Tuesday, November 24, 2009

One Little, Two Little...

Answer this from an old college interview:
If you could be a toy, what would you be?

I want to be a puzzle.

Today, we have yet another blogging squeal...another piece in the puzzle of my life. See, that is what I love about blogging (journaling), you make note of what is happening, record where you see or hear Jesus in your life, and then sit humbled when He arranges all the pieces, shows you the puzzle, and to your surprise, it isn't what you thought, it is just a radiant portrait of Himself.

So, remember when I shared "Ok Lord! I hear you Loud & Clear!" Well, a lot has happened since those first 3 pieces tugged on my heart. I asked around to see what books friends would recommend on prayer. An e-mail came late one night mentioning one specific book on intercessory prayer. I tucked the title away and kept listening. The very next morning started with a long awaited playdate for my 3 year old - as much for moms as kids, if you ask me. As conversation jumped from "play nice," preschool field trips, "don't grab, share," domestic tips, and good children's books, I took a leap of faith and inquired, "Are you involved in a Bible Study?" Now, the conversation got really interesting. This rekindled friend shared that although her heart longed to deeply study God's Word, she wasn't involved in a Bible Study. I was excited to learn that some other moms had been talking about an early morning Bible Study time, but nothing had been decided. Then, she shared an attempt to do a solo study, but just read the first chapter. Guess what the book was - you know that I asked! YES! It was the same title that arrived in my inbox that very morning on intercessory prayer.

Through God's providence a small women's Bible Study is being pieced together as I type. A perfect seven met this morning...bright and early at 6:00 a.m. for discussion and prayer. These women have an eagerness for God's Word, a heart for daily intimacy with Him, and desire to rise and shine for Jesus. The morning's stillness freshened my day with prayer, sharing, and testifying. God even had His Hand on some meditation music the Spirit prompted me to bring. Although Kari Jobe's song, Be Still was new to most, one member had just sung You are For Me the previous Sunday in her home church. Seven different pieces, coming together in one beautiful portrait of confirmation.

Later in the day, I was humbled when two early-risers e-mailed me. We had the date, time, location, topic, and Holy Spirit. God knew one last piece remained. Their encouragement for me to lead our Bible Study was God's gift to me today...one of many! After getting the first message from Him on November 1st and then seeing all the pieces fit together, 23-days later, I told them and God, "Yes!"

I am giving thanks today and over turkey Thursday for:
One little, two little, three little pieces,
Four little, five little, six little pieces,
Seven little, eight little, nine little pieces
May be even ten little pieces seeking You!

How beautifully radiant you are, Father. May we rise & shine to meet you!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


When I first instituted Tunesday, I blogged about the revelation I had over hard boiled eggs. Well, here is the sequel...

Yesterday, again barefoot in the kitchen, I made my famous, easy, guilt-free hot breakfast of hard boiled eggs for Jeremiah. And as I peeled eggs, not onions, I started crying.
Culinary Lesson #1: Did you know, the more you tap the shell, the more cracks you put into a hard boiled egg, the more you seek to fracture it...the easier it is to get the shell off?
Culinary Lesson #2: Watch out! If you are in a hurry and pull the shell off too soon, you can literally tear the egg a part and it isn't whole anymore!

It was like dynamite went off in my head and the salty aftershocks rained down my face.

The more broken we are before Christ, the quicker our shell comes off.

Just when I think I KNOW JESUS, I tell Him, What do I really know about it all? Do I get it? Do I listen?

After a weekended seeking to control and judge others, I broke with the eggs. Over the saucepan, I let the steam carry my prayer of repentance to Heaven. I told the Lord, I know better than to judge someone else, that's not love. I know better than to control the mood and men in my life, that's not peace. I know better than to dwell on my opinions, that's not self-less living. I was so sorry and embarrassed before God. I know better.

Then, feeling the stream, hot water, cracked shells, and warm eggs within my hands, with my offering, He whispers, "Look at me with your unveiled face." 2 Corinthians 3:18 is such a beautiful reminder of His grace and mercy, And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. I thanked Him for his forgiveness, decided not to wear make-up the entire day even though I would be getting together with friends later (huge deal for those of you that know me!), and took our breakfast to the table...it was a NEW DAY!

