Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Coming Out of the Desert

This Blog is updated each Tuesday.
I have often told my husband that I belong in the city or in the country, but not in between. I know that sounds odd. It's just something in my wiring. We have moved to the country, but I feel more connected to God and others here than I ever did in the suburbs. I know it may sound unusual, but it was God's magnificent provision for my heart. I feel like I have spiritually come out of hibernation. I can hear God so clearly. I can speak His word more easily. I can love my friends better than I did before. I wasn't sure what ignited this. I know it was obedience and quiet. My mind keeps thinking of John the Baptist and his time in the wilderness. When he came out of the quiet desert place, he had something to say. He had "Meat" to bring to the table. He was not a man who brought frilly desserts that make people feel good. He brought something to chew on. He brought something to digest. In my service, that's what I long to do. I want to bring meat to the table. I want to be so content and quiet with the Lord that I have something of value to offer you. I want to bring something that will point you back to God and make you long to love Him in a new way. I am praying that as I sit alone in the peace of this restorative home I hear His words in the quiet. 

Sometimes as I withdraw I wonder why people step on people to get positions. I wonder if people are stepping on me on their way somewhere else, somewhere "better." People are rude. People are hurtful. People are selfish. People want what you have. People want your calling! They will try to steal it. Your husband will never be enough. Your kids will never obey enough. Your friends will never validate you enough. Be Christ anyway. Show kindness anyway. Turn the other cheek anyway. 
Turn over tables if you have to.

I read a verse on a friend's blog the other day and thought it was amazingly appropriate to the culture of women in the church today. (www.kynasaul.blogspot.com)

If you've gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don't push your way to the front; don't sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. 
Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.

Philippians 2:1-4 (The Message)

I am thankful for the many deep-spirited friends I have. I love you, Kyna, Emily, Carla, Tiffany, Melissa, Anne, Tanya, Christine, Rebecca, Shelley, Suzi, and many more). 
Thank you all for your love of Jesus directed at me!
Word for the day!


   [mon-er-jiz-uhm] Show IPA Pronunciation  
–noun Theology.
the doctrine that the Holy Ghost acts independently of the human will in the work of regeneration. 
(compare synergism definition 3)
Origin:  1865–70; mon- +Gk √©rg(on) work,deed + -ism 

Friday, February 20, 2009

Our Pet Lady Bugs

Laomai and I decided to share with you about our ladybugs. With a hundred year old house you would expect to find bugs, but all we have found are those of the lady variety. Lots of them. I love that they are here. This one lives on my lamp with his wife. I am sure that they are madly in love or I wouldn't bother writing their story. It is a beautiful one.

To keep up with my Under the Tuscan Sun theme, here is an excerpt about . . . lady bugs!

Katherine to Frances: 
"Listen, when I was a little girl, I used to spend hours looking for ladybugs. Finally, I'd just give up and fall asleep in the grass. When I woke up, they were crawling all over me."

Frances: "So? "

Katherine: "So go work on your house and forget about it." 

"What are four walls, anyway?
They are what they contain. 
The house protects the dreamer. 
Unthinkably good things can happen, even late in the game.
It's such a surprise."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Terrible Ideas

There is a part in Under the Tuscan Sun when Katherine sees Frances looking at a villa for sale on a bulletin board. 

Katherine: "It's a nice little villa. Are you going to buy it?"
Frances: "The way my life is going that would be a terrible idea."
Katherine: "Terrible ideas. Don't you just love those."

The bus gets stuck in front of the villa because of a herd of sheep. She hops off and goes in. The lady refuses to sell to her until a bird poops on her head. It's a sign from God. 
The rest is history.

I feel like that. Nothing could have made me choose this journey on my own. A lot of days I feel like a bird pooped on my head. I am beginning to consider it a special anointing. As I look around, I am amazed at what God did while I wasn't looking. I am overwhelmed by the time and commitment people have given to serve here. Terrible ideas.

How often do the things of God not look the most appealing. How often we settle for the shore of fun oriented Jesus and we miss the thrill and trust the deep water requires. 

"Put out into deep water..." - Luke 5:4

You must leave the shore of all that is comfortable. 
Put out into deep water.
Have any terrible ideas? I'm game.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Come Away, My Beloved

I wanted to share something from one of my favorite books this week. Enjoy

"How can you say . . . 'Brother let me remove the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye?" Luke 6:42

  O My people, I have called you to repentance and confession and forgiveness and cleansing; but you have listened to my words as though they were slight rustlings in the tree tops--as though they were of little consequence and could be brushed aside at will. Behold, I say to you: You cannot resist My Spirit without suffering pain; and you cannot turn a deaf ear to My words without falling into the snare of the enemy.

