Friday, May 30, 2008

School's Out --- not in Texas

One more week of school. For the past few months, I have had the privilege of substitute teaching in public schools. This full-time job switch from private to public was a stunning surprise to me. My beautiful God has so showed up to carry me through the challenge of going to work full-time and holding out a little hope to today's startling teenagers.

I am learning to long to love and be a blessing MORE THAN I want my students to cooperate with me. I am learning to return a blessing for an insult. You never know where someone has come from or what is happening in their home life. Last night, I had a conversation with a wary wayward teenager who was hoping I would get him "out of trouble." A few tears dropped from my eyes as I shared with him that one decision could change the whole direction of his life. I wondered if anyone had offered him their tears for his precious life.

Funny thing happened to me today...I was Miss PE...teacher's lesson plan said to walk a mile on .the track. It was like 90 degrees outside but no ozone alert. Okay, we can do this. So, 54 students start the first lap with me. When we got to the second lap, I noticed that a fair number had sat down with the other coach by the bleachers. That was okay. What I didn't notice was that the soccer girls team had come onto the track and they took off jogging and walking fast. So, I'm right in there with them all, thinking it was my class, and what great runners/walkers they were. However, my PE class had all sat down with the other coach cause of the heat. Only one person out of 54 finished the workout with the soccer team----me. And, I thought I was with my class the whole time. My class politely waited for me in the shade. If I had just known who they were, but I thought I was with them...LOL.

It really is a privilege to be around young people. God has done so much in my heart in these months and I am so grateful to Him for seeing a higher calling in my life to love rather than wait to be loved, and to advance His Kingdom. You know, I have really dealt with self-hatred over my lifetime and God continues to move in that area for me. I was so broken over it last weekend! His Kindness led me to repentance over my rudeness, my aloofness, my distance. Rom. 2:4. Then comes grace, greater than all my sin. And as a friend said to me: "Shift your focus from how I feel about myself to how I feel about my Christ to how HE feels about me." And you know, I can't even do that without God. The truth is that I can't live the Truth without total dependence on HIM to help me. Take our eyes off of ourselves and revive us in your ways, O God, the psalmist wrote. HE must increase and I must decrease.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Prayer for Permanent Peace and............. Monday Morning Cover to Cover

Memorial Day
We honor those who have given their lives for our freedom. The President has asked us to unite together as a country in prayer at eleven o'clock this morning to "pray for permanent peace."

Monday Morning
What lingers in your heart as you read the word of God this past week? Chronologically or any verse. Leave a comment and link us to your blog. Three things linger in my mind and heart:
IF GOD SHOWED UP TODAY IN YOUR LIFE AND SAID: "Ask for whatever you want me to give you." II Chron 1:7 - What would your answer be? That was a question a friend asked me last year. My answer to Tripp that day was that I wanted to enter a rest with HIM that I knew not. My answer today is different.

Would I ask this day for a better marriage, awesome children, an impact for His Kingdom, or friends in my lonely life? I hope that I would ask only for Him … and then all the rest of those things would be taken care of by the One who holds all things together. That’s what I long for—to want the love of my Christ more than anything this world offers. What do I want more than His Love? It shows by the way we live and long. For one day, our God will come and He will not be silent and we will stand before the Judge Himself. Psalm 50:3. So what God spoke to me was from Song of Solomon 1:6 - "my own vineyard I have neglected." I don't want to miss what my beautiful God is saying to me about my life on this day. Don't want to miss the grace of God. Jonah 2:8.
Your King is enthralled with your beauty. Psalm 45:11.
“My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for my KING. My tongue is the pen of a skillful writer.”Psalm 45:1. I long that my tongue would
right wrongs
rightfully repent
write on hearts.
This is no “works salvation” that we live —-not about trying to be better, but living a broken life before God for how I have tried to make life work for me.
1 Kings 5:13-18 - King Solomon conscripted laborers from all over Israel to build the Lord’s temple---- 30,000 laborers in 2 forced labor shifts (one month on; two months off); 70,000 carriers; 80,000 stonecutters; 3,600 foremen. What an undertaking for Solomon to oversee for seven years! And along comes the psalmist with the next thought, Psalm 127: 1-2 "Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. Am I building things in life in vain rising up early and staying up late; am I standing watch in vain?
I Kings 8:58-61 Solomon prays a prayer to dedicate the building:
May God turn our hearts to HIM, to walk in all his ways and to keep His commands...and may our words be near to God that he may uphold our cause according to exactly what we need for this day. What is that you need today? Let your heart be fully committed to your beautiful LORD. There is no Other. I wonder if how I live shows that I am committed at times to my own advancement, my own validation, my own protection, my own healing of pain…may I repent quickly when my eyes are opened and may I let my God speak to my heart. I can’t clean myself up, only He can and will. The kindness of my God leads to repentance. Romans 2:4. As I taught school this week, I was committed to getting my students to cooperate with me more than I was to being a blessing to them and loving them in the face of rudeness and vulgarity. Not right on their part nor on my part. So grateful to God for grace covering our sin!

