Saturday, March 28, 2009

I've Moved

My blog has now officially moved to Come visit me there.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hilton Head Snapshot

This is a short video of our vacation to Hilton Head. In some ways I am sad that we have to go home today. It's a huge blessing to be so close to God's beautiful creation. However, I am also eager to get back to see the kids at church and to do the work that God has ready for me to do. It's amazing how refreshing a short get-away can be!

Enjoy the movie.

Monday, December 08, 2008

I'll Trust You in Canaan, but Not in Egypt

Have you ever noticed that it's easier to trust God with some things than with others? For example, if you've ever talked with someone who is considering a move, it's quite common to hear them talk about how much they have been praying about the decision and that they are sure God will show them where they need to be. On some level, they trust that God can see the future and that He knows which local would be best for them even though they may not understand the reason.

Now, think about a situation that's a little more out of your control. For me, one of the first things that pops into my mind is singing up front. Oh man, if you want to make me nervous - that's a sure fire way to do it. I get all shaky and my voice starts to give out before I go up front. I can feel the adrenaline pumping and I just know something awful is going to happen. If nothing else I am just positive that I am going to be completely flat and totally miss that high note. "Oh, Lord, keep me calm." I pray. Keep me calm . . . that's it? I don't ask God to provide and give me a strong voice? I don't trust that at the end I will have completed the song in such a way that brings glory and honor to Him? When I'm done, I exit the stage accepting any compliments as an obligated expression of encouragement. Where is the trust?

In Genesis 12 Abram falls into this same trap that I often find myself in. He trusted God's covenant promise that his descendants would have the land of Canaan. He trusted so much that he immediately built an alter thanking God for the blessings that he beleivedwould come (v. 7). Yet, when it was time for Abram to go to Egypt he could not trust that God would protect him.

It seems that Abram trusted God in the things he could not see, the things he could do little about. There was no way Abram could march in to Canaan and conquer it. And to be quite honest, I don't know that it would have been the end of the world in the mind of Abram if he never possessed Canaan. It was easy for Abram to step back and take God at His word.

However, when it came to Sarai in Egypt, I can't help but wonder if Abram even thought to seek protection from the Lord. He didn't need to. He had his own tools and methods for dealing with this issue. He could take care of it on his own. Yet mans ways are not the same as the ways of the Lord.

I pray that God will help me to learn from Abram's mistakes. May I learn to turn to God first rather than trusting my own methods as far as they will reach. May I learn to ALWAYS have faith even when things don't seem to be going as I think they should, even when I'm not in control - especially then.

What about you? Do you need to trust God more?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fruit of the Spirit and Dry Noses

The fruit of the spirit is . . . My guess is that you can probably fill in at least one or two words such as patience or joy to follow this statement. Many of us know what a Christian is "supposed" to look like. We often struggle to do or say the right things. Have you ever considered the fact that we could be wrong?

I'm not saying that the fruits, the things mentioned in God's Word, are wrong. Rather, our methodology for obtaining these things could be a bit skewed. I'll use myself as a prime example here. Anyone who knows me knows that I struggle with patience. I want everything yesterday. I hate waiting for most things and am simply ready to get going. When I read God's Word I clearly see His calling to be patient. Texts like "Wait for the Lord. . ." Psalm 27:14. Or even the passage mentioned above often poke me, letting me know that something's got to give in my life.

So, I strive. I try really hard to be patient. I want God to work in my life. I want to be filled with the fruit of the spirit. I may even pray, "Lord, help me to be patient." I struggle through the battle ever a defeated foe.


There is something not right here. Another way of saying "fruit of the spirit" is saying the evidence that the Holy Spirit, God, is living and working in my life. It's kind of like with cats. When I was growing up I was always told that a healthy cat has a wet nose. I can picture myself walking up to P.J. (my childhood pet) and feeling her nose. Upon discovering that it is dry, I quickly go to the sink to get my hands all wet. Then, I rub the water all over her nose. There - now her nose is wet. She must be a healthy cat.

Therefore, if I recognize that I am a bit too impatient, or that I'm lacking in joy or peace rather than trying to muster up these characteristics, I need to be sent to my knees. A lack of patience is a sign that something else is wrong. It is a symptom of a larger problem. I need to take time in Gods Word, in prayer and in deep communion with Him. Only He can fix my dry nose and make it wet for good. Only allowing the Holy Spirit to truly dwell in my life will produce the kind of fruit that comes only from close connection with Him.

God's still working on me. There is a long way to go, but I pray that each day I may live in Him more and that I will allow Him to fill me more deeply with His Holy Spirit.

"Being confidant of this, that He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ" Philippians 1:6

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Heart of Christmas

Do we really NEED more stuff for Christmas? Why not send out a wish list with items like health, food, water and security. ADRA's really useful gift catalog has all sorts of specific ideas with prices ranging from $5 to $500.

May we take advantage of this opportunity to give in Jesus name!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Simplifying My Heart

Simplifying. This is a word I've heard a lot lately from the camp meeting I attended recently, to blogs I like to read, to conversations with friends. Simplicity - It's a concept that I have a hard time putting into practice, yet God is teaching me so much!

Through a huge turn of events that I may be sharing with you soon, God has brought me back to His Word in a big way. He is teaching me to simplify my heart. He is teaching me two key principles in this process.

