Sunday, July 29, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Thank you Lisa for taking the time to do this study for us. Hope your mission trip is inspiring! Please join us at The Preacher's Wife for a full explanation.
1. When is the last time you encountered a Fist Shaker? This may be a stranger to you or as close as a loved one in your own home. Does anything in our description help you to understand their animosity towards God? Are you able to have more compassion towards them?
It is interesting that Lisa labels it "fist shaker". That is exactly how we represented our rebellion against God when we did mime. We shook our fist at the sky, as if that was showing God.
When I first read the description, I immediately thought about the women that are Pro-choice and are protesting. Because of my past, I am more than ever pro-life. But, these women are often fist shakers. They are afraid to lose control and confess their sin. The harm of abortion is so much greater than giving birth to a child and living with the consequences of that. Like Lisa said,"Often, when people are threatened with impending judgment, instead of submitting to the one who has power to execute justice they instead go into defense mode."
2. Does anything about Rahab's redemption strike a nerve? This may be a question you would like to ponder privately. Sexual sin and/or victimization can be an area where Satan has an enormous stronghold because it can hold so many painful and shameful memories. If Rahab teaches us anything, please know God can redeem any life and any situation, no matter how heinous it seems, and plant you unashamedly 'in the midst of Israel'. Rahab deserved death according to Mosaic Law, however she was shown nothing but lovingkindness by the God and nation of Israel.
I was not truly inspired by this question, even though my "sin" falls into the sexual category. Then, I began to think about the redemption that occurred for her family as well. Because of her belief and actions, not just Rehab, but her entire family - mother, father, siblings and relatives (anybody that would fit into her house) were saved. I can see the sin of addiction and sexual sin passed on from generation to generation in my family tree. My grandmother was married 7 times, my mother has been married twice and I am sure that it goes back further. I want to be able to pass down a legacy like Rehab - that my tiny mustard seed of faith has saved my family.
3. Is there an area of your life in which you feel you have come full circle? Where you've come to a place where everything and nothing are the same? (I'm thinking Lord of the Rings when Frodo goes back to the Shire after his long adventure. You have no clue what I just said if you are not an LOTR nerd so just ignore this if it doesn't make sense! :)
Sometimes I see that with my relationship with God. I have been in this valley or moutaintop and know what God can do, even though it feels the same it just isn't. I have a better grasp of scripture and who God is (not a perfect understanding mind you) and so God will often deal with me in a different way. It is sort of a comfortable place to be - knowing that God is watching over me.
4. When you were born again, did you gain a new appreciation for your surroundings as Rahab did when she received the Promise along with the Promised Land? Has some old place, object, or relationship been redeemed by now serving a 'high and holy purpose'?
My promised land ended up being 1000 miles away from those places. I am still praying about how and if my relationship with my parents will ever happen. Prayers are needed here.
5. Believers can still be Fist Shakers. Do you have circumstances in your life in which you find yourself shaking your fist at God? Something He has asked you to endure, asked you to do, seemingly taken away from you? Can you see how shaking your fist is keeping you from your Promise? (I'm not talking eternal security here - Only abundant living.)None that I can think of now. I am feeling truly blessed. Yet, there have been times in my life when I felt that I deserved so much more and was a snotty child and had tantrums. I am sure those times will happen again....
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Anyway, what have I been doing. I finally took a couple of days to scrapbook. I have been neglecting this. The weather has been so nice here that it is hard to stay inside. Also, this requires sitting - which is not always so comfortable for the tailbone even with the plastic donut. So, it finally got hot again here - in the 90's with tons of humidity and I sat inside and worked on my books.
I have several going at once - but don't hate me, I truly love to chronicle our lives. I finished Charity's school book. I will need to start a new one now that she is in 9th grade and officially a high schooler. Eli's is caught up as well. It is nice to get things sorted and organized. I am also working on the family book - christmas, birthdays, snowdays, etc. I am a little behind on that one. I am also excited to get our dam pictures - no real dams on the Mississippi - into the Dam album. I know, I am a little childish! A couple more stops and we will be done. We figure that our trip will be done by the time the girl graduates from high school and then who knows what adventure we will be onto next.
I also devoured the last book in the Firstborn series by Kingsbury. I will try and post a review later. I try to pace myself with her books - otherwise my family thinks I have abandoned them.
What else? Oh yes, I have decided to volunteer in our church's coffee shop to serve. Yes, we have a coffee shop with donuts, lattes and cappacinos. I am just starting to learn the register and move up to the fancy coffees. Could be fun!
I also helped my husband move some "free" wood. We use that in our wood stove in the winter. A neighbor on the next block took down about 10 trees and was getting rid of the wood. So in my wimpiness, I helped him load the trailer and pile it in the backyard. It needs to sit for a winter and cure. It was hot work, but we kept telling ourselves that it was "free". I am sure that we will appreciate it in January when it is 20 below.
