Monday, September 28, 2009

Friends

Packing up the dreams God planted in the fertile soil of you. I can't believe the hopes He's granted means a chapter of your life is through. But we'll keep you close as always it won't even seem you've gone 'cause our hearts in big and small ways will keep the love that keeps us strong.

And friends are friends forever if the Lord's the Lord of them. And a friend will not say never 'cause the welcome will not end. Though it's hard to let you go in the Father's hands we know that a lifetime's not too long to live as friends.

And with the faith and love God's given, springing from the hope we know. We will pray the joy you live in. Is the strength that now you show. We'll keep you close as always. It won't even seem you've gone 'Cause our hearts in big and small ways will keep the love that keeps us strong.

And friends are friends foreverIf the Lord's the Lord of them. And a friend will not say never 'cause the welcome will not end. Though it's hard to let you go. In the Father's hands we know. That a lifetime's not too long to live as friends. And friends are friends forever if the Lord's the Lord of themAnd a friend will not say never 'cause the welcome will not end though it's hard to let you go. In the Father's hands we know that a lifetimes not too long to live as friends...No a lifetime's not too long to live as friends.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbPKaIozS-c

Things caught up with me this morning. I am so thankful to my Lord, my kids who have been wonderful and my FRIENDs that have helped "strengthen my hands" as the Word says.

Blessings,

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What I Wanted to Say Was...

I am frustrated tonight. I just spent 45 minutes talking to someone that I love and admire very much but, (big but here...) BUT every time I try to talk to her I feel like a babbling idiot. I don't know why, she is very kind. She is outspoken in an honest approachable way and intelligent in a common sense way. Truthfully I believe we ~at the core agree on many things but I just can't seem to express myself very well. I feel like the teacher in the old Peanuts cartoons. My mind knows what it wants to say but my words come out garbled.
We talked about prejudice and hatred, along with the education of our children. On the subject of prejudice; I am. I think we all are truthfully.
Though race lines are not an issue for me I think we all have preconceived notions about other people on some level. Though it may not be of the racial variety of prejudice, we may view people that are obese with less regard than those who are slim, or intelligent people may be held in higher esteem than those we regard as ignorant. Perhaps your preconceived ideas influence how you view the wealthy, the unattractive, the powerful, the aged or the disabled.
I told this friend I didn't think we would ever live in a world that is color-blind or without hatred. Personally I strive for that in my own life. God doesn't look on the outside but looks on the heart. As I endeavor to be an imitator of Christ I must learn to do that as much as humanly possible. It seems to me the root of predudice is arrogance more than ignorance. Why is it we feel the need to be "better than" on some level?
Didin't Jesus take last place in everything? He knew preudice intimately. He wore the title of bastard and was hated from day one. Scripture doesn't say much about this man we call Messiah as a little guy but that was a horrible label for a small boy to wear! We also know from the word he understood well the pain of being on the recieving end of predudice. We are told he was aquainted with grief, he was an ugly man, he was a man of sorrows, he was despised and rejected.
Jeremiah 17:1 reminds us that "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it? I have my own heart issues to deal with. I have my own desperately wicked heart to contend with and at times that fact makes it hard to see past the end of my own proboscis.
My friend and I discussed among other things whether public school policies help educate children in the area of relating to others in overcoming prejudices born of ignorance. Personally, I feel parents are mandated by God to be the instructors of their own children in the area of manners and morals and not the public (or private for that matter) schools. I believe, because so many parents fail to do that well, including yours truly at times, our lack of responsibility in the area of instructing our children has been thrust upon the schools.
To make a long story longer...what I wanted to say to my friend was I am trying as best I can to teach my own children to be thoughtful , kind, caring children (and adults) who will love others even when they don't understand them. Some days I can't seem to accomplish this on the small scale in my own home.
What I wanted to say was in some small way I want to make a big impact on my corner of the world by my actions. Though most days, my corner of the world is a house full of noisy kids and a sink full of dirty dishes.
What I wanted to say was I want more than anything to love the LORD my God with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strength, and with all my mind. I want to love my neighbor as myself and teach my children to do the same. Some days I feel like my heart and soul are divided, I am at the end of my strength and along the way I lost my mind!
What I wanted to say is what we need is not a program but as a lifestyle of Christlike compassion that can erase the lines of prejudice we have drawn on our world.
What I ended up saying was more like "Blah blah blha blah bla, bla blah, blah." Ugh!
Blessings,

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What to Title This Post?