#1 - Spending time with God and taking opportunities to have candid conversations with Him is key to simplifying my life. I must serve God, not my schedule or expectations (Matthew 6:24). For me this has meant taking a few extra hours out a few days this week to be with God, even though that meant the house was cluttered most of the week - but oh, how freeing to sit at Jesus' feet!

#2 - Connecting with people and caring about them. How often I fail to connect with God's children because I'm too worried about my house being messy or about the to do list sitting on my counter. Jesus died for people, and they must rise to the top of my priority list. When I take time to really listen to others, it's amazing how my heart opens and my stress level dies. The focus shifts from me and my trials to others. It's a great feeling.

These two discoveries are making all the difference in the world. I feel so free.

Find out how others are simplifying on Living Simply Saturday.

Monday, August 25, 2008

40-day Fast

As Arlen and I have been talking lately and realizing our need for simplification, we have also realized how confused we really are. We read books and listen to sermons. It seems like everyone has a message, but they don't always agree.

Who is right? What should we believe? We can't even explain some of the truths we hold dear.

In his first letter, Peter says this:

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." ~ 1 Peter 3:15

It seems like I constantly have so many questions, and rather than taking the time required to seek out God's truths in His word I look for an easier answer. This is not what God has called us to. So often He speaks of persistence in coming to Him.

Arlen and I have decided to take a 40 day fast. We are not fasting from food. Rather we are taking 40 days apart when our only guide, the only influence we seek, is that of God's Word and the Holy Spirit. We will not read anything other than the Bible for 40 days.

For Arlen, this means searching God's word for business advice and principles. For me, it means going to God for answers on parenting and what it means to be a woman. For both of us, we must face God and discover how to truly draw near to Him.

We picked 40 days because that is the amount of time Jesus spent in the desert before His public ministry. We thought we would start by following Christ's example from the beginning.

Why am I telling you all this? First of all, I want to share with you the lessons I am learning as I drink deeply from the words of life. Secondly, because I want you to join us on this journey. Put away watching TV or reading books, blogs, or magazines that are a substitute for real spiritual meat, and take all the time you would be putting into those things to turn to the Bible.

If you want to take this challenge, feel free to leave a comment below along with the date you are starting the challenge, and we will pray for you as you embark on your journey.

May God bless you.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

It's Like Cancer

I have been wanting to post for quite some time now, but have not been able to because things have been so busy and haywire. It's nice to have a little spare time to sit and write.

As you know from an earlier post, Arlen and I recently took a trip to Maryland for a wedding. It was a great trip, and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. There is one thing in particular, however, that really sticks out in my mind.

When we went to church on Sabbath, we ran into Arlen's aunt and uncle. Before I go on, I need to give you a little background. A while back, Arlen's aunt was diagnosed with stage four cancer - I think it was ovarian cancer. This was bad news. The Lord has really blessed though, and against all odds, she is now cancer free.

As I sat beside her at church, an announcement was made about a church member who was diagnosed with cancer. Immediately Arlen's aunt leaned over and began to tell me about her cancer experience. Then she told me about a supplament she began taking early on in her diagnosis. She told me how the supplement greatly reduced the side effects of the chemotherapy. She explained how the doctors were completely amazed at the positive results of her condition and they could not figure it out. She was sure God had given her this supplement and that it made all the difference.

She then went on to explain how saddened she was by others she had seen suffering who weren't even willing to try the very thing that healed her. She explained that it is safe - it is a whole food supplement. She even told me that if someone who takes this miracle cure sees no improvement in six months, their money is completely refunded. She had given people tubs of this stuff, and when they died from cancer and their homes were cleaned out, the containers were completely unopened. She just couldn't understand how someone facing death couldn't try it - what did they have to lose? She knew it wouldn't work for everyone, but wasn't it worth a try?

Before the day was over, she gave me a book explaining the science behind this supplement. Then she gave me more books to give to people I knew who might benefit from it. This product saved her life, and she knew it could save more - she was going to do everything in her power to see that it would save more.

Wow! This all struck me. This is the situation our world is in! We are all sick with the most deadly disease: sin. But Jesus is THE cure. He's far better than the cure Arlen's aunt found because He CAN save everyone from sin - no exceptions. Yet how often do we get excited about this cure? How often are we eager to share it with those around us?

When we share Jesus with others, it's true, some people will put Him on a shelf and leave Him there unopened. We can't let that discourage us. Jesus is the way and the truth and the life. Why don't we urge people to give Him a try, to let Him into their hearts? What do they have to loose? What do we have to loose?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Writer's Block

Why is it that I have a steady stream of things to write and share, yet when I sit in front of the computer, it's like my brain has a traffic jam?

Is that what writer's block is all about?

Friday, August 01, 2008

Going on a Road Trip . . . Sort of

That's right in just a few hours (hopefully fewer), Arlen and I are headed out for a trip to Maryland. His best childhood friend is getting married, and we want to be there for the big event.

Of course, a road trip to Maryland means nine hours in the car today, and nine hours in the car on Sunday. And you know what - we can't wait!

Pray that God will bless this time as an opportunity to lay aside all of our usual distractions so that we can spend time in prayer and reflection and ultimately focus on Him.

Here we go, 18 hours of quality time with my husband and my Lord, what could be better than that?!

Image by: Ian Britton at