Just as God heard Solomon in II Chron. 7:11-16, He hears us today. "I have heard you! "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my Face (not my Hand) and turn from their old ways, then will I hear and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayers you offer. My eyes and heart will always be there for you. He's listening!
Would you like to read the Book of Proverbs with us in 12 days starting today? Look on the sidebar for the readings for next 12 days---it's 2 or 3 chapters a day and in 12 days you have covered the book of Proverbs. Join us the next two Mondays to post a thought from your heart about what you read. Just one thing. We'd love for you to join us!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Merry Marry Month of May

What a spectacular setting, a Napa Valley wedding...
I give up. I have spent way too long trying to upload photos onto blogger today so that Barrett in France, Brooke in Thailand, and Blair in D.C. can see their little brother. Britt is the only one at home and it's like being an only child when you've been surrounded by the older three your entire life and then---THEY ARE GONE, in other countries, even! When the third one left for college, Britt asked if we could get another sibling from somewhere.

This is the best I can come up with in a couple of hours. Sometimes, the telecommunication age is way over my head. I received an e-mail that said that my blogarithms have migrated to RSS what and where? I can't even "do" a blogarithm. Somehow, I have Vicki on RSS feed, but don't ask me how I got her there. So, enjoy a few pictures---I have tons more...

ATHLETE OF the YEAR....Your little brother was named Male Athlete of the Year at his high school. He went to state in swimming and cross country and was all district in basketball and all-state honorable mention.
BRITT @ HOBY....Do you recognize this guy on the right from your childhood friends? Britt (l) was a HOBY delegate and Brian (r) was the Seminar Leader for North Texas. Now, your friends are your little brother's leaders.PROM NIGHT....Britt & Nicole...the little big brother is the second couple from right

Here is Barrett and Lauren entertaining all your little cousins.

The beautiful bride and her new family---we love Susannah so much!
Toni's three: Carly, Carson, and Cameron
they stood still for a sec

The groom and the little girls.

My buddy Barrett and me. My favorite pic.
The next pic threw me for a loop---and all my boys LOVED IT~

Before Barrett left for France, he caught a raccoon in our attic...
I happened to see IT climb the tree in our courtyard and jump onto our roof...
so Animal Control came and left this cage.
Funny thing! I never expected the boys would catch anything in the cage.
Merry May was a great month in a lot of ways. Britt is ending his school year well. But more than any achievement, what we are talking about here is that life is not all about getting "better" at anything. But, it is all about being "broken" for ways we try to make out life work without HIM...broken before a good sovereign God who loves us more than we can fathom. It's all about dealing with what is going on inside of our hearts as we live and love and linger on His word. Is there anything we want more than the love of our Christ? I am so grateful to my God for showing up this month---merry May has brought more storms in my life. And, in the midst of some pretty rough circumstances, He's here and my God is good!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover

What lingers in your heart as you read the Word of God this week? Share a verse, a thought, a prayer. Join us as we read through the Bible chronologically and link us up to visit your blog. And thanks so much for stopping by.

