Saturday, November 28, 2009


I love Psalm 37:4.

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. 

I once had a conversation with a friend where this verse came up.  We talked about how it's highly unlikely that this verse is meant to be taken literally.  More than likely God will not just give you the desires of your heart.  If by that it's meant that we will get whatever we want.  My friend suggested that maybe what this verse is actually saying is that He will put His desires in our hearts, so that our desires will be what He desires for us to desire.  

Does this make any sense?  I hope so.

A few years later, another friend and I had a conversation which referenced this verse.  This time, it was the beginning of the verse that was the focus of discussion.  "I wonder what is meant by 'delight'?" she asked.

Well, I have a concordance and I'm not afraid to use it.

This is what I found. The word that is translated to delight is Anag or anawg.  The definition of that word is to be soft or pliable.  

1. Easily bent or shaped. See Synonyms at malleable.
2. Receptive to change; adaptable: pliable attitudes.
3. Easily influenced, persuaded, or swayed; tractable.

Soak that one in for a second...

Be easily bent or shaped
Be receptive to change
Be adaptable
Be easily influenced

 (by) the Lord and He will give you the desires that He wants you to have in your hearts.



The moral of the story, as always,  is surrender.  Surrender and He will work it out. He'll even make it so you are totally fine with how He works it out.  Overnight?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

But He does work all things out for the good of those who are called by Him. I've seen it over and over and over. 

Is He awesome or what?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hope. Now.

I love the song by Addison Road called Hope Now.  I usually don't love a song the first time I hear it, but when I do, I know it's a good one.

My favorite line is:  I'm not my own, I've been carried by you all my life.  I'm physically incapable of hearing it without getting choked up.

Because it's. so. true.

So true.

When I look back at my life, there is no mistaking the fact that there IS a God and He is madly in love with me.  No other logical explanation for any of it.

My computer is not letting me copy and paste certain things for some supremely annoying reason, so I guess you'll have to click over there to hear it...

Monday, October 12, 2009


Balance has been on my mind a lot lately.  I'm kind of an ALL or NOTHING kinda gal, so balance is tricky for me.

Tricky or not, I think it's important.  In all things.  In health, in Spiritual matters and especially parenting.  I read this fantastic post today, and I think what makes it fantastic is balance.

I want what I want and I want it now.  Can you relate?  When I ask someone to do something, I want them to do it right now.  Please tell me I'm not the only one.  So, when I tell Chloe to come here, sit down, eat your chicken, give me that, leave that on, don't stand on that, give me a kiss....  I want it now.  I'm all about the first time obedience, yo. 

Ha!  Because I'm such a jedi master in obedience myself, right?  


I read Grace Based Parenting and realized that first time obedience (and the efforts that go into training for it) and grace based parenting don't exactly go hand in hand.  Ultimately, I want to have the relationship that God wants with me with Chloe.  I'm pretty sure that if God's number one priority was first time obedience, he'd have no doubt given up on me years ago...

So, with Chloe, I seek balance.  I'm not giving up hope of an obedient child.  I'm not even giving up hope for first time obedience.  I'm still me and still want what I want.  But I also know that our relationship is more important than what I want, what I think I need.  So how I'll go about it will be different based on that conclusion.  My expectations will be different.  Balanced, hopefully.

In my spiritual life...  Balance.  I desire to be holy because I know it's what He desires for me.  I try.  I fail.  I try.  I fail.  In most things, if I try that much and continue to fail, I quit.  I want perfection from myself, even if no one else cares.  I'm so thankful that God has given us His Word.  Filled with people who loved him, like I love him.  People who fail.  Miserably.  But they continue.  They don't quit.  They keep on keeping on.  And He blesses them every time.

I have questions.  There is so much of it that I don't get.  I keep trudging along and I continually remind myself:  Balance!  It's a process.  I'm not likely to understand it all until I meet Jesus face to face.  I can overthink a trip to the grocery store or cleaning my toilet, so trust me when  I say - I need balance when it comes to understanding scripture and not overthinking my questions and those things that seem to contradict themselves in scripture. Even though I know that they don't, with enough overthinking - they sure seem to.

Balance in my relationships.  For many years I carried the torch in almost all of my personal relationships.  If I didn't come visit, we didn't visit.  If I didn't call, we didn't chat. Balance has brought a lot of painful realizations, the worst of which is that a one sided relationship isn't a relationship at all.  I mourn the loss of friends that I loved dearly.  It saddens me that when I stopped doing all of the work, the friendships died.  When we begin to value balance and a healthy order of things, it's not always easy, but I believe it's always right.

I will continue to seek God and His version of balance.  I pray that with it comes peace, contentment and joy.  I think that would be a sure sign that I was on the right track, wouldn't you agree?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I Don't Get It

There is so much in Scripture that I don't understand.  It really kind of bugs me.  It almost seems like the more I seek to understand it, the more confusing it becomes.

I recently started reading Genesis.  When Pastors say that the Bible is as interesting and engaging as anything else you could want to read, I'd say, I have to agree.  Scandal, love, deceit, twists, turns, you name it.  One story that I have always found especially perplexing is the story of Jacob and Esau.

When Rebekah is carrying this set of twins, the Lord tells her that two nations are warring inside her and that the older one will serve the younger one.


I've mentioned before that I struggle with understanding God's Will, haven't I?  This is a classic case.


Esau is born first, and Jacob is born second.  Isaac favors Esau and Rebekah favors Jacob. When the boys are grown, Esau sells his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew.

That must of been some good stew.

When Isaac has gotten very old and is about to die, he tells Esau that he wants to give him his blessing.  Isaac likes stew too, so he asks Esau to go hunting and whip up a batch.  Rebekah overhears this and hatches a plan to trick Isaac into blessing Jacob instead.


Does Rebekah do this because the Lord told her this is how it was going to  be?  Or does the Lord know that this was the choice she would make, and therefore he prophesied what he already knew was going to take place, even though it wasn't necessarily His will for Isaac to be deceived?

Are you following me at all?  I hope so.  Because sometimes I have a hard time following myself.

Do you read the Bible?  Do you have questions like this when you do?  Is there one specific issue that comes up for you?

I am consistently scratching my head when it comes to free choice versus God's Will.  So often, when awful wretched things happen, I hear good people that love the Lord say this must have been His plan.  

I don't get it.

When I read the gospels and Jesus came against every form of disease, sickness, disfunction, imperfection or whathaveyou, he rebuked it.  He made it right.  So I find it hard to believe that many of those same things today are in God's Will.

