Tuesday, June 30, 2009

95: Stupid Bugs . . .

I hate bugs.

I mean, really, really hate bugs. Insects. Creepy-crawlies. Ewww.

There's a slight possibility that I have been known to trap insects under plastic cups until hubby could come home to, um, dispose of them. There's an even slighter possibility that if I know hubby will be in late I will draw a picture of my little prisoner on the cup so as he won't mistake the cup for random trash and set it free while I snooze.

Seriously. Hate. Bugs.

Today I was attempting to make a dent in our pile of unwashed dishes multiplying in the sink. And I saw it. Teeny-tiny body. Freakishly long appendages. Mr. Daddy Long Legs had taken up residence on one side of the sink next to a steak knife. See, most normal people would grab a paper towel, take care of the matter and be done with it.

Oh, no. Not me.

I spent the next 5 minutes trying not to touch any dish within 6 inches of the thing while focusing on not having an anxiety attack. Then I decided my next course of action.

I'd wait him out. He was headed toward the side of the sink with the disposal. Muah-ha-ha-ha!!!! As soon as he crossed over the mountainous divide I'd flush him down with a bug-size flash flood and flip the switch. Buh-bye Creepy McCreeperton.

In the midst of my ingenious plan my hubby happened to call just to say hi. When I explained what I was doing there was a moment of silence and then, "So . . .you're herding a spider??"

Well, when you say it like THAT it sounds a tad ridiculous.

I hate bugs.

Monday, June 29, 2009

94: Just Thinking Aloud . . .

Tonight, as I drove home from Bible study, I was thinking about some of the thoughts and questions that had arisen during our session. Specifically, I was thinking about what the Lord wants me to do with this life.

There is a pattern I see as I look back over my years. I know hindsight is 20/20, and this is probably not uncommon, but I see so many times in my life that I could have given more. Been more. Done more.

Not for lack of opportunity but for definite lack of faith. And definite succumbing to fear.

Again, probably not uncommon, but fear has always been my stronghold. Fear of failure, yes, but probably even moreso a fear of success. What if I try something and it actually works? Then what? I know that's weird. I never claimed to be, um, not weird.

So anyway. These days I'm trying harder not to let fear get the best of me. But I have ideas swirling around in my head of possible directions the Lord might be leading me and, honestly, they scare me to death. I mean, He's not telling me to move to the middle of a war-torn country or anything. I think that would warrant a healthy fear. But my fears are all about inadequacy and a loss of control. You know that story about Saul being called as king and when they looked for him he was hiding in the baggage? Yup. I so get that story.

I just feel so inadequate. Actually it doesn't even matter what the Lord calls me to do - sometimes I feel like I'm giving up before I even try. I know the verses about the Lord being our strength, the saying about the Lord equipping those He calls. My head knows all these things. It's just convincing the rest of me.

Really I have no nice, neat way to wrap this up tonight. Just getting some thoughts out of my head . . .

Sunday, June 28, 2009

93: Summertime

Locusts singing at dusk

Not having to dry or fix hair

Barefoot in the grass

Homemade ice cream

4th of July parades

Eating dinner outside just because

Delayed sunsets

I love summer :-)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

92: Manna

"Manna is only for a season."

When I heard those words at Bible study the other night they immediately penetrated my heart.

After the Israelites left Egypt, after blatant disobedience of the Lord, they were made to wander in the desert for forty years. The Lord being the gracious Lord that He is provided quail for them every evening and then flakes of bread-like food on the ground in the morning. The Israelites received this manna from heaven every day, except the Sabbath, for all forty years in the desert. Usually when I ponder this story I'm focused on the miracle of the provision. And miraculous it was.

But I hadn't thought about how much faith and obedience this strange heavenly provision required from the Israelites. Every morning they were to gather enough manna just for that day alone. (Before the Sabbath they were allowed to gather enough for two days so as to keep the Sabbath holy and not work.) Anybody who tried to gather more thinking they could save it were in for a nasty surprise the next day - maggots and a stench permeating the once edible supply. Ick. Bet they learned that lesson quickly.

So for forty years each family, each person had to rely on the Lord's provision just for that day. And trust that He would provide again the next day. And the next. They had no control and no choice but to believe He would provide.

And He always did.