MY THOUGHTS TROUBLE ME says David in Psalm 44:2. Oh, Wow! That speaks. What are your troubling thoughts at 2:00 in the morning??? I have them. We all do. But, what do we do with those thoughts? I’ve heard someone say before we either fight or take flight if we live by our fleshly instincts.
Psalm 141:3 - Set a guard over my mouth, please watch the door of my lips, God! Let my heart not be drawn to what is evil. I have my own set of thoughts that could lead me down a path of evil and I don’t want any part of it. Psalm 141:8 I pray for us all today for “fixed eyes on you, O Sovereign Lord.”


David lived in turbulent trouble over Absalom and Sheba and Shimei and Bathsheba and Uriah and the list went on and on. He wrote: in Psalm 55:6-8
“Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. I would flee far away and stay in the desert. I would hurry to my place of shelter.” Wonder where we flee from our troubling thoughts? Where is your place of shelter from the storms of life? Where do you hide in your heart? Who thinks they find rest in a desert?


David was betrayed by his own son and by his lifelong fellow soldiers in his own camp and engaged in an arduous battle with them all. Absalom even came home to David but David wouldn’t even allow him to enter his presence. In Psalm 55:13, David says that his close friend insulted him. Maybe it has happened to you at one time or another, that you have felt betrayed. It happened to me. So, what do I do with that? Do I defend and protect myself? Do I fight them back with the same behavior they gave to me?
As we fight, it is the Voice of our Lord we hear all around us…

* strikes like lightning* shakes the desert* twists the oaks* strips the forests bare*
I so long to hear the voice of my beautiful Christ striking, shaking, twisting, and stripping my life as I fight a good fight of faith, and give up the wrong battles. Psalm 29:7-9.

David says:
“Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress and He hears my voice.” Psalm 55:17.
That is what God is drawing me to do.It is not about fleeing our troubles.
“Cast your cares on the Lord and HE will sustain. But as for me, I trust in YOU.” Psalm 55:22-23.
Blessed are those whose strength is in God, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage as they pass through suffering. Psalm 84:5. May we all go from strength to strength.Psalm 84:11 - God is a Sun and Shield in each of our lives. He gives favor. NO GOOD THING does HE withhold from those whose walk is blameless. And it is His definition of what is good for us, not ours.
In finding faith, the story of Sheba came up. II Samuel 20:18 - A wise woman stood up and appealed to David that he not destroy a city that is “a mother in Israel.” So Joab decided to take Sheba’s life instead of ravaging the city. I hope we all have courage like this wise woman to speak up on behalf of others.
God gives strength Psalm 29:11…or am I looking for strength from others?
God blesses with peace or am I looking to be at peace with others at all costs?

I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I am. Psalm 61:2
I long to take refuge in the shelter of your wings. My soul finds rest in God alone. My hope comes from HIM. Psalm 62:2-8 “Trust in HIM at all times; pour out your hearts to HIM.”
“Protect me from men who plan to trip my feet” and “shield my head” O my God. Psalm 140:7.

ONE THING God spoke…TWO THINGS I heard…
YOU, O GOD, ARE LOVING. Psalm 62:11.

One story about fainting was in II Samuel 18:33. Now, who doesn’t faint when their son dies. “O my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—my son, my son!” But what was David’s tears? Grieving tears? Despairing tears? Or Repentant tears? David wouldn’t allow Absalom in his presence so it seems David’s tears were for himself as well as for what his son missed. I don’t know. The next five psalms written do not deal with a repentant heart like Psalm 51 after David was caught in adultery. And, in II Samuel 19:6, Joab rebukes David in his mourning saying you’ve humiliated all your men for “you love those who hate you and hate those who love you.” Doesn’t seem like David is really dealing with what is going on in his heart over the loss of relationship with his son for he owned a part of that. David forgives his enemy Shimei in 19:23 but didn’t forgive his own son. David struggled with those closest to him and that is failure on the part of David. The measure of how well we are doing is how we relate to those closest to us. Lot easier to love the world and be nice to those we don’t have to live with.

It's an old book I'm reading this week about valuing resolution of our problems more than learning to love. "Feeling better has become more important to us than finding God." No higher priority than pursuing our good God. So, my prayer for you this night is Psalm 30. May our beautiful God lift us all out of the depths we are in as we call to Him for help and healing. Please, o God, let our joy come in the morning. Turn our wailing into dancing that WE MAY NOT BE SILENT.