  You have not cried to me with all of your hearts, but you have complained that I have not heard your prayers. As it is written: He [the Lord] is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6). And again: "You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with ALL your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13.

  Look no more to My hand to supply freely your needs when you have not humbled your hearts and cleansed your hands and come to Me with the sacrifice I have required--even a broken and a contrite heart. You need not expect Me to speak to you when your ears are heavy from listening to evil reports.

  Just as there can come no healing to the physical body until first the poison is removed from the system, so there can come no blessing and revival and renewal to My Body, the Church, until evil is put away and sins are purged. Your eyes will not look upon My face while they are still engaged in viewing faults and imperfections in the brethren. When you look to Me in truth and sincerity and repentance, you shall indeed see Me, and having seen Me, you will look upon your brothers and sisters with love and understanding and patience, knowing full well the needs in  your own heart and life.

  Behold, after the weeds are cleared; after the fallow ground is broken up; yes, after the rocks have been removed: Then I will send the showers, and then I will minister to your hearts in kindness and blessing. Although My heart has been grieved, I love you; and though I have hidden My face from you for a time, in great tenderness I will gather you again to Myself.

  I will withhold My chastening rod when you turn to Me in repentance. If you confess your sins and recognize your transgressions, I will be faithful to you and forgive you. I will cleanse and restore you. You will find peace. You will say the tears of godly sorrow have been sweet.

  The heart that grieves over sin shall experience genuine comfort. There is nothing like it in any of the comforts of this world. If you bathe my feet in your tears, I shall clasp you to my heart in love. I cannot describe to you My love. I can only give it to you. It is beyond the Cross. Go through. The Spirit alone can communicate what lies on the other side.

from Come Away, My Beloved by Frances J Roberts

Hard Working Men!

These fabulous people have been graciously serving Gomer for several days each week the past few weeks. Much sanding has been done and the heat gun is a big hit! Andy (below) has run plumbing for our washer and sink as well as done electrical and septic work! He is our hero! Thank you Andy, Stephen, Reagan, Ryan, and our dear Molly!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

That Old Sentimental Feeling

This Blog is updated each Tuesday.
If you thought my nostalgia has worn off since last week, you are mistaken. Through a series of events my memory has been refreshed time and time again. I cannot even begin to tell you how grateful I am for the Life God has graciously lavished upon me. I never thought I would end up living as much as I do. Sometimes I wonder why I was chosen to get to have all I have. I am amazed by the restorative kindness of God.
This past week I was deeply grieved by the passing of a dear friend of mine who gave up a fifteen year fight with breast cancer. As I sat in the funeral home pondering her life of serving and giving to others, I found myself reflective. 

I thought about the loss of my second brother to cancer..to addiction, a friend who lost her 2 year old in a car wreck, losing MaCille. I thought about losing twins and hearing the words tumor in your uterus. There is a deeply funny thing about death..it causes you to long for life. As I emerged, transforming (if you will) into 2009, I found myself deeply humbled and grateful because I have another day to breathe. I have another day to kiss my daughter. I have another day to live

What will you do with your day today? 
(I began going through many of my brother's pictures that were on his computer and have posted some of them here.)
(Under the twin bridges in Waco, TX)
Isaiah 38

15 But what can I say? 
       He has spoken to me, and he himself has done this. 
       I will walk humbly all my years 
       because of this anguish of my soul.

 16 Lord, by such things men live; 
       and my spirit finds life in them too. 
       You restored me to health 
       and let me live.

 17 Surely it was for my benefit 
       that I suffered such anguish. 
       In your love you kept me 
       from the pit of destruction; 
       you have put all my sins 
       behind your back.

 18 For the grave cannot praise you, 
       death cannot sing your praise; 
       those who go down to the pit 
       cannot hope for your faithfulness.

 19 The living, the living—they praise you, 
       as I am doing today; 
       fathers tell their children 
       about your faithfulness.

 20 The LORD will save me, 
       and we will sing with stringed instruments 
       all the days of our lives 
       in the temple of the LORD.

in loving memory of Patt Carmel

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