Tuesday, July 27, 2010


A good friend came over today. We talked about teaching, about children, about packing, about life. She read me something. It stopped me.

Does this happen to you? When you see something "other" does it widens your vision of God and His workingS? Maybe it gives you more questions, makes you angry. Many times it makes we wonder. Sometimes it makes me want to cry.

My life is so sheltered. I worry about pipes and tickets and timing and, and, and the list goes on. These things are normalicy for me. It has become my reality. It is so easy for the mudane to creep in. Not every place is like my place.

A perspective from another place.

The class had been reading a selection about lizards and their ability to change colors when necessary. The teacher had stopped to discuss the word camouflage with the class when a Sudanese student raised his hand and said, “Oh, I know what that word means, when the soldiers came to kill us in the summer they wore green, but when they came to kill us in the winter, they wore brown.”

The world is larger than my viewpoint. That is the point.

Somethings you can't understand.

On Perfection

E and I had a great talk about this very Spurgeon entry the other day. This morning a friend sent it to us as an encouragement. I had thought about blogging an excerpt but never got around to it.

Most of the time colloquilisms are what they are, because they ARE true.
"Christianity is a DONE religion, not a DO religion." Christ did it all. When I think of our chief end - to glorify God and fully enjoy him, enjoyment comes out of, well, "joy". Worrying about if I am doing it right, or if I could do it more perfectly, which paralyzes me, or beating myself up because it doesn't quite turn out the way I wanted it to is counterintuitive to fostering joy. The point is to find His joy in walking through IT .. whatever it is.
I'm pontificating ... blah, blah, blah... Love this entry.

July 23rd


C.H. Spurgeon

Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us … sanctification. 1 Cor. 1:30.

The Life Side. The mystery of sanctification is that the perfections of Jesus Christ are imparted to me, not gradually, but instantly when by faith I enter into the realization that Jesus Christ is made unto me sanctification. Sanctification does not mean anything less than the holiness of Jesus being made mine manifestly.

The one marvellous secret of a holy life lies not in imitating Jesus, but in letting the perfections of Jesus manifest themselves in my mortal flesh. Sanctification is “Christ in you.” It is His wonderful life that is imparted to me in sanctification, and imparted by faith as a sovereign gift of God’s grace. Am I willing for God to make sanctification as real in me as it is in His word?

Sanctification means the impartation of the holy qualities of Jesus Christ. It is His patience, His love, His holiness, His faith, His purity, His godliness, that is manifested in and through every sanctified soul. Sanctification is not drawing from Jesus the power to be holy; it is drawing from Jesus the holiness that was manifested in Him, and He manifests it in me. Sanctification is an impartation, not an imitation. Imitation is on a different line. In Jesus Christ is the perfection of everything, and the mystery of sanctification is that all the perfections of Jesus are at my disposal, and slowly and surely I begin to live a life of ineffable order and sanity and holiness “Kept by the power of God.”

Monday, July 26, 2010

Thoughts on Life's Challenges Today

"One never gossips about the secret virtues of others." - Jan Conenuis

"We don't ever take our adversities for granted-- only our blessings." -Dan Gylberd

"Of His bounty, the Lord often grants not what we seek so as to bestow something preferable." - St. Augustine

"It is our world that elevates personality over character,
Happiness over contentedness, entertainment over the pursuit of Heaven." - Jonathan Edwards, or biography of him

"Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God." -Corrie Ten Boom

"We can do no great things- only small things with great love." - Mother Teresa

"Sow an act, reap a habit, sow a habit, reap a character, sow a character, reap a destiny." -G.D.Boardman

"It is very easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements in comparision to what we owe others." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"You can always do less than you think in five years and more than you think in fifty." - Thomas Chalmers

"I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; But whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess." - Martin Luther

"Since then we have a Great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may recieve mercy and find grace to help in the time of need." - Hebrews 4:14...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bad Worldview is Personal

This is the quote that made me cringe and kind of smile.

"You approach each goal you set with yourself with your entire identity on the line. If you succeed, you are a hero. If you fail, you are the lowest life form on the planet. Unfortunately, becuase your standards for success are so high and because deep down inside you do not believe you have ewhat it takes to succeed, the potential to fail seems to lurk around every corner and with it the prospect of feeling utterly powerless and completely inadequate. Consequently if you are a performance perfectionist, avoiding failure and the emotional uproar it creates is apt to be an even more powerful motivation force in your life than your desire to succeed." - quote by Miriam Elliot,p.61 Perfecting Ourselves to Death -Winter

As I reflected on this, it is just one more "It's all about me moment. How long does it take to learn. It's really all about HIM?"