So, imagine my stillness in the library parking lot later that day as Jeremiah is ready to hop out of the mommi-van and there is this incredible song on the radio that halts me. Mind you, I've never heard it before, it is a new group to me, and we are going into the library to give the old and get the new. A line from Addison Road grabs me, If You touched my face, would I know You? And the rest of What Do I Know of Holy are the lyrics of my heart. I share them with you!

It's Tunesday and I am excitedly seeking to be all cracked up, continually unveiled, and daily learning more of holy!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

From Park to Deep!

I am proud to announce that I am a proud momma of a "Guppie" graduate. This morning, my 3 1/2 year old son had to show the lifeguard instructor all that he learned in preschool swimming lessons to pass his class. As we arrived at the aquatic center and I put the car in "P" I thought, I should pray for Jeremiah before he "graduates." Then, the Spirit prompted me, "Jeremiah would you like to pray before your last swimming lesson?" With clasped hands and a bowed red head he prayed, "Dear Heavenly Father, we come to you (his classic beginning to every prayer), please don't let me go into the deep. Amen." Rather odd, I thought, but OK.

A perfect performance got him a ride on a huge square float. As they conversed, the instructor asked, "Where do you want to go, Jeremiah?" With pride, he pointed is little pruney finger and said "Over there!" And, she guided him into the DEEP! Without the least bit of resistance, he went where he feared. The float was not spent in worry and anxiety, but laying on his back looking up and elaborately conversing pretending to be pirates in a huge ship on the big open sea. Our instructor threw back her head, laughed, and said, "He makes my day!"

What a picture of our relationship with God! We make His day when we follow his "gliding" into the deep. Converse with Him, tell Him what delights your heart, He hears you! When you have demonstrated what you can do through Christ, be brave and dive into what you fear the most. But, if you can't dive just yet, FLOAT! God heard Jeremiah's prayer...and He answered it. God didn't let Jeremiah go into the deep, my little Guppie was carried the entire time on a faithful float that would not fail.

That "float" is Christ! So, I have to ask. Are you
A. failing?
B. flailing?
C. floating?

Don't worry, you won't flunk the test, but you have the opportunity to make His day! Don't you want to? Dear Heavenly Father, we come to you, thank you for continuing to teach me about prayer & how Your Son intercedes for us and delights in keeping us afloat. I pray for those who read this...give them courage to float with you anywhere...even into the DEEP!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Ok, God! I hear you loud and clear!

Tonight as I was working on my LHBI coursework "intercession" came up for the third time in a matter of days!
November 1 - Scripture reference that struck me from my daily devotional book, Hebrews 4:16 " So let's walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help" (MSG)
November 4 - A friend shared over the phone she was excited to go back to her church's intercessory prayer services on Wednesday nights because it was such a blessing to her.
November 9 - Last night's homework scripture referenced Hebrews 7:25 "Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them" (NIV).

I had to look that verse up in a couple of translations to make sure it said what I thought it said...Jesus lives to make intercession for us? Doesn't He have other things on His list with a little more priority like preparing a place for me, if not, He would have told me! Not to get too picky with the Word of God, but does this mean...Christ is just eager to intercede on our behalf at the throne of God or was Christ's very purpose in arising Easter morn to fulfill this duty? So after six translations, my answer is both. My favorite scripture that I found during my impromptu independent study assignment was Isaiah 53:12 "For He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." The cross itself was intercession!?! The death, life, and resurrection of our Savior is all to be my advocate, to make my petition, to speak on my behalf.

Cool, but what is He saying about me? Romans 8:27 says "the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will." I want to know more about this thing...intercession...that Christ lives to do for me. And as His Light, I need to know better how to do it for others. Living a WWJD life holds an expectation that we practice intercession like Him, right? Stay tuned (or bookmark me).

The Words I Would Say is a good intercessory song for Tunesday. Sidewalk Prophets ends the song like this:
Be strong in the Lord and,
Never give up hope,
You're going to do great things,
I already know,
God's got His hand on you so,
Don't live life in fear,
Forgive and forget,
But don't forget why you're here,
Take your time and pray,
Thank God for each day,
His love will find a way,
These are the words I would say

Friday, November 6, 2009

Dependent Health Care?

My pulse? Racing.