How about this one?  What about salvation?  What about who's name is on the roster?  Do we put our names on it, or does God choose?  I know there are many people that believe God chose an elite group.  There are even several places in Scripture where Paul seems to refer to this very idea.  I don't doubt that there is a specific group of people that will be with Jesus for eternity.  Not for a second.  But when it is referred to as the "elect".  It makes it sound like we ain't the ones deciding.  It sounds a lot more like it's been decided for us.

It's a head scratcher in my book.

The good news is, we don't have to understand every aspect of the Christian faith.  Anyone else relieved by that?  I want to, but I also believe that it's highly unlikely any of us will this side of Heaven.  

So until that day, I will continue to seek God.  Not for understanding, but for relationship.  

And I know understanding will come. Even if I don't get it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

If Only It Were A Golden Calf

Oh, the idolatry...  

Biggest sigh ever.

Jesus is tracking me down wherever I go these days.  Or he's having my mail forwarded to a number of different people.  Either way, the slow process of breaking me down so HE can rebuild?

Uh, yeah.  I'd say that's underway, officially, now.

Brick by brick.

This oughta be fun.

He is taking the things that I've set up as idols in my life, and reminding me that He is the one I'm to worship.

He is literally destroying relationships, in an effort to show that the one with Him is the ONLY one that matters.

He is revealing the Pride and Selfishness that exist in my life.  And unfortunately, He can't get close to me when that disgusting debris is littering the path.

I just wish we lived in the days of the golden calves.  

Because then I could pay someone else to take that worthless thing to the edge of town, to the LANDFILL where it belongs.

But these days, our idols are our own flesh and bone.  They are our misconceptions about ourselves and others.  

And the process of breaking it up and hauling it to the landfill is a long and painful one.

But it's a necessary one, and I am onboard.  I'm even a little bit excited.  Ready to get my hands dirty.

And I know I will be better on the other side.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Open Hands

Our MOPS group started back up today.  I'm excited for my second year and trusting that God has great things in store...  This year I feel able to get more involved, so I've volunteered to be part of the steering committee.  I'm not sure what that looks like, yet.  But I think it's going to be a lot of fun.

God never ceases to amaze me, in His ability to speak truth directly to my heart in the midst of a group.  Our Mentor Mom is truly fabulous and I don't know how she does it, but she manages to speak directly to me almost every week.  How can she possibly know what I need?  She doesn't.  He does.  It's a beautiful thing...

Today, she was talking about relationships and how things can change, even when you don't want them to.  Word.  She talked about holding things with open hands, so it's a lot easier to not only let go, when it's time, but also to receive whatever God is going to put in it's place.

I needed to hear that.  Oh, how I needed to hear that.  The sticky buns?  I didn't need those.  The silly (and fun) game, that made me regret wearing heels?  Didn't need that.  But those words, that reminder?  That was worth the price of admission times 10.  Easily.

I knew I needed to bring myself back to a place of surrender.  Especially regarding a specific situation that I don't understand and I don't like.  Not one bit.  It makes absolutely no sense to me and I feel like it should be different.  But like most things in my life, it is outside of my control.  I've done all I can do to bring about a happy ending, and it's just not happening.  So what's my next step?


Even though I don't wanna.

I will, because I know there is always a lesson.  There is always good in there somewhere, even when all I can see is the dysfunction, the ugly and the enemy's wretched, wretched scheming.

So, I will surrender.  I will say goodbye to my plan.  And I will open my hands and wait for what God will place in them.  And this time, I will not close my hand around whatever that is. He gives and takes away, and it's a lot easier when it's not a tug of war.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I long to understand the heart of God.  I want to wade out past the confusing arguments of men and swim out into the vast deep knowledge of God.  I want the disagreements of this group and that church and those people to matter not, because God told me what he thinks about all of it.

All those things that seem like contradictions, but I know they can't be?  I want to understand and be able to help others understand, too.  

The questions keep coming like rain that overwhelms.  Rain that shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.

The rain, it can be good.

I guess it's like anything.  It can be good or bad.  Just depends on how you look at it.

The questions have the power to separate or draw in.

I'm leaning in.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Power of Praying

A couple of years ago, I bought the book The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian.  I read through the book, praying each prayer at the end.  I underlined a lot of stuff, like I do.  It went on the shelf for the next several months.  Probably six months or so ago, I got it back out and thought I'd read it again.  

I didn't.

What I did do, has really worked for me.  Instead of rereading the whole book, I scanned over the underlined portions throughout each chapter and then prayed through the prayers at the end of each chapter.  I began doing one chapter/prayer each night and dating it.  I just completed the 5th time through.  I decided this time that I will make a list of the most important things from each section and craft my own specific prayer.  As I pray through each chapter this time around, I'll be jotting notes in a journal every night and when I'm done, I'll create my extra special personalized prayer to pray over my husband every night.

Knowing that I'm covering my husband in prayer means a lot to me.  What has really been incredible, is watching as, over time, some of these prayers are answered.  

We have been married for ten years, and while I would characterize them as wonderful years, I would definitely not lie to you and say that any one of them has been easy.  Though as time goes by, it does get easier, so hang on newlyweds.  I can tell you one thing for sure, some of the things I have desired to change about my husband for years, have come to pass even in the last few months.  Not because I've finally convinced him.  Not because I was right all along.  But because when I surrendered it to the Lord and allowed Him to work in my husbands heart, my husband came to some of my same conclusions.  The excellent thing about surrender is that when I let go of it, it lets go of me - whether or not things change.

If you are married and you haven't read the book, you should.  If you're not married, get The Power of a Praying Woman (or Man). Consider praying the prayers consistently, too.  It has really worked for me!

For more Works for Me Wednesday, visit We Are THAT Family.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Well, so much for every day, right?

Oh well.  What can you do?  

I just finished the Beth Moore study I've been working on for, well, ever.  I've mentioned it before and I highly recommend it.

To Live Is Christ, is definitely one of my favorites!  I loved learning more about Paul and following him along on all of his missionary travels.  If you've ever done a Beth Moore study, you know that she goes deep and digs up historical references that would be the envy of your local librarian.  One of the absolute best tid bits I've ever come across was included in the final study of Paul's life.  

She is talking about 2 Timothy 4:7-8

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Apparently, his reason for using this analogy was one final jab at the Roman Emperor, Nero, who was responsible for his execution.  Beth mentions Nero "competing" in the Olympic games, and here's what I found when I googled it.  Gotta love google.... Oh, and Wikipedia, of course!