My confidence has been really shaken this week by circumstances. People have made me feel very small. All I can do is look at my own sin and repent and put my confidence in a very big God who loves me and is with my every step. David took “great pains” in his steps to prepare for his son Solomon to take over building God’s house. I Chron 22:14. Some of his last words to Solomon were: Begin your work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged. David knew his sin was great Psalm 25:11. But David knew God’s grace was greater and wrote in 25:15:
"My eyes are ever on the LORD for only HE will release my feet from the snare." So where we have been living in FIGHT OR FLIGHT, release our feet, God. Psalm 25:16.

O Sovereign God, turn to my friends and be gracious to them. Free me from my own anguish. Psalm 25:17.

And I have to end with the gripping very last words of King David to his son, Solomon. “Be strong, my son. Show yourself a man.”

Show yourself a true woman this week. Determine in your mind and heart to seek your LORD. I Chron 22:19.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ironing in my high heels

What happened to ironing???

My son leaves tomorrow for HOBY---four days at TCU. It's the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Conference throughout the state and it's here in our city---one sophomore from every high school. The dress is business casual. So, the conversation went this way:

Me: Britt, can I wash those khaki pants you wore to school today to take with you.
Britt: They are okay, Mom.
Me: Please.
Britt: Really. They are fine.

So...I gave hour later...

Britt: Maybe you better wash them.
Me: (Secretly) - Whew!
Britt: But you cannot iron them.
Me: I promise I won't put a crease in them. I'll iron them flat.
Britt: Mother, kids today do not wear pants that have been ironed.
Me: Oh, please!
Britt: No, you cannot iron them. Boys from the 90's ironed their pants. This is the 00's.

I'm looking at the washed unironed pants. I want to iron them so badly. When did this happen??? I've had other boys in the 00's who let me iron their pants with no crease.
He wins. No ironing tonight. Can you imagine that I am begging to iron anything!!!

On another note, Bob and I went to get Bob's car fixed at the mall, and on the way, I got a call that I was supposed to be at the 4-H banquet tonight with Britt. No car. So, I walked back home to get another car. It was 80 degrees and five miles through fields. And you know what happened?? I walked on wildflowers. Every day I drive by these fields but can't see the tiny one-inch bouncing bets and Indian paintbrush and scarlet buglers and Texas bluebonnets and lamb's quarters and lady-of-the-nights and owl's clover and four o'clocks and
I was o v e r w h e l m e d under the painted landscape of the evening sky and pungent palette of wacky wildflowers underfoot. God so spoke to me.

I have given up ironing.
New hobby---planting wildflowers!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover

We boiled 60 pounds of live crawfish for Mother's Day and slowly devoured the critters. Then we had foot races in the back field and I lost every one to the little bitty cousins. This competitive girl didn't care at all. Brookie called from Thailand; Barrett called from France; Blair called from D.C.; and my youngest boy was by my side. That's what mattered to connect with my four on this day that I didn't think could happen as a child from where I came. So grateful to my beautiful God that someone calls me "Mommy."

It's Monday Morning and nine thoughts linger with me from our chronological readings this week. I know some of you have fallen behind and it's okay. Just pick up where you are and join us. Choose one of the nine paragraphs below and read just one, then leave a comment about which one God is speaking to you about. We'd love for you to invite us to your blog to hear what lingers in your heart as you have read His Word this week.

Pray for us as we wait on God for direction about a ministry position. Pray for my husband who has hurt his back. Pray for favor on my life as I enter classrooms this week of the economically deprived who have agendas and attitudes that the world owes them something. Pray that I desire to be a blessing to them more than just wanting them to cooperate with my classroom goals. May we all look at others as more important than ourselves and have no higher agenda but to love and trust a good God Who is so present no matter what!