I grew up on Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas, on the other side of the Lone Star state from Ft. Hood. So the recent events and images in the national media hit really close to home...and that's not the only reason.

Living on a military base is like living in another world. All major buildings have horizontal numbers in military black stenciling and citations were given if you neglected to cut your lawn. I was a senior in high school before I knew what a pharmacist was or that you had to pay for dental and medical care. Imagine flashing your drivers license every time you went into a store...we did...if you didn't have your military ID you didn't get to shop! I couldn't wait to be old enough to carry and flash my own card and not just be a dependent. Imagine my surprise last Thursday to learn that our son's first dental appointment fees were not covered even though the insurance card said, "Dependent Coverage: Yes." I quickly learned that that only meant spouse, not child...and thus my culture shock continues as I learn how the other half lives.

Live media broadcasts form Ft. Hood, pans of the largest military base in America, news anchor reports from every network, take me back to my childhood home and memories of my dad. Have you ever considered the sound bites between the 6 & 11:00 news do not convey the true tally of all victims? This is not an anti-media posting, but rather a call for sympathy and compassion for ALL those involved, much like a recent post about Susan Klebold.

I remember when my dad, decorated Retired U.S. Army First Sergeant, was the headline; and we went to retrieve his truck from the scene. The reporter and camera man literally came running…could they have hit the jackpot to be the first to interview the accused’s family? They interrupted a neighbor mid-sentence to grab cords and raced to where my brother keyed the door. How quickly feelings of deep sadness, mourning, and grief can be pushed aside by anger, hate, and contempt!

Oswald Chambers wrote, “Jesus Christ demands that His disciple does not allow even the slightest trace of resentment in his heart when faced with tyranny and injustice.” How big is a trace? I think the size of a trace depends on the size of the hurt. Some of the smallest injustices leave the largest resentments. Then, like in today’s headlines and my own experience, the largest injustices can have the slightest trace of a fractured heart before God. With only Chamber's eloquence, he simplifies, “Jesus Christ is the only One who can fulfill the Sermon on the Mount.”

I can not be the peacemaker or the persecuted except through Christ.
I cannot be turn the other cheek, forgive, or offer my cloak except through Christ.
I cannot withhold judgment or go the second mile except through Christ.

What a reminder that we are always marked as a dependent of our Heavenly Father! We are so unable to attain, maintain, or sustain anything outside of His care. Through Christ, pray for ALL victims in today’s horrific and unwarranted tragedy.

My pulse? In Rhythm.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall...it is Tunesday!

In the last couple of weeks, I have enjoyed the privilege of speaking about public speaking. Neat, huh? The simple helping out a friend, by presenting at a few scout meetings, turned into a personal reflection. How is it that when we help out someone else, we are the ones who are ultimately blessed in the end? And, why are we surprised by it?

When given the chance to try their hand at public speaking, the older scouts withdrew and guarded what they shared as they introduced themselves while the younger group was open and demonstrated total freedom. What joy! Despite age, maturity, and experience the more eloquent speakers were the younger group of scouts. I had to go look in a mirror! Do I remain free? open? vulnerable myself as I speak about You, Lord? In the last few weeks (as evident by sparse blog posts), the answer is "No."

God explains, "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit" 2 Corinthians 3:17-20. My honesty came with an uncomfortable shock. Have I forgotten that I am STILL being transformed into His likeness? With even more honesty, I answered "YES!" Oh, how I have a lot of transforming to do! I went into the scout meeting encouraging others to stand up to one of mankind's greatest fears, next to death, and publicly speak. All the while, adjusting and fidgeting with my self-applied "veil." You know how it is. Anything that keeps us from reflecting the Light that is in us serves to veil our vision...our vision of what we want to be for Him and to see His vision of what He wants for us. Right?! Veils of fear, indecisiveness, competition, lack of faith, and pride have all been torn. Why do I keep reapplying?

Natalie Grant's song Perfect People has this one line that says, "So look up and see Love. Let grace be enough." And with that thought, I do look up and pray...

Thank you for being my mirror today, Lord. How incredibly complete You are. I needed to be reminded that there is no longer a veil between us. I am sorry for blocking Your Light. True freedom (my heart's desire) comes from allowing Your Spirit to unveil what You have already created in me. I am free to be me because I am in You. Amen.