Monday, April 30, 2007

Weekend Reflection #5

Can you say PROM?

I volunteered (sort of, I do get paid) to chaperone prom for our high school. The good thing for me is that I have a guaranteed date. My husband is so wonderful to dress up and join me on this adventure. I just can't pass up spending time with my husband, free pictures, free dinner and I get paid on top of it! Now that our kids are older we really enjoy this time alone together. The students in general act better because they are dressed up - thankfully there were no major issues.

There are always the prom stories - I will share one with you.

Part of the rules for Prom is that once you leave you cannot return. We hope that this discourages use of illegal substances during the Prom. BIG signs are posted at all exits from the building. One couple left the building to "get some air" and could not get back in through that exit since it locked behind them. When they tried to come in the main entrance we told them that the could not come back in. They tried to convince their limo driver to be their advocate/lawyer. I give credit to him for his kindness, but the rules stand for a reason, for the safety of others. He just didn't get it - the kids just had to wait in the lobby. This was the same couple that thinks that not having PDA in the hallways is a suggestion...

We had a good time watching the students dance - they are still dancing to 80's music by the way. They can't dance to the music they listen to now days. We got home way past our bedtime - but we enjoyed our time immensely. I will try to post a picture at some point...stay tuned.

Thanks for Reading!


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I Am - Lesson 3

Lisa, The Preacher's Wife, is hosting this study. Come along if you like, you can join at anytime.

1. It was stated in the Lesson that God has made you "once, twice, three times a lady." Where are you in this progression? Obviously we have all been physically born, but are you 'twice a lady'? Have you been born again spiritually?

I have been born again since I was 16. I came to Christ after hearing the song "Friends" by Michael W. Smith (am I dating myself here?) at a retreat with Youth for Christ. I wanted a forever friend and I got one plus more than I could imagine. I finally got baptized just last summer - better late than never. I struggled with that whole concept as a teenager and beyond. I got baptized out of obedience not to "save" me. I was already saved but wanted to continue to follow Christ in obedience.

2. Are you three times a lady? Has God given you a stirring deep within your Spirit to be a 'deliverer'? Do you have a desire or are you already meeting a need in the life of the church, a particular ministry (such as jail ministry, food ministry, etc.) or perhaps individuals who share common issues?

I have served in many areas in my church. I even moved from Colorado to Minnesota to do ministry (the gospel in mime - really!). It was not my passion, but I learned so much and met my husband. I am searching and waiting. I feel that my ministry right now in this season of my life is to raise my children to be believers and disciples of Christ. I get really unfocused and don't always find this to be important, yet, because I teach high school, I see the affects of uninvolved parents. These are the kids that are struggling more academically, have more discipline issues - and it seems to happen regardless of income or social standing. If parents would be I am on a soapbox, next question please...

3. Do you ever get tired of waiting for that opportunity to do something
worthwhile for God? Do you ever feel God is using someone else instead of you?

I think that we all do. It seems that what we consider "worthwhile" is not exactly the same as what God does. It might just be perspective. Many opportunities present themselves if we follow the spirit - inviting people to church, calling if someone is sick or on their birthday - loving your neighbor. God can use anybody, but I do feel left out sometimes - when I don't see the results of changed lives. Everybody can't be a Moses or a David, but we can be the Aaron or the Jonathon that encourages and organizes.

4. What do you consider 'worthwhile ministry'? Are you like me and sometimes find yourself mistakenly thinking it has to be Big to be Important?

I think that I already answered this above - I got a little excited :)

5. Have you ever taken a spiritual gifts test? If yes, what are yours?

I have several times. I keep wanting is to change, but it won't. It isn't anything I can return - it is God's gift and who am I to think it isn't the perfect gift. I have two high ones. One is Administration - I just love to organize and plan. Planning our vacation each summer is just so fun as I plot our route and find things to do - I am the map woman! The second one is sheparding - which sometimes shows up as leadership on some tests. I don't really have the "vision" that most leaders have and people don't naturally follow me. But, I do see that in a group I like to direct the conversation and steer it to significant topics, etc.

Can't wait to read and connect with the rest of you.

God Bless and thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I AM - Lesson 2

  • What is your initial response when anyone suggests you are beautiful?
  • My Husband tells me that all the time and my son does too if I dress up for some special occasion. I always find it awkward - I am not sure what to say or how to respond. I know that my husband finds my beauty more than skin deep - but as my middle thickens and my dress size increases I often wonder what he sees in me. Maybe love is blind or maybe true love sees beyond the surface and loves our true self.