Pick one:

I’m bent over listening in on how God will answer David in 2Samuel 7. David wants to build a house for God. God says: I will give you rest, David. Your offspring will build a house for My Name and my love will never be taken away from you, David, like it was Saul. I am so moved that God never mentions David’s sin for HE looks at David as righteous just like HE does to us. And David responds with a quiet humble heart when he hears the news that he won’t build the house but his offspring will—he would have been jealous if he was at war with his flesh.

Sounds like David has dealt with his guilt as we overhear his prayer as he sits before his Lord. Wonder what words God will hear from us today as we sit before HIM in this present moment? David says things like: v. 18 – Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family that you have brought me this far??? V. 19 - There is No One like you. v. 27 David found courage to offer this prayer….David knew where he came from and he had acknowledged what he did that was wrong. That is the past. David lives in the present. God says He will take care of the future, so let it go. Satan wants us to live in the past or the future but not in the present. David repented of his ways. He wasn’t just being responsible going back to work, more than that—he was a broken man realizing what he had done to make his life work like he wanted.

I think I will remember Psa 138:3 for a long time. “I called. God answered. And HE made me BOLD and STOUTHEARTED.” I’ve never seen that word before. It means “someone with strength” in the Hebrew. Psa 138:8 says God will fulfill His Purpose for me—not about my purposes to live this life but all about God’s purposes and the next life. We were made for another world. For God knows me Psalm 139:5. I am hemmed in "behind and before. That means in both time and direction. He's got me 139:13. I am fearfully made not pitifully put together. Psalm 139:16. All my days were ordained by my God, even today! Psalm 139:18 His thoughts toward me outnumber all the grains of sand everywhere Psalm 139:23. YOU search me God and test my anxious thoughts...that's your work to lead me. Psalm 139:23.

Loved loved the story of Mephibosheth in II Sam 9:3 - David showed God’s kindness because of Jonathan. He “provided” for Mephibosheth it says in verse 10. The word provided in the Hebrew means “I Am” and oh my!!! I Am provides. God is so providing for me as He continues to say “HERE I AM” and in the midst of my husband not having a full-time job and limited finances, God is so showing up. I hope we all continue to show God’s kindness to those He sends our way thinking more about others than ourselves, advancing His Kingdom, not just living this life.

David’s son Amnon rapes his beautiful half-sister, Tamar. II Sam 13:14. Absalom asked what happened and gives his sister horrifying advice to keep quiet about the rape. In verse 21, it says King David heard about what had happened, and he was very angry. However, Absalom and David never spoke to Amnon or Tamar about it. They left Tamar alone to face the wrath of her rapist. That same thing happened to me---left alone in my own rape. That’s horrible parenting on David’s part. Absalom took matters into his own hands and successfully plotted to kill Amnon, then fled. David says he will protect strangers and “not a hair on their son’s head will be disturbed.” 2 Samuel 14:11. But David won’t do as much to protect and care for his own children as he promised to do for a stranger. 2 Sam 14:13. David never wanted his son Absalom in his presence. 2Sam. 14:24.

II Samuel 24 - David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the LORD, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, O LORD, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant." Psalm 20:7 - Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. Isn’t this what life is all about…no matter what happens to us, do we trust God as a good God who has not turned his head. No surprise to God that we don’t have a job or that health issues have crept back in as my husband is now suffering or that finances are tight or that someone else gets to rule over the people—not us. We trust HIM. Isaiah 31:1 comes to mind: Woe to those who rely on Egypt. Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD.

You are the lifter of my head in our valleys. Psalm 3:3. God hears us when we call to HIM in our valleys. Psalm 4:3. Be silent. Psalm 4:4. There is a greater joy there than circumstances going our way. Psalm 4:7. This is a forgiven murderer, adulterer and parental failure who is writing these verses to his God. God restores our sinful souls - Psalm 23:3. Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God is with us. Psalm 23:4. David was walking through a valley in 2 Samuel 16 when Shimei threw stones down at David, cursed at him, and showered him with dirt. David's response: “It may be that the LORD will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today.” God is in your valley with you.

