Friday, February 27, 2009

blow me over with a tumbleweed

Props, kuddos, shout out.....

LOOK AT THIS!! (jumping up and down, speechless and pointing rudely)

She blogs; she cooks; she's a photographer; she like to remodel things; she's a gardener; she's funny! Did I mention she homeschools her children? And darn it all, she's a cowgirl.


If you happen to realize it's been weeks since you've heard any rustle of life from my general direction, I will be found right here, at my desk, reading about this Pioneer Woman. When that's finished I'll crawl out for sustenance, throw my most prized possessions in a bandana, tie it on a stick, collect my sister and move west.

Come visit, will ya?
I promise to cook you something fabulous from one of the recipes I find here.
It'll be served up with cowboy coffee on my front porch that overlooks the Rocky Mountains.

(I really wish I owned a good picture to post with this.)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

people watching

Luke 2:48 Jesus at age 12 replied to his parents concern over his delay to travel home with them, "I had to be about my Father's business." My study guide indicates that this is best translated, "I had to be about my Father." I echo Beth Moore's desire: "I just want to be about God. When all is said and done, I would give my life for people to be able to say, 'She was just about God'... (I want to live my life) in such a way that would cause others to be surprised to find (me) in any other place than to 'be found in him'" (Phil 3:9).
Luke 2:52 "Jesus grew in favor with God and man." Favor...favorite....people liked him. He was the one they wanted to be with. He was the one they wanted at their dinner table. He was the one they wanted to tell their news. He was the one that brought a smile to their face even if he was not with them at the moment. I can think of many friends like that. I could easily list several whom I would categorize as my favorite people. They are the ones I cannot do without, the ones I want to know what's going on with me, the ones whom I learn from and laugh with. They are the ones who make my life complete. I want them all close by. I would rearrange the map if possible to make this true. I wish I could have seen what such interactions looked like with Jesus' friends and family. Someday I will.
Luke 3:4 "Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him." Path in the Greek apparantly means "a beaten pathway." "Make it your practice to approach me over and over again, so that when I am ready to pour out a fresh work, the way will be made clear."
Luke 3 People were flocking to John the Baptist for baptism in the Jordan River. It was the place to be. It was the new religious experience. I'm sure the crowd represented a conglomerate of seekers. Some looking for the Messiah. Some trying out the next new craze. And many, Luke says, who heard John and received his words into their hearts and genuinely repented of their sins. Then at the end of the day, here comes Jesus for whom John has been passionately declaring preparation. Beth draws attention to the symbolism of Jesus being baptized into public ministry in the very waters where the public had been confessing and being baptized in repentance from their sins. Hmmmm. That gives me pause.
The next scene is Jesus' 40 day fast in the wilderness and his earthly encounter with Satan."Think of the questions we...encounter (during) intense battle right after entering a place or time of ministry:
> Did I misunderstand God?
> If He really loves me, why would He appoint me to such a struggle?
> How could this happen after my finest moment with God?"

Jesus was also hungry. Aren't we all?
Parallel applications:
> "Seasons of intense temptation are not indications of God's displeasure.
> Satan is tenacious. Don't expect him to give up after one or two tries.
> Scripture is the most powerful tool in our fight against temptation. Don't fight back with your words, fight back with God's."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

green faith

A dish of green m&m's sits near the edge of my desk in my room. Tonight a tiny person no higher than the table came in and went straight for them. No introductions. No please. No hesitation. She went right to them and slowly put them in her mouth one by one, her eyes growing brighter as her mouth grew more green. She looked at me across the table with the clearest expression of trust and just ate with total abandon. She was sure they were expressly for her 18 month old self. She was right. No messy requesting needed. Just help yourself. The door was open. She was welcome and whatever I had was for her.

Do I believe God like this? That whatever He has is for me? The door is open? Just help myself? He doesn't sit back and watch, hoping I'll figure it out. He has even gone so far as to tell me. He has written me letters. He has shown me with His life. And yet I hesitate. I stand at the edge of the room of His heart, so to speak, on many days and say, "Really?" I mean I know He can, but will He? Oh, for the faith of a child.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

thumbs up

It could just be that I envy possession of the chairs in the photo for this article, but I'm pretty sure the content is some of the best stuff I've read on relationships in a while. Settling: by Scott Croft.



