore us.


    (NIV)You have rejected us, O God, and burst forth upon us;
    you have been angry-now restore us!


    Yes, burst forth upon us! We must have a move of your Spirit! We must!

    Tuesday, July 11, 2006

    Oswald Chambers

    "We slander God by our very eagerness to work for Him without knowing Him."

    -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

    Who To Eat With


    How seriously do we take the command to not associate with the unrepentant sinner who claims to be a brother/sister in Christ? Do you even do it? Do you indulge it? Do you treat it as acceptable behavior? Do you forgive it? Only God has the power to forgive sin and yet we say to our brothers and sisters in Christ,"It's okay." Sometimes I wonder if I did this to the full extent if I would actually have anyone left to eat with. Could I even eat with myself? So, I too repent.

    I have had 2 friends in the past year or so who were confronted by the same issues - both people in love. One fell on her knees and cried out to God and admitted to our church the sin she infected the body with. The other stored up bitterness and hurled it on a bystander. Why do we look at others when we have sinned against God? We blame, and name call, and refuse the gift of repentance to be right. We refuse the inward look. Is introspection a dead art?

    Could you? Would you refuse to eat with a sister in Christ who refuses to repent in order to show that their lifestyle is unacceptable to God? Would you be willing to love someone that much? Would you risk your friendship and all you get from people to step across the line in the sand and love them more like Christ? Are you suitable to eat with?


    Luke 17:3

    So watch yourselves.
    "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.


    1 Corinthians 5:9-12 (Amplified Bible)


    9 I wrote you in my [previous] letter not to associate [closely and habitually] with unchaste (impure) people--

    10 Not [meaning of course that you must] altogether shun the immoral people of this world, or the greedy graspers and cheats and thieves or idolaters, since otherwise you would need to get out of the world and human society altogether!

    11 But now I write to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of [Christian] brother if he is known to be guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater [whose soul is devoted to any object that usurps the place of God], or is a person with a foul tongue [railing, abusing, reviling, slandering], or is a drunkard or a swindler or a robber. [No] you must not so much as eat with such a person.

    12 What [business] of mine is it and what right have I to judge outsiders? Is it not those inside [the church] upon whom you are to pass disciplinary judgment [passing censuring sentence on them as the facts require]?

    Thursday, July 06, 2006

    Great Quote

    "Spiritual maturity requires that we learn to drink from the half-empty cup."

    -Donald McCullough

    Kathy Womack




    kathy is one of my favorite painter/sculptors. She has an innate ability to capture the beauty, grace and fun of the "Terribly Interesting" woman. She has successfully done it again with the floppy hat woman ( I love floppy hats ) at the sculpture garden. Here is a picture ( and a few of my other favorites.

    Monday, July 03, 2006

    Terribly Interesting


    There is a French saying that women do not become interesting until they are 38. Turning 29 this year the thought came upon me that I should start this process immediately and become "terribly interesting." This has set me on a journey of what I think makes a woman interesting. What makes a woman interesting to you? Emily says it is something in her spirit - something about her that can't be expressed with words. I would have to agree. There are 4 things that attract me to women as friends.

    1. Grace and elegance - it is something about her confidence and comfortability in being a woman. Someone who relishes her femininity. This woman is described as a woman at rest in the fabulous book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge. Read this book and feel the beauty God created you to be.

    2. Passion - she is passionate about something. I love painting, writing, cooking, gardening, friends, and devouring the Word of God. I love the symphony. I love church.

    Passionate people I know -
    Autumn is an inspiration to me as she is passionate about motherhood, being a wife, and running (You are a Kenyan!)
    Tiffany is passionate about worship and I love to hear her beautiful voice.
    Reagan is passionate about Opera.
    Lori is passionate about children hearing and knowing the Word of God.
    Linda is passionate about God and prayer.
    Shelley is passionate about prayer.
    Emily is passionate about knowing God for herself (and about Brie - and tacos)

    3. Submission - a woman who is submissive in it's true Biblical form is a truly rare find. A woman who is committed to building and lifting up as she fulfills her God given role with excellence.

    4. Godliness - it is easy to go to church and find a Christian woman, but one who seeks to love and please her Savior above herself is a true anomaly. I see her as loving and devouring the Word of God and living by it. Her relationship is not second hand. No one is feeding her. She does not need table scraps from anyone else. She has a hunger for God and daily feasts at His banqueting table.

    I seek these things for myself and those around me. I long to experience the creative power of God this year by painting, sculpting, writing, and inviting women to be beautiful - inviting them to be themselves. I hope to attain this. The journey shall be Terribly Interesting.

    I will share about more beautiful people as I come across them.