In his “overwhelming guilt,” David chooses to trust and wait for his God. Psalm 37:3
My experience has been Psalm 27: 13,14 - I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the Goodness of my God in the land of the living. Praise God for deliverance from ourselves and from those who oppress us.“The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?” Psalm 27:1. Don’t fear my dangerous brother, nor any perpetrator against me. In my life, that was really hard for me to do when I knew my life was in danger so David’s words are powerful to me. “The LORD is the Stronghold of my life.” “One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek—to dwell in His House to gaze upon His Beauty. WAIT for the Lord and be strong. Take courage and wait for the LORD - v. 14…It is ours for the taking. I so want to take courage from my beautiful God!

My prayer for you this week is that your trusting heart will be strengthened if you do face a silent sovereign God this day! Why does it seem our God is hiding from us - Psalm 10:1. To you I call, O LORD my Rock; do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who have gone down to the pit. Psalm 28:1 Over and over David said God was silent - Psalm 42:3. Yet, David knew his God heard his cry for mercy…my heart trusts in YOU, and I AM helped! (28:7) I put my hope in God, not in answers…Psalm 39:7 “But now, Lord, what do I look for? Be not deaf to my weeping." When faced with silence, what am I really looking for? Is it solutions or streams?--- As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. Psalm 42:1,2. May all of our souls thirst for you, the living Word, the living God!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Photo: L to R: My 16-year-old sophomore, next is my Thai girl Brookie, I'm in the middle, then my D.C. girl Blair, then my French boy Barrett. I have no greater joy in life than that my children walk in truth and I hope that they are this day. These four children have given this mom such honor and respect and love. I can't thank them enough. I never dreamed from where I came from that I could have children like this nor this kind of life full of faith and love and hope. Wishing each of you a day where you lay your head on the empty chair, His lap---and listen to what HE says about your mothers and your mothering. That's all that counts.

Happy Mother's Day!
My buddy flew to France this morning. Oh my, here we go again. Our oldest son, Barrett, has been living at home with us for five months now. The time went way too F A S T....

I now have one daughter in Thailand, one son in France, and the other daughter on Capitol Hill. My last words to Barrett, a recent graduate from grad school, was this as he pulled out the driveway: "I hope you find God in France." To which he responded, "I think God is in France, Mom!" And, I believe God is going to France with Barrett!

You just long for your children to walk with their God and find HIM in the midst of all their lofty goals. That's my prayer for my precious boy whom we love so very very much. He's a great kid with lots of courage and determination and passion.
Barrett will compete for France for the next four months. That's why he moved to France today. They invited him over, put him up, and it's a great opportunity for him. Barrett is a professional triathlete. He competed in the World Cup in Korea last week and did very well---second best finish ever for a debut from an American. He was the second American to cross the finish line. The week before that he was in Mexico for the Pan American Games and had a great race there. He just qualified for the World University Games in Turkey this summer. His hard work is paying off. He said China called and invited him to race there at the end of this month and will help him get there.
Well, I'd say some French line if I knew it. Ciao! (except, that's Italian).
Here's Barrett in South Korea at The World Cup last week.
Olympic Distance triathlon race:
One Mile Swim **** 40k Bike Ride **** 10k Run

I am so grateful to my beautiful God for Barrett, Brooke, Blair, and Britt. The older three may be far away but they remain close in my heart this night and forever! Thank you guys for giving me beyond measure. Love You Forever, Madre

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I AM doing a new thing!

Sunday morning we visited a church we had not been to in over a year. The pastor asked us to take a moment to shut everything out and listen to what God was saying. I had a strong impression to turn to Isaiah 43. I couldn't think of a verse in that chapter. So, I turned and thought to myself---YOU are here, o my beautiful God, as I read what He was saying to me. It doesn't happen often that some random unknown verse pops into my head, but no coincidence here. The verses said:

I have summoned you by name, Bev. And in Isaiah 43:18, He said:
This is what your LORD says, Who made a way through the sea.
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
I am making a way in your desert and
I provide water in the desert, for the people I formed for Myself,
that you may proclaim My Praise.
I walked out so wanting to live a life of praise to my God. Something shifted in me that moment. I can't explain it. All I know is that the Spirit of God showed up and it was good. Sometimes, it is like, I now know something I didn't know before. I so much more want to give up wrong ways of relating to my world.