There is a battery of scripture of truth that refutes this bad wv. The question is do I believe that God's ability to love me well - can push the lies out of my life one by one, day by day, and means of grace by means of grace?

This walk is not one of Perfection by rather Perserverance. - Pastor C.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Eph. 3: 14-19

Friday, July 23, 2010

"To stay you have to believe there is something worth staying for - and then you have to bring yourself back, again and again. The initial glimpse of wonder, of love, of possibility, of expansion becomes a commitment to returning, to bringing yourself back each time you bolt." Women, Food and God Geneen Roth

Taking a little break. My brain and nerves are a bit overworked this morning. Started to read Women, Food and God a few months ago. Picked it back up this morning after reading a blog of a lady on dailymile last night. Her blog jolted my memory. I don't agree with everything in the book but it is interesting and I like this quote. I agree with the quote on some level except,I do not put trust in myself. This leads down the slippery slope of Humanism. I cannot resist the tugging of the Holy Spirit that reminds me it is all about Him, Christ not me. Therefore, I believe it is the Holy Spirit's working in us that brings us back to center. Of center, I mean to Him, CHRIST, in whom our life is hidden, to his callings, whether it be seeing myself accurately in the shadow of His Work, loving my husband and daughter with passion and joy, or seeing the blessings and potential in my vocational callings.

My brain has had musing enough. Back to work.
K. love you today. You're the best.
E. you've done an amazing job this past few weeks, i know your giftings, but somehow you still always surprise me. It's a wonderful Thing. BE.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fool's Gold

If I trust God as if He is Santa Clause I am settling for fool's gold. Who wants a once a year present giver as a Father? God's fatherhood gives me what I need, when I need it. He is ever present. He disciples, He makes me wait. He is not being cruel but teaching me to trust. Acting like a spoiled child begging for His hand to bless me comes naturally. Focusing on relationship, waiting to see His face, wanting to know His love and being able to more fully trust him, makes me a little apprehensive yet it also rings hopeful.

I can be skiddish about discipline, I mostly expect it to be harsh or inconsistent. I've struggled as a parent with inconsistency and harshness. What we think comes out in our actions. It is a lesson I have been trying to re-learn for much of my adult life. Success has varied, but God is faithful. And I realize the successes are due to His grace alone and mercy in my life. These graces have taken many forms: education, good friends, family, His word convicting my heart of truth and the command to walk in it.

Last week's spinning plate was a mini crisis of unaffordable and unfindable tickets, for a sizable team. Tix were just booked at $800 less per ticket than what we had agreed to last week. We, I was in a holding pattern. God was teaching me to wait, to trust, to believe that His love is good and has in mind His best, which incidently, is collaterally, my best.

Another memory stone. It is my tendency to think God will deal harshly or in anger with me. In my mind I know this is not true. However, I am evet recoverying from me centeredness. "His mercies are new every morning" "His love never fails" "He bends down Low and listens to our prayers." It just that this week - I have trusted a lot more Than usual. I haven't been as frantic, as I generally am in a bit of a crisis, and I recognize His faithfulness through and in that. It has been a sweet blessing to me to see His goodness.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Looking Back

E. does one thing at a time, completes it, and moves on. I know 9 out of 10 mornings I'll wake up to him bringing me coffee, and when I shuffle out to the living room I'll find him in his chair with his Bible and books open. He lives by a rhythm of habits and principles. I love this about him - mostly. Generally I'm pretty creative and energetic, I like juggling several things at the same time, it entertaining. He expects me to be overscheduled, busy with people and verbalizing some new plan of how to start something. E. would describe me as creative and a bit of a tornado. And he loves that - mostly.

Looking back on this time last year I had not been feeling myself for several months. I was almost always exhausted and often close to tears, but most frustrating - I didn't know why. I would push myself, however, I remained perpetually behind in all my tasks. They were not done even close to satisfaction, and personally, I struggled deeply with feeling the failure of it all.

Our summer trip was amazing, it obviously wasn't because of my good organization. In fact, despite my struggles and disorganization our team filled in the gaps. It was beautiful and humbling.

In God's providence it took several more months and visits to the doctor, to figure out I needed tyroid and ADD medicine. By the end of January, I was feeling better, in February, when my husband walked into the kitchen, and I was full of plans, projects and life, he proclaimed, "YOU'RE BACK!"