Sometimes I feel similarly - waking up in the morning with no clue how I'm going to get through the day. But the Lord always, always provides what I need. Not always how I expected (um, bread from heaven anyone?) or how I desired (how many ways can you really prepare manna? That had to get old.) But I'm always provided for each and every day in the way I need - emotionally, spiritually, whatever.

Admittedly, sometimes in those seasons I get tired of living day to day wondering how the Lord will come through each day. It's a test of faith that I don't usually pass with flying colors, if at all. I'm a worrier, a planner. It's hard to let go of my plans and just trust in the Lord's daily provision.

That's why when I was reminded at Bible study that the manna for the Israelites was only for a season, that their promised land of milk and honey was coming, it lightened my heart. Those seasons of just barely making it spiritually or emotionally day to day are just that, seasons. They definitely serve a purpose and the Lord is glorified through them but, thank goodness, they don't last forever.

And even though the season of manna wasn't much fun for the Israelites, we have to remember that without it they never would have stepped one toe in the promised land. Without the Lord's daily sustenance they would have perished in the desert.

Hmmm. I may not always appreciate a season of manna but I'll take the Lord's provision any day over dying in a spiritual desert. "Manna is only for a season." Thank you, Lord, for manna!

Friday, June 26, 2009

91: My Favorite Poem

I guess this is kind of cheating but I believe I've posted this poem before. Oh, well. I figure it's so good that it's worth repeating. :-) The truth of it has stuck with me ever since I first read it in high school.

As the subject in the poem comes to find out, the intellect of some things will never compare to actually experiencing them . . .

When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer
Walt Whitman

When I heard the learn'd astronomer;
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me;
When I was shown the charts and the diagrams, to add, divide, and
measure them;
When I, sitting, heard the astronomer, where he lectured with much
applause in the lecture-room,
How soon, unaccountable, I became tired and sick;
Till rising and gliding out, I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

90: Letting Our Light Shine

I've noticed the last couple of evenings that the fireflies in our backyard are at it again, like a yard full of the world's smallest paparazzi.

It's a mesmerizing show and one of the wonders of God's creation.

Here's a fun firefly fact for you: Fireflies give off just about 100% of their light energy as, well, light. By comparison, a normal light bulb gives off only 10% of its energy as light. The remaining 90% is wasted as heat.

Jesus told us to "let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." [Matthew 5:16]

I heard it said once that, in nature, God makes His own visuals to go with His lessons. I think the firefly may be a great visual (literally) for Jesus' words to us in Matthew 5:16 - a reminder to let 100% of our spiritual light shine.

I have a feeling though, if you're like me, that we tend to be more like light bulbs - wasting our energy and only letting a little of our light shine through. Imagine how bright the bulb in the room would be if allowed to display 100% of its energy as light! Likewise, imagine how effective we would be at combating the darkness of the world around us if we all shone 100%!

So I guess tonight be a firefly. Not a light bulb. :-)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

89: Rambling

Apparently, Amoxicillin IS elephant repellant. Thank goodness. (But I would hope those pills would do something given they are almost the SIZE of an elephant - sheesh!)

But I find myself just as empty-handed as the past several nights when it comes to writing. Life is just tiring lately - I know you know the feeling - and right now writing just feels like one more thing to do. How funny though that it's when I'm on post #89 of 100 I start to feel the burn-out. I thought it would have come earlier. Like post #3 or something. :-)

Oh, I'm enjoying the writing. It's been quite a challenge, but I can honestly say I've enjoyed it and hope to continue writing regularly. Just maybe not every day. Some days are clearly not "writing days". (I nominate today as one of those.)

Anyway - just my rambling thoughts tonight.

(By the way, I finished "Riven" yesterday. Wow. Quite an ending. I literally gasped out loud when I realized where it was headed but I won't spoil it for you in case anyone plans on reading it . . .)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

88: Elephant Repellant

So, it seems that at some point last night an elephant must have sat on my face. The left side between my nose and cheekbone to be exact.

The doctor said it's a sinus infection but I'm not so sure.

Pretty sure there's an elephant loose around here.

I'm hitting the sack - nighty-night. all.

(And hopefully Amoxicillin keeps elephants away.)

Monday, June 22, 2009

87: Soundness of Mind

So I have a vague idea about how Bible translations work - some translate word for word from the original language and (I would imagine most) translate the idea presented into understandable language for the modern audience. (Again, I'm vague on this so corrections or more info always welcome!!)

