Monday, December 13, 2010

Finding Rest in His Plan

I have a 45 minute commute to work. I'm only there three days a week so it's not daunting. However, I always feel like I'm running behind because before I head to work I drop 3 kids at school and one child to grandma. If anyone runs the least bit behind, then I'm behind. The only way to make up that time, in my mind, is to exceed the speed limit ever so slightly. *wink*wink.

Today was no exception. Driving down the freeway I saw the familiar shape of a law enforcement vehicle. I was going 67 mph in a 65 zone, so I was comfortable to pass him as he was caught behind a semi truck and going below the speed limit. As I passed him I noticed two things; first, he was off duty and second he was from a town 20 miles south of where I was.

"Great," I thought, "I'm going to be stuck going the speed limit for the next 20 miles."

I considered hiding between semi-trucks until I could get far enough away that I could make up some time and get to work. Then a question hit often do we, as Christians do the same thing? We drive 80 mph until we see a police car then we slow down. Are we waiting for God to put up an "out of service" sign so we can get passed him and continue on our same path. 

Instead of speeding toward something that may or may not be part of his plan for your life, why not rest in His shadow. He will empower everything we do if we let Him.

Let's imagine we have done that. We have rested in His shadow and allowed his plan to be unveiled slowly. Can you imagine how much more energy we'll have to do His work? 

Rest in Him

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Daddy to the Rescue

I caught a glimpse of God through my husband today. It's a beautiful thing when moments like this one occur.
The neighborhood kids were outside as usual, tossing the ball around. My kids quickly got their football and joined in on the fun.  My oldest (and quietest) son, Isaac, went across the street where the lawn spans three homes without a break.  A couple of older and bigger kids came to play too. The game quickly turned from a friendly game of catch to a competitive game of tackle. Rather than come crying or tattling to me or demanding he get his ball back, he came home to play.

When I asked him what happened (even though I saw the whole thing unfold) he simply said, "I didn't want to play anymore." I asked him why, to which he simply responded, "tackle."
The mother bear in me wanted to go demanding the ball back or tell them to go back to the game of catch. But I know my son. He would have hated me doing that!

He started  a new game with the smaller of the boys. They didn't want to participate in the tackle game either so they came to our yard with Isaac.  But, as I've been told by more than one (non-related) adult lately...people follow Isaac. There's something about him to which other kids gravitate. So of course the other boys came over, along with a girl who was smaller, but her mouth was just as big.

I texted my husband who was next door at the church. Three simple sentences, "Come out. Big and big mouthed boys. Your son's intimidated."

Sure enough the steel doors of the church opened and I thought, " you're gonna get it, boys...."
I should have known better. My husband in his own quiet way, joined in the game.  Without anyone (but me) noticing- the simple game of catch Isaac was hoping for gradually made it's way to a different part of the yard. 

Isn't that how God moves sometimes? He doesn't completely change our circumstance or take that difficult situation away the way we hope He does. He just, every so quietly, puts himself between us our situation. He takes the brunt of whatever force comes at us. What a comfort that gives me.

I am so grateful. So blessed. So beyond amazed that I was chosen to be His!

Monday, December 6, 2010

God's Plans and Timing

As Christians we all say some pretty basic things about our "walk." We say things like, "God's never late/He's always on time;" "God's timing is perfect." We remind people, in times of difficulty, of Romans 8:28 which says, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

I'd like to share with you how I know these things to be true, specifically, in my life.

About 18 years ago a man named, Bill Clark, feeling led of God, left his hometown and successful business. His wife, Pat, was in a place of management at her job.  Their sons, Mike and Will, were in junior high and high school with friends they'd known their whole life. They moved to a town where they only knew one other family, Bill's sister and her family.

Starting from scratch, they struggled to maintain the business and Pat had much difficulty finding a job. They struggled for a long time, but Bill finally gave up his business and went to work for someone else and Pat found a job with nowhere near the benefits of her previous job.

When Bill and Pat found a church they could call home, it was 20 minutes away.  However, it was the right fit for them and their family. They lead youth and their sons eventually became a part of the worship team.  Will and Mike even found girlfriends through this church.

Fast forward a few years....Bill and Pat are managing at their respective jobs but certainly not without difficulty by way of illness, injury and finance.  Mike has the same girlfriend but Will has moved on. 
It just so happens Mike's girlfriend, Amy, goes to school with someone she thinks might be interested in Will. So it becomes a setup.  Amy has her friend, Elaine, drive her the 20 minutes to Will and Mike's house to meet the family.

Fast forward again...Will and the "setup," Elaine get married followed the next year by Mike and Amy.  Today Will & Elaine and Mike & Amy have given Bill and Pat 1 grandchild in Heaven and 7 here on earth.

Why go through that whole story? To tell you! God's timing is perfect, "He works all things for the good of of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

I'm sure Bill and Pat wondered why God brought them from their, "good" life just to be trapped by the pain and struggle of this path. We may wonder why God's taken us on a particular journey and maybe you question whether you're even walking in His will. But PLEASE consider He may working out his purpose through you and maybe not specifically for you. That's a tough one to swallow, I'm sure. But if Bill and Pat had given up and run back to what was comfortable and safe, I wouldn't have my husband or 5 children, who I love so dearly!

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Love/Hate with Apple right now!

I love gadgets. The newest latest phones, cameras, laptops, etc. thrill me. I love reading about them and offering my opinions to those that are asking.