I wasn't quite sure what to title this post. I am the queen of random thoughts but lately my thoughts have been beyond random, they have been all over the globe.
My dear friend had a biopsy today. She actually had two biopsies and her sweet sister was on the other side of town having a biopsy at the same time!
This blog is one of the places I "talk." Don't get me wrong, I talk, sometimes I talk too much, but I'm not always on top of my feelings. Often times what I talk about may have nothing at all to do with what I'm feeling. I think it's a family trait, my dad does the same thing but unlike my dad, I'm not political.
I regularly get accused of being too guarded. I don't see myself as guarded. The truth is like many of you, I have few people in my inner circle. Those few people see my true heart.
This friend is one of those in my inner circle. To say we are an odd set of friends would be one of those understatements you hear so much about! We have nothing in common and everything in common.
We are polar opposites in many ways and yet so alike it is scarey. We are so connected to each other I would do anything for her. She is like my mom and I am her "Theresita."
We hit it off immediately and have been friends ever since. We have gone through some difficult things together and some heartbreaking things. We have also had many times together when we have laughed so hard we have cried. We have those little inside jokes girlfriends do and we encourage and uplift each other when life seems to kick like a mule.
Mostly when we're together we talk...and talk...and talk. Sometimes we talk about absolutely nothing; more often than not we talk about our mutual love for the Lord. It is that love for God that is the super glue that holds us together. It is that love that bridges the differences that could so easily divide us.
I won't lie. The whole idea of cancer scares me. It is not something you want to see anyone walk through and definitely not either of these sisters that I love so dearly. The thought that there could be anything on a mammogram to concern the doctor enough to order a biopsy is enough to frighten me.
I am in that place of surrender knowing that God alone knows the future and holds both these dear friends in His hands. I will not cease to ask, to seek, and to knock, believing what Jeremiah 29:11 says for them both!
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Blessings,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I made flour tortillas for the first time yesterday morning. No matter how hard I tried they just wouldn't turn out very flat or very round! One strangely resembled the state of Texas. Hmmm do you think I could sell it on eBay? Just a thought.
They tasted pretty good, though next time I think I'll add a bit more more salt. The overall effect was great as Eight of Eight announced to me, "I feel so Bible~ish" Kids say the darnedest things. Glad I'm here to hear them!
Blessings,

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Marshmallow Man

I love the innocence of children. I love the way they often misuse words and end up saying the most hilarious things. One of my kids, who shall remain nameless ( In order to protect the guilty) had an awesome talent for this.
I grew up in a simpler time, perhaps a safer time. Though life wasn't without its perils it was common practice for my brothers and I to play outside for hours, especially in the summertime. We knew to be home by dark but aside from that the rules were few.
Parents in the neighborhood knew each other and watched out over each other's kiddos. When I was ten we moved to Riverside and that sense of community, for me anyway, faded.
Moving was a huge adjustment for me. I felt out of place and awkward. There is one memory in the midst of those growing pains that still makes me smile. That memory is of the Marshmallow Man.
"The Marshmallow Man?" you may ask. Each evening this elderly gentleman went for a walk leaving his wife (Mrs. Marshmallow?) at home.
I don't remember this dear man ever saying a word. In my memory he was a shy, quiet man. with very long legs. He was the Pied Piper of Dundee Road. Maybe he enjoyed the endless chatter of children or perhaps he just couldn't walk fast enough to get away from us! Either way all the kids in the neighborhood knew if we walked along with the Marshmallow Man we would be rewarded with...who told you? Marshmallows!
Being kids sometimes we would conveniently catch up just at the tail end of his walk. But you know what, we received the fluffy white confection just the same! I didn't even like marshmallows. It wasn't the marshmallow that made the walk worth the effort. It was the fact that somehow this quiet man communicated love and acceptance.
It really takes so little to build up a child and make them feel loved. I wonder at times why I withhold affection and praise from others? Even my own children at times are subjected to this selfishness. It is very sad that I can so easily sin in this way. The way James 4:17 warns us about. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do [it], to him it is sin.
Funny in many ways the Marshmallow Man reminds me of Jesus. No matter where we join Him on the walk, He is just happy to have us along. The prize is waiting at the end and it is so much more wonderful than a marshmallow!
Blessings,

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Quiet Place

Do you have a quiet place?
It seems to me that it is very difficult to find a place that is quiet. Life has so many voices. There are people voices, appliance voices, animal voices, media voices, and street voices all calling to me and intruding on the voices that are already screaming in my head.
I try to find quiet pieces of time here and there when I can quiet my heart and mind before God. Sometimes that is not enough, especially when those voices of life become like a steamroller headed straight for me! 