I am reading an older book from about 15 years ago that I've never read.
It's called "Finding God." This morning, I read:
"The more aware we become of certain truths about what life is really like, the more committed we will be to knowing God, and the less concerned we will be about solving our immediate problems." (Larry Crabb) He went on to say, let me list for you five truths that I am facing more fully as I pursue God.

1. Our deepest longings are inconsolable.
2. Other people's lives testify to the value of knowing God better.
3. We are inescapably selfish.
4. The Holy Spirit is a person who works in our lives.
5. Suffering is inevitable.

The question we need to ask is this:
"Are we merely living, or are we walking with God?"

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Monday Morning Cover to Cover

How do you guys who work full-time do it??? Between family life, and weekly AAU basketball tournaments in other cities, and school activities like formals and SAT, and multiple children, and church activities we so love, and LIFE, not to mention cooking, cleaning, exercising, devo life and ….whew….my time outside of a 40-hour work week is so full. Will I get used to it? Trying to find what I have to say “no” to….

There are TWO stories that meant much to me, and linger long in my mind and heart from our chronological reading this week. Share with us what lingers with you as you have read the Word this week.

Before I blog about those two, I just wanted to say that we are still waiting over here for what??? We wait in hope for our LORD; HE is our help. Psalm 33:16. We are not waiting on any man to act. Bob is still in-between jobs and picking up good stuff, but… we are waiting on God and may HE move in our hearts to open the eyes of our hearts and give light as we wait for HIM, not for men to move.

The first story that lingers was:
David longed for water. So three mighty men broke through the Philistine lines and drew water from the well for David. David poured it out before the LORD. “Far be it from me, O LORD, to do this!” he said. “Is it not the blood of men who went at the risk of their lives?” And David would not drink it. II Sam 23:15-17. Wow! David treated those mighty men as more important than his own needs. Do I live this way? Who is more important to me than my being right? Who is more important to me than my own convictions? Do I really love my husband, my children, my family with this kind of love? What is more important to me than the love of my Christ?

Intriguing to me that in II Samuel 6:8, David was angry and afraid. But in 6:14, David is dancing, sacrificing, giving, and blessing others. Not sure how long it took to get to that place—says it was six verses and six steps later. So what did David do with his anger? He didn’t pretend it wasn’t there. Didn’t stuff it down. Dealt with it. Repented. Celebrated. I like the fact that David’s repentance is not shallow for when Michal twists the truth in 6:16, courage rises up in David. No defensiveness. David says he’ll be even more undignified, even humiliated in his own eyes for his LORD. 6:21,22.

There was one beautiful psalm that meant so much to me as I deal with my own sin folly. Psalm 24:1-7 Who ascends? Who stands? He who has clean hands, pure hearts. How does that happen? When we seek His Face not when we seek our sins. Let your sin startle and surprise you when the Spirit shows up to show you your heart. My friend says to me: “don’t go on a witch hunt for sin.” Fulfill your vows 65:1 and you will see your haughty looks, insulting words, disgusted actions, detached relationships that just pop up and drop in—your failure to love. All the while, every day, God is bearing our burdens Psalm 68:9 and His word is radiant, giving light to our eyes. Psalm 19:8. May HE keep us from willful sins as we lift our heads to seek His Face.

The second story that grabbed me to grapple deeply with looking at sin was about the warrior David dancing with sin. David chose not to stop looking at Bathsheba. In II Sam 6:14 David danced before his Lord with all his heart. But in chapter 12, David’s warring heart lost his own inner battle. Adultery with a “very beautiful” woman - II Samuel 11:4. Murder of one his very best soldiers - II Samuel 11:14. Oh dear! Here’s David using his position of power to get what he really wanted. What did David want more than the love of his God? What was his ruling passion in looking at a private act, and sending for Bathsheba? Some people look really good dancing before the LORD but God is looking at each of our hearts. So, God sent the prophet Nathan in II Samuel 12:7 to rebuke David—look at all that God had done for David. But, that wasn’t enough. God wasn’t enough. David wanted more.

