Monday, June 27, 2011

One voice in a million

Three points converged this weekend to work on my mind. A thought that kept coming up over and over.

1.) My oldest Child turned 9- I was drawn to thinking about how unique each child is. My two are not very much alike despite the fact of being raised as similarly as possible. My son is almost never jealous, ever- trust me I did nothing to earn this he was just born that way. He talks faster than the human ear can process and he loves all things robotic.

2.) I heard this song: Natasha Bedingfield's "Strip Me"- and no it's not one of those nasty little pop songs you have to change the station for so your kids don't hear. It was in a movie and I liked it so much I looked it up on the net. Basically the song celebrates the fact that when all is stripped away from us in life, we still have a voice that can be heard. We are unique and we should not take that for granted.

3.) Our bible study in youth class Sunday was on spiritual gifts and then as very often happens, our pastor, who was preaching a totally unrelated sermon series, ended up spending most of his time on spiritual gifts. The idea struck me that our spiritual gifts are probably as unique as our DNA and God crafted it that way. He never wanted to create the same being twice.

That seems pretty significant. Don't you think?

He gave each of us a voice and those who recieve His spirit get talents (gifts) to express that unique voice to glorify Him is a way that only that person in that time can do.

It is the most tragic and heart breaking thing that we take the fact that we were crafted by a master craftsman for granted. It is misery that we treat ourselves like trash.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I cannot help but Love this guy

PS. it's not my hubby.
Steven Curtis Chapman.

He is a man who walks the talk. When his Daughter Maria was killed in a horrible accident, in which his son accidentally ran over her, he and his family fell into the arms of Christ. They never turned from Him, even when the anger came and the doubt came, they kept their faces turned to Him. The testimony they gave was Pure Power!

They were on every show- Larry King, Good Morning America, etc...
God shines in their faces, speaks in their words and they obviously living in victory in a fallen and pain filled world.
Here is a link to an interview: Powerful!

He re-wrote several song endings after her death. Cinderalla and Yours.

WELL, his new single just came out and it was such a wake up for Me and My husband. It's called "Do Everything" it comes from-
Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men

Here is the behind the song story:

Here is the link to hear it:

and Here are the Lyrics with my commentary in italics:

You’re picking up toys on the living room floor
for the 15th time today
Matching up socks and sweeping up lost
Cheerios that got away
You put a baby on your hip and color on your lips
and head out the door  -So been there!
And while I may not know you I bet I know you
Wonder sometimes does it matter at all  -Oh yeah, the endless cleaning & parenting
We’ll let me remind you it all matters just as long as you

Do everything you do to the glory of the One who made you -oops you got me, 'cause I have never thought of housework as part of that equation.
Cause He made you to do
Every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face
And tell the story of grace
With every move that you make
And every little thing you do

Maybe you’re that guy with the suit and tie
Maybe your shirt says your name
You may be hooking up mergers, cooking up burgers
But at the end of the day

Little stuff big stuff in between stuff
God sees it all the same
And while I may not know you I bet I know you
Wonder sometimes does it matter at all -Hubby confesses he never thought of having to do the other guys work in this light
We’ll let me remind you it all matters just as long as you do

Everything you do to the glory of the One who made you
Cause He made you
To do every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face
And tell the story of grace with every move that you make
And every little thing that you do

Well maybe you’re sitting in math class
Maybe anekatips on a mission in the Congo
Maybe you’re working at the office
Singing along with the radio
Maybe you’re dining at a five star
Or feeding orphans in Myanmar
Anywhere and everywhere you are
Whatever you do it all matters
So do what you do and don’t ever forget
to do

Everything you do to the glory of the One who made you
Cause He made you to do
Every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face
And tell the story of grace as you do
Everything you do to the glory of the One who made you
Cause He made you to do
Every little thing that you do to bring a smile to His face
And tell the story of grace with every move that you make
And every little thing that you do

Ooh oooooh
Every little thing you do

Now that my friends is the line of thinking that comes from a man who really knows the God he serves. Lord, I want to love you like that.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Father's day 2011
After the AM church service, my hubby grilled up several pounds of various meats. I mean just the smell alone had all our mouths watering badly. He loves to grill. My Dad and Mom came over to partake. I baked a red velvet cake and made my best potato salad ever- secret ingredients: Bacon and spicy brown mustard. He chilled a pure dripping sugar watermelon all night. We feasted. Afterward we pulled ourselves out of the food coma and we swam. My kids are ecstatic when Daddy swims. Mom's achy breaky back will not provide the launch sequence for total water lift off. Oh, but Daddy has it down to a science.
Yes, they cling to him like monkeys of the sea.

His water wresting skills are legendary.

My daughter reveling in the fact that this year she can touch bottom.