At times it seems the only way I can truly find a quiet place is to get away for a little while. (To move out of the way of the steam roller if you will.) The other night I did just that. I drove out to the edge of town and watched as the sun set in a pool of pink and red and orange. I watched as row after row of grapevines became gnarly, tangled, silhouettes against these desert colored sky. In the distance a line of black, tall, palm trees looked like a picture post card from some tropical paradise.
I watched and waited as the stars began to peek out of the growing blackness. The smell of dust, drying grasses, and hay bales filled my nostrils.
The mosquitoes buzzed my ears and face, occasionally tasting my sweaty skin as I leaned against my hot car. Even though the sun had long since set I could still feel the waves of heat coming up off the ground.
From my vantage point could see the oncoming headlights of the traffic on the Ridge Route like a string of diamonds twinkling on a piece of black velvet. I listened as an occasional owl screeched through the black night and occasionally farm dogs barked from the distance.
As I walked back and forth stirring up the chalk like dust and covering my feet in the gray powder, I prayed and cried out to God. What I had been looking for and what I found was stillness. I had found that much needed 'quiet place' where the voice of God could be heard above and not drowned out by every other thing that demanded my attention.
For a moment as I looked up into the night sky time seemed to stand still. For a moment I was able to be still and know the He is God.
"Duties do not clash any more than do the stars...if we are inwardly quiet we shall see the purposed sequence and take them one by one. An angel is never sent on more than more than one errand at a time." Amy Carmichael

Blessings,

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Angel Visits

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
Is it possible for a believer to get to the point that they are without hope? I believe so. I am convinced that any time we allow our focus to stray to the left or the right there are any number of things that can happen to our thought process.
There are circumstances in life sometimes that bump us so hard we can become disoriented. God is compassionate with His children and has encouraged me many times. Occasionally in scripture the words strengthened and encouraged are used interchangeably. With good reason, when we are encouraged we are renewed in our spirit and that encourages us!
The day before Easter I was so discouraged I had lost hope. I don't usually get to that point but on this day I was in a very dark place indeed.
I remember crying out to God. Telling Him "I NEED a Resurrection miracle." "I NEED the shadow of the cross to fall on me and renew my strength!" I went to bed that night broken and spent from crying.
The next morning as I was getting ready for church my husband walked up behind me and with a odd tone in his voice said to me. " I heard somebody breathing on your side of the bed; and it wasn't you." The minute those words registered in my sleep deprived mind I knew...I knew in my heart that God had answered my prayer. "It was my angel." I said, as if angel visits were commonplace and he shouldn't have be surprised by it!
Angel visits are not commonplace. Though I believe we are surrounded by heavenly hosts all the time I do believe it is an unusual occurrence to see or hear one.
Now some of you may have issues with what I am sharing here and that's okay, but if anything I share here is a blessing to anyone then my ramblings of this sleep deprived woman are of great value indeed! I am convinced that God wants to comfort us and encourage us, that is why He sent the Comforter to us. The Spirit is here to comfort and encourage us, He enables us to do God's will and God's work.
We are to likewise encourage and comfort each other. AMEN.

God wants to move mightily in my life and yours too, and will if we let Him. I personally DO NOT want to settle for a mediocre Christian life. I want fire in my veins! All the pain and frustration of these past few months has made me hungry for a life of PASSIONATE FAITH!!!
Aren't you ready to break out of the box? Aren't you ready to see what God will do if you let go? I AM!
Blessings,


Faith Lessons

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
How often I have thought on this verse from Hebrews over the past few weeks. What I believe God has been speaking to me and what is evident in my circumstances are contrary. I have chosen to act on faith believing that what God says is true and will come to pass.
How freeing it is to walk with that assurance that God is the God of the unseen, as well as the seen. He spoke the world into creation and we can trust in His word!
Each night I go out and sit beneath the stars. It is an exercise in faith that reminds me that God is a God of detail and that He hung each star in it's designated place with the eye of an artist and the precision of a mathematician. He has not only created them but named each and every one of them.
This is the God of detail that is always watching over me and is intimately involved in my life.
He has taken great care these past few months to teach me how to trust Him. He has used the most unusual circumstances and unexpected people to do so. He has gone to great lengths to guide my heart into a place where I can say with confidence I trust God with the details of my life.
I have had more peace than I ever thought possible during very difficult times. Not because of anything I have done but because God has proved Himself faithful over, and over, and over again.
Blesiings,