Monthly Archives: April 2014

Psalm 38

In my quiet time this morning, I was led to Psalm 38 by a reference in one of the books I use for devotions. I also read it March 18th because it is dated and marked up.

I need it this morning. Maybe you do as well. From the notes in the margin next to the verses:

Consequences of sin and iniquity:

There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your anger, nor any health in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head ; like a heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds are foul and festering because of MY FOOLISHNESS. (3-5)

The pain of the struggle with our flesh:

I am troubled, I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are full of inflammation, and there is not soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and severely broken; I groan because of the turmoil of my heart. (6-8)

God sees. God knows:

Lord, all my desire is before You; and my sighing is not hidden from You. My heart pants, my strength fails me; as for the light of my eyes, it also has gone from me. (9-10)

No help can be found in people:

My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague, and my relatives stand afar off. Those also who seek my life lay snares for me; those who seek my hurt speak of destruction, and plan deception all day long. (11-12)

The Answer:

For in You, O LORD, I hope; You will hear, O Lord my God

Whatever pain we are going through, even and especially the pain that is the result of our sin and iniquity, God is The Answer. He is the only One who can forgive us, restore us and redeem the sins and iniquity of our past.

In this day and age of social networking and far too many talking heads, it is easy to attempt to find solace for our woes and confirmation of our rights.

But as we turn to God in His Word and allow Him to do the deep work of cleansing in our souls and spirits, we can confess our own sins and those committed against us and seek His deliverance and help.

May God bless you in whatever you are facing today <3

*all passages are from NKJV The Jeremiah Study Bible, 2013 by David Jeremiah Inc. Worthy Publishing (and God breathed through King David) <3

Joy Multiples Part 2….

This will be short because I have been gone from home since Sunday morning, driven home from St Louis today, gone to lunch with a friend, gone to the doctor, donated blood and well….that’s a lot for a gal like me.

But I had to share a moment.

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This is our Sarah, sitting beside one of her students who is playing in her first public appearance. Note the *proud father filming off to the side.

And imagine, the *proud mama that was picturing a little girl in a plaid skirt, white blouse and big old hair bow playing Mississippi Hot Dog on her violin on the steps of the grade school stage here in Soy City….all the way through to a beautiful young woman in a formal dress performing her senior recital before her college graduation …and all the concerts and ages and stages in between…..filming the whole scene from a folding chair in a gym in St Louis.

Joy multiplied. Joy upon Joy….

*there are those who have corrected me when I use “proud” with parenting….there is a pride that exalts itself above God, but we are limited in the English language and this is no pride goeth before the fall kind of proud….this is heart in your throat, how in the heck did God trust us with His creation, wondering how we made it through, humble praise of God for the privilege and gift of being someone’s mom <3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joy multiples

I am sitting on the couch in an apartment in St Louis. Our daughter, Sarah, had a gig at a venue here last night and her birthday was Saturday so it seemed only right to come and spend some time with her and Daniel.

Late last night as we were getting ready for bed, I showed her some video I took of some of the songs and then kept going back in the camera til I hit the pictures of Easter.

Things like…..

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and Sarah asked me a most insightful question.

She asked me if it was like watching our own three; did I remember those days as I lived in these.

It is precious to me that she perceived this and could name it.

Yes, yes I do.

In her asking, she put words to exactly how I feel. It is like I am watching these little guys running around and super-imposed on the whole scene are images of their mommy, and Tia and Uncle John. I can hear those little voices in my heart. I see them in their jammies, hair askew, running around as we hunted eggs, ate monkey bread and egg casserole and then hurried to put on our finest and head to church.

Layer upon layer of memories. Joy multiplied. IMG_0171

 

As I had watched her on the stage earlier in the evening, my camera recorded her for Russ to see, but my mind saw all sorts of images. Concerts, recitals, hours of practice in our living room and now a grown woman making her way in the music business. All of the images and memories stacked one upon the other in this heart of mine.

Joy, multiplied on JOY <3

 

Go fish

IMG_1798 Saying “yes” to God sometimes means sitting on the floor of a gym behind a folding partition while little and big kids throw cheap fishing poles from the dollar store over the top and you hook cheap plastic aquatic creatures on to the hooks and tug on them so the kids can “reel” in the catch.

Not that I am speaking from personal experience, of course.

Ok. I am.

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Our small group helped man the games for a school carnival that our church hosted last night. We have been talking about serving and so we had the opportunity to come alongside the staff of a local elementary school for their family night.

When we arrived, we had assignments. Mine was the fishing game.

There were two positions at this station. I could hand out the poles and prizes or sit behind the “pond” wall and provide the catch ‘o the day. I figured the kids would like to see a familiar face out front, so I took a seat behind the screen for two hours while the teacher helper fielded the fishermen.

My back hurt. My feet went to sleep. I was often peered at and laughed at by taller kids and parents as they couldn’t resist seeing how the poles were “catching” things.

It didn’t feel like service. It didn’t suit my set of giftings. It wasn’t particularly rewarding.

And so, in the realm of service, it was pretty much perfect.

Why do we always think that service is going to feel like we did something, or that we are going to be so blessed to help? Most service is really just showing up, doing the thing that needs to be done, and heading on home to warm up some leftovers because supper should have been eaten two hours ago.

It makes me think of how Jesus explained service in Luke 17. It reads kind of like this; what master, when his servant comes in from a hard days work, is going to say, “Well, bless your heart. Have a seat here and let me get you some dinner.” But instead, the master would expect the servant to get HIS dinner. It’s his responsibility. Sometimes I think we can over think serving instead of just saying “yes” to the opportunities we have for no other reason than someone is needed to serve and it may as well be one of us.

Is there some area where you are called to serve that seems thankless and small? I urge you to serve quietly and reverently as to the LORD! It is always Him, our Master, that we serve with great joy in all we do <3

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Bad hair day

Yesterday morning my hair hit that point that causes women to scream and want to throw a brush or slam a door. It’s like suddenly, overnight, my hair goes on strike and refuses to comply with my attempts to transform thin, fine, straight hair into the hair that people outside of our family actually see me in.

You have to be a relative by blood or marriage; or an extremely close and trusted friend, to see the real thing.

Sure enough, I check the calendar and it has been 5 weeks and 1 day since my last trim. So I frantically call the professional and make an appointment and bide my time, willing myself to not take the scissors to it until she can get it back in shape.

I should know better.

I should make the appointment in advance for 5 weeks because I know this hair. It has a 5 week limit on behavior.

Oh, I hope you can laugh at that.

But let me tell you. I used to do this with my spiritual life and that is not so funny, my friend.

Hair doesn’t instantly grow unruly over night. And neither does the soul.

We don’t just all of a sudden have a heart that has wandered from God. It has imperceptibly crept a little farther away until we finally do wake up; smack dab in the middle of a big mess of uncooperative unruliness.

I can well remember the cycle of falling away. The scream and the desire to throw something and the effort to try to fix the situation or to fix myself. The realization that the only fix was crawling back to God.

I also know that eventually the pattern got pretty old, and the real fix was to stay close to Him ALL the TIME.

I can’t trim my own hair every morning to cut back the daily growth. But I can start each day on my knees and in the Word. I can carry that word with me all day and stay in communication through prayer. I can confess and repent on the go instead waiting for it all to crash in.

It is the only way I know to keep these feet from veering and this heart from wandering.
God bless you as you stay close to Him.
And I hope you are having a GREAT hair day!