Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bad Guys, Super Heroes, and Jesus

Ah, the sounds of brothers playing nicely together.
“I got up and you say, ‘Whoa, I thought you died.’” my 7 year old commands.
“Whoa, I thought you died.” My 6 year old obeys and continues with, “Then I jump over the building and you say, ‘He is good!’”
“He is good.” Says the 7 year old with the same impressed-sounding emphasis on good.
This is how my boys often play. They narrate and direct each other. I really need to get them recorded before they grow out of this adorable phase. Meanwhile, my 5 year old son is asking, “Does Robin die? Does Batman die? Is Robin a boy? Can Robin die?”
Obviously my sons are big super hero fans. We even live with our very own super hero. My husband is a policeman. The forces of good verses evil seem to be the topic of conversation much of our day. If they’re not pretending, they’re asking questions. One of my recent favorites was, “Do bad guys sleep?” How did they come up with that one?
One day, I'm sure at God's prompting, I fired some questions right back at them. I asked, “What do bad guys do?”
“They kill people.”
Of course. “What else do they do?”
“They steal stuff.”
“Oh, like you stole that candy from your brother? Hmmmm, You’re a bad guy. Do bad guys lie?”
“Ok. Well you lied to me this morning. That means you’re a bad guy, too. Do bad guys say bad words?”
Now all three boys are a little more hesitant, “Yeah.”
“Mommy has said bad words before. I guess I’m a bad guy.” I really had their attention now. “We’re all bad guys. We all do things that are wrong. We sin. That’s why Jesus died for us.”
I don’t know if they totally understood, but one morning I overheard the following,
“I’m Batman!”
“I’m Spiderman!”
“I’m Jesus!”
I pray that someday my boys will see Jesus as their One True Super Hero!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Living for the Moment

I am reading Lysa TerKeurst’s book, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God. I just finished reading the chapter about living for the moment verses focusing on Jesus. “Our life will follow where we choose to focus our vision.” I have definitely been more of a living-life-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. My house shows it. My body shows it. This afternoon I went to grab an ice-cream bar out of the freezer. Just as I reached for it words from Lysa's book came to mind, “living for the moment.” So I left the ice-cream in the freezer where it will do me the most good. I repeated those words a couple of times out loud, “living for the moment” and it occurred to me to ask a question. Have I been living for the moment or have I been living for that moment when I see Jesus face to face? I am ashamed to admit that I have been focused on my own personal comfort. Day by day, moment by moment. Falling for the all too familiar if-it-feels-right-at-the-time-do-it mentality. So my latest thought is that it is okay to live for the moment… as long as that moment is His and not mine.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Hebrews 12:12-13 "So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs. Mark out a straight path for your feet. Then those who follow you, though they are weak and lame, will not stumble and fall but will become strong."

Just prior to reading this I was sitting on my fanny gathering up energy. I do this quite frequently. I'm really not sure where I think all the energy is going to come from or how it's going to find me while I'm daydreaming or snoozing. Anyway, I'm taking this scripture to heart this weekend. "Tired hands... shaky legs" sure describe me lately. "Mark out a straight path for your feet." In context this is setting your sights on Jesus. I also think it would help me to plan my days. Then those who follow me... (my kiddos?) can see a little bit of Jesus in me. I need to take more seriously this precious role that God has placed me in. My little guys are watching me. They immitate me. Berto and I will listen to them arguing in the next room and my hubby will raise his eyebrows at me condemningly when he hears one of them using one of my sarcastic remarks. Ooops. Why don't they ever copy the really intelligent things I say? Okay, they do that all the time. Just never in front of witnesses. Ha ha

Dear Father, please help me to make that straight path with you as the goal. I've been feeling convicted by Paul's analogy of the race for years now. Probably because Christianity is a marathon and not a sprint. Father, please help me to stay focused on you. Help me to be a Christian example for my kiddos and family. Please allow me to get a firmer grip with these tired hands. Thank you for your Living Word. Your Holy Spirit as guide. Friends and blogs who help keep me accountable. An understanding and patient husband. Supportive family.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Building Faith