I think that is all from here. I need to catch up on my blog reading. Thanks for reading
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
1) During the Reliant K concert on Sat. evening, a person in an ultra light parachute plane was flying over and around the grounds. This band is extremely random anyway – so they just added it to their lyrics. “Hey parachute man – you must have done something right!”. It was so fun. That is why you go to live concerts, to here the stories and see what they are really like in “real” life.
2) We don’t stay on the grounds of the festival. We choose to stay in a nearby state campground. This gives us more access to showers – which I really appreciate after sitting in the sun all day. We usually show up in the afternoon sometime and hunt for a spot to put our chairs and listen to the music. Many people arrive early in the am and lay out tarps. This one youth pastor asked us to share his tarp with his group. He said that they just had too much space since most of the youth go up to the mosh pit at the front during the concert. It was such an incredible blessing to us! (Which reminds me – I need to send a thank you card!). We had a great view and wonderful time of worship.
3) At the festival, they had an inflatable park. You know, the kind with slides and such. It was $10 for an all day pass. Eli loves music, but having to sit is almost torture for him. He is an active boy. This was the best money that we spent all weekend. He even met some boys that he hung out with for one of the afternoons.
4) I am not sure if I should share this, but what the heck. We were driving to the festival, my husband had a dried booger and his finger. I offered him a Kleenex, but he had already flung it out the window. Can you even believe that! So much for the bumper sticker that says “Back off or I will fling a booger on you!”. Apparently my husband will really do that. We laughed and laughed over that – it was such strange behavior for him.
I am sure there is so much more to share, but that is all from here. Time to move on and wash those smelly sleeping bags and catch up on the housework.
Thanks for reading
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
I fell down the stairs about a year ago right on my behind. I went to my doctor about two weeks ago and found out that I broke my tailbone. I am now using one of those blow-up donuts to sit on. It is slightly embarrassing, but it sure feels better to sit. I need to use this for the next 8 weeks and I have an appointment with an orthopedist just in case it needs surgery. Please pray for healing and consistent use of this donut. Thanks ladies.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Next year festival is going to be held July 17-19th and is already on the calendar. It is so much fun, especially when the weather was as wonderful as it was this year. We camp (sort of - pop up camper with air conditioning, fridge and electricity) and it is great when it does not rain. Temperatures were in the upper 70's and low 80's during the day and around 60 degrees at night. We lathered up with sun screen (UVA and UVB protection of course) set up our chairs and listened to music from 2pm until midnight.
Our favorites this year
Reliant K (Charity loves this band - very random!)
Newsboys (Eli just loved them)
Casting Crowns (great music and worship time)
Switchfoot (We are becoming rockers at heart)
David Crowder Band (Have you seen this guys hair! Loved it!)
Jeremy Camp (rained out last year - we are getting some of his music on cd for the ipod)
Hawk Nelson (another of the girls favorites)
I have a lot more stories but want to get this posted and catch up on my blog reading. I missed you all!
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
I will be back to share in bloggity ville upon my return. Have a great rest of the week!
Lisa, the faithful, is once again leading us in the study of God's faithfulness to the Isrealites in the book of Exodus. Come join us!
Key Verse - Moses speaking to God
"Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, 'With evil intent He brought them out to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth? Turn from your burning anger and change Your mind about doing harm to Your people." Exodus 32:12
1. Have you ever experienced trials that were best dealt with "in the family" for either your reputation's sake or God's? You may still choose to leave them there, but you are welcome to share if you are comfortable.
I was pregnant out of wedlock. I asked to speak with the church board to explain my plan for adoption and to allow them time to prepare for this situation in their church body. I knew that speaking the truth was the best option. This was a smaller church body about 300-500 members and everyone knew everyone (some of you pastors wives out there probably know what I mean).
When Roger and I choose to raise our child (now 13) I could not believe the uproar! I was expecting this when they originally heard about my pregnancy, but it was unexpected to hear such disagreement about me marrying Roger. Our pastor would not even perform the marriage. We were in shock that this body of believers would not want a family to be together! Maybe they didn't think it was going to work out - who knows.
We stayed for awhile hoping to show them how God can work through our sin and not turn His face, but it seems many people in this church body did not want to see that. We ended up leaving the church because we knew and know that God is so much bigger than that.
I am sure that I have, I just can't think of one at the moment. God is always making divine appointments - big and small. I am always praying that I don't miss the chance to play a part in it.
3. I was in my late twenties before I ever let myself believe God was for me instead of waiting to smack me upside the head everytime I made a mistake. Do you truly believe God is on your side?
I learned early in my walk that God was on my side - it is what brought me to faith in the first place. I have struggles with some of God's other characteristics, but this one I know in my heart is true.
4. If God has ever had you in the Holy Spirit Chokehold (and who hasn't He?), how have you reacted to God's chastisement? Were you bitter? Brokenhearted? Grateful?
