Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Little Feet

Monday, June 28, 2010

Praise Him By Name

Do I notice you when you do great things in my life?
Do I notice you and praise you when you orchestrate regular things?
Do I cry out to you in my distress?
Do I worship you because you are faithful, because you are good, and because you are God Most High and Savior of my weary soul?
Do I acknowledge you by name as your mercies flow to me every morning?

.... OR

am I busy making granola,
frustrated again at the messes the kids have left around ,
frustrated that we had watched another game instead of having a date,
or bothered that I was weary in heart?

Look at the book of Esther?
Where do they cry out to their God for mercy when they face destruction? 
Where do they offer God praise for all that he did in saving the nation from annihilation?
Where do they fall on their faces in worship of the awesomeness of a God who orchestrates the minutest detail to derail the enemy of the Jews?
This is so sad.
This book used to be a "fairy tale" book to me... Look at the wonderful people who did wonderful things!  The bad guys lose.  The good guys win!
But this time, it was a sad book to me.  Where, Oh God, do they acknowledge you by name, call on you by name and worship you by name?  Where do they fall on their faces?  Where do they cry out to you?  Where do they celebrate your deliverance?  Where?

Wake up!
Offer Praise, adoration!
Come to me in your distress!
Call on me and I will answer!

Lord help me not to miss out on the workings of You in my life or be too distraught, distracted or self-sufficient to bring praise and honor to You, the Savior of my soul!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Behold His Face!

I found a verse that I hadn't noticed before.

"For the Lord is righteous.
He loves righteousness.
The upright will behold his face."

Psalm 11:7
The whole psalm is a reminder "to whom do I take refuge?"
The answer being the Lord

What is the Lord like.
What is He?
He is righteous.  All will be made right.  That is who He is.  There is no other refuge.

What is the heart of God?
He loves righteousness. 
He loves it.
His heart is set on what is right.

Now for the awesome cream.
The upright will behold his face!
We who are upright!
We who take refuge in him.
We will behold his face!
Here it doesn't mention his glory, his strength, his power to destroy our enemies, nor his mercy for us as we trust in him, nor his lovingkindness...
But look and see how intimate.
Here he says we will behold his face!  His face!
Oh to look on him, to behold his face!
To see his eyes looking into my heart, to enjoy the grin on his face, to behold his person!
The upright will behold his face!
To gaze on the love of my soul.
He has made me upright.  He says it will happen.  I believe it!
I long to behold his face.  I worship you Father.  I long to behold your face. 
Come Lord Jesus.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Gift of A Day

A beautiful day.
Sunshine on faces.
Peanut butter sandwiches.

A family day.
Biking through the woods.
Which way is north?

A restful day.
Just the five of us.
Together and enjoying just being.

These are the jewels to remember.
These are the moments to take.
These are the hearts we cherish.
Talking together.
Discovering splendor.
Fatigue and laughter.
These are the jewels to remember.

A gift of a day.
Each one is.
This one we noticed.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

You Are My Home

Are we ready to move?
I love our home
His timing
His grace for our needs,
His kindness in His gifts to me
I am ready.
I love the adventure.
What does he have next?
Will he lead as he has lead before?
How do we wait?
Wait patiently for the Lord.
Wait patiently.
Will I plant tulips this year?
 I never did at this home.
This world is not my home.
I am a vapor.
But maybe I'll plant at our next home.
I counted 60 moves.
25 feet down homes.
There were more.
Some back and forth.
Homes, boarding schools,
How do I put roots down?

You are my roots.
You are my strength.
In You I run.
In You I soar.
In You I find great comfort and joy.
You are my home.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Kyla... 11... so full of life... so precious...

This picture makes me smile
Did they think the air was full of sugar... or were they just full of sugar :)

Character of Submission - Esther

These two verses in Esther 2 show something about the character of Esther.
Up to this point we do not hear much about her character.  Watch how she responds to those under whose authority she was placed.  In neither case did she choose to go under their authority.  Look at her humility.