Monday, February 23, 2009

no traction

My thoughts of late seem to consist of reading others people's in an effort to escape my own. Among the things I want to sort out and relate to rightly is finishing a writing course I started years ago and accomplishing progress on some art projects.
And so I resort to other people's brilliance to spur me on and from which to borrow perspective.

“If you were meant to cure cancer or write a symphony or crack cold fusion and you don’t do it, you not only hurt yourself, even destroy yourself. You hurt your children, you hurt me, you hurt the planet,” Pressfield writes. “You shame the angels who watch over you and you spite God Almighty, who created you and only you with your unique gifts, for the sole purpose of nudging the human race one millimeter further along its path back to God.”

Borrowed from here if you want to read the whole article.

Now I have yet another book to add to the read-someday-pile. Stephen Pressfield's The War of Art.


I have a new question as the main exhibit in my brain. It sits on the center pedestal, so I keep passing by. Every time I do, I pause and walk around it, attempting to explore its facets, pondering its possibilities. I'm trying to turn it upside down and really get the heart of it. It originated with reading Radical Womanhood on Feb. 13th. I've provided context below, but don't look only from the angle of the desire for marriage. Let it invade the framework for any desire.

"I would try to read between the lines of every message on marriage, to “figure out” God’s plan for me. I wrestled with discontentment. Many nights I asked the Lord to “send me a husband or remove the desire.” Then one day the Lord clearly spoke to my heart: He had given me the desire for a husband, and He had withheld the husband. I was to have joy in having a desire without it being fulfilled." (emphasis mine)

What does this look like?

I have thoughts.
Nothing I can name just yet.
Conversation is flowing.
More later.
What are your thoughts?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

confessions of a wallflower

If you look slightly to the left on this screen you will see that I am a self-proclaimed people-watcher. I am considering renouncing my status. I watch people, truly, but my powers of observations are more generalized to impressions and summaries than details. I'm really not that good at details.

The reason for this acknowledgement is due to some recent people watching in Palestine via the Gospel of Luke with Beth Moore. People-watching is after all much more fun with a buddy.

Did you know...

... that when Zechariah the priest was in the Jerusalem temple and received the announcement from Gabriel the angel messenger that he, Zechariah, in his old head state, would sire a son, it was his once in a lifetime, pick of the longest straw chance to offer the incense that day? Now that's impeccable timing.

...the day that Mr. and Mrs. Zechariah had the dedication/circumcision ceremony for their new son, the whole family was there. Now, with the help of Beth, I suddenly saw this from the perspective of an Italian reunion, or perhaps My Big Fat Greek Wedding - circa 3 b.c. One of the other details of Zechariah's encounter with Gabriel is that the consequences of his incredulous doubt was his inability to speak until his son was born. Back to the family. They all had an opinion on the name of this son and boisterously drowned out Elizabeth's attempts to tell them that the name was not to be Zecheriah as tradition would typically dictate. In exasperation they descend on Zecheriah and ask? No! They start signing to him to tell them what the baby's name is to be. He's mute, people, not deaf!!! Charades anyone?

I cannot read this book fast enough or slow enough. It is rich. I am desperately thirsty to learn more of this Jesus I follow. I am looking forward to the rest of the journey through Luke's writing. I have laughed, cried and received much in the first six chapters and expect much more to come. I am thankful for my companion and grateful that she will be true to Scripture. I'll keep you informed at what I (we) observe.

hidden love

Her dark eyes danced with anticipation as she bounced in front of me, her nose maybe a millimeter from mine. "Is it out yet? Where is it? Where'd you put it?" she demanded, then began lisitng all the places it wasn't or couldn't be. Meanwhile, her housemate crawled around all fours looking under all the living room furniture.

The object of the search?

A red mailbox.