There was a lot, lovingly, left unsaid in those two words. E. was working lots of hours and balancing a crazy schedule with his 3 jobs. However, he would help out around the house, and only twice complained the entire year about me being perpetually behind on every front. It wasn't unusually for me to wake up to an empty house because he had decided to drive K the hour round trip to school on days he had to work and I didn't, just so I could get a few more hours of sleep. The list would go on for quite a while. In short, he served me, he loved me, he wasn't angry or put out. Honestly, after a few weeks, I would have struggled to stay civil, he didn't. His attitude never regressed to "look how much I am doing". He says that just normal. You do what needs done. E. decision to walk by principle first and not by feeling still baffles me even after 20 years. It makes me feel safe. It challenges me to do the same. It speaks truth to me about God's nature being primarily active, not reactive.

Looking back I am so thankful for God's provision. He did not come when at first I called out, he waited, for what seemed like a very long time. What I thought I wanted Him to do was to fix me so that I could do my thing and get my stuff done. He didn't, I couldn't. It is much easier now, looking back, than it was to walk through it.

Elizabeth Elliot said, "Remember it is because He love us that He waits. Immediate intervention would abort the far greater thing He has in mind. Trust Him for the greater."

I've thought a lot about this last year and if I would change things if I could go back. I wouldn't now. I've learned to a greater extent some value lessons.

1. Waiting is an activity. It is worth practicing.

2. Life is not fair, sometimes others pull more than their share to serve you. This is good for false pride. I have a lot of false pride. Ouch! Hopefully a little less now.

3. "We" should always precede "me" in a godly marriage. This fosters not only joy but happiness too.

4. There really might be a thing called ADD, and with a little medicine, the 400+ books and projects I've started, I might actually finish a good deal of them some day.

5. What other people think about me and my life needs to be kept in proper perspective. Especially, if they are not the people closest to me, who really know me. Others opinions, although valuable, are not necessarily helpful or well rounded.

6. At the center of anything important is relationship.

7. Trusting Christ brings joy.

8. Praticing joy brings happiness - for me I do this with mental memory stones. There is a lot to be said about the hymn - "Count your Blessings".

9. I am not perfect, I never will be, but I am progressing.

10. God knows what I need better than I do, I remind myself - I can trust Him. Hard times, whether mild or grave, work the same way, I suspect, it grows belief in the person of Christ to save. Christ is our Prince, we are His bride. He saves us in so many ways. I now have one more memory to add to my collection. This past year makes His words in Hebrews so sweet, 'when you are faithless, I will remain faithful, for I cannot deny myself'. My heart ebbs towards faithlessness, it is God's strong arms that pull me towards himself. He alone is Good and True. His arms never fails and His loves always accomplishes its intent, He is always there to save.This is primarily for HIs Glory, however the collateral blessings brings our best. This is a little mind and heart twisting.

It is all about HIM.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Faith Fractures

The following quote is great, I am more firmly convinced as I age, that the life of faith is not in my hands, but rather in the hands of Him, who holds me. That only works done from that place of joy and comfort forever remains.

I was reminded of this again as I re-read the underlining of a current book I am reading, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.

"But all the time, as we read that saw-toothed history, we realize something solid and steady: they are always God's people. God is steadfastly with them, in mercy and judgement, insistently gracious. We get the feeling that everthing is done in the sure, certain enviromnment of the God who redeems his people. And as we learn that , we learn to love not by our feelings about God but by the facts of God. If I break my leg I do not become less a person. My wife and children do not repudiate me. Neither when my faith fractures or my feelins bruise does God cast me off and reject me.

My feelings are important for many things. They are essential and valuable . They keep me aware of much that is true and real. But they tell me next to nothing about God or my relation to God. My sercurity come from who God is, not from how I feel. Dicsipleship is a decision to live by what I know about God, not by what I "feel about him or myself or my neighbors. 'As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people.' The image that announces the dependable , unchanging, safe and secure existence of God's people come from geology, not psychology." (p.87)

Hebrew 12:2 - "our eyes fixed on Jesus."

The Send Off, the Storm, and the Stilling. All are in His hands.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Spinning Plate Chorus

My Spinning Plate Chorus is wanning and my head feels about ready to implode.

St. Augustine paraphrase, "I was created for you, Oh, Lord, my heart does not rest until I rest in you."

