Monthly Archives: February 2018

Just some things on a Wednesday <3

If your life is like mine in the last few days, we seem to have a lot going on.

So many prayer needs being requested by friends…so much crazy escalating in the news and time flying by at warp speed…it’s the end of FEBRUARY people!!

And yet again…I have a visit scheduled to the chiropractor before heading to work so…five randoms to share and I am outta here <3

  1. Reading in Mark this morning, since our all-church study for Lent is coming from this Gospel account, and so rich.

Tons packed into each verse but for today…look at the lesson 1:31.

Peter’s mother-in-law is sick and here is the ministry of Jesus…

  • He came
  • He took her by the hand and lifted her up
  • She is immediately healed
  • She begins serving

That’s my story…how about you?

2.  Rachel shared the following in a text last night and I can’t stop laughing.

She wrote that after picking fights with his little brother all day yesterday, Emmett brought her the Bible at bedtime and told her Joely needs Jesus.

Isn’t that like us sometimes?

We can’t get along with people so we figure THEY need a Jesus dose….oh my…from the mouths of babes we get our refining <3

3.    I worked most of the day going through boxes in one of the spare bedrooms.

Several of them contained “memorabilia” from early years of our marriage/parenting and a tub of photos and papers and such from my mom and dad’s collection.

I sorted through everything from Russ and my dating years to brittle and yellowed baptism certificates for my grandparents.

One of the more hilarious ones was this makeshift envelope of treasures from my mom complete with the underlined warning “I want them back”…because hoarders gotta hoard ….

Sent the pic to our three and Sarah responded…now we know where she gets it.

One afternoon down memory lane and taking time to fashion an envelope to mail…means the dust lingered another day atop the furniture.

Yep…like mother, like daughter.

4.  And will throw in this gem of me and my dad on my first birthday….and yes…that date on the bottom is accurate.

so….

5.   I will close with my last favorite gleaning from Mark today and that would be how Jesus would get up early in the morning and go off by Himself to pray.

The habit is recorded early in this Gospel in verse 35.

I love how he has been off praying for hours all by Himself and then the disciples come looking for Him to inform Him of the day’s agenda.

There are a lot of people who need You to do things for them so let’s get cracking, Jesus.

And Jesus says…nope.

We are headed to a new place today because there are others I need to preach to.

Jesus had spent time with God and sought His will so that He didn’t respond to the immediate but spent his energy on the main thing for that day.

On earth, He could only be in one place doing one thing.

Just like you and me.

What’s  your one thing today?

Get out there and do it…and do it well….in His Name and for His glory.

Blessings dear ones…you are loved <3

 

Wouldn’t you think God would get sick of us?

As I am reading along in the Chronological Bible, I just finished the uplifting passages that record Joshua’s leadership over the nation of Israel.

Shortly after the rousing conclusion when he basically says…make up your minds people.

Are you going to follow little g gods or Jehovah…the I Am…the one who brought us through and has given us promises and the ability and help we need to fulfill all of them?

You can almost hear the swelling score of a finale as he declares…I don’t know about you, but as for me and mine…WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.

All the people weep and mourn and say US TOO!! Yesss!!

Cue the fist bumps and goose bumps and tears on the faces of the audience as a fancy scripted….”and they lived happily ever after” … scrolls up the screen.

And then you turn the page and land in Judges and have mercy.

It’s one fiasco of human mess after another.

A cycle of falling away from God…suffering oppression and depression…crying out…repenting…and God comes in and saves the day again.

And again.

And…yet again.

I am only on the second cycle as of this morning and I am already sick of Israel.

Sick of them and yet their ridiculous behavior reminds me of someone…me.

I listened to a good sermon yesterday from Grace Covenant in Austin.

The pastor was talking about our need to acknowledge that we are all creatures of the flesh.

We all will struggle throughout our lives against a strong nature that gets off track easily. He reminded us we are constantly in a cycle of seeking the secret of Contentment.

We find our true… never-run-dry in knowing that our approval is from God alone… contentment.

We believe and declare that to have Him is to have all that we need.

Yet we wander from this truth as we begin to get worried about anything that might threaten our state of contentment.

Circumstances…opinions of others…self-thought and self-doubt…addiction to the good feeling of “contentment” instead of worship of the One who is our contentment.

Exalting BEING content instead of the ONE who sustains us.

So we cycle off into trying to secure the other things that we think will bring us peace until we realize that we have erected some altars and stuck some Ashera poles in the ground and made friends with fascinations…and boom…

We have run amok once again and we cry out and The God who saved us…rescues our sorry, messy selves yet another time.

We may get sick of us…but He has pity on us and extends to mercy to us and never washes His hands of us…but bears the scars of us on His own hands.

He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds you are healed    1 Peter 2:24    NLT   <3

Because this is what is on my heart and mind this morning <3

You all know I love pictures that tell a story. Like this one says that at the time I took it, a bunch of people I love so much were walking in their sock feet all over our house.

Eating and playing and laughing and loving.

But today I saw a picture of empty shoes that will haunt me throughout the hours and I will lift prayers for some feet I do not know.

Young girls…over a hundred of them…left worn and dusty sandals scattered across yet another school yard in Nigeria.

Another abduction leaving parents wailing and asking the government to act.

It is beyond comprehension that this continues and yet is buried on the back page of the local paper in a tiny paragraph.

I had to google BBC to get more of the story.

So today, don’t forget to pray for them.