I recently heard a very familiar verse, 2 Timothy 1:7, read from a different translation than I normally use and literally almost fell out of my seat. In fact, although I very much trust the source from which I heard it I still ran to the computer to double-check my hearing (I love biblegateway.com for many reasons, one being that you can read the same verse in a gazillion different languages and translations.).

Here's how that verse from the New International Version (NIV) that I normally read:

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

I'm well-acquainted with the beginning of this verse because I struggle so much with fear and anxiety. I have to remind myself over and over that my timidity, fear and anxiousness need to give way to the power available through the Spirit that lives in me!

Timidity/fear traded in for the Spirit's power. Check. Got it. I usually leave the verse there and kind of forget about the "of love and of self-discipline" part.

Until I heard the same verse read from the King James Version (KJV). The translators for the KJV took the idea presented in the original language and came up with a different way to say it:

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Sound mind.

Those two words spoke such peace and hope into my restless little soul I could hardly stand it. How I long for a sound mind - a mind not drowning in my own thoughts, fears and worries. And to see that God longs that for me as well - so much so that it's part of the Spirit He's given me - well, that just blows my mind.

I figure I just might not be the only one needing a "sound mind" these days, so I hope this is an encouragement to someone else! (And by the way, Beth Moore is the one I heard teach on this particular translation. I don't want to ever follow just one teacher but that lady has a gift to deliver the Word . . .if you've heard her then you know that's a major understatement!!)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

86: About Those Dads . . .

Happy Father's Day to all you dads, those about to be dads, those who desperately desire to be dads.

To those whose fathers are alive and well here on earth and to those whose fathers are also alive and well, just with their own Father in heaven. (No doubt difficult no matter how much, or little, time has passed.)

What a blessing godly, determined men are to all those around them! Do not underestimate the impact you have, the eternal significance you make in others' lives. It makes a real, tangible difference and generations are affected by your leadership.

(And a Happy Father's Day to my own amazing dad and to my wonderful husband!)

Now for some of my favorite fatherhood quotes . . .

Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope. ~Bill Cosby

It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons. ~Johann Schiller

A man never stands as tall as when he kneels to help a child. ~Knights of Pythagoras

He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. ~Clarence Budington Kelland

To her the name of father was another name for love. ~Fanny Fern

[quotes taken from quotegarden.com, quotations.about.com]

Saturday, June 20, 2009

85: Blah, Blah, Blah

Zero creative juice tonight.

Seems to be happening more often - maybe I'll blame it on summertime . . .

About to watch "A River Runs Through It" with hubby.

Really, really wish I had some Ben & Jerry's.

Will settle for any form of chocolate.

Why am I writing in very short sentences?

Movie time. :-)

Friday, June 19, 2009

84: Food For Thought

Today I had a barely-stomachable lunch (I doubt "stomachable" is even a word but, whatever, it's my blog and I'll make up words if I want to - lol!). The problem is that I had so looked forward to eating it because it used to be one of my favorite meals!

All through high school, college and beyond I have l-o-v-e-d Sonic. (If you don't live near a Sonic I do pity you - think drive-in yumminess with most any drink combination you can come up with.) Specifically I've always loved the same meal: a grilled cheese, french fries and whatever soft drink concoction sounds good at the moment. Usually Ocean Water or Cherry Limeade. Mmmmm.

However, over the past year or so we just really haven't eaten at Sonic much. Actually we haven't eaten out much at all. Partly for health reasons, somewhat for budget reasons and a little because the lack of Tex-Mex (which is a darn good reason). I do love me some good Tex-Mex . . .



The drink was still pretty yummy, although I was more than aware of the amount of red dye I was sucking down with the limeade. Ick.

But the grilled cheese. I haven't had white bread in so long I felt indulgent (and gross) eating it. And the cheese. Was it even real cheese? I'm kind of thinking "pastuerized processed cheese product" is more like it. Only because I paid for it, and I was really hungry, did I get it down.

The fries? I do believe I met my sodium intake for the week with my first two bites. Wowsers. Again, I ate them because I was hungry but I did not enjoy my meal nearly like I anticipated I would.

And, of course, that got me to thinking.

The more I ate Sonic in my younger days the more I became used to the salt, the grease, the "cheese product". And I craved it. But after a little while of not eating it I didn't crave it quite so much. And after even more time, the thing I used to crave and enjoy so much had quite the opposite effect on me.

The food didn't change. My tastes did.