  • Do you find you engage in a lot of negative 'self-talk'? How much of your thought life does this form of thinking consume?
  • I have gotten better with this, but definitely can keep working on it. I pushed myself pretty hard in high school - telling myself to do better in school and not fail. Failure was just not an option for me. It truly scared me. Over time I have been trying to assess my abilities and gifts honestly. It reminds me of the below verse:
  • I Cor. 13:12 Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
  • It is amazing that the image that we have of ourselves is not accurate. It is like looking into one of those carnival mirrors - distorted with our sin. Yet, God knows me completely. Did you catch that? He loves me and knows me better than I know myself! Quite amazing.

  • Has it ever occurred to you that you are a City Girl? How do you plan to use this knowledge?
  • City Girl - hmm? This means that I appear different to those around me - that I have elegance, grace, peace, joy. Do people see that in me - or do I float around like the rest of the world? Do they ask what makes me different so that I can share Jesus with them? Questions for me to ponder and pray on.

  • In what ways has your view of Godly beauty changed as a result of these Scriptures?
  • God has placed us here to be beautiful - to be fully known by God at this time. Help me to see the beauty that lies in me.


"Busyness is not a spiritual gift."
From an interview with
~ Lisa Harper ~

I remember in college being reminded in our small group that we are human "beings", not human "doings". I was very busy in college - a different busy than I am now. I truly learned that my busyness was incredibly unhealthy! I was running - mostly away from my past and thus away from God - the One that could save me.

I heard this verse for the first time during a college retreat:

Psalm 46:10
10 "Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

We practiced a day of silence - where we went off alone and meditated, prayed and wept in front of the Lord. This verse became real to me and I am often reminded of it when life seems out of control. I need to step back, be still and breath.

I pray that you may find time to be still and know God.


Monday, April 23, 2007

Weekend Reflection #4

I somehow missed last weekend - maybe there wasn't anything exciting to write about. We have had fairly nice weather here on Friday and Sat. The rain moved in Sunday - but you can't have flowers without the rain - so in some ways we welcomed the moisture.

Friday - I bailed on dinner and got take-out from the Village Inn up the street. Charity was at her only overnight for Synchro, so I didn't have to get up early Sat. for practice - Yippee! I then took my glass of Bailey's on ice next door for a candle party. Lots of women laughing and carrying on. I need a Friday night like that on occasion. So, the boys (husband and son) were on their own.

Saturday - I took the day to scrapbook. I really love it and I take a Saturday a couple times a year. I don't have to worry about cooking or snacks - it is built into my registration fee. I was proud of my restraint in the shopping department - I only spent $7.23. You can always buy more "stuff". My problem is that I already have tons of stuff that needs to be used up. I made a commitment to use up my paper and stickers before I spend more money on "new". We then headed over to church. Charity was home when we got back. She had fun and did well at her synchro meet.

Sunday - Well, I had to catch up on laundry and so many things that did not get done on Sat. Plus, it was raining and Eli was bored and Charity was finding entertainment in bothering him. The joys of rainy days. I stepped out for awhile to get a dress for Prom - I help chaperone. I have a standing date with my husband every year. I needed a new nicer dress - my jeans just won't cut it. It is the perfect date - they feed us and I get paid - can't ask for more! We watched the taped NASCAR race - and Jeff Gordon finally won his 76 career race to tie Dale Earnhardt. It was very cool.

Gotta Go - Thanks for reading.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Just for fun

I am not really old enough to get hot flashes or any of those "older" lady problems yet, but the Maxine comics remind me of a real Maxine that I use to do workstudy for in college.

Sometimes she is funny, sometimes she is crude. I apologize if I offend.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

April sorrows

Just a couple of thoughts today.

My Uncle Victor passed away this past weekend. He had just reconnected with me last fall. We were not especially close - he lived in Missouri while as a child I grew up in Colorado. We would visit every couple of years as a kid to see him and my grandmother. I also spent a week or so there when I was sixteen. I miss him because whenever he talked with me, he was always so proud. He understood my life without me having to explain it - he knew how far God had taken me. I am hoping that my life was a reflection of the goodness of Christ. I want to believe that he knew Christ, it is too sad if he didn't. I had a good cry and hugged my family.