"The earth is the Lord's and everything in it." Psalm 24:1

"The psalmist is not a person talking about the good life, how God has kept him out of all difficulty. This person has gone through the worst - the dragon's mouth, the flood's torrent-and finds himself in tact. He was not abandoned but helped. The final strength is not in the dragon or in the flood but in God who "didn't go off and leave us." Peterson on Ps 124

It is always the who it is always the same who "HE".

"It is Christ, not culture, that defines our lives. It is the help we experience, not the hazards we risk, that shapes our days." Peterson on Ps 124.

Lord, you not only save me, you do it with humor, thank you. Today's memory stone:
I blogged my meditations, because, I was worried and could not feel you. It reminds me of the Brother Down's song Sweet Air Some, "-though I can't feel you, I hold onto your Word. Could I come into the Sun, could I breathe sweet air some, falling at the foot of Christ, I'm so far below his eyes, I can't comprehend the light..."

I clicked out of the blog, back into email, with 2 incoming emails,a huge weight had been lifted, the only drama was in the fear of my mind. Thank you.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Worship Lev. 1-7

I quit reading A House for My Name few weeks ago because my husband had gotten too far ahead of me. (I'm a book graizer, I like to read bits and parts of lots of books, as not to get bored) Anyway, this morning E. was reading to me and one of my favorite words appeared so I decided to write about it. The word is qorban, it is actually a Hebrew word. I don't know if I realized this. It is used all the time in the Middle East. People often say, qorbaneebim. I say qorbaneebim, to children, friends. Which means "I will sacrifice myself for you." It is a great picture of love. Truly a picture of Christ. Mothers say it as they instruct their children. You say it as affection for a friend in need. It is beautiful.

This is part of the except from A House for My Name by Peter Leithart (p.87) (Parenthesis are my thoughts)

"Worship" means "service in the Lord's house." At the tabernacle, Israel worships God mainly through bringing animals, killing them, and burning them on the altar. This kind of worship is often called "sacrifice," but the word is not exactly right. In the Boble, a "sacrifice" is an offering that is followed by a meal. When there is no meal, the offering should not be called a "sacrifice". (I find this interesting, it conjures the idea of worship being edifying and efficatious- not one sided)

To understand Isreal's worship, we need to understand two words that are used for all the animal offerings. The first word is the Hebrew word qorban {see Leviticus 1:2, 2:1; 3:1-2; 4:23; 5:11; 7:38}. This word means "gift" or "something brought near." For Isreal a gift is a very important thing. It is not just a "present" like we might give on a birthday. When two people exchange gifts they are forming a friendship or continuing a friendship. Exchanging gifts is one way of making a "covenant" with someone, like a man and a woman who exchange rings at a wedding. At Sinai, God makes a covenant with Israel, so that Israel becomes His "bride". Yaweh as the Husband of Israel promises many gifts, and to continue in the "marriage" covenant, Israel is supposed to bring gifts.

The offering are qorban in another way. A qorban is something brought near to God. What the worshipper really wants is to draw near to God himself, to be His friend and companion. In the Old Testament, because of the sin of Adam, Israel is kept away form God and may not fully enter into His presence. By offering an animal, the Isarelite is offering himself to God. And this is the "gift that God really wants. (the second gift, Mr. Leithart talks about is the "bread of God", he later goes on to say that God does not need to eat to stay alive, He eats to make a covenant with them and to show that He is their friend.)

Mr. Leithart, ends the paragrah with "God wants to eat you." This makes me happy, how many times, as I looked at my little one, I wished envelope her, I enjoyed her and I wished I could absorb all of her. It gives me pause, I think "Oh, I was just thinking what God has already thought. I hadn't realized Wow, I am so grateful that He loves me like that."

Romans 12:1-2

I entreat you, then, Brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, for this is your rational worship. Do not conform to the fashion of this world; but be transformed by the complete change that has come over your minds, so that you may discern what God's will is - all that is good, acceptable and perfect. 20th Century New Testament

I read a quote this last month that the heart of true obedience comes from being a place of being loved. I wish I could find it again. But the thought is beautiful and I am certainly reminded of it this morning.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Missing You

Today is 11 years since you went home to be with Jesus.

I miss you, Dad.