God is just so amazingly Good! He has been especially astounding me lately. Then this morning I felt His presence and blessing so strongly upon our congregation. I get misty-eyed thinking about it now hours later. Our church has been buildingless for about 5 years. Sometime I will go into the details of how we found grace by leaving Grace and how we came to be called Faith. We have the land and some money. Most of us want to build a church. After much God-searching over the past few weeks our church elders have come to the conclusion that it truly is Impossible, Irresponsible, and Inappropriate for us to start building a church.... therefore we will start building a church! Amen! Closed fist thrown up in the air with loud, "Woo-Hoo!" Now I'll have to back up and offer a bit more background because that just sounds crazy.
Years ago our Pastor prayed, wisely, "Lord, please make it impossible for us to build a church." We want God, not us, to build His church, not our church. We set up a building commitee and started a building fund. Then things got a little scary (the inordinate cost of building, negative input at a fragile time, fear from our collective past of losing (being kicked out of) church buildings) and we've just been sitting in one place, buildingless, for a long time.
Partway through the "impossible, inappropriate, irresponsible" sermon, I was getting a little frustrated. It has been so painfully obvious to my family that we should start building and let God ... well LET God period. So when the three I's were introduced with scripture to back them, I found myself almost giving in with, "If our elders still can't see this, and now they are using scripture to prove this lack of faith as being justified, maybe we don't want to be part of this church afterall." I hate even writing that down. I LOVE my church! We've been through so much together. I love our pastor. I love each of our elders and their families. But God is my All In All. I can't be in a church that goes purposefully out of His will.
Then Pastor Bob posed a series of questions...
1)Do we need a church building? The answer was "Yes, we need a building of Faith."
2)Would God use a building to build our faith?
3)Does God intend to build faith by building Faith?
I remember nodding my head in agreement to all of the above. When it first occurred to me that we were going ahead with building, I remember glancing up from my notes (My hubby wasn't able to be there this morning and I wanted to be able to relay accurate information to him.) and meeting eyes with one of my best friends whose husband is an elder and dear friend. She was smiling with tears in her eyes. Later she told me she had been watching me write, and laughing at my facial expressions. I was a little irritated in the beginning. I found out my dear MIL was doing the same thing across the room from me. Taking notes, being irritated, thinking, "I guess this is it." For anyone who has been in a church split please know that I would never leave a church family because they didn't do something I wanted them to do... ie build a building. It just was so clearly God's Will that we build. I think that is why today was so sweet. God has been speaking. We've been praying and listening. God spoke some more... and we heard Him! I just love that! You could feel Him in that room with us. Pastor Bob mentioned this morning our first Sunday meeting after things went so wrong at our last church. Faith, which began with 5-families, had a massive population explosion one December day 4 1 /2 years ago. Most of us can remember clearly how Spirit-filled that room was. There was singing, tears, hugs, and just such a feeling of homecoming. Today felt quite similar. We are on the right track!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Hebrews 10:36 Patient endurance is what you need now, so you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
I'm not a "patient endurance" kind of gal, I'm more of a "jump in wholeheartedly and then fizzle out" kind of gal. Now that I know I am to write, I need to be patient. My tendency is to neglect everything else and devote myselft totally to writing.... then three days later I'm bored, exhausted, and living in a pigsty. Overcome with guilt about leaving everything else undone during the time I was writing (or painting, or scrapbooking, or reading) and feeling like a failure for having quit after such a short time, it could be weeks, months, or even years before I take it (whatever it happens to be) up again. I'm following a "read the Bible in a year" plan and I am constantly amazed at how God keeps telling me through His Word exactly what I need to hear and when. Isn't that silly? Why would I be surprized at that? But I am, delightfully so, each time it happens. I love how He so often works in the little ordinary day-to-day things to show us just how big His love for us truly is.

Friday, July 11, 2008

This is IT!

These past few days, and the past weeks leading up to it, have been like a giant blog/jig-saw puzzle. Reading Lysa TerKeurst's blog yesterday about following your dreams, reading various comments from a bunch of God-loving ladies, (many who are themselves writers) following rabbit trails throughout the Wonderful World Web, and this morning's discovery of Renee and her blog - Journey of My Heart has renewed my desire to write. For the past few weeks God has been sending me subtle (and some not-so-subtle) messages about my need to OBEY Him. I told a friend a few weeks ago that I felt that something big was about to happen. I realize now that this is it. I am a writer. I used to write ALL the time. Even as a teenager my philosophy had been, If I didn't write about it then it didn't really happen. Then I became a Christian and realized that much of my content was not pleasing to God. I was also humbled to the point of, Who do I think I am that I can write? Do I really even have anything to say? But now I realize how many other authors have had such an impact on my relationship with God and that I do have a way with words, Thank God. I have a testimony. I have a way of seeing unique connections in everyday life. One of my biggest fears has been not wanting to confuse or mislead my audience about God's Truth. I look at writing as a huge responsibility. People are searching and searching for God. What if I make a mistake in my writing and it leads someone astray? But isn't that just selfish? I wonder if that kind of thinking has been why I haven't written much yet in this New Life? The Bible offers some assurance .... "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand." John 10:28 More Later!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Little Lesson Learned

This morning I was sitting, er slouching, at the kitchen table... just dragging. I was watching the boys outside playing and I was thinking of all the things I needed to do. I prayed, "Lord, will you please give me energy?" I was hoping for a bolt of energy straight from heaven, what I got instead was a little bit of insight. As long as I was sitting on my tush, I wasn't going to get any energy. I didn't need it. So I stood up and reached for the dishrag to start washing the table. Even as soon as I was on my feet, I was happily humming and feeling energetic. While I was still sitting, contemplating my long list of tasks I was feeling hopeless about, I was remembering Phil 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strenthens me." I also thought about some books I've been reading where the author mentioned that they don't want to be able to claim that they were the ones who did it (whatever IT was) they knew they wanted it to be God. That's when I lifted up the prayer. I let go of my guilt, thinking, "Okay, I don't feel like it. So what. It's not about what I feel like. Quit feeling bad about it, and just let God work through you!"
After the huge A-ha! I thought about our church family and our desire to build our own church building. I love our pastor and he has been so careful about not wanting us to want a building for the wrong reasons. We also (probably unanimously) want God to build our church, not us. We've been saving and planning and scheming for about 4 years. Our pastor prayed recently asking God to make it "impossible for us to build." We don't want to take out a loan. I wrote this once and it got deleted. Now with 3 boys competing for my attention, my train of thought is lost. Okay, as long as we are just sitting (not building, not cleaning, not doing) we don't need the energy/money/resources. I didn't feel energetic until I actually needed it... I didn't need it until I stood up. It's not a matter of the un-biblical, "God helps those who helps themselves." It is more of a God doesn't necessarily need to, and in fact, often does NOT at all, lay out a clear path for you to just walk on. Once you start walking and practicing obedience, the path unfolds before you.... sometimes not until you are mid-stride.