Nero was convinced to participate in the Olympic Games of 67 in order to improve relations with Greece and display Roman dominance.[102] As a competitor, Nero raced a ten-horse chariot and nearly died after being thrown from it.[103] He also performed as an actor and a singer.[104] Though Nero faltered in his racing (in one case, dropping out entirely before the end) and acting competitions,[103] he won these crowns nevertheless and paraded them when he returned to Rome.[103] The victories are attributed to Nero bribing the judges and his status as emperor.[105]

So then Paul says, I have finished the race!  Then makes reference to the crown that waits for him in Heaven.

I don't know about you, but I think that's awesome.  Sadly, his boldness, could have been the final nail in his coffin, but if I learned anything about Paul, it's that that boy did not dance around the truth. 

Regardless of the consequences.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Some Times It's Easier When It's Hard

Can you relate?  

I find myself running to my Savior more often, more passionately and more desperately when times are tough.

When I was teaching, not a day went by that I didn't spend at least part of my day with the Lord.  Sometimes it was Shane and Shane and Jesus and I on the way to school or on the way home.  Honestly, I don't think  many days went by when those boys weren't serenading me over that two year period.  Sometimes, it was Beth Moore and I studying together at lunch.  Many a time, when I had 5 sections of rowdy 7th grades IN A ROW, followed by a 6th hour conference hour, I would literally fall on my face and cry out to the Lord to rapture me the heck out of there....

I'm not even gonna pretty it up for ya, IT SUCKED.

But I was running hard after the Lord.

Fast forward to being what I want to be, where I want to be - a stay at home mom - at, well, home...  Don't get me wrong, it's hard as often as it's not, but I just don't have that "the devil's on my heels and I must get to Jesus" mentality that so quickly and consistently put me on my knees.

That's why I just love this quote from Hinds Feet on High Places...

It had been easier to accept the hard path and to be patient when the sea was grey and dull than now when the sun shone and everything else around looked bright and happy and satisfied. 

I love that book.  I've read it twice, and I couldn't recommend it any more highly than I do.  It's such a beautiful allegory.  If you haven't read it, you should.  If you have read it, you should do it again.

Either way - remember this:

You will seek me and find when you seek me with all of your heart.  Jeremiah 29:13

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I have an idea...

I've been going through some of my favorite books, looking for inspiring quotes and nuggets of wisdom.  Whenever I read a book, I keep a pen handy, and underline things that:

  • Speak to me.
  • Inspire me.
  • I want to implement in my life.
  • I want to remember.
  • I want to share with others.

You get the idea...  

I also always take notes at church or conferences, anywhere that I may have some wisdom imparted upon me...  When I was pregnant, I went through all of my church notes and journals, and typed out a list of things I wanted to remember while in labor.  

Have I ever mentioned that I had my daughter at home?  Since pain meds aren't an option here, smack dab in the Middle of Nowhere, MI - I wanted to have some truth to meditate on in the event I started cursing the day I ever hatched the plan to stay home to birth my baby.  That moment never came and I was much too busy pushing a stubborn little (if you can call a 9 lb. girl little...) girl out for FIVE HOURS to have time for reading or anything else.  But I'm happy to have gone back through the years of teaching, study and whathaveyou, nonetheless...  Plus it kept me occupied while I waited for a week past my due date for the little darling to make her grand entrance...

I digress.  

It occurred to me as I came across quote after quote that I want to remember, that it might be beneficial to select some of my favorites and share them with you.  Then I can seem all smart and wise when I then expound on it and add my own commentary.

Or not.

But at least I'll have something to write about.

I would really like to start writing every day, or at least most days, and I thought this might be a good way to get the juices flowing.

I'll start on Monday.  See you then!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Compassion India Blogger Trip...

I've been following just about everything written by the India bloggers...

I'll tell you what, I have been changed by this trip, and I didn't even go.

I've been moved to get serious about my relationship with Linda, the precious girl we've been sponsoring for years from Tanzania.

I've been moved to sponsor more children.  I can't wait to get my info packet!

But this - if I can hold onto this? (Read the rest of the post by Melissa, daughter of Beth Moore, here.)

The Scriptures are too profound just to read in isolation of the real world. They must be read and lived.  To be interpreted correctly, they must be performed.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is too big, too cataclysmic, to be left on the page.  They should burst forth from our reality.

I don't even know what might happen.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Beth Moore on Marriage....

I've been diligently working through Beth Moore's To Live Is Christ, The Life and Ministry of Paul.  Like any study I've ever done by Beth, I HIGHLY recommend it.

This study has taken me through the book of Acts, which upon reading it for the first time (I know!?!?!?) last year, has quickly become one of my favorites.  The last week or two of the study covers some of the epistles, written by Paul.  

This morning we were in Ephesians, which is another one of my top favorite books of the Bible. Is there any better prayer than this?

 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.  Ephesians 1:17-19

So, when Beth said we were going to Ephesians, I was pretty stoked. (Yes, Mr. Red Squiggle, Ephesians is a word!  Ever heard of a little book called the Bible?)

I was surprised, though I don't know why, when she landed in chapter 5, and chose marriage. This has been a much discussed topic with a friend, as of late, and while I was interested to hear Beth's take on the whole submission business, it wasn't where I had expected her to go, based on the study up to this point.

Again, like anything Beth does, it was good.  Real good.

Come along for the ride.

I love how she started it.  She says, "Stop and pray for an open mind and freedom from the hinderances of negative preconceptions."  Good idea.  I prayed that God would show me what He wanted me to know about marriage.  Not Beth, not me, not any church that has ever added their 2 cents.

She started off by talking about the role of Christian wives.  She draws from her own experience, and says this: "When I'm not in agreement with Keith, I usually speak up, and we pray and work it out - at times less easily than others!  This spirit of praying things through until we can come to consensus on important issues is the essence of mutual respect and the opposite of "lording it over one another."

She lists 4 things that submission is not.

1.  Submission does not mean women are under the authority of men in general.  She references the King James Version of Ephesians 5:22.  "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands."

2.  Submission does not mean inequality.  She references Galations 3:28.  "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."  She also says, "Spiros Zodhiates' definition of the original Greek word hupotasso explains that submission 'is not due to her being inferior to her husband, for they are both equal before God.'"

