Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Grace!!!


My very dear friend is living a nightmare! She has realized her husband of more than a decade is a stranger to her. She has uncovered a secret life full of deceit, sin and lies! Her world has crumbled around her and she is sitting amongst the ruins with her precious children!!

She and I have spent hours combing through phone records and calling numbers that were unfamiliar. We have uncovered quite a bit including a mistress. Yesterday my friend called the mistress and they talked for 30 minutes. My friend, who has been so betrayed but SO loves Jesus, PRAYED with her husband's mistress that she would come to understand her only hope for true love and significance is in Jesus!!!!!

The girl was weeping!!! She told my friend she had never met anyone like her!!! She told her that she would like to meet her and be able to apologize to her face-to-face!! My friend said that she has to find a way to have some redemptive value from all she has gone through and if it means helping the adulteress see she needs Jesus then that is enough!!!

I am so proud of my friend and so thankful for the path she is choosing to follow in all this! She does desire to obey the Lord and see Him glorified even though she realizes there is virtually no hope for her marriage! I want to be like my friend when I grow up!

2 Corinthians 1:12For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Lamentations 22The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
23They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24"The LORD is my portion," says my soul,
"Therefore I have hope in Him."

I am praying for a morning full of new mercies and glimmers of hope for lots of people tomorrow! So much pain, but so much love from a Father Who, in His lovingkindness, never fails us!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Psalm 51:16-17 Going through the motions doesn't please you,
a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
don't for a moment escape God's notice.

Praying this passage for a friend today! Praying for a shattered heart so they can be infused with His love in a new way!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

He Knows Just What We Need!



Some of you know that recently someone took issue with me for referring to the Lord as "Papa". They felt that it was blasphemous and that hurt my heart so much. My desire in everything I write about Him is to honour Him and remind everyone (myself included) how awesome He is. Blasphemous was such a strong word and so totally opposite of what I had set out to do in that particular post. At any rate, I didn't handle it well and I subsequently apologized and then last night anonymous apologized to me...albeit anonymously again, but that's between them and the Lord.

I share all this to say, I did have some moments of questioning whether I should continue to call Him "Papa" publicly or just quit so as not to offend or incite anyone else. I had pretty much decided what I was going to do and then tonight I got a glorious confirmation.

A friend of mine was sharing her testimony at church and it was a story laced with much pain, but much redemptive joy, too! At the end she addressed me directly and thanked me for an email I had recently sent her. She started crying and said that in my email I called the Lord "Papa" and that it meant so much to her. She said it hit her that He really does love her like a Daddy and He can give her that love she is missing now that her own daddy is gone! (*Tears welling up in eyes as I type*)

I just can't tell you how much that meant to me because it was a very direct confirmation from Him that it was okay for me to call Him Papa and that it did give people a powerful visual of His deep Daddy-love for us!! My friend was sharing how I encouraged her, but she'll never know how much her words encouraged me.

Thank You, Papa, for your deep and abiding love for us and thank You for caring so much about Your girls that You whisper in their ear just what You know they need to hear!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ripples of Restoration

Recently Jesse and Hannah had some issues with each other. They became frustrated and said things that were much better left unsaid. I separated them for a while and then brought Hannah into my room first to talk to her.

I explained to her why, according to scripture, what she had done was so wrong and how it was as if she had done what she did to Jesus. I asked to her to go in her room and think about things and then confess to the Lord what she had done wrong. I shared with her that after she had confessed to the Lord, she needed to go to Jesse and confess to him what she had done wrong. She seemed to be tracking with me pretty well until I got to the part about confessing to Jesse. Upon hearing what she must do in regards to him she sighed, slumped her shoulders and said...

"Ugh! That is the hardest part!"

I struggled to suppress a laugh and let the truth of her words sink in. Confessing to the Lord, while not always easy, seemed like a piece of cake compared to having to confess to another living, breathing human-being that what was said to them was totally unacceptable. What a portrait of the tension we must experience on a daily basis should we choose to keep short accounts with each other and walk in unity.

When we came to the church where Tim is now the lead pastor, they had been shepherd-less for almost a year. There were a group of pastors who had done as great a job as possible to hold things together, but they had been operating in crisis management for much of the time. The people were starved for someone to come in and take a strong leadership role and remind them of the truth of His Word and what is really important.

Tim has talked to them a lot these last few weeks about transformation in their own lives and the need to take personal responsibility for their words and actions. While these can be hard truths to digest and truths even harder to incorporate into our own lives, we are seeing pockets of people embrace these truths and choose to walk out the evidence of them in their daily lives.

We are seeing ripples of restoration start to take place!!

People are taking responsibility for their "stuff"! They are going to each other in humility and confessing to each other and asking for forgiveness! They are choosing to walk in truth no matter how difficult it may be and they are not allowing their pride to keep them from obeying what they have so clearly seen in scripture! Not only is confession being walked out, but there is forgiveness being extended. Those who have been wronged are extending grace out of the overflow of grace they themselves have received from the Lord and relationships are being healed!

It is a beautiful thing to witness the Body doing what the Body knows is the right thing to do!! It's a beautiful thing to watch walls come down and brothers and sister begin to link arms again in unity of the Spirit!

Lord, thank You for people who are embracing the truth of Your Word and choosing to confess their wrong-doings to each other. Thank You for people who are willing to lay aside their hurts and extend forgiveness to those who have wronged them. Thank you for the ripples of restoration we are seeing take place and for the promise of healing and strength in the Body as a result of walking in obedience to the truth of Your Word, no matter how humbling it may be!

Matthew 5:9 ~ "You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family."




Monday, February 7, 2011

Roots


Chop...chop...chop!

