Monday, April 27, 2009

Kick Off to a Crazy Week

Hey gals, I hope that this note finds you all doing well and enjoying some springtime sunshine...I'm having a moment here myself!

My man's medical procedures went well last Thursday...Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow! He had a couple of down days due to pain and is still trying to adjust to some new meds, but overall he is good.

I, on the other hand, am a scattered mess. Time that I had allocated to devote to writing for the retreat I'm speaking at this coming weekend...Can't wait!!!...was used in helping my husband. Therefore I am really behind in prep.

So, no Verse to Chew On this week and probably no other blog posts as well. I know that the timing of my husbands medical issues, in relation to this retreat, didn't take God by surprise and I know that He will be faithful to meet me and supply His Word for those precious ladies, but I need to 'hermit up' and put in my time.

Things should be back to normal next week. Not only will our weekly devotional by up and running but I plan on adding in a new weekly spot called Worship Wednesday!

Praying that your week is filled with special Jesus moments!

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Verse to Chew On - What Are You Eating?

OK, it's almost noon here in Idaho on A Verse to Chew On day and I haven't had a minute to get with it. It's laundry day, as is every Monday, and I usually get this done between loads of laundry right after dropping my girls at their respective middle and high schools. However, today brought some other 'to-do's' a fridge on the blink, (I'll spare you the details of what I've been dealing with), and other chores that are usually allocated to other weekdays, (I had to double up today since I am prep-ing for a retreat that I will be speaking at and accompanying my husband to the hospital for some procedures later this week).

So, it looks like I'm just not going to be able to get it done...and I had a thought. Why don't you comment on the verse that you've been chewing on lately, or one of your favorite verses. I think this will be a lot of fun and frankly I could use the refreshing from you.

Please take a minute and share with my 10's of blog followers =], what the Lord has been speaking to you lately. I will be checking in between loads of laundry to post your comments.

**My friend Whitney sent me the following, via email, in response to this post. It's worth sharing with you all..."In his Easter message, Pastor Tri mentioned heirloom vs hybrid seeds which got me to thinking about a passage I had recently read in Judges 2 focusing on vs 10. 'After that whole generation had been gathered up to their fathers, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord not what he had done for Israel.' This has led me to really pause and be deliberate. While a relationship with Christ is a personal decision (hybrid), we have a huge responsibility to deliberately invest ourselves in the younger generation teaching them the essence of our faith (heirloom). The question I've been pondering...Am I being a good steward of the faith that was invested in me?

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Verse To Chew On - My Determined Purpose

(For my determined purpose is) that I may know Him - that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding (the wonders of His person) more strongly and more clearly. And that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from His resurrection (which it exerts over believers); and that I may so share His sufferings as to be continually transformed (in spirit into His likeness even) to His death. Philippians 3:10 Amplified

Well, it looks like I've cut us a big slice to chew on this week, doesn't it!?! =] The Amplified version of the Bible is like that. It amplifies what is being said by giving us the fullness of the text from the original language.

In light of the fact that we celebrated the Resurrection of Jesus yesterday, I thought this verse was more than appropriate for this week. I'm in a time crunch this week, so I'm not going to expound on this verse - but, I don't really think it needs it anyway. I am going to ask you to think on a couple of questions as you meditate, or chew, on this verse this week...

1) Is it your determinded purpose to know Jesus more? If so, how can you become more intimately involved with Him? Will it require a lifestyle change to accomodate the time it neccessitates to get to know Him better?

2) The same power that resurrected Jesus from the grave lives inside of every believer through the person of the Holy what way do you desire it to transform you?

He is Risen! - yes risen indeed! That is the cry that went forth in many churches yesterday. How amazing to know that we can see the evidence of the Ressurection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, fleshed out in our own lives!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jellybeans & Jesus

This has been a busy week for me. Lots of ministry prep going on and a sick daughter at home. The sick child required a couple of trips to the local pharmacy. While there I was overwhelmed by all of the candy and toys they had displayed for the upcoming Easter holiday. This however, did not surprise me as much as what I found in doing some research for an upcoming teaching event. When I plugged in the word Easter to my clip art program I was inundated with dozens of pictures of bunnies, baby chicks and candy before even one image popped up reflecting the spiritual connotation of this most holy holiday.