3.  Submission does not mean wives are to treat their husbands like God.  She says this, "The Bible Knowledge Commentary explains, 'As to the Lord' does not mean that a wife is to submit to her husband in the same way she submits to the Lord, but rather that her submission to her husband is her service rendered 'to the Lord.'"

4. Submission does not mean slavery. She says, "Paul uses an entirely different word in Ehpesians 6:5 when he instructs slaves to obey their masters.  This Greek word for obey, hupakous, embraces more of the meaning people often mistakenly associate with marital submission.  Hupokuo means 'to obey, to yield to a superior command or force (without necessarily being willing).' The term draws a picture of a soldier saluting his officer, not a wife submitting to her husband!

Now that we have a better understanding of what submission isn't, let's look at what it is.

Beth says this:

"The Greek word for submit is hupotasso.  Hupo means "under" and tasso means "to place in order."  The compound word hupotasso means "to place under or in an orderly fashion." Paul didn't dislike women, he liked ORDER!  He advocated order in the church, order in government, order in business, and, yes, order in the home....  Paul regarded husbands and wives as spiritual equals but with functional differences."

Is anyone else relieved?  I was brought up in more of a "lord it over" atmosphere, so I found this take rather quite refreshing.  Don't misread.  I'm down with WHATEVER God says.  I just want to have a correct view of what that actually is.  And when God seems to endorse (or is said to, by someone else) something that conflicts with a lot of other scripture, and quite frankly, His character?  Well, that's a smidgie difficult to reconcile....  That's why I love what she said next....

"Any misuse of submission by either the husband or the wife is sin."

Amen, sister.

Now onto the men.

The Role of Christian Husbands:

"The original Greek word for love agapo meaning "to esteem, love, indicating a direction of the will and finding one's joy in something or someone." Notice the phrase indicating a direction of the will.  A husband is called by God to exercise his will to love his wife.  Love is not simply an emotion or a feeling.  Love is a willingness to continue in devotion and goodness toward the spouse."

Her main points:

1.  Husbands should love their wives sacrificially "as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."  She says this, "Just as a husband must be careful not to abuse his wife's exhortation to submission, a wife must not abuse her husband's exhortation to sacrifice.

Good word, Beth.

2.  Husbands should love their wives in ways that encourage purity.  She says this, "Christ encourages purity in His bride, the church, desiring for her to be holy and without stain.  God calls upon husbands to treat their wives as pure vessels even in physical intimacy."

3.  Husbands should love their wives as they love their own bodies.  

Then she gives an excellent analogy.  Excellent.

"Think of marriage as a three legged stool.  The legs are a submissive wife, a loving husband, and Christ.  All three legs must be in place for marriage to work as God intended.  A wife submitting to an unloving husband is as lopsided as a husband sacrificing for a domineering wife.  When Christ is not the head of the marriage relationship, the stool falls indeed.  Paul pictures for us God's ideal marriage relationship.  Sadly, many Christian women are trying to keep their stools balanced with only one leg in place - their submission."  

Do you know any women like that?  I do.  How unfortunate.

Her last point is on the role of Christ in marriage.  It can be summed up with one verse. "For by him all things were created....and in him all things hold together."  Colossians 1:16-17  Okay make that parts of two verses.  Math isn't my thing...

Beth says, "Only God created marriage, and only He can hold it together."

If you're married you have felt the truth of that statement.  If you're not and you ever do get married, you will feel the truth of that statement.  Because if I know anything in this life, it's that that is a true statement.

While I know that God is not finished with us, I'm thankful to have a lot of the learning and pain and frustration that comes with marriage in the rear view mirror. I'm not delusional, I know there is more to come, but it is so much easier to trust that God will complete that which He began in us, when I've seen him do it time and time again.  If you're in the middle of a trial - believe me when I say He can and will do way way more than you could ever think to ask or imagine. I've seen it happen in my own house.  My mind has been blown, I tell ya. 

I guess that's all for today.  See?  Just when I think I have nothing to share?  I'm right, again.  I just stole every smart thing Beth Moore ever thought about writing on pages 184-188 of To Live Is Christ.  

I hope I don't get arrested.  I don't think I'd be singing in my jail cell.

Monday, April 13, 2009

I'm deep in thought, ya'll....

I've been having a hard time coming up with something to say over here. I've been pondering a lot of things, but nothing I really want to share at this moment. Hopefully, it's just a phase.... I feel out of place, disconnected, misunderstood and a smidgie confused.

For now, I think I'll just keep seeking the Lord, even though I'm not writing about it.

Thanks for understanding.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

I've never been so excited to see the end of a month.  This has been challenging.  I'm really glad to be finishing it up.

Okay - I can't resist this one. Many times as I read about the Proverbs 31 woman, I feel inadequate, less than and just all around not good enough. Tonight as I read, verse after verse I had thoughts like - I wish, or working on that, or maybe someday. Of course, if God wills - someone might rise up and call me blessed. Only by God's grace and mercy. But as I read this verse:

15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.

I can't help but think - this has been the headliner of my resume for the past year. A certain member of my family finds herself thirsty often, and sometimes it is dark. I provide her food and deliver it (mostly) with a smile on my face, whenever she needs it.

I'm hoping for this one tomorrow. Please Lord, I need this.

17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

This is one of my life goals:

26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

And if I only get one wish - It would probably be this:

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

Thanks for enduring my ponderings. From here on out, I'll try to be more deep and focused. Beth and I are working hard, so I'm sure I'll have something to share from the life of Paul sooner than later.

Till then - Think about this one. As Resurrection Sunday draws near - is really pulling out the good stuff.

“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”- Isaiah 53:5-6

Studying Scripture

If I had unlimited time and funds, I would go to seminary.  Not because I wanna be a preacher, but because I love God's Word and would love to understand it at that level. 

Since time and funds are an issue, I would love your suggestions for studying Scripture.  Is there a commentary that you love?  Some other tip or resource that would help me to really dig in, in the comfort of my own home?

I love Beth Moore and her fantastic in depth studies.  I think I'm on my 5th, right now.  She does exactly what I would do, if I knew where and how to do it.  There are certain verses that I would like to be able to understand in the original language, compare key words with how they are used elsewhere, and have a better understanding of the original cultural climate they were written in.

Acts 17:11
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

I was in a church, many years ago, that tweaked things to suit their (his - the pastor's) liking.  I would really like to have the capability to do what the Bereans did.  If you have any suggestions for examining the Scriptures, I would greatly appreciate them!  Thanks.