How I love David’s humble heartfelt repentant words when caught in sin: I HAVE SINNED AGAINST THE LORD. II Samuel 12:13 Then, God took David’s son---OH NO! …yet David didn’t tube out…it says he comforted his wife and David repented of what he did. Psalm 6:9 are the words he wrote next: “The LORD has heard my cry for mercy. The LORD accepts my prayer.” He’s listening. “The LORD does not count my sin against me.” Psalm 32:2. Maybe man might might count this against David, but not his God.. “David did not cover up his iniquity 32:5“You God are my HIDING PLACE” Psalm 32:7

And our God responds to every one of us when we uncover our sin: I will instruct you in the way you should go; I will counsel you. I will watch over you. Psalm 32:8
David went on to write in Psalm 38:4 haunting words: “My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear.” “I wait for you LORD, for I am about to fall.” 38:15. You know, that’s what I deal with—real guilt and false guilt. No man can take away my guilty heart of sinful folly. The anger in my heart this week was overwhelming to me. Praise to our God! HE already has covered my sin. Psalm 38:22 COME QUICKLY TO HELP ME, MY LORD, MY SAVIOR.COME QUICKLY.And our beautiful LORD is saying to every one of us…come closer and I will cover you up. May we all be so quick like David to respond to our God when our sin is exposed. You may be doing fine tonight or warring with your flesh in your heart. IDK. We all struggle.

Psa 51:1 Have mercy on me according to your UNFAILING LOVE Psa 51:7 Cleanse me and then I’ll be clean Psa 51:10 Create in me a pure heart, O God Psa 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken and contrite heart.

Then David wrote words of praise to our God in Psalm 103 to our God WHO forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, and redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with compassion and love. Psalm 103:1-2. He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve. Our sin is removed as far as the east is from the west. Psalm 103:10.

Then, what happens next as David deals with his guilt. He walks with his God and he goes back to his work. And II Samuel 8:4 tells of David’s successful exploits: 20,000 foot soldiers and 7,000 charioteers captured…I Chron 18:6 says the LORD gave David victory everywhere he went. He lay with his own wife. Victorious warrior on the outside and on the inside for his sins were covered.

Psalm 51:6 - I desire truth in my innermost parts. What was true about David was that he faced and entered and remained with his LORD after being caught in adultery and murder. So, I listen with great intent to hear how he rebounds after such a moral failure. I really want to know. David has my attention. This is what David writes as he repents and surrenders to his God….
Psalm 124: 1 – If the Lord had not been on our side…oh my! Our help is the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 108:1 – My heart is steadfast. I will make music with all my soul. I will praise for great is Your Love!.
Psalm 108 :13 – With my God we will gain the victory.
Psalm 44:3 - It's the Light of our God's Face that brings victory.
Psalm 44:26 Rise up and help us because of your Unfailing Love!
Let me close with a prayer for you from Psalm 20. May the Lord answer you when you are in distress this week. May His Name protect you. May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. Some trust in power and prestige and their own plans but they will fall. May you trust only in the Name of your LORD with whatever you face. May your faith cause you to rise up and stand firm in your need.
David's humble repentant heart so speaks to me tonight. After his failure, David didn't sideline himself but he let his God put him back together, back on the front lines. Overwhelming guilt. "No man knows how bad he really is, until he has tried very hard to be good." (C.S. Lewis). David holds hope for me and the warring flesh that I daily deal with.

Praying for Our Friend Joanne Psalm 131:3 Waiting on God. Hope Now. Hope Always.

House of Blessing Tribal Childrens Home

House of Blessing Tribal Childrens Home
"Whoever welcomes a little child in My Name, welcomes Me." Matthew 18:5 We have posted pictures of the orphans receiving their gifts from you. Scroll down to the post entitled "Today Was the Big Day." Many orphans didn't own anything of their own, but now do, because of you.

My Family

My Family
Britt, Blair, Bev, Bob, Brooke, Barrett


I've met some amazing women through blogging. I would love to hear from you. My personal e-mail is:
I have another blog where I blog daily as a small group of us read through the New Testament this year. It's called A String of Pearls. We carry each other on mats (when we just can't walk anymore) to Jesus and sweet things like that.


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