Every year at the teen program I work for, I hide this small red mailbox in various places around the house the week or two leading up to Valentine's Day. Each day it contains a different gift of love for the girls who live with me. Somedays a note or maybe some candy or perfume or nail polish. Little things usually, whatever will fit. Small tokens of the great love I feel for them and gentle reminders that I'm not the only one who does. This little box has drawn each girl, no matter how sullen she might be on an ordinary day, to look forward to this small part of her day with delight. No question is too silly, no place beyond search. Teamwork emerges as they work together to find it, then rivalry ensues to open it first. The gifts are stashed in rooms or cupboards to be returned to again and again over the next weeks. Sometimes the candy is gone in a day, sometimes it is put on display. One year I did a puzzle. One side a collage, the other scriptures referencing love. This will be the second Valentine's Day here for one of our residents. I think it was the end of January when I began to be reminded almost daily that I needed to find my mailbox and get ready. Out came her puzzle from last year and the legend was retold with great detail to the newest member of our house. All the popluar hiding places were revealed and the anticipation began.

Both girls leave early tomorrow morning to spend the weekend with their families, so I just hid it for the last time this the stove drawer with all the pot lids.......shhhhh!!!

Suddeny I found myself thinking about looking for love. It's not a surprise really with the number of times a day I see advertising on how to be successful in my personal search. I paused in my hurry to accomplish the next thing on my to do list for today and took a moment to breathe in the rush of peace that I don't have to look under all the furniture or bang my shins climbing up to look in remote places for love. It is extravagantly displayed right in front of me. All around me.

I have spent plenty of my 30 years looking in all the wrong places, don't get me wrong. Most of them much more fruitless than under the sofa. My gaze is still too easily torn away from the only person worth my deepest affections. I replace Jesus too often with lesser things. But He has caused me to know the truth and I no longer have to look. There is, after, all no question about the love of someone who dies for you.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


My earliest memory of feeling/sensing/hearing that unmistakable prompt from God goes back about half my life into my early teen years. The season and the occasion are long forgotten. The setting was a seemingly a non-descript mid-day meal at Wendy's with my dad. His presence made it special. As we left the building, a woman was seated on the curb just to the left of the black iron railing that marked the entrance. I cannot picture her face or recall her attire, I simply remember an impression of deep sadness about her. As we crossed the driveway and passed her line of vision, I realized God was telling me to go tell her that He loved her. Unlike Hosea, I didn't. I've obviously not forgotten that part. I do remember walking heavily towards my dad's red and white ford pick-up truck, arguing needlessly about the should's and shouldn'ts of making such a statement to the unknown lonely woman. I wish I could tell you it was my last such argument.

Monday, February 2, 2009

thought progression

my soul is anchored directly to the inner sancturary of God. gives new meaning to strong and trustworthy. worship is what we give our heart away to in return for the promise of Life. first and most recent words from God..."let him go, I have someone better". the first time God spoke to hosea He said, "find a whore and marry her. make her the mother of your children." hosea did it, it says. hosea also says that God is after love that lasts, not mere religion. chapter eleven reads like the new york times. chapter twelve tells me to wait for my God and never give up on Him. gives new light to confident dependance. in chapter thirteen God declares himself to be the only real God i have ever known. his track record of delivering stubborn people kinda proves that. gives new weight to no other Savior. chapter fourteen sounds like isaiah sixty-one. i can boldly deduce from all this that i fill a place in the heart of God no one else can fill. against all odds He hopes for me, fights for me, sings over me and waits for my love. against all odds, I will do the same.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Christmas 2008 with my favorite people

nothin' like Christmas morning
I saw this reference to a Starbucks cup quotation on a friend's blog and it reminded me of the sermon I heard this morning. Take a listen.

The Way I See It #292

"The way we get to live forever is through memories stored in the hearts and souls of those whose lives we touch. That's our soul print. It's our comfort, our emotional nourishment at the end of the day and the end of a life. How wonderful that they are called up at will and savored randomly. It seems to me we should spend our lives in a conscious state of creating these meaningful moments that live one. Memories matter." -Leeza Gibbons