If you have a problem you need help solving, head on over to We Are THAT Family for the reverse edition of Works For Me Wednesday .

Monday, March 30, 2009

Did you hear the news? And a Proverb to Ponder

If you didn't see my last post, you should click here.. Or perhaps, just scroll down...

And for the pondering....

30:8 Keep falsehood and lies far from me;
give me neither poverty nor riches,
but give me only my daily bread.

9 Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you
and say, 'Who is the LORD ?'
Or I may become poor and steal,
and so dishonor the name of my God.

I've probably said this close to 30 times in the last month, but this is one of my favorites!!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I have an announcement.....

No, I'm not pregnant.
I FOUND MY WEDDING RING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's actually a pretty great story.  One of my besties was over for an evening of hanging out.  I thought for sure she would want to play Scrabble.  For some reason, I thought she liked that game.  

She doesn't.  

I was a little bummed.  I had been looking forward to whopping someone besides Frank at Scrabble. 

 "We could play cards."  She offered.  
"I've got Yahtzee..."  I said.  
"I could play some Yahtzee." She replies.  

So I go to Fetch the Yahtzee.  I have two of them, and one was perched at the top of my closet.  The other (I got my grandma's when she passed away.) was on a lower shelf though I almost missed it, as it was behind some other stuff.  So as not to over exert myself, I got the box that was on the lower shelf.  I got back up to the kitchen table, opened the box and..... 


My wedding ring was in the Yahtzee box.  

Yes.  I'm serious.

What on earth was it doing in there? It's a valid question you ask.  My sister and I played Yahtzee less than a week before Christmas.  In fact, I bet it was the 22nd or 23rd.  We played on the couch in the living room where the wood burning stove is.  I'm assuming I got hot and took off my ring.  My fingers always swell when I'm warm.  Now.  Why I thought it would be a good idea to put it in the Yahtzee box?  Yeah, I'm not too sure about the answer to that one.

I may have said the following to my ring while playing Yahtzee.

"I thought I'd never see you again!"

Brings new meaning to Yahtzee!

Proverb to Ponder

But first, one of the best verses in the whole Bible is Biblegateway's Verse of the day today:

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”- 2 Corinthians 5:21


29:20 Do you see a man who speaks in haste?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

This, along with gentleness, is an ongoing battle I fight. I blew it again this weekend and am reminded that even when it seems I have come a long long way, there is still a long long way to go. I have to be so vigilant when it comes to my tone, and airing my frustrations.

Father, I pray that you would give me the spirit of wisdom and revelation so that I would know you better. As I know you better, Father, I pray I would become more like your Son. I especially pray that I would be gentle and loving and kind with my words, both what I say and how I say it. Lord, I've never found my human efforts to be effective in transformational change. I'm relying on You and Your power, Father. I ask for it in Jesus name. Amen

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

28:26 He who trusts in himself is a fool,
but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.

Isn't this a constant struggle? It seems I need to be reminded of it continually.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring forth.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

I know the Word of God cannot contradict itself. I believe that.

These two verses, which you'll notice are RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER make me scratch my head every time I read them.
26:4 Do not answer a fool according to his folly,
or you will be like him yourself.
5 Answer a fool according to his folly,
or he will be wise in his own eyes.

What are your thoughts?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

25:25 Like cold water to a weary soul
is good news from a distant land.

I got some good news today. I'm hoping, make that PRAYING, for more tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

24:3 By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;


The Lord spoke to me on Sunday, and I've been thinking about it a lot. All I heard was, "Instruments of Glory".

The word instrument has stuck, and it keeps coming up. Here are a couple of the most fitting definitions of the word, courtesy of

~ a mechanical tool or implement, esp. one used for delicate or precision work: surgical instruments.
~ a contrivance or apparatus for producing musical sounds: a stringed instrument. 
~a device for measuring the present value of a quantity under observation.

All of the above are excellent examples of different types of instruments;  mechanical instruments, musical instruments, measuring instruments.  Though all very different items, they all have one thing in common.  

They can do nothing by themselves.

Our garage is filled with all sorts of tools.  Woodworking tools, garden tools,  an entire box of tools used for various things, all of which my husband uses in his role as Mr. Fix It.  The tools don't fix it.  Mr. Fix It, using the tools, fixes it.

We don't really have any musical instruments around this house. We love music and I, especially, would love to play an instrument, but I don't.  So you see, it would be silly to have instruments in a house where they would just sit.  Instruments don't make music, talented people who play instruments make music.

We do measure a lot of stuff around here, particularly in the kitchen.  I have more measuring cups and spoons then should be permitted by law, and you know what?  Not one of them can do a thing with out my help.

Something bigger, stronger and more clever has to use all of the above listed items in order for them to do what they're meant to do.

And so it is, when we are instruments in our Father's hands.  

He wills us to breathe, you know. 

The difference between me and the hand shovel?  No difference.

The difference between me and the guitar?  No difference.

The difference between me and measuring cup?  No difference.

The shovel, guitar and measuring cup all need someone to pick it up and do with it what was meant to be done.

Uh-oh, I just thought of a difference.

The shovel, guitar and measuring cup are always willing to be used for what they were created for.  

Hmmm.....  Interesting.

The last definition has somewhat of a negative connotation to it, but for my purposes, it is the very best one.

 ~ a person used by another merely as a means to some private end; tool or dupe.

Our Creator made us for a purpose.  By allowing Him to work through our surrendered lives, we become instruments of His love, grace, mercy, and kindness.  When we allow him to do with us what was intended, we become Instruments of His Glory.  Together we become and ever building symphony of beauty that has the potential to change this world.

Jesus said, "Apart from me, you can do nothing."  John 15:5

Monday, March 23, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

23:23 Buy the truth and do not sell it;
get wisdom, discipline and understanding.

This is another one of my favorite proverbs. I just love it.

I'd also like to report that I'm slowly but surely plugging along on Proverbs 3. I'm really happy with how it's coming along. I'm focusing on what I have done, not what I have to do. I definitely think it's gonna be awhile....

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

22: 6 Train [a] a child in the way he should go,
and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Lord, I pray that you would continually reveal to Frank and I how to do this. Father, more than anything, we want to represent you and lay a foundation of trust and love that will point to you and make it very easy for Chloe to lay her her life in your hands, once that is her choice to make.

22:17 -18 Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise;
apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart
and have all of them ready on your lips.

I'd say this is one of the greatest benefits of reading and rereading the Proverbs. You can't help but meditate on them and have them available when they are needed.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Oopsie #2, This time with new and improved excuses....