I took some time to think about you and all the good gifts you gave...
I wish you were still here,
I wish you could see K and E.
You would be so proud of the young woman she has grown into,
I know you were sceptical about me marrying a Californian,
But you'd love how he leads our family.
I can't help but know even with my age I would still be your little girl.
I don't know if you can see from up there what goes on down here.
You would be so proud of Momma,
She is still her sweet, bigger than life self.
She always "cracked you UP."
We enjoyed watching you laugh at her antics.
I remember you dancing with her in the living room.
We were mezmorised by it.
Even admid tumult you found eachother and stuck together,
You and she had a life long love affair, of that all of us were sure.
I carried that gift with me, both Sissy and I have.
Thank you.
You always called me by my full name when I was in trouble or if I really needed to hear the guidance.
I can still hear your voice in my ear,
"You know, P...J... if a man were wise..."
All your best advise you paired with ice cream. It made the prickles of hard ideas go down easier.
I remember you and Momma praying over me at night that God would heal my CP.
I remember you doing my foot exercises while Momma made dinner after you'd been on the road all week.
I remember you loved to jazz out to the Doobie Brothers going down the road.
I remembered that very little phased you.
You were never shocked at my shock value attempts and even when us kids messed up royal you always let us know that it wasn't the end of the world, repentence and better choices would get us where we needed to go.
I remember when I had surgery and Momma, P. and I had taken the car that you hitchhiked all the way to Salt Lake to see me when you had finished your work.
I remembered opening my eyes thinking I was imagining you.
I remember Sunday morning you hurrying us to the car, a crew of 7 doesn't move easily.
I remember when I was a teenager and slow as molasses you throwing my make-up and the clothes in the car and saying, "Get in" - I got in- thank you.
I remember being 11 and getting to spend the weekend with you all by myself.
We rode your motorcycle and went to dinner at the country club where you and Momma would go to your business parties. I was wearing a flowered dress with a scarf. I felt so grown and special. We stopped short of ordering the lobster, you knowing that the others kids would never stand for that.
I remember have my first wreck, I had ran across town to the only McD's to get us ice cream. The ice cream fell when I braked too hard. I hit a car and a trailer, I was minutes from our house, the people were yelling, and I ran to get you. After you had everything settled. You said, "Let's go get that ice cream", after we had our ice cream and a talk. You insisted among my frightened protests that I get back in the driver's seat.
I remember walking down the aisle, and just as we started, you said, "You know, P...J.. you don't have to do this if you don't want to." I asked the other girls, I guess you said this to all of us. It must have been hard to give us away.
Sunday after church we always watched the Broncos, I know about football, and I love it. It always reminds me of you. I couldn't watch the superbowl for 4 years after you were gone. It made me cry. No worries - I'm back in the saddle.
I love fishing, and driving fast, and jazzy music and I love my husband more and more as the years roll by.
I know that even when I mess up really big, I can turn around and Jesus is always there.
You weren't perfect, but you were real, and really cool too.
Thank you, Daddy.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Love shooting those rapids...

I am thinking about all that needs to be done and choosing to sit, read and reflect a bit. I really like this book I am reading, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.
The chapters on worship and service have me thinking once again about just setting my eyes on Jesus. He is good and apart from him I can do nothing of value, really. Maybe it partly the empting nest thing, or age, or just plain fresh grace that is holding me in my tracks where I usually "bull in a china closet" through tasks at hand. I don't know. But I am thankful. I am thankful that he is faithful to accomplish what I cannot. Success in tasks,is not the reason I sit and reflect, however, it does make me chuckle to see His provision without me grasping for it when I just wait and trust in my heart. It is a sweet lesson. It is a repeating lesson in my life. I am prone to be idol bound. It's that tension between resting in His goodness and love and my fallen sinful state. What isn't yet but still is being walked/worked out. I am thankful for my failings, in that, it shows me once again how truly loving Christ in his patience is for me. I am wonder filled with His love towards me in ways I don't know that I need. Only when I see steps of grace that He has guided me into do I even recognize His ever faithfulness.
I love the passage in Hebrews 9 or 10 - my paraphrase "He is faithful, even when we are faithless, because he cannot deny himself... but we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed but of those who believe and are saved."
There is a secondary action on our part to believe, but His love is the primary action that compells us to Himself. Irresitable Grace.

His irresistable grace reminds me of shooting the rapids with my friends on Snake River in Wyoming when I was in high school. It was beautiful, exhiliating and I never knew quite what was going to happen. That was partly because my friends were crazy and adventuresome.
His irresistable grace is full of surprises, just like the Snake, He truly does do more than we can ask think or imagine. Life with Christ is an adventure. The twists and turns are many.
Bless His Holy Name.