And here's my thought:

Isn't sin the same way?

The more we partake of it, the less it offends our senses. What at first shocks us gradually becomes less shocking, less offensive, less salty to our soul. It becomes normal. We trade in the good cheddar for the cheese product.

So tonight I'm wondering where my spiritual taste needs to change. Where do I need to purge the "junk food" from my soul and feed it the good stuff. The real stuff.

Literally food for thought tonight. :-)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

83: Good Stuff

Sometimes I get so focused on what I'm waiting for that I forget to focus on what God HAS done (which is a LOT - major understatement there).

One example . . . recently it hit me that much of certain behavior coming from my 3 year old was likely stemming from loneliness. (Moving three states over, new baby, preschool was a no-go. She's found a few playmates but no real best buddy. I think that's what she's missing so much.)

This revelation both relieved me (something fixable) and horrified me. My heart ached and I immediately started praying that the Lord would send her a little girlfriend her age that lived close-by. I happened to have Bible study that night so I added it to the prayer requests because my heart was so heavy over it.

The very next morning a sweet girl from Bible study emailed to let me know her 3 year old daughter would love to play.

(Insert jaw dropping to ground here.)

Also, that afternoon our darling neighbor (a few years older and a great "big sister" role) came to play. And then was able to come back the next morning.

And THEN we were able to get together with some of her Sunday school friends this morning.

Um, I think that pretty much took care of the loneliness this week. :-)

Granted, she would still love to have a little best buddy but I took all this as an affirmative "I've got this" from the Lord.

He's so good to us. The creator of the universe cares if my preschooler is lonely.

Love it. Love Him. Thank you, Lord!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

82:Whatcha Reading?

I'm t-i-r-e-d tonight. I'm sure most of you are, too. So here we go, short and sweet:

Whatcha reading these days?

I just started a new book, Riven by Jerry Jenkins. Not sure what I think about it yet. The storyline already has me hooked but it's a bit dialogue heavy. As we used to drill into our students back in my teaching days - "show, don't tell". As in, allude to the facts, describe the environment, use the reader's imagination to draw them into the story. It's much more fun than just outright telling them every detail I think. But, as I said, the storyline's already got me and I'm reading every spare moment I get to find out what happens!

Curious to hear what books y'all's noses are in currently . . .

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

81: Duality

This is short, but I've had a question rattling around in my head all day that I just can't settle:

How do we live in both expectant hope and settled contentment? In other words, how do I faithfully hope for something with my whole heart while trying to fulfill God's purposes in the present - also with my whole heart? It feels a little like trying to be two places at once for me . . .


Monday, June 15, 2009

80: The Pirate Made Me Do It

I got the best laugh today in the most unexpected place as I was holding for customer service at Shutterfly.

Having tried unsuccessfully for the past hour (in between assorted household crises) to make a certain option for printing work, I decided to give them a call. Not usually how I care to spend my free time during an already hair-pulling-out kind of day.

As I listened to the monotonous recording telling me to press 1 for this or press 2 for that I heard something that made me smile: "Press 6 to listen to these options from a pirate."


I couldn't help it.

I did it.

I pressed "6".

And laughed for the next 30 seconds straight as I heard a scruffy maritime voice tell me to "press 3 if our website makes you feel like walking the plank" or to "press 2 if it looks like your pictures lost a sword fight".


It was totally what I needed today. Not what I expected, but what I needed for sure. :-)

So, thanks Shutterfly for making me feel a little less like pulling out my hair today.

(And just in case you need a laugh, too, call them at 1-888-225-7159 . . . I dare you to press 6.)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

79: Yet I Will Rejoice . . .

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,

18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Habukkuk 3:17-18

I love these verses in Habukkuk.

How many of us have experienced the circumstances of verse 17? (Well, the general idea anyway . . . I can't say I have much experience with sheep pens or tending the fields. And thank goodness - I've always thought I would make a horrible farm girl!) But I'm pretty sure most of us have experienced the disappointment of unfruitful expectations or seemingly hopeless situations. Verse 17 living is a certain condition of existing in a fallen world.

But as common as verse 17 living is, how often do we have a verse 18 response: "yet I will rejoice in the LORD."? And I'm speaking to myself as the most needy hearer of this message tonight. Try putting your own "verse 17" circumstances into the phrasing . . .