Sad, frustrated and maybe even a little angry, if I'm being truly honest, were some of the emotions I've felt this week. Again, I've been confronted with the realization that the week that is set aside by Christians to reflect on the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ has been infiltrated by commercialism!

Now don't get me wrong, I do enjoy preparing for a visit from the Easter bunny in my own home...never met a chocolate bunny or a bowl of jellybeans that I didn't like. But, I am concerned that these things can overshadow the amazing work done by HIM for us.

The Lord reminded me, in the midst of my attitude, of something that I did faithfully with my girls when they were little. Always looking for a way to keep them focused on the true meaning of holidays, like Christmas and Easter, I worked up a way to incorporate one of our favorite seasonal candies into a devotional.

I would give each of my girls one of every colored jellybean in a bag. One by one we would talk about what that color represented in the Easter story. It would go something like this...

Yellow - God's Word tells us that the streets of heaven are made of gold. John 14:2 says there are many mansions there and Jesus is preparing a place for all that believe in Him. Heaven is perfect; there is no sin, sickness, death or fear.

Black - Romans 3:23 says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We need to get rid of our sins before we can enter heaven.

Orange - the color of the sun reminds us of God's Son, Jesus. John 3:16 tells us that God sent His Son to take our sins away...something that we can not do for ourselves.

Red - Christ came into this world to show us His love by dying on the cross for our sins. We must believe that His blood cleanses us from all sin. I John 1:7,9

Purple - reminds us of the suffering of Jesus as He choose to die for us. He was perfect, without sin and yet took our sin on Himself so that we might have salvation. Matthew 27:50

White - Psalm 51:7. Jesus will wash our sins away and make our hearts clean when He forgives us. He then remembers our sins no more.

Green - II Peter 3:18. God wants us to grow as Christians. Just like green grass keeps on growing we must too. We grow by studying the Bible and praying and reaching out in love to others.

Pink - this color represents the joy that we have as Christians knowing that we are forgiven and that we have a relationship with the Father because of all that Jesus did for us, and because we now have the Holy Spirit living inside of us to help us and comfort us. John 10:10 tells us that Jesus came that we might have an abundant life.

This evening I am going to get out the candy jar and my Bible and talk with my girls, again, about all that Jesus has done for us! I pray that, this Resurrection weekend, you will blessed by the precious presence of our Lord and Savior!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Passionate Not Perfect!

Yep, that's my new motto! Well, not so new - I've had it a couple of years, but in the big scheme of my life, it's new.

And it didn't come a minute too early either. You see, I lived my life mostly as a perfectionist. Now don't get the idea that I did every thing perfectly. Because I knew that I couldn't, I did a lot of nothing.

I was of the mindset that if you did something you'd better do it right or not do it at all. There were some things in my past that I had great success in, and then there were others that I didn't even attempt due to a fear of failure. In retrospect, that's a sad way to miss out on so many things by thinking that you need to be great at them, or know how to do everything well before beginning.

Life is not like that. I'm not saying that we should engage in things with a so-so attitude or that we should settle for mediocrity. I'm saying that we should embrace the adventure of life. If you are a Christian, Jesus has an adventure for each of us to live out. He doesn't expect us to be perfect in our walk with Him or our attempts to serve Him. He does expect us to be obedient!

If we passionately pursue Him, He will perfect us. The Bible promises us that Jesus is not only the author of our faith but the perfecter as well! Boy, is that freeing. God calls us to do many things as women that we won't be perfect in...marriage, (celebrating 20 years today in spite of ourselves =]), parenting, (have given my two great girls the disclaimer "I won't parent you perfectly through the teen years - but I'm passionately committed to you), and ministry, (which looks different in each of our lives). But we don't do any of these alone!

What ever God calls you to, however He chooses to stretch you, remember that you don't have to fear failing Him. He wants to do it with you...wants you to be obedient and do life in the power of His Spirit. Will we make mistakes, yep...but that's OK. We can learn from our mistakes and frankly I would rather make a couple of mistakes in passionate obedience than miss out on what God has prepared for me.

How about you?