Pray for the over a hundred of the 276 girls taken in 2014 who never returned home.

Cry out to God on behalf of those who have no advocate around the world except for Him.

Blessings dear ones.

Your prayers avail much.

Do not cease to cry out for those who have no voice in this world  <3

All that’s missing is the Cheshire Cat <3

As of yesterday at 10 am I am attempting to adjust to wearing what is known in the optical world as “progressive bifocals”.

I prefer to call them “falling down the rabbit hole” or “the crazy dizzy boat ride in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”

Without the fun of any of those.

Because currently, anything with in the range of 1 inch to oh…six feet is so skewed that I may need to take dramamine just to finish this post.

To give you an idea, yesterday as I was preparing dinner…all of this occurred at the exact time….

our lettuce spinner and all round lids looked like ovals, the counter looked like it slanted both backwards and sideways PLUS had the appearance of a topographical map of the alps in black granite finish.

My phone looks like a trapezoid as does this computer screen and I would swear the desk is currently tipping dangerously downward toward the foggy area of the floor to my right.

I am seasick in my own world of dry land.

It is only with great effort that I try to remind myself that nothing has really changed shape or levels or flatness….it is just the glasses.

Right now, more than ever…seeing is NOT believing.

So this morning I took special and personal note of one of the passages as I work my way through Joshua in the Old Testament.

After Israel had entered the Promised Land and shortly into several major victories, a group of travelers showed up claiming to be from a distant land. They wanted to make a peace treaty with this successfully conquering army that had already sent shock waves through the country side.

They pointed out that since their homeland was so much further from the area of conquest, they would be no trouble to this new nation that was taking over the land.

In tattered clothes and weary from the road trip, they produced the evidence to back up their story.

Cracked wine skins that had aged on the journey and bread, once fresh at the outset, was now molded and dry.

We are told in Joshua 9:14 that the men of Israel sampled the evidence but failed to inquire of the LORD.

Based on what they saw and tasted, they made a peace treaty.

Interesting.

The optometrist told me I need to wear these glasses for a couple of days and then my eyes will adapt. I do need to be able to wear them sometimes and so I will endure this Fun House Mirror world they are creating.

However; as I fight to keep my balance in a world that is appearing more and more skewed…I don’t want to trust my own “spiritual eyes” but seek the LORD daily for wisdom to know when the “peace treaties” I am being offered are simply a ruse.

I cannot trust my perceptions…my tastes…my visions.

I will bless the LORD who gives me counsel, my heart also instructs me in the night seasons. I have set the LORD always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.    Psalm 16:7-8 NKJV

Of Ubers and the Gospel <3

So, while we were in Florida, I took yet another step deeper into modern times and let Russ add an Uber app to the arsenal on my phone.

It came with no small amount of stress on my part as I watched him punch in numbers and such and ask me passwords; which, of course I couldn’t remember, so we had to get new passwords.

But finally the deed was accomplished and I now can call a total stranger to come and pick me up, hop in the back seat of what I think is the right vehicle and be taken, hopefully, to my desired destination.

Easy Peasy except for the freaking out over all the “what-if’s” part that go with being me.

And why did I allow this to happen?

Because I needed to get somewhere down in the southland and it was my best option for transportation. Seems one of our younger tribe members has landed in that part of the country and I made a lunch date with this gem….

Which is how I found myself chatting it up with my first Uber driver as he zipped down the highway from our hotel to a lunch date in Disney Springs.

To lighten the awkwardness, I attempted to make small talk, which I am about as good at as trying new and slightly adventurous things and let me tell you…it was not being received well.

After I made a couple of comments about traffic and the weather, the driver played like he was hard of hearing so I gave up.

However after a wee bit of a pause, he began attempting to talk to me in very broken English.

Using one hand to hold the wheel and the other to gesture wildly…not to mention the fact that he felt the need to make eye contact occasionally…another story in itself because did I mention we were in the Disney madhouse traffic??….he explained that he was not so good at my native language.

He was able to tell me that he spoke Spanish and Italian fluently but English not so much and that he could understand it better than he could speak it but only if it was spoken slowly.

He must have thought I was slow because he repeated this last part several times and each time would release his hands from the wheel and make sign language for “slow down” as he turned to make sure I understood.

I never wished I could say “I got it” in Italian as much as I did in those moments.

We did arrive safely and he was totally able to communicate to me how to give him five stars and a tip on the Uber app….

of course…

priorities…

and I said Gracias/Grazie and used the universal hand wave to say good-bye and we parted ways.

But it made me think.

As we journey through the season of Lent and anticipate the celebration of our Risen Savior in early April, we will have opportunities to speak to others outside our faith about why all of this matters to us and why we want it to matter to them.

Sometimes we forget that we, inside the church, speak in a language that is different and foreign to those outside.

Maybe we can use this season to slow down a little and, instead of speaking louder, we could try listening and responding gently.

Perhaps we can ask questions about what others think of what we believe and start some dialogues that open the door to clear up misunderstandings about Jesus and His ministry to us and share in meaningful ways why we now follow Him.

The series being offered at First Christian this Lenten season is helping us to see Jesus through the eyes of the Gospel of Mark. Sermons and study tools are available on the church website at http://www.firstdecatur.org/sermons and by texting FIRSTDECATUR to 245-87.

I hope you will join us.

I said …..

I

HOPE

YOU

WILL

JOIN

US

<3