Though the job search is unpromising . . .
Though the loved one is no longer on this earth . . .
Though this day seems unending and overwhelming. . .
Though the doctor report is grim . . .
Though the waiting seems unbearable . . .
Though [whatever life is throwing at you] . . .

Yet I will rejoice in the LORD.
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Verse 18 overflows with hope in the face of less than hopeful circumstances. It reminds us that our joy should be welling up not from the circumstances but from Who is sovereign over those circumstances.

I'm not trying to be trite here. I know there's a lot of pain out there. Life is not easy - that's for sure. But it will swallow us alive if we allow circumstances to dictate our responses. (Again, I can only say that because I've experienced both the disappointment of the things of life but also the deep joy tied to the things of God. The latter is much better - hands down.)

So my prayer for all of us tonight is that regardless of what "your" verse 17 looks like right now, that you will be able to experience a verse 18 response . . .

"Yet I will rejoice in the LORD"

Saturday, June 13, 2009

78: "Wisdom"

While there are certainly many wise people walking the earth, reading through these quotes reminded me that human "wisdom" is not without fault and to remember Who is truly wise . . .

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” — Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), maker of big business mainframe computers, arguing against the PC in 1977.

“A rocket will never be able to leave the Earth’s atmosphere.” — New York Times, 1936.

“The horse is here to stay but the automobile is only a novelty – a fad.” — The president of the Michigan Savings Bank advising Henry Ford’s lawyer, Horace Rackham, not to invest in the Ford Motor Co., 1903

“The world potential market for copying machines is 5000 at most.” — IBM, to the eventual founders of Xerox, saying the photocopier had no market large enough to justify production, 1959.

“[Television] won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” — Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox, 1946.

“Nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality in 10 years.” -– Alex Lewyt, president of vacuum cleaner company Lewyt Corp., in the New York Times in 1955. [That one cracks me up!!!!]

For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight.
1 Corinthians 3:19a

[quotes from listverse.com or this link]

Friday, June 12, 2009

77: Really? These Are My Choices?

So after sifting through Father's Day cards at CVS this evening I've come to two conclusions:

1) CVS has really lame Father's Day cards

2) Judging by the majority of cards I saw, society apparently thinks fathers fall into one of the following categories:

a) the beer guzzlers
b) the, um, gas producers (to put it delicately)
c) the potty sitters
d) the lazy remote-control loving
e) some combination of the above

Does this bother anyone else???

Thursday, June 11, 2009

76: Dear Me . . .

Today I came across a box of old pictures that I couldn't help but flip through. As I perused through elementary and junior high memories I couldn't help but think of what I wish I'd known back then.

I know everything is clearer in hindsight, but if 30-Something Me could somehow talk to Teenage Me I think I would tell her:

-Don't worry so much about what people (especially boys) think about you.

-Form an opinion and don't be afraid to share it!

-Grace, not works, honey.

-Don't be so afraid of failure. Or success, for that matter.

-Confidence comes from knowing who you are in the Lord - any other place is sinking sand.

And probably about a gazillion other things.

Which makes me wonder:

Fast-forward fifteen years or so and I wonder, what would my 40-something self want to say to my 30-something self?

(A time-traveling DeLorean would so rock right now . . .)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

75: Blank

I have no idea what to write tonight.

No. Idea.

It's been a long day with a poor, feverish little girl. But also a good day as I saw how the Lord provided peace and comfort (and Tylenol!) throughout the day.

After 15 hours of being mommy I sat down only to realize I hadn't blogged yet today. Hmmm. And try as I might there is no coherent thought forming in this tired little brain of mine.

So tonight I'm just going to say I'm so thankful for the Lord - not only all He provides but for who He is.

And nighty-night. :-)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

74: A Question

I forget where I heard or read the following question, but it was several days ago and it has stuck in my soul ever since:

What would you give up so that others may eat?

The context was raising money to support missionaries serving the poorest of poor in certain regions of Africa. Supplies were running low and demand rising. And the question was asked.

For some reason the phrasing of the question puts a different perspective on the issue. It's not an issue of working it into a budget. It's an issue of what most-likely frivolous item I can do without so that someone else can EAT.

I know times are tough. Money is tight. But when I look around my house and see what we have compared to the great majority of the world, my "tough" times are nothing in comparison.

So I'm asking myself this question several times a day and am wondering if we all asked it - and acted upon it - what lives would be changed. What physical needs would be met so that spiritual ones might be addressed.
The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.
Matthew 25:40

Just some food for thought . . . (mostly for myself).