15 When the turn came for Esther (the girl Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king,  
she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, 
the king's eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. 
And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her. (NIV)

It seems simple enough and yet, she trusted Hegai (with whom she had already won favor from the very beginning) and only did as he suggested, not presuming to know better than he and God points it out in the story written of her life.  This detail could have easily been bypassed.  She recognized that she did not know what would be the best to take in with her to the king, but rather she knew to take advice...

Can you imagine the life that Esther had been thrust into?  Forced into relationship with the king with no choice, and if not pleasing, to end the rest of her days in the "second" harem.  Would we think it's about time to start a pity party, to let bitterness creep in "justified?"...

But Esther "won the favor of everyone who saw her."  If she had been demanding, self-centered, and critical or pious... would this have been said of her?   Would Hegai have given her the best treatment?

20 But Esther had kept secret her family background and nationality  
 just as Mordecai had told her to do
for she continued to follow Mordecai's instructions  
as she had done when he was bringing her up. (NIV)

Here again, Esther follows instructions of one in authority over her and keeps a family nationality secret for no other reason than because Mordecai, her cousin, (daughter of his uncle) told her to do so. It says "she continued to follow Mordecai's instruction as she had done when he was bringing her up."  This tells again of her character of submitting herself under the authority she has been put under even as a child.

In both cases, she could have done as she pleased: chosen her own things to take in to the king and told those around her of her own nationality.  But she chose to listen to the advice of those in authority over her.

These small tests set the stage for the larger test to be thrown onto her plate which will threaten her very life, but these show the character by which she had lived in becoming prepared for the crisis ahead.

How do we live in the everyday as Esther did growing up under Mordecai?
How do we respond under the heavier test when life does not present itself in the way we imagined... becoming a concubine of a king?   Can you imagine?

Monday, June 7, 2010

My Ode to Amy,

          My friend
                    My sister
                              A treasure from Jesus

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Contagious Laugher
Sweet Spirit
(color adjustment assistance by Kyla Schneider)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A moment with Alek

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

To whom Do I give glory?

In writing my thoughts I often find that I am caught up in trying to please someone who might read what I have written; that I would somehow be perceived as "spiritually deep," thoughtful, funny or interesting; that I would receive glory.  
This is a tragedy.
Every moment I write I wrestle with this tragedy.
How easily my motives run askew. 
For my mind longs to honor God and yet in the very next moment I dethrone the Lord and seek to put myself on that throne and receive honor.

Romans 7:14... the struggle between two natures...
"Wretched man (woman) that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
... however, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.... will also GIVE LIFE to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you... if (living) by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.... received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out "Abba! Father!... we are children of God... heirs of God... fellow heirs with Christ if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him... sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us..."

Now comes my new most favorite verse...
vs26 "In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."

we are weak.  The Spirit helps our weakness.
we don't know how to pray as we should.  The Spirit intercedes for us... according to the will of God

"As we should" shows that sometimes we should be praying a certain way or in a certain attitude and yet we, being weak, overcome with struggles, distressed or faint in some way... cannot even see what is the way we should be praying about something... But God, being all gracious and kind, through his Spirit, He intercedes for us according to his will and the next verse after that shows how completely he does this.... "God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

We groan and long for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body, the creation groans, waiting for the setting free from its slavery to corruption... and then, here, the Holy Spirit groans on our behalf, when we are so nit-witted or overcome, he intercedes according to what HE desires to accomplish. 

Praise God for this!
In my new nature I desire that He do all according to his plan and yet in the moment many times I forget my desire, I loose sight of what is good and right and the WAR is being raged within my very being... wretched woman that I am... groaning for my adoption... and He intercedes.  No one else on the planet may be interceding for me... no one may be praying for me... But the one who searches the hearts and knows the mind of the Spirit intercedes for me according all that God desires!
Praise God for this!

Do we understand the depth of this?
"If God is for us, who is against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?" ... and then before the throne of God, whenever a charge is brought against us, JESUS himself intercedes for us!

Astounding Truth.
Astounding Love.
Astounding Provision.