Chloe pulled an all nighter on Thursday and we're just now recovering.  She honest to goodness didn't sleep but two hours all night, and since they were spent laying on me on the couch, I say they don't even count.  She watched about 6 episodes of Sesame Street and 2 episodes of Miffy and Friends, and can you believe she DID NOT fall asleep while watching them?

Totally insane, her love for Elmo, Murray and Friends.

So, I'm back.  

Hopefully for good this time.  

I'm skipping the ones I missed, and picking it up on Proverbs 21.

21:9 Better to live on a corner of the roof
than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.

21:19 Better to live in a desert
than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.

I just love hearing what it's like to live with a grouchy lady from a man's perspective.  How about you?  I'm kidding, a little bit.  Mostly because it reminds me of one summer day in Cabin #1, the best cabin there is at Bayshore Camp, for those of you who didn't know.  You see, that day, the lovely Ashley, then a senior in high school, was perusing the proverbs reading the funny ones.  "These are hilarious!" She would say.

I wonder what she'll think of them when she's the grouchy lady and the Lord uses those "funny" drippy faucet, desert and corner of the roof proverbs to convict her.  

I don't usually find them funny, but I often check my attitude at the door upon reading them.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go upstairs and spend some time with my hubbie.

He's in the living room, not on the roof.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

1810 The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.

Let us always remember that things in life will always be changing. It is the one guarantee here on Earth. When things are spinning, focusing on an unmoving object helps to gain perspective and keep our composure. In this ever changing and uncertain world, let's remember that our God is the same yesterday, today and forever. To keep our focus on Him is to make sure we will be steady and immovable when things around us get shaky or start spinning.

18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.

With the above in mind, make sure (self, I'm talking to myself here) that what you say is a result of the truth that God is the same and He is our Strong Tower. Let us always speak blessing over others, may we always lift up and never tear down, and may we always be a light in this dark world with our positive and encouraging words. People are reeling, and we have an opportunity to point them to our Father. Let's live our faith and speak truth into all who cross our paths.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

17:27 A man of knowledge uses words with restraint,
and a man of understanding is even-tempered.

Speaking of using words with restraint...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pondering Proverb 16

3 Commit to the LORD whatever you do,
and your plans will succeed.

I was just thinking about this verse today. I think the important thing to realize is that when we are truly surrendered, obedient and trusting the Lord - we are ultimately living out His perfect plan, not ours. I'm guessing that's why it will succeed. Just a hunch.

28 A perverse man stirs up dissension,
and a gossip separates close friends.

It's so true. I'm still thinking about gossip. I'm praying that God's people would realize that gossip is from the pit of hell. Stealing, killing, destroying, dividing and conquering? I know that calling card when I see it.

And on a lighter note...

31 Gray hair is a crown of splendor;
it is attained by a righteous life.

This is why I don't dye my hair... I'm not trying to cover up my splendor! Okay - there are 10 reasons I don't dye my hair, and that isn't one of them. I think it's ironic that it's verse 31. I'm 31 and that's too darn young to be fretting about dying your hair. Well, I'm not fretting - but a few others are doing it for me. Not my hubby, though. He calls me a silver fox!

Oh - one last thing. Beth Moore has been reading my mail. Isn't that illegal?


I forgot to Ponder yesterday.  I didn't even read Proverbs 15.  Since starting this challenge, I've been reading my Proverb of the Day on Biblegateway, so as not to be influenced by all the writing I do in my Bible.

I'm happy to report that I didn't spend much time on the internet yesterday, and that is my excuse.  My apologies.

My favorite verse from chapter 15, which incidentally, may be in the running for longest running sticky note on my mirror award...

15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

And oh, don't I know it.

What I did read yesterday, was Romans 2 and 3.  I came across a link to a section from Romans 3 that made me stop in my tracks last night while reading, and now this very early morning, the Lord has brought me back to it again.

Romans 3:21-26 (New International Version)

Righteousness Through Faith

21But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement,[a] through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

What struck me last night was the fact that I knew 23 by heart, but I didn't know 24.  I appreciate the Romans Road to salvation as much as the next guy, but I have a small problem with it.  It kind of leaves you stranded on the side of the road, happy to be going to Heaven when you die, but with no idea what to do with yourself until then.

I digress.

My point is - verse 23 is the bad news.  Why didn't someone tell me to memorize and share the next verse?  The freeing, life giving, as always JESUS SAVES THE DAY rest of the sentence.


I may have a small root of bitterness lodged somewhere toward my early "church upbringing".  

Grace grace grace.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

Proverbs 14

16 A wise man fears the LORD and shuns evil,
but a fool is hotheaded and reckless.

23 All hard work brings a profit,
but mere talk leads only to poverty.

I. Love. This.

26 He who fears the LORD has a secure fortress,
and for his children it will be a refuge.

30 A heart at peace gives life to the body,
but envy rots the bones.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

10 Pride only breeds quarrels,
but wisdom is found in those who take advice.

12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

14 The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
turning a man from the snares of death.

18 He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame,
but whoever heeds correction is honored.

24 He who spares the rod hates his son,
but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.

Some of my favorites from Proverbs 13.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

4 A wife of noble character is her husband's crown,
but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

18 Reckless words pierce like a sword,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

26 A righteous man is cautious in friendship,
but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.

3 The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

25 A generous man will prosper;
he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

9 The man of integrity walks securely,
but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.

12 Hatred stirs up dissension,
but love covers over all wrongs.

19 When words are many, sin is not absent,
but he who holds his tongue is wise.

Love 19. Love it!

Proverbs 3 update...

This is a little harder than I thought it was going to be. I'll will keep you updated on my progress. Not to toot my own horn, but to stay accountable. I already know I will be tempted to give up.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

Proverbs 9:9

Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still;
teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

Proverb 8:7
for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.

Praying for wisdom.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

Wow.  This everyday blogging commitment is hard.  I can't imagine cooking in the crock pot everyday and then blogging about it everyday too.  No thanks!

But back to Proverbs.  Alright already with the adultery.  Sheesh.  

I guess I have to go with 1-3

My son, keep my words
and store up my commands within you.
2 Keep my commands and you will live;
guard my teachings as the apple of your eye.
3 Bind them on your fingers;
write them on the tablet of your heart.

I love verse 3.  I've seen this or something similar in many different passages of scripture.  The point?


