Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pick-A-Low, Part 2

Knee deep in 4 dozen chocolate chip cookies for the first day of school yesterday, I was stopped dead in my tracks when I heard this song, "Closer" by Lara Landon on the radio in the kitchen.

Between you and me, I think she has learned the the piccolo .

Matthew 16:24 "Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."

What is your cross that leads you closer?

Saturday, August 28, 2010


A crash coarse in high school marching band about sums up my day.

One of the best things that came out of our Young Ladies Summer Bible Study were the relationships. All 15 chapters have been read, chairs and table are back the way we found them, and school's first day is Monday for most. The Bible study is over, but somehow the teaching continues - theirs, not mine.

All day I looked forward to seeing a few girls from our summer Bible Study at the first local high school football game tonight (we won). Hugs, introductions, and school colors filled the night. While most spectators made their way to the concessions as we lead at halftime, I sat on the edge of my seat and tried to see familiar faces take the field in the high school marching band.

During the third selection, as red flags sailed through the instruments, lightly high pitched notes filled the air in a crowded football stadium. Hundreds of people talking, different drums beating, and with a marching band playing, I still heard the notes that no others matched.

Know what it was?

The piccolo.

So. Here is my question for you. How is it that God can make the mighty from the minute? You know it is true. Right?! There was David (beat the giant), there was Esther (Jewish queen), and the Mustard Seed (moves mountains) , then ultimately, Jesus (swaddled infant Savior).

I was reminded of a verse read just earlier today from John 3:30,

"He must become greater; I must become less."

My Barefoot Unabridged Blog Translation reads, "Be piccolo!" (Italian for small).

The piccolo is just half the size of a flute, but has the same fingerings; and echos an entire octave higher than what is written on sheet music. Don't you find it interesting that in the world's largest award-winning orchestras filled with the biggest names in the classical music, the piccolos are chosen for most solos because they are the ones that can be best heard and most clearly distinguished from all the other instruments?

Under the stadium lights, I asked myself, "Do I desire to be small?" Well, ask me the morning after eating Krispy Kremes? The answer will be a resolute, "YES!" But, as I looked away from the bright lights and saw spots, I asked again, "But, do I desire to be small on the inside...where only One sees?" If I understand my midnight Wikipedia piccolo lesson and God's Word, less is the "more."

When we pick-a-low-er place before God, we make room for His might.
When we pick-a-low-er view of ourselves, we make way for His vision.
When we pick-a-low-er position, we make way to welcome His Presence.

Big God, I am sorry for not being small on the inside. What a resounding gong I have made ringing in Your Ears. I ask you to forgive my arrogance, my pride, and my geometrically-challenged ego. Embracing Your Grace, I give you more room. Knowing my lesson is for Your greater Glory. Be merciful, O God, while your Holy Spirit magnifies the truth that You do make the mighty from the minute, if we play the pick-a-low. Amen.

* This blog is dedicated to my friend, a talented 10th grade marching band musician, who loves Jesus, and unknowlingly ministers with her piccolo! Thank you for making Him great while being less. Hugs! :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tuckered Tank Testimony

Have you ever thought about how it feels to run out of gas? Or maybe been there, done that?!

I mean, there IS an indicator on the dash (our van even has a "miles 'til empty" feature).

You know the last time you filled up (or at least if it has been a while).

Pumps and gauges usually tell you how much gas it takes to fill up your tank (not everyone is the same). And yet sadly, we will run the risk of running out of gas all the time before we will stop and fill up again.

In the car, I have never ran out of gas. But in my life, I have recently felt like I have been running on fumes. See, I think that I have just been running without filling all the way up and not noticing how much of my "fuel" that I have been using. Not careless ventures, but lots of acceleration to different destinations, a little to much "idol"ing if I am being completely honest, and even siphoning to others when they run out, but never really stopping to fill completely back up myself. Only I can do that.

Short stops to gas up just a little at a time...a few gallons here and a few more there...just doesn't let you go very far, am I right? It gives us the illusion that we have what we need, but we haven't put ourselves in the best situation if an obstacle or challenge arise.

We just recently returned from our summer vacation and we were suppose to be home from the beach by early evening with plenty of time to unpack and put away. But, as we approached the split of I-77 and I-81, an open road bottled-necked within seconds and it took over an hour to just go 8 miles! Luckily, my husband had topped off the van a few miles back and kept his eye on the gauge...he was always aware of our "miles 'til empty" and we remained comfortable in our longggggg wait. Our tank of gas got us home, needless to say, it was closer to 10 o'clock when we pulled in. I am still unpacking and putting way.

Unlike my husband, filling up is an area of my life that demands more of my attention. Here is what I am working on:
- Being in the present. Paying attention. Knowing where my gauge stands.
- Stopping when I'm low. Stalling on empty is too painful. Running on fumes isn't good for the engine.
- Pull-in and fill all the way up with high grade.

In a verse about "peace," God says, "I do not give to you as the world gives" John 14:27.
Others fueling us, or our own self affirmations and even caffeine fooling us, are all the wrong worldly octane. Instead, we are to be "filled with the Spirit." Because "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need" and time of fumes.

Pulling in,