My latest love is the new Apple iPod Touch. 
My first iPod was a mini (first generation), it was pink and so cute. It lasted me 3 years before the battery lost it's ability to hold a charge. So for my birthday I received the first generation iPod Nano. So cute. Then of all things, Apple comes out with the Touch! Ughghgh I was dying from the envy of it.  Then my mom (who is slightly technologically challenged) received one for Christmas. When she saw all the things it could do it overwhelmed her and she offered to trade me!  Who was I to refuse that offer?

The following Mother's Day I had a new stereo installed that came equipped to play my iPod without an FM transmitter and 1 year later my first generation iPod Touch DIED!!

I think I may have cried over my loss.

I finally was able to replace my iPod touch with the generation 4. It's amazing. It has a camera and HD video capabilities! I immediately get home and plug it into my trusty iBook G4 (yes it's old, but it has been faithful and I hope to replace it for Christmas). Buzz...iTunes bounces open....Beep....error...WHAT?!?!?!  I have to have Mac OS X 10.5 or newer.  Sadly, my iBook is incapable of upgrading.

Why didn't anyone tell me about this? Why didn't I think of asking? Ugghghgh!

Did I give up? No Way!! I used family members' computers. While I don't have my own music choices, I have some great Elvis Live songs and Celine Dion classics. It'll'll do...FOR NOW.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Book Review: Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado

This book was written to challenge us as Christians to take on the message of the Gospel to a new level. A level outside ourselves and into the world in which we live.  Lucado poses the question to the reader, "Might it happen again?" in reference to the common people of Jesus' day, who changed the world around them.

How I loved this challenge. We all think we are doing our job by going to church, paying our tithes and listening to Christian music. But how is that affecting our world or even our circle. John the Baptist wasn't afraid to speak up to the people who were doing those things but little else in their hearts. Why should we be afraid?

There are billions living in poverty while our children whine over the latest craze.  We feel like we don't have enough to help, aren't smart enough to tell someone about theology. In his book, Lucado reminds us not to forget the basics. If we love, we can help. People will be open to the truths of the Gospel if we love them first. Jesus used the simplest of men just as He's called us for the same. 

The discussion and action section at the end of the book that correlates with each chapter is a HUGE springboard to any person or group that's ready to "Out Live" their lives!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Eyes have been Opened

I love how God confirms things.
This won't take long, but I must share...
We live in a two BR home with one bathroom and 6 people. It hasn't always been this way. We moved here after selling our 3br/2bth rather quickly. A temporary move but a significant one.
I love having company. Making dinner or coffee and dessert and sharing it with others. For some reason I didn't do it often. Whether lack of confidence in my cooking or lack of space to "entertain."
Now that we live in our humble home, even less do I feel at ease to invite anyone in.

A friend called and asked to spend the night. I laughed and asked, "you know where I live, right?" She laughed and said. "yes."
Who was I to say no. She just need a place to "crash" for the night. She didn't care if my four children shared a room or that the conversation in the kitchen could be clearly heard in the bathroom. She didn't care that the shower turned cold when I washed my hands from the kitchen faucet. She just wanted somewhere safe and comfortable to rest, visit.

What resulted was a lot of laughter and fun for everyone!

Then I read Max Lucado's "Outlive Your Life" His chapter on being called to hospitality struck a chord.
I can't put it into words, that's Mr. Lucado's job. Just go buy the book and see if your eyes will be opened as well.
Oh by the way...Happy Labor Day.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Review of The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews

From the first page to the last page I was intrigued! When a book can urge you to continue the pursuit of knowledge, that's when you know you've found a good one. I have shared my love for this book with everyone I can.

Andy Andrews had his "honey do" list turn into a lesson in history and lesson on forgiveness. When he realizes his family home could have been the site of WWII history he takes his findings to neighbors and friends to find out who the people were that buried a veritable treasure on his property.

This book made me want to take world history all over again! So much went unknown without the availability of the internet. Andy Andrews pieced together amzing stories.
So many people that lived in that time frame are not even aware of what was happening and I love this book for what it has taught me.
This book teaches history, love, patience, forgiveness and so much more.
It's a must read!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Finish Line

This is the newest song from Mars Hill Revisited. It's probably my favorite. If not, it's a close second to "Jesus to the Rescue." Both of these songs will be on the new EP due out in late June. They are praying it's just in time to take with them to Spirit West Coast, Monterey. They will be performing at 5:30 on July 3rd, 2010. It's something they have worked really hard to do (playing SWC) and are eagerly anticipating for God to do some amazing things through that time.
Feel free to check out the other videos and comment on their youtube page.
until we see you,

Review of Green by Ted Dekker

This is the first of Dekker's books I have read.
Now that I have read Green, I definitely have to pick up the others in the series.

It was hard to get started, I must admit, but once I pushed through the first 3-4 chapters, I couldn't put it down. My difficulty was mostly due to my own lack of experience with Dekker's writings and not the story itself.

The story starts with the son of Thomas Hunter, Samuel, and his frustrations with the blind following of Elyon. They haven't heard from Elyon in years and their enemies continue to attack and kill their families. He wants to fight. Desertions, alliances formed, plans are implemented.
The way the story twists and turns allowing room for you to question motives of characters quickly followed by answers kept me excited about what was to come.

The alternate realities left me seeing my own world in a new way. The parallels of sin and death and repentance and redemption were terrific.
Will definitely continue to pick up Ted Dekker's books. Usually one to stay in the safety of a historical romance....every once in a while it's nice to be spooked just before bed.

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