Remember this wisdom when it really matters.  Do what you've got to do to remember it.  Even if you have to tie a ribbon on your finger or tattoo it on your person.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

It's been a long day... I wish I'd had an opportunity to sleep, slumber or fold my hands...

Not so much with my grouchy baby.

Proverbs 6
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest-

11 and poverty will come on you like a bandit
and scarcity like an armed man.

Sorry dear friends, that's all I have for you today.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

Proverb 5:11-14

11 At the end of your life you will groan,
when your flesh and body are spent.

12 You will say, "How I hated discipline!
How my heart spurned correction!

13 I would not obey my teachers
or listen to my instructors.

14 I have come to the brink of utter ruin
in the midst of the whole assembly."

I know this entire proverb is talking about adultery, but it doesn't stop me from thinking about my students, every time I read it.

Have I ever mentioned that I used to be a 7th grade teacher at an inner city school? Many of my darling children spurned corrected and would not obey or listen to any of us...

I hope some of them figure it out before it's too late.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

Proverbs 4:23
Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.

" The heart should be guarded for out of it (a wellspring) come one's actions (cf. Luke 6:45). Here the word "heart" means more than mental capacity; it also encompasses one's values (cf Matt. 6:21)."

~The Bible Knowledge Commentary

For more excellent insight on this verse and what it truly means to guard (nasar) your heart (leb), click here

Jessica had time to do the word studies, whereas I, with my sick baby and sick self, did not.  I don't know her, but found her and her most excellent post, when I googled this verse.   Isn't the internet grand? 

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Holy 3rd Proverb, Batman!

Well - I'm sure glad I got to this earlier than later. I couldn't choose just one if Jack Bauer felt inclined to make me.

I'm pretty sure this is my all time favorite Proverb, and I'm also pretty sure  I could park it here for the rest of the month and still not have it all down.  I think I'll memorize the whole chapter.  Hopefully, by the end of the month.  I'll keep you posted on my progress.


I love verse 3.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.

Oh, how I would love to live in this for more than 15 minutes. Love. I get it. I Corinthians 13 makes it pretty clear. Without Love... Ya got nuthin'. Or something like that... ;) So why do I snap at my husband, judge my neighbor and kick the dog on a daily basis? Just kidding, of course... I'm more of a once a week dog kicker... Ha! Sorry - cracking myself up over here...

Moving on.

5 and 6 are classics...  I dare you to show me a christian cupboard that doesn't have a mug with these verses on it in it.  Right?  Yours doesn't?  Mine either, but you get my point.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

I'll resist the urge to repeat a bunch of stuff I said in this post.

I love this next section. 13-18

Blessed is the man who finds wisdom,
the man who gains understanding,

14 for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.

15 She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.

16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.

17 Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.

18 She is a tree of life to those who embrace her;
those who lay hold of her will be blessed.

She and her are referring back to wisdom (and maybe knowledge). Makes you want to get some of that, right? All her paths are peace? Come on, now! I'm there.

One more and then it will be class dismissed.... 21-24

My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment,
do not let them out of your sight;

22 they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.

23 Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble;

24 when you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Do you see what I mean about this one? Wowza!

Here's a recap:

sound judgement

Quite a to do list.

Speaking of, this bad boy has 35 verses.  I may need more than a month.

Class dismissed.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

Proverbs 2:6

For the LORD gives wisdom,
and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

I love this one. I don't know about you, but I dig some wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

Wow - I'd love to expand on that, but I'm tired. I have a date with Beth Moore and Jesus, before I can go to bed - so you provide the commentary...

Night night!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Proverb a Day Challenge - Day 1

I hope some of you have decided to join me this month! One Proverb a day for 31 days. You can do it!

Proverb to Ponder

Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools [a] despise wisdom and discipline.

I don't know about ya'll, but I'm not trying to be no fool.

I'm just sayin'...

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

Proverbs 28:23

He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor
than he who has a flattering tongue.

I have come to understand and respect the value of a rebuke from a close friend. I talked a little about it here. I used to really hesitate to return the favor, especially for one friend in particular. I would always start by saying "I didn't want to tell you this, but..." She came to dread those words. One day she brought the above verse to my attention.  In time, I began to see the value in speaking truth into the lives of people who value it. 

Please note - this is not some thing to be taken lightly.  I don't recommend assuming that some one is interested in your opinion.  Proverbs also speaks about wise men loving to be rebuked.  I think it's important to have a conversation and a mutual understanding about these matters.  

One of my favorite pastors once made a really good point about holding non-believers to our standards.  He talked about Paul's writings and the fact that he was writing to the church. Fellow believers who had willingly entered into an accountability relationship.  He made the point that Love is not rude, and when we point out sin where our opinion wasn't requested?  That's rude.  I have to agree.  Such a simple way to look at, yet so very true.  I think the tendency to do the opposite is what has earned so many Christians the reputation of being judgmental.  Wouldn't you agree?  I think holding a mirror up to anyone who didn't invite you to do so is most likely not going to be well received.  Something to think about...

Tomorrow is March 1st!  Who is with me for the Proverb a Day Challenge?  Just read 1 chapter of Proverbs each day!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Today's Proverb

Okay - it was bugging me that I was talking about a Proverb that didn't come from the same day's reading. Now I will be caught up and referencing a Proverb that comes from the chapter that corresponds to the date.

Sorry, I'm neurotic like that....

Proverbs 27:2

Let another praise you and not your own mouth; someone else and not your own lips.

It really bugs me when people toot their own horn. Well, I should clarify. It bugs me when people do something that they feel led to do, and say that they did it for God's glory, but then they tooted their own horn about having done it. I have these tendencies, of course, so that's why I notice it when others do it. Ugh.  I wrote in my Bible next to this verse "credit". Wanting credit when we deserve no credit. Our righteousness is as filthy rags.

I often say after a delicious meal or dessert that I've prepared, "Not to toot my own horn, but toot toot."  This is so not what I'm talking about, but I bet I'll still feel like a jerk when I say it from now on....  ;)


Some days this Proverb to Ponder will be harder than others. Picking just one, that is...

I think I'll go with 26:22

The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to man's inmost points.

I've been pondering gossip for awhile. A few months ago I started thinking about it a lot, and discussing it with a good friend. I have some thoughts, but would love to have your input.

What constitutes gossip? I don't think it's as simple as "talking about other people". My friend got married. I talk about it. My other friend has a sick baby, and I talk about that too. I don't consider either of these gossiping.