Family, it's the best kind of challenge. To be perfectly truthful, as soon as I got married I realized I had problems and issues I never even dreamed of. Parts of my personality reared their ugly heads like aliens who had been using me as a cocoon. I loved my husband and I sincerely wanted my marriage to be life long, so I started the long, hard, difficult work of therapy, bible study and right choices that would lead me to be a better wife.

Kids take the thing to a whole new level.

Things that I never noticed as a wife became glaring red flags as a mother. Since when did "Back to the Future" have so many curse words? Since when did so many movies have casual sex? TV shows? Songs? 

Since when did I get so self-centered, impatient, and generally greedy? Don't touch my candy bar kid! Just let mom sleep, text her message, check her email, etc...

When a little child is sitting next to you, one whom you are responsible for (yes that's a ton of bricks that hits you as you drive away from the hospital), you look at the world with reborn eyes. The muck and mire that years of culture have slowly grown over your retinas (cataracts of sin) get ripped off. 

I realized I wanted desperately to get this right.

For this little group, this little family that meant the world to me, I had to fight harder than I had ever fought before.

I strove to move close to God. As I did, I saw millions of dark areas of my heart, but I had a renewed vigor to root them out. In many ways I still struggle today, but my hate for my own selfishness that leads me to choose me over God or them is strong now.

The price is too high.

Laziness is too costly.

I pray God will give me wisdom, strength, and patience to navigate this world with them. I pray He will give me hope when it is not easy or fun.

Getting Family right is the Mount Everest of Life. Do it right and God walks away with tons of Glory.

I had to discipline my son on father's day and I began to feel hopeless. I was sure he would never understand what I was trying to teach. But that night he came to me and apologized and talked with me about his desire to do better and we talked about how much we both love each other. God hears my prayers, and just when I need Him most He is there.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Scouts Honor

I spent this past week as a craft/woodworking instructor to 110 boys ages 6-11. I stayed on my feet from 7:30 to 3:30 building bird houses, tool boxes and step stools. I was actually pretty proud of myself for mastering pre-drilled holes, wrangling split wood and nail holding without finger loss.

My son did things he has never done before- BB gun target bulls eyes, archery and swimming goals. It was so good to see him feeling proud of himself. We all need that every now and then. To learn something we really did not see ourselves ever learning.

God's the master of that in our lives. The character trait you never thought you would have- low and behold that's just the one He's got waiting in the wings for you. Patience, Hospitality, Courage, etc.. things that are maybe as foreign as Japanese Kabuki Dancing to you will be planted and grown by the Holy Spirit right in your heart.

I am watching that in a friend of mine. She has a newly acquired power to say no to old vices, a stirring to reach out to strangers, a hunger to read and understand God's word. I cannot describe the thrill I feel at seeing this in her. I am deeply proud of our God. I am just as thrilled to see me choosing joy over bitterness, speaking words of life, soft words over biting ones. Looking at the glass and not seeing it half empty and the rest of it taken up with poison, as my sister would say about our tendency to pessimism.

He makes me feel honorable and fulfilled in Him. He gives me a reason to look up.

 Makes me feel the words of this song:
Your Great Name

Saturday, June 4, 2011

On the Mountain Top

We just returned from Youth camp. If anyone has ever attended a Church Youth camp as a teen or as a chaperone, you know it's a Mountain Top experience. Everyone focuses on God for an entire week. All the things of Earth become strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

This Camp is like no other and after 4 years I cannot recommend it enough: .

This year was a spectacular example of that. 11 teenagers and 4 adults met with Jesus. Lives were changed- none of us left the same. We learned to accept nothing less than Jesus showing up. We learned that sin is a deadly pet we keep that must be killed with extreme prejudice or it will try to kill you. We face the fact that we need to say Yes to Jesus before we even know what He is asking. He's that Trustworthy! We learned that the end zone may be only a few steps away but only God can see that.
So Here we were on the Mountain.
(okay I'm not in the picture but I took it)

But the real kicker is how do you take the mountain top down with you into the valley of "back home".
You see "back home" we are the only ones who know what happened. "Back Home" most of the people we know don't really give a hoot what happened. "Back Home" it's easier to just accept that we would rather do what we want over what God wants. 

We have knit our little group together in the Holy Spirit and we will acknowledge everyday that what made the mountain amazing was Jesus and "Guess What?", He is in our hearts everyday, anywhere.

We refuse to accept mediocre Love, Power and Passion .

We will not leave our knees in prayer until Jesus shows up, shows off and Glorifies His name in our Church.

We will guard our hearts and listen to the warning of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

We will look at each other for signs of distress and offer ready help.

We will look for ways to speak life into others.

We will read and memorize His Word because we know it's a nuclear bomb of spiritual power to destroy the plans of Satan.

We will be warriors even if we do it alone.

We will remind ourselves our purpose is to make sure Jesus gets "Bragging Rights" to all that happens in our lives.
Oh, Lord hear our cry and be the power supply for the spotlight that shines on YOU!

Matthew 6: 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.