I have read the blogs about the VA shootings. My first response is denial - how could this be happening again? Then I hear a news story about a teacher that sacrificed his life to protect his students. I am a high school teacher and I wonder how I would respond. Could and would I do the same for my students? I always hope that I would have the courage and love (see In Other Words post about sacrifice) to impact my students in such a significant way. Please pray that the Lord will use what Satan intended for evil for good.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, April 17, 2007


"If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor,
how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice?"

~ David Livingstone ~

I read the other posts at Laurel's site, I was sorting through my thoughts about what this quote really meant to me. All the other posts are so wonderful and very thought provoking. Then the verse that I was thinking about came to me in this verse in John

15:13"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends."

We have received the greatest gift of love from our Savior - His life. When we come to Christ we are not longer living for ourselves, but for Him. So I agree and echo many of you, an earthly king does not ask as much of us - but our reward is small. Our heavenly king asks us for our life, but we get so much more in return - eternal life. Our cups are running over with His blessing. I am all for being commissioned by our heavenly king.

Thanks for reading.


Sunday, April 15, 2007


I am a sermon junkie. I love to listen to these great words of wisdom on scripture, maybe so I don't have to do the digging myself? I am trying to sort all of that out. I so love to hear a new perspective on familiar passages, because sometimes when I read it - it seems dry (I am trying for honesty here - sorry if I offend).

So, I have been listening to past sermons given by Andy Stanley at NorthPoint. One of the sermon series that I finished - I actually found originally as a podcast - was about prayer and how to pray. You really need to listen to the messages to get a blow by blow account, but listed below is what I learned.

The passage that Andy used is listed below:

Matthew 6

6"But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

7"And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words.

8"So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

9"Pray, then, in this way:
'Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10'Your kingdom come
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
11'Give us this day our daily bread.
12'And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13'And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]'

14"For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

15"But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

1) Stanley begins before the Lord's prayer, leading up to it. Jesus tells us where to pray in verse 6. Jesus wants us to pray in private. That our reward will be a closer relationship with Him instead of the praises of men.

2) Jesus did teach us how to pray using the Lord's prayer. It is an example of what and how to pray. Stanley stresses that most of us never are taught how to pray and it really isn't about how beautiful you sound, but the relationship that you are building with God. He wants and desires us to spend time with him. The more time you spent with God-->the more confident you are to be with Him.

3) So, what should we do when we pray. Stanley breaks the Lord's prayer into 3 parts.

-Declare His Greatness (verse 9) Tell God how amazing He is - read a psalm out loud.

-Surrender your Will (verse 10). Stanley spent a lot of time on this. This is the part that we (read I) want to skip. He referenced a couple of places where Jesus set an example of this. As important as it is, when Jesus prayed for Lazarus to be raised from the dead, God knew (verse 8) what the request was going to be before Jesus asked. This was not an intense prayer. Simply, "Lazarus, come forth". Yet, when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, struggling with his will versus his Father's will, this took all night. This was a prayer of internal struggle to do what was required of Jesus not matter the cost. These are the kind of prayers that God wants us to be praying about - transforming type prayers, not just about parking spaces and healing aunt Martha (even though we should pray those kind of prayers also).

-Acknowledge your dependence (verse 11). Be thankful for all that God has given you. Remember that God gives and takes away - He is the one ultimately in control of all we have as well as whether we live or die.

4) The last topic about prayer that Stanley mentions is about being persistent. Stanley explains this by using the following parable of Jesus

Luke 11

5Then He said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves;

6for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him';

7and from inside he answers and says, 'Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.'

8"I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

9"So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

10"For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.

Stanley describes the context as sleeping in tents and having to wake everyone to get up and get the bread. It isn't that God does not want to give us what we need, it all comes back to the process. Sometimes, many time, God will answer persistent and diligent prayer. Not because of us the prayer, but because He is God. In the process of "asking, seeking and knocking", God will often times change our prayers and change us.

So I want to encourage you to spend some time praying with God, not just a way of getting what you want, but to build that relationship that we so desperately need.

God Bless


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Ancient Words

"Ancient Words, ever true
Changing me and changing you
We have come with open hearts
O let the ancient words impart."

~ Lynn DeShazo~

Loni at Joy in the Morning is hosting this weeks in "other" words. What I truly love about the Ancient words of scripture is that you can read a story or parable by Jesus and always learn something new. The scripture is alive. God uses His Spirit to speak to us where we are.

My favorite story that comes up often in bible studies is when Peter walks on the water. I have found myself learning from the actions of Peter over and over again. When I was a new believer it was about trust. And the below verses were and inspiration.

