Saturday, April 28, 2012

Happy Weekend

Happy weekend to you!  May you enjoy the perfect balance of fun and rest!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

No gift should be received with greater sobriety than influence!

I am doing a Beth Moore study on James and today's lesson was on teachers and the responsibility they bear.  As someone in ministry, the truth quoted above rests about my shoulders as both a comforting reminder and a heavy yoke depending on the day! To be an influencer is exciting and scary...inspiring and challenging.  To know that one small action can cause a ripple effect is humbling.

There are so many great quotes in this lesson that as a teacher and a pastor's wife challenge and encourage me!  

"Let's quite trying to take people's pulse to see how much they love us...If you can get people pleased, you cannot keep them pleased. Bind your wrist to the One who isn't fickle."

This made me want to shout, "YES!"  It's so true!  As soon as we are focused on making one person or group of people happy, someone else is getting mad and leaving.  We do what we do for an audience of One and there is great responsibility in that!

Galations 1:10 ~ "Do you think I speak this strongly in order to manipulate crowds? Or curry favour with God? Or get popular applause? If my goal was popularity, I wouldn't bother being Christ's slave."

I knew quite a few years before I married Tim that I was called to full-time ministry.  That fact has brought me great comfort over the last 22 years of marriage/ministry that we have been engaged in.  I cannot imagine how much more difficult the road may have been if I felt I was just along for the ride, so to speak, and not actively engaged in what God has called us both to do.  

Still yet, the fact that what I do and say has incredible influence over others drives me to my knees and makes me ever so dependent on the Holy Spirit's direction.  There are days that I feel so very overwhelmed by the responsibility because I truly love those we have been called to minister to on a daily basis.  I know that my life and how I live it is either pointing people TO Jesus or AWAY from Him.  My influence, especially over those in my own home, is that powerful...and that scares me!!

Lord, I cannot do what I've been called to do without You!  I am in desperate need of Your wisdom and Your guidance.  It seems that we are in a season of separating light and darkness...sheep and goats...true followers and those who are just falling in line behind the masses.  May my life be an example of someone who is choosing to walk in the light, drawing a line in the sand without compromise and leading others forward in spirit and in truth!!  Please help me remain ever sober about the realm of influence I possess and never treat lightly what that means in the lives of others!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

This is a post I have recycled, but EVERY YEAR at this time I start contemplating this truth as I become pleasantly drunk on the fragrance of jasmine. Only difference this year is that I have jasmine across the front of the house now, too, so the smell hits me no matter where I am in the yard!!

The view of the jasmine winding up the porch!

It's no secret, if you have read my blog at all, that my back porch is my sanctuary! I have a sign over the bed out here that says, "Come away to a secret place and rest for a while." As I sit out here this morning, the smell of the jasmine winding it's way up the steps is intoxicating! It hits you as soon as you walk out the door or around the corner of the house and it fills me with great joy and leaves me wanting more as I go throughout the day.

2 Corinthians 2:15 says ~ "Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life."

That is the ability we have if we are grafted into His vine...the ability to give off a scent that draws others to Him and leaves them wanting more! Casting Crowns wrote a song and these are some of the words...

Your love is extravagant
Your friendship, it is intimate
I feel I'm moving to the rhythm of Your grace
Your fragrance is intoxicating in the secret place
Cause Your love is extravagant

It is in the secret place with Him that we take on the fragrance of Christ. As I sat here this morning contemplating Him and singing to Him, I become a little more fragrant to those I will come into contact with. Some, who are unfamiliar with the fragrance, will not be able to identify what it is, but they will be forced to acknowledge it none-the-less.

Thank you, Papa, for creating within me a desire and an awareness of the fragrance that comes from spending time with You in the secret place. Would my life always be a fragrant offering that draws others to You...

Can you smell it?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

This cartoon is so funny to me that I considered getting it put on a t-shirt!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sometimes we can get so bogged down by all we have to do and all the demands we sense pressing in on us and it can cause us to almost become paralyzed! I have felt like that lately and have just had to take a step back, breathe deep and remember what is really important in my life. I have resumed doing my Bible study, school is back in full swing, the little ones and I have been working in the yard lots and I have been trying to regain focus around here after our most recent church tragedy.

Last night Benji had a game and Tim took the 2 older kids to watch while I stayed home with the littles. With the forecast for rain, I decided being an hour from home with a potential rain delay didn't sound like fun. We hung out and had fun and then when they went to bed I got some muffins ready for breakfast and made brownies for my crew who were soon to return home. I closed all the blinds, turned the lights on, lit a couple of candles and made sure everything felt welcoming. I did it all because I like for my hubby and my kids to be welcomed home to a place that looks and smells good. I had the conscious thought, "I want everything to be nice when they get home", but I wasn't doing it because I thought they would say anything. I just wanted them to feel peaceful when they walked in.

They returned home shortly after and as soon as he walked in Benji said, "Awww, everything seems extra homey and nice tonight!"

**Cue the sappy music and my heart spilling its contents of joy all over the place!!**

Call me crazy, but just that one little comment will fuel me for quite a while. Just that one little comment made me realize they do notice and they do appreciate it. Just that one little comment made me realize that what I do here really is a ministry to my family and is a tangible way they feel love!

It doesn't have to be anything elaborate...a light here, a brownie smell there, a candle glow, porch lights on and a hug when they walk in the door!

Sometimes it is the little things in life that speak the loudest!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


The other morning I went for a power walk. The air was cool, the sun was beginning its slow ascent, the birds were chirping, a woodpecker was foraging for its breakfast with its tell-tale rhythmic tapping and people were heading to work and school. I marveled at the predictability and peace of it all because at the same time a totally different scene was taking place just miles away...

A mother was curled in a ball, her body wracked with tears flowing endlessly from a broken heart. A sister writhed in sleepless anguish. Friends stumbled in an emotional stupor, numb from their unexpected loss. A young man waited, cold and lifeless, soon to be laid to rest.

Both scenes co-existed, playing out simultaneously, one oblivious to the other! Such a paradox...such contradictory yet converging moments.

Reading statuses on FB was like embarking on an emotional roller-coaster ride. Posts attesting to God's goodness while others questioned why. Statements of joy mingled amongst the grief. Statuses informing of doctor's appointments and trips to the gym recorded directly above those of a moment that caused time to grind to a hault for the grieving ones.

I don't pretend to understand it all. I, again, have no choice but to return to Isaiah 55:8 for answers...

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD.

“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine."

This passage has been a familiar one to me during my almost 30 years of walking with the Lord, but somehow these last few weeks it has become an anthem from His heart to mine...a banner He is waving over me sheltering me from the arrows of doubt that the enemy would love to hurl my way. I am faced with a choice, but I know in my heart there is no choice.

To do anything but trust that His sovereignty covers it all is to walk away from the Truth and I can't do it. I have experienced too much of His lavish love and incomprehensible grace to turn back now. I have seen too many hopeless situations transformed in the unlikeliest of ways to doubt that He can thread redemption throughout the broken pieces and create something beautiful and life-changing.

I choose to set my face and my heart toward heaven and whisper thru the tears...

I trust You!

Psalm 143:8
Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning;
For I trust in You;
Teach me the way in which I should walk;
For to You I lift up my soul.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Happy Sunday!!!!!