"Watch out...

Dig...dig...dig!

that no poisonous root of bitterness...

Prune...prune...prune!

grows up to trouble you."

I am sorry if I have seemed a little absent lately, but I have been busy over here!

Lord, please pull up any tender roots of unforgiveness that You may see so that no poisonous roots of bitterness might run wild in my life! I desire to lay the hurts at Your feet, knowing You know best how to deal with things. May my mind dwell on the truth of Your Word that obedience is better than sacrifice and that You reward those Who diligently seek You. I love you and am thankful that You see my heart and understand me like no one else can!!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Do-Over



Do you ever experience something and then wish with everything in you that you could have a do-over? That's kind of how I feel about yesterday and my anonymous poster! I have thought about what happened a lot and I have asked the Lord what I should have done differently. I have looked at scripture where Jesus was accused and I realized I allowed my "self" to get in the way and that makes me sad.

Now, know that the encouragement I received from many of you meant so much, but I really did respond in a manner that wasn't necessarily in keeping with how Jesus would have done it. When He was accused he remained silent. When He was accused he didn't respond with accusations of His own. He just wore it.

The purpose of my blog is for me to record what the Lord is showing me so that I can try and eliminate all the swirling thoughts in my head. Once I have pondered it and recorded it then I can move on to something new. The fact that I put it out here for all to read means I run the risk of having people disagree with me. I think I am almost okay with hearing whatever criticism is out there (although I'll probably always wince a little at first ;O) ), I just struggle with it being done in anonymity.

It's not even just being criticized anonymously. I got frustrated a few years ago when someone put an anonymous note in our mailbox during the building of our basketball court because they thought we were building a garage and were in violation of neighbourhood covenants. Just be man or wo-man enough to face people with your issues...don't hide!

I have not arrived in understanding how God works, what He wants for me to do or even what He likes to be called. I do think my heart is pure in wanting to know Him and I do try and accurately portray Him in my writings. For me, calling Him Daddy, Papa, Abba or any other term of Fatherly endearment just reminds me that, while He does desire my obedience, He longs to hear my heart. There is no irreverence involved...just a longing to know Him a little more intimately today than I did yesterday.

With that being said, I would like to publicly apologize to anonymous for expressing my frustration on a public forum and I would like to publicly apologize to my friends for putting them in a position to feel the need to defend me when no defense was really necessary.

Today is a new day with new mercies and new opportunities to learn from Him. Let's not waste that gift!



Order!


I saw this quote on my friend Jess' blog this morning and it reminded me how much I love it! Thanks, Jess!!

“Order is a lovely thing; on disarray it lays its wing, teaching simplicity to sing.” -Anna Branch



Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Goal


Galatians 1:10 (New Living Translation)

Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.



Living Fully


I am reading Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts, and I can't say enough good about it. Ann paints glorious pictures with words and leaves you feeling as if you have spent time in the greatest museums of the world experiencing incredible works of art. You are left staring at the words as they swirl about you in such a way that you can almost smell them, taste, them and reach out and touch them.

As I corralled my swirling mind and troubled heart last night so that I could sit down and read, I found my mind clearing, my breaths deepening and my heart opening back up again. Her subtitle is "A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are". Isn't that funny? The Lord, through Ann, was daring me to live fully right where I was in the midst of feeling hurt, abandoned and betrayed. If He was daring me then surely it must be possible, right?

As I was reading, small book light casting shadows and hubby snoring softly beside me, I stopped with a small intake of breath as I read these words...

"'Just maybe...maybe you don't want to change the story, because you don't know what a different ending holds.'"

Did you just find your breath catch as mine did when you read these profound words? Words that came from Ann's brother as he buried his second young son! How many times have I wished that I might insert a chapter into this life I call mine? A chapter penned solely by me that would contain no suffering, no pain, no stinging words or emotions other than simple joy. Sometimes I want to write a chapter in advance and just have Papa sign His name to it at the end...give it His blessing, if you will.

How ludicrous, not to mention insolent, to even infer that I might be able to pen a story that would have a better outcome than the One Who created me and allowed my first breath to cross my lips! He is the One Who sees the big picture, knows what I need and sees how it all one day plays out! The joys and the milestones are a huge part of this life I am living, but the pain, the hurt and the sorrows are what He uses to shape me to look just a little bit more like Him.

Stripped of myself and my own ability to see the final outcome, I am forced to trust Him. I am forced to realize that when I pick up my own pen and attempt to get a head start on Him, I am participating in an exercise in futility. It's as if I have just written a great masterpiece (in my mind) in vanishing ink! Even Job saw this truth clearly in Job 42 when he said...

2 “I know that you can do anything,
and no one can stop you.
3 You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’
It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about,
things far too wonderful for me.

Another version of this passage says that the Lords plans cannot be thwarted. Reality is, we can thrash around in the midst of our story, fight what we find around every corner and tell Him all we want that our way makes much more sense. How senseless to think, though, that my version would come anywhere close to bringing joy and contentment in this life. How dare I not live fully right where I am, trusting that He has a reason for everything I encounter in life!

Lord, I am sorry for all the times I, in my foolishness, thought I knew better than You. I am sorry for all the times I mentally pulled out pages of Your plan for me and tried to insert revisions penned for my own comfort. The only life I want to live...the only life worth living at all...is the one You have ordained before even one of my days came to be.

Lord, please help me embrace this life not fight it. Help not rush through it mindlessly, looking for counterfeit lovers to numb the pain. Help me to be intentional with each step, each relationship and each choice I find myself facing. Thank you for daring me to live fully right where I am! May I be found faithful when all is said and done!!

1 Cor. 2:9 ~
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.”