Monday, June 8, 2009

73: Power

I was reminded of a beautiful truth tonight at Bible study . . .

If you're a believer, when you receive the Holy Spirit ALL of the Spirit resides in you. (Eph 1:13) Not just a little at first. You don't grow into it. He's ALL there. As we grow in our faith we tend to hear Him better but He's a full-time resident all the time.

And when the Spirit is in us - ALL of the Spirit - that means we have ALL the power of the Spirit available to us as well.

So exactly what kind of power is this??

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms
Ephesians 1:18-20 [emphasis mine]

The very same power that raised Christ from the dead resides in us through the Spirit.

Let that sink in for a second.

Read it again.

Ever feel hopeless? Dead raising power.

At the end of your rope? Dead raising power.

Trapped? Dead raising power.

Confused? Dead raising power.

That gets me all excited just typing it! And now that we know what kind of power resides in us, check out what else the Word has to say about this life-giving, death defying, Spirit-driven source within us: [all emphases mine]

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. I Corinthians 1:18

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being Ephesians 3:16

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Ephesians 6:10

h this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. 2 Thessalonians 1:11

I could literally go on and on. (Do a keyword search on "power" at biblegateway.com and you can read through the whole list if you want more).

The more I read through these verses and come to the realization of Christ's power within me to accomplish His purposes I'm reminded of another verse . . .

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31


Sunday, June 7, 2009

72: Joy

According to our pastor this morning:

Joy = deep, resilient happiness

Resilient happiness . . .

I like that :-)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

71: And Now for Something Completely Different . . .

**so it's Sunday now and I just logged on and noticed you can't even read the right side of the stinkin' graph!!! Just trying to keep you in suspense ;-) It's supposed to say "Making Phone Calls" then "Text Messaging" then "Checking the Time". I know someone out there was losing sleep over this . . .**

Does anyone else ever feel like this?? LOL!!!

song chart memes
see more Funny Graphs

Friday, June 5, 2009

70: Thoughts on Running

Tonight was the perfect - I mean perfect - night for a run. A dusky sunset signaling the last chapter of the day was upon us. A slight coolness just enough to put a flush in my cheeks. Bunny rabbits out for an evening snack, twitchy little noses alert to an intruder and then suddenly little cotton tails are disappearing into the shrubs.


It got me thinking how similar running is to our Christian journey here on earth. (To be fair, I solicited Hubby's - or "Mr. Marathon" as I like to call him - help on this one. I mean, I like to run but he really likes to run . . .)

If not a runner or athlete, Paul must have been in good company with some as he used those topics several times in his letters to make his point.

In 1 Corinthians 9:24 he says,
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

(I'm pretty sure Paul would have liked ESPN . . .)

So here are our (me and Mr. Marathon) thoughts tonight on physical running and running the Christian race of this life:

-Expect steady growth. It's amazing how quickly my body is able to handle longer distances in such a short amount of time. What I couldn't do a week ago I can do now. What I can't do today I hope to be able to conquer next week. Faith-wise I'm a lot further than I was a few years ago but I sure hope to be stronger in the days to come.

-Reading about it is not the same as doing it. Knowledge is not the same as action.

-Having the right gear doesn't necessarily make you a runner. I could have the latest GPS, most advanced shoes, lightest clothes, etc. but it's still the same pair of legs and lungs having to do the work. Likewise, having the fish sticker on your car, praise music on your iPod, or latest Bible translation is not an indicator of faith. The fruit of your life, however, is.

-Surround yourself with people who will encourage you, especially at crucial points during the race. The ones who actually jump in and run with you for a while are the best.

-Discipline and self-control are a must. Otherwise you will burn-out from pushing too hard or from the boredom of not pushing hard enough.

-A run takes such a small portion of the day yet makes such a huge difference in a person's well-being. Same goes for spending time in the Word! (And don't we drag our feet so many times on both those things?)

-Cliche but true in both instances: the biggest gains often come through some painful, difficult circumstances.

I'm sure we could go on and on. But before this post turns into a, well, marathon I'll leave you with another favorite "running" verse from Paul. I pray with all my heart that when all the hard work of this life is complete, when I spot the finish line to this earthly race that I will also be able to say:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7

Thursday, June 4, 2009

69: Happy List

To be honest it's been a pretty cruddy day. I actually spent the last 15 minutes looking for some inspirational video to post so I wouldn't actually have to write. I didn't find anything. So here I am trying to find something worthwhile to write when I really just feel like curling up under my covers for the next hundred years.