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Verse to Chew On - Radiant Beauty

"When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord." Exodus 34:29 (Italics-mine)

More than ever before American women are bombarded with tools to help them in their pursuit of ageless beauty. There are creams to reduce the crinkles. Bangs or Botox to help with saggy foreheads. Lip plumpers, cosmetics and chemical peels. There are products and procedures that I can neither pronounce or spell. Their purpose is all the same - to help women look younger and feel more beautiful. I have no problem with this, within reason. I 'grease' myself up before bed, apply 'paint' before exposing myself in public and spend a fair amount of time arranging my bangs to cover a multitude of 'sins'. There are a few other things that I might try to if I weren't such a chicken! =]

I think Moses was on to something that the beauty industry has no clue about. Our Verse to Chew On declares that he had a face that was 'radiant'. Isn't that what so many of us want? Moses' radiance didn't come from an external application however. No, his radiance came from time with the Lord! He was not even aware of the difference in his appearance - but those around him noticed. Moses had a radiance that was more than skin deep.

I don't know about you, Sister~Friend, but I want a glow like that. And not just so that I can look younger and feel more beautiful, (although that wouldn't hurt =]). Instead, I want this radiance because of the nature of it's Source. Moses glowed because he had 'spoken with the Lord'. Now, he had come fresh from a 40 day mountain top adventure where he had the awesome experience of receiving the Ten Commandments. We will never have that specific experience with the Lord, but even in the midst of the ordinary of our lives we can have the extraordinary of God!

Ladies, we begin and end our day in front of the mirror. We can also begin and end our day at the feet of Jesus in the mirror of His Word. God can use His Word to show us who we are in Christ, to speak the truth into our lives and let us know how much He loves us. There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who knows her Father, is in love with Jesus and filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit.

I want to be the type of woman who radiates the presence of the Lord. Not because I am vainly looking for a Divine face lift, but because I desire a relationship so intimate with the Lord that I reflect His goodness to others. I am going to leave you with a few more words to chew on. These were told to me by a friend...she actually had them painted around her daughter's mirror. "Outward beauty fades away. Clothes wear out and hair turns gray. Make your heart a quiet place, where God plants beauty on your face.".

As you chew on this verse answer these questions...Can you think of someone you know who's appearance reflects the fact that she spends time with the Lord? Moses' radiance came from 40 days alone with God - in what ways can we experience time alone with the Lord each day? Besides a change in our countenace what are other advantages to being in relationship with God? Please feel free to share your responses here for others to chew on. =]

Sunday, April 5, 2009

There's No Place Like Home!

I have now been home for a little over 24 hours. I was gone for 3+ days...Varsity Choir Tour with my oldest daughter to the east side of the state. We had a great time. Our high school choirs performed, were coached by college profs and got to sit in on some amazing concerts. The only downside of the event was the weather. Apparently no one informed that section of Idaho that it's officially Spring. We were greeted and kept company by snow. On a whole, my family has adapted to the winters in this state much better than springtime. It's a given that winter will be cold - you buck up and hunker down and deal with it. Spring on the other hand is a different sort than what we were used to in So. Cal. My oldest daughter says that Idaho springs are bi-polar. Today is gloriously sunny and somewhat warm. The time spent on tour more closely resembled the north pole! =]

We missed the milder weather on this side of the state. My 16 year old and I also missed home and we were thrilled to walk through the door at 3 am on couldn't tell by our sleep deprived swagger, but inside we were jumping up and down! =] She and I mostly missed the Daddy, (her daddy - my husband) and the Little Sister! But we also missed our own beds, the dog and relaxing on the family room sectional.

It wasn't the house or our stuff that we missed, (even though we really like our house and stuff =]). We missed that sense of family and being where we belong. There is a huge difference between a house and a home. In the almost 20 years that my husband and I have been married our house has taken on various forms...a tiny cottage in an olive grove, an apartment or two, one townhouse, a California Ranch and now our cosy 2 story...but our home has remained consistently the same. A place that we can relax, unwind, be ourselves, laugh, cry, and learn. Our home is not always perfect. Feelings get hurt here and balls are dropped from time to time. But there really is no place like home!

Let me know what you think the difference is between a house and a home. Tell me what 'home' means to you and why you love yours!