So far, I think the biggest elements are motive and content. Why are you sharing what you are sharing? I'm sure we've all experienced that feeling of really wanting to share information that isn't ours to share. The whole choice morsels business... Maybe whatever we want to share isn't scandalous and maybe it's totally appropriate to share. But what is the motive? Do we come from a place of pride, judgement or trying to make ourselves feel better?

What do you think constitutes gossip? How do you guard your heart and mind against this? I once heard someone talk about their policy where gossip was concerned. I love it and have adopted it as my own.

1. I will not gossip.
2. I will not be gossiped to.
3. I hope to not be gossiped about.

I'd love your input! Do share!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Proverb to Ponder

If you missed my last post, you might want to read it.

Today's Proverb to Ponder is Proverbs 25:28

Like a city whose walls are broken down
is a man who lacks self-control.

Every time I read this verse I think the same thing. I found it fitting that I read it last night, after making my Lent choice.

I always think this. A broken down city wall is a problem, right? Especially if you lived in the days of King Solomon. When your city wall is broken down, there is no control of what comes in and what goes out. How true when we let our self-control slide.

Incoming. Too much facebook. Not enough Jesus. Outgoing. Too much negativity. Not enough gratitude, praise and encouragement.

So reading it last night just helped to set my resolve. I will do something different. I'm back on my regimen. A Proverb a day. 5 Psalms a day. I'm also committing to at least one day of my Beth Moore Study To Live is Christ. If it isn't finished in the 40 days, it will be very close.

So friends, I'd love for you to do a couple of things.

1. Leave a comment if you read regularly. I'd love to know who I'm accountable to.
2. Let me know if you'd like to start the Proverb a Day challenge. March is a great month to kick it off. There's one chapter for every day of the month.
3. If you decide to do #2, we can ponder together. I would love that. Add your thoughts in comments, and if enough people climb on board, maybe I can see about inviting Mr. Linky to the party.

Things will be different.... At least for 40 days.

I gave up facebook for Lent.

It was hard. That's why I knew it was the right choice. Don't get me wrong. I love connecting with old friends from school and jobs I had approximately 100 years ago. I always have and always will love people and find myself attached permanently to anyone who I ever had the pleasure of being with on a daily basis.

But there is someone who I've been neglecting. And I ain't having it no mo'.

For the past two months, our sleep has been a little squirrely, and therefore my schedule/routine has been greatly effected. I used to spend Chloe's first two hour nap with the Lord, but now that can't be counted on to happen. Or sometimes, due to the rough night/lack of sleep - I need to go back to bed.

Here's the rub. I ALWAYS find time for facebook. And as true as my second paragraph is, namely the last sentence, I was WASTING a lot of precious time. I need to sit at Jesus feet every day. I need to focus 100% of my attention on my daughter laughing and playing for a time each day. There will be plenty of time for facebook when she's a teenager and won't have anything to do with me.

So - I've decided to implement a little bloggy accountability. Every day - I will be posting about something that struck me in my Tryst. It might be the meaty posts you have come to expect here, or it may be as simple as a Proverb to Ponder. But I am vowing, at the very least - for the next 40 days, to get back to The Trysting Place, daily. My hope is that after 40 days, it will be a habit that will be very hard to break.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I just finished reading a book that I've been wanting to read for a long time.  The Shack.  Based on what I found when I googled it,(after reading it - I hate to have anything ruined for me when reading a book) it sounds like it's a little controversial.  I love me some controversy...

Not really, but I do find myself immersed  in this debate.  Not because I want to be, but seemingly because it's right where God wants me.

I'll let you in on a little secret.  I'm wrestling with Scripture where predestination and freewill are concerned.  I feel like both are biblical and somehow they live together in perfect harmony, but I haven't quite been able to hum the tune myself.  Several pastors that I respect come in on opposite sides of the ring on this one, and that leaves me a little baffled.

The thought of "being taken captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy," (Col 2:8) makes me nervous.  I also want to "avoid foolish controversies and arguments and quarrels about the law." (Titus 3:9) *Scriptures are the Rachel version, adapted from the NIV...*

Ultimately, I want to know the true heart and mind of God and not just some traditional belief system that has been passed down through generation after generation of broken, busted up people.  Know what I mean?

So, back to The Shack.  This novel paints a beautiful picture of the God I believe to be real.  Yes - it is a fictional book, and this version of "God" comes from a human perspective.  Flawed? Most likely - unless this human we speak of is Jesus.  Possibly right on?  I'd like to hope so.

One of my favorite parts of the book is when "God" (I use quotes because that is not the actual name of the character in the book, and it is after all a fictional book...) is talking about forgiveness and redemption.

"Forgiveness is not about forgetting, it's about letting go of another person's throat."  Isn't that good?  Love it.
When asked "don't you forget our sins?" Here is how "God" answers:

"I am God. I forget nothing.  I know everything. So forgetting for me is the choice to limit myself.  Son, because of Jesus, there is now no law demanding that I bring your sins back to mind.  They are gone when it comes to you and me, and they run no interference in our relationship."

Redemption.  Paying our tab, so we don't have to worry about.  The cost of sin is death.  Death is separation from God. That's the last thing that God wants, so He picks up our tab.  He wants, longs for relationship with us.  He knows that we aren't capable of it on our own, so He makes a way.  What the Law was powerless to do, God did. Period.

I've often thought about redemption and what it really means.  I've thought about how millions of Americans would love to see a certain terrorist strung up to pay for his sins against us, against humanity.  But what does God want?  Redemption.  Some people are beyond redemption, you might say.  To which I would say, False.

Case in point.  Join me in Acts chapter 7.  Let's pick it up at the very end where Stephen is being stoned.

Starting with verse  57.
57At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.

59While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." 60Then he fell on his knees and cried out, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." When he had said this, he fell asleep.
Chapter 8
And Saul was there, giving approval to his death.
On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. 2Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. 3But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.

Then in chapter 9

1Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples. He went to the high priest 2and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.

Not exactly the guy you would expect to write the majority of the books of the New Testament, right? 


Paul's redemption story begins in the very next verse.  If you've never read the book of Acts, (which I hadn't until last year.  I have no idea why...) shut your computer off and immediately find your Bible and read it.  If you haven't read it in a long time, do the same.  If you wonder what they Church or we as Christ followers are supposed to look like...  Read it.  Seriously.  

In the meantime, take Matthew 6:27-28 to heart.  You just might have the opportunity to be part of some one's redemption story.

Matthew 6:27-28
"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.