God is very patient with me. It takes me a lot of time to know if it is His voice or not. I want to follow, but I also don't want to fail. I tend not to take very big risks for God. I am getting better at knowing when it is God leading or just me wanting to go a certain path. I will often be silent with God (childish I know). Then I come back and thank Him for bringing me back and picking me up. Maybe that is why I keep trying new things that I never thought I would do. Everyday I learn something new.
5. Write a brief prayer of Thanksgiving for God's longsuffering.
Lord Jesus, thank you for who you are! The creator of the universe, savior of the world and my best friend. You never turn away and You always point me in the right direction - even if I choose not to follow. You are always forgiving to my sins. Thank you for always being there fo me. Amen
Blessings to all of you today!
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
as if nothing yet had been done."
~ C.S. Lewis ~
22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
23 the LORD has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25 O LORD, save us;
O LORD, grant us success.
These are the verses that came to my mind right away when I read this quote. I am amazed that every day can start fresh, the slate washed clean. This is the only relationship that never fails me. I know that no matter what the calendar says, that my Savior is holding my hand as I go through the day -washing laundry, chaffeuring, dare I say napping (?).
Yet, my desire to know Jesus and rely on him is all up to me. Am I going to set aside the time to praise my savior today? What mood am I going to have? How can I serve someone today? WWJD? These are my thoughts. Hope you have a great Tuesday!
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Today, we made a pilgrimage (of sorts) to the IKEA (swedish furniture store for those of you that don't know) in the city. This is always an adventure - and usually expensive so it does not happen very often. We have slowly begun getting rid of the pressed fiberboard desks - you know the type I am talking about! You can find them for free on the side of the road almost anywhere. They served us well for a season - before we could afford something a little nicer.
The first desk to be replaced was the girl's. She just needed some space to spread out her books, turn on some music and study - some place besides the breakfast bar in the kitchen!
Today's desk was the family computer desk. It wasn't a huge decision, but it can be fun to clean out the old and start fresh. We are now purging files - like, do you really need the directions to the 10 year old themostat? Questions, questions...
We also had the tasty swedish meatballs and gravy with baby red potatoes for lunch - yes, this place even has a cafeteria! I even picked up some of the gravy packets and plan on making them at home. Just grab the duct tape right now because it is all going to the hips since it is made with 1/2 cup of cream. (But that is why it tastes soooo good!).
Thanks for reading!
Monday, July 02, 2007
Guess what ? It was a spider and like many of you like Fiddledeedee you are scared of even the sight of one. She tried to kill it, but missed and it fell on her in her bed - thus the screaming and running. I was not so compassionate - I told her that it was gone, but no go! She slept on the floor and had to be convinced in the morning that the spider was gone! Life is never dull.
Thanks for reading!
Sunday, July 01, 2007
We are traveling through the country and often see wildlife crossing the road or in the fields. Last year it was a fox, but this year we saw a turkey vulture on the side of the road having dinner of some road kill. My husband thought I was making it up, so I have included a picture of what I saw – and it is a turkey vulture. I might be a city girl, but I watch those animal documentaries…
Besides the turkey vulture, we had some issues with raccoons. My husband and I just think that they are giant rats – scavengers and dirty. These particular raccoons did not seem to be afraid of humans and smelled these yummy smores we were making. After I had headed to the bathroom, the raccoon walked right up to Roger in the chair. Kind of frightening when they are not scared of you. We packed up everything into the camper, knowing that it was probably the food that attracted them, and went to bed.
Needless to say, this was not the end of it. At about 2 am, we kept hearing the fighting of the raccoons beneath our camper – not a real restful sound. My husband – my brave protector – peered out of the camper to see 5 – yes 5 – raccoons fighting over who could dig into the tiny inlet where the propane hose goes for our grill. After shooing them away, we tried to figure out what they were digging for. Behold – the box of Little Debbie’s Zebra Cakes were in the cabinet just the other side of that inlet. We pulled all the food away from the cabinet, but a dryer sheet in the hole and wished for the best. It seems that we threw their scent off. Thank goodness.
We awake to raccoon tracks everywhere – on the plastic tub, on the latched cooler and on the picnic table. YUCK! I wish I could say that the story ends here, but it doesn’t. We decided to spend the day at a very fun water park since the temperature was going to reach 90. The water park was great and inexpensive – this is what I like. We get back to the car and I notice that there are raccoon tracks on my car. I wasn’t too worried about scratch marks since it was on crashed side of the car. I followed the tracks up to where the windshield meets the body of the car just below the windshield. What did my daughter and I see… raccoon poop! Note: raccoon poop that had been sitting in the hot son for 6 hours. Not a pleasant site.
My husband stopped at the closest gas station for directions (he was this desperate to get rid of the poop) to the nearest manual car wash. We found one and paid the price to get rid of the mess. Once the high-pressure water hit the poop, it sprayed all over the wall of the car wash. I was just laughing by now. I knew that this would be a story to remember. We cleaned the poop off the car and the wall and were back on our way.
One must say that living in the midst of wild life is never dull.
That is all for today. Thanks for reading.