Matt 14:28Peter said to Him, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."

29And He said, "Come!" And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

Then later in my walk that same scripture passage, I was learning about fears and struggles that would pull me away from God and I focused on these verses in that story instead.

Matt. 14:30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!"

31Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"

I pray that we may continue to read and reread scripture and let it change us today!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Spring Break in Review

We started spring break last Saturday and just like Minnesota it started raining and has rarely stopped. We even had snow. Nothing like a little snow to brighten an April morning. It doesn't stay long, but it does make for tricky travel. If you will notice from my book review site that I did a lot of reading over the week long break.

Saturday, March 31. Cleaning day. I spent a significant amount of time reading - the rain does that to me. We went to church to hear the last of the parenting series. Was invited to the neighbors for pie.

Sunday, April 1st. Not really into practical jokes. Slept in late - 9:30 am. Finished my chores in time to watch the race. The rain stopped long enough to let us grill up some hot dogs for dinner. Tried a new recipe in the crockpot with chicken. The husband liked it, not sure if I did. The kids hate everything new - they had chicken nuggets instead.

Monday, April 2nd. Made a trek to the IKEA store in the city - about a 45 minute drive. We had a few things on our list. Got new stools for the breakfast bar, a nifty footstool for the basement plus a few misc things. The bookshelf that we wanted for Eli was out of stock - so we will have to go back - Bummer??

Tuesday, April 3rd. Another rainy day. We decided to invite the neighbors and her two kids to go bowling. And can you believe that Eli outscored me? What an embarrassment. We then set up the projector and watched a movie on the wall. This is the best way to watch a movie. We watched "Facing the Giants". If you have not seen this - it is a must for any believer. I know it is just a movie, but it shows amazing biblical principles that can be applied to all of us. My husband ended up watching this about 4 times over break. It is that good!

Wednesday, April 4th. Charity was babysitting, so we couldn't do much. I invited her and the neighbor girls she was watching to go to a MacDonald's playland and stop at the Outlet Mall - Old Navy in particular. I practically live in sweatpants on the weekend and the pairs I owned were not fit to be seen in. I got a couple pair at Old Navy and the hubby found a couple of shirts on the clearance rack.

Thursday, April 5th. This was our big waterpark day. There is a hotel with a waterpark about 40 minutes away. Well, we were not the only ones with this idea on this 32 degree day. We did get in and enjoyed the waterslides, lazy river and hot tubs. Eli just loves this place while the 13 year old just pretends that we don't exist. She checks in every once in awhile.

Friday, April 6th. Good Friday. We wanted to go to the science museum, but all the omni movies were full. Just ended up running some errands and letting the kids play with the neighbors - even though they had to wear hats and gloves - what is with that! We colored hard boiled eggs.

Saturday, April 7th. Only 2 days of vacation left. This was prep day for Easter dinner on Sunday. Made some Jello eggs and Jello beans. Pulled out the ham, etc. Attended an amazing Easter service at church. The church was packed - Praise God!

Sunday, April 8th. This was the best day of all. I just love Easter and we got to go to church again with the in-laws. The service was just as good the second time around. The best part happened when we picked Eli up from kids programming. Eli said "Yes" to Jesus and asked Him into his heart! Roger and I are just so excited. Eli said "Mom, you don't have to hug me so hard!". I just couldn't help it. He got a kid's new testament and he started reading it right away. God is just so good!

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Heart of the Story

At the heart of the story stands the cross
of Christ where evil did
its worst and met its match."

~ John Wenham ~

I have not done a very good job at remembering Easter this year. Reading what Iris wrote here brings me back to the whole reason that we celebrate Easter at all. It is Jesus' dying and living that we need to remember. I heard Tony Campolo say " Friday is here, but Sunday is a comin'" On this side of the cross, we know what happened and why, but the disciples and his followers did not know that Sunday was going to be the best day of all.

I am also reminded of a perspective that Max Lucado had in one of his books. He tells the story of Creation and creating man. One of the angels asks why he gave man free-will. God wanted a being (us) to worship Him freely. But God knew from the beginning that we would sin and turn from Him and that He would have to redeem us. And He created us anyway! God knew that He would have to send His only son Jesus to suffer and die on the cross - the worst possible death in all of history - to save us! And God still choose to create us - to make us in His own image! God did not have to give us life - but He so wanted a relationship with us. What an amazing love that is!

Thank you for helping me remember and take time to thank God for this amazing love that stretches beyond time.