Ironically, what eventually popped in my head was to make a Happy List. You know, ten things to be happy about right now or something bright and sunshiny like that. So in an effort to keep up this 100 posts in 100 days thing going here is my happy list . . . (Did anyone ever see "Man of the House" with Tommy Lee Jones? I can't help but picture him saying, "But this IS my happy face." right now.) Ooh - that can be number one . . .

1. Thinking about TLJ saying "This IS my happy face."

2. Chocolate chips in cupboard calling my name (or, as they should be called, serotonin in a bag)

3. Hubby coming home from work on his white horse to save the day

4. Thinking about my baby girl playing with her toesies - how can that not make me smile?

5. Flip-flop weather

6. My older girl's prayer tonight was beyond precious

7. New plug-ins making the house smell tropical

8. Rain on the roof

9. Ridiculous reality TV

10. DVR - love watching Conan without having to stay up way late (and in my world anything past 9:00 is way late)

Anyone out there want to share what's making them happy right now???

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

68: Waiting. And Waiting . . .

I learned an astounding fact the other night at my Bible study group.

(By the way - YAY for ladies' Bible studies! If you ever have the chance to be a part of one, do it if you can. You will not regret the fellowship and sweet teachings as you press in together to learn more about the Lord! Okay . . .that sound is me stepping off my soapbox now. Anyone ever wonder where that saying comes from? Do people ever really stand on soapboxes to preach??? Sorry, even my digression is digressing now . . .)

Okay - back to that astounding fact I mentioned way up there :-)

Did you realize that David was anointed king of Israel when he was 15 years old?

Now, any guesses on how old he was when he actually took the reins of kingship over all of Israel?



That is twenty-two stinkin' years that the "man after God's own heart" had to wait for a promise from the Lord to come to fruition. How exactly does one receive a promise of royalty one day and go back to tending sheep the next is beyond me!! And I thought MY waits lately had been long.

The Word tells us that:
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is unfailing. He is not slow or forgetful. That means if I'm in a season of waiting it is by His divine purpose (whether I see or understand that purpose is not imperative to the plan I'm coming to find out). Not that it makes waiting easy. Waiting is so hard. I catch myself (often) thinking that if I just knew the outcome then I could withstand the waiting. And then I'm pretty sure I hear the sound of God rolling His eyes at me. Lovingly, of course. But eye rolling for sure. That's kind of the point of faith I suppose.

I just (selfishly) hope my current season of waiting doesn't last 22 years . . . :-)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

67: Rending Hearts

Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
Joel 2:13

I stumbled upon this verse while looking for another one. (That happens quite a bit - my curious mind often distracts me from the task at hand.) For whatever reason it caught my eye and, not knowing what "rend" meant of course I had to look it up. Go ahead. Stamp "n-e-r-d" right on my forehead. Hey, I just noticed that "nerd" and "rend" have the same letters. Ah. Now you can go ahead and stamp "B-I-G n-e-r-d" up there.

Anyhow, this is what I got:

–verb (used with object)
1. to separate into parts with force or violence: The storm rent the ship to pieces.
2. to tear apart, split, or divide: a racial problem that is rending the nation.
3. to pull or tear violently (often fol. by away, off, up, etc.).
4. to tear (one's garments or hair) in grief, rage, etc.
5. to disturb (the air) sharply with loud noise.
6. to harrow or distress (the heart) with painful feelings.

Wowsers - what a powerful word picture!

In the verse from Joel, the Lord was once again beseeching His people to return to Him, offering compassion for sincere repentance, an exchange of forgiveness instead of calamity. Rather than watch the people tear their garments as the traditional (and probably tired) means of showing grief, the Lord wanted to see REAL change.

Not a torn garment, but a torn heart.

Not a meaningless (or as it had become) outward show, but a distressing internal metamorphosis.

We are often critical of the "stiff-necked" Israelites who famously yo-yoed between their Lord and idols/foreigners/themselves. But I am the first to admit I can be pretty darn stiff-necked myself.

And how easy has it become to mutter a few "Please forgive me"s versus allowing our heart to be ripped at our inequity?

Rend our hearts, O Lord!

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."
Psalm 51:17

Monday, June 1, 2009