Tuesday, June 28, 2011

In The Morning When I Don't Rise

So if you are a morning person you may not understand this, but me, I hate getting up in the mornings. I am an evening person and have been as long as I can remember. Recently, however, my body has begun waking me up around 7 or so. I know this is the Holy Spirit waking me up to spend a few much needed minutes with God before the kids get up and the day really begins, but still I resist. Why is this? Why do any of us do this? What is it about our nature that resists these promptings and says, "just 5 more minutes" until there are no more minutes.
Before we moved I was regularly getting up early to spend time with God, but I have gotten so lazy. So now when i just wake up I say, "no, I just want to sleep." This is a selfish attitude and it needs to be weeded out of me. This morning it was 5:00 and I could not go back to sleep. I got up, ate a little something and messed around on the computer before going to lie back down at 6 hoping for 2 more hours of sleep. No! God was not letting me sleep this morning. All I got was a headache from trying to force sleep on my body. So finally around 6:30 I relinquished and read some scripture and talked with God about what was on my mind. It was refreshing, and I remember why I had initially disciplined myself to get up early every morning to meet with God. It changes your perspective on the day. It prepares you for what lies ahead and puts you in tune with God's Spirit.
Jesus sets this example for us in Scripture. Mark 1:35 says, "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went to a solitary place, where He prayed" (NIV). Jesus, the Son of God, perfectly in tune with the will of the Father, got up early and prayed alone so He could commune with His Father. How much more, then do we need to rise early and talk with our Heavenly Father so that we can hear His perfect voice and will for us? I know for me, I could spend all day in the Word and prayer and it still would not be enough. I hope this will become a good reminder for me of the need to rise early and actually start listening to the Spirit when He calls to me, "come and sit at your Father's feet".

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Creation Museum

The best I can say is WOW! This place was amazing and completely inspired by God. I will say, when we first arrived and there were dinosaurs at the entrance I thought, "what have I gotten myself into?" (I am not a fan of dinosaurs by the way.) So we began the journey through this museum and it all became clear very quickly. It showed how creation, explained in the Bible backed up science. I wish I could explain plainly but honestly I could not do it justice. This is one of those places you just have to see. I went to a presentation on dinosaurs and the Bible and this helped me so much. Honestly I had gotten to the point where I just chalked up dinosaurs to some hoax of Satan's or archaeologists making up things they found. I believe the Bible is true and what I knew of dinosaurs just did not fit. The way it was explained in the museum and at the lecture made so much since and was put into Biblical perspective for me. It was also interesting to learn that it is possible dragons and dinosaurs are the same. In the KJV Bible is uses the word dragon to describe somethings and the word dinosaur was not invented until around 200 years later! Interesting! (well, to me at least). And that many of the folk lore about dragons may have come from dinosaurs and they just became extinct like the dodo bird from being hunted and disease. It was absolutely fascinating to me. I love the Bible and I love science and to understand how they go together better is always a wonderful thing.
I love the way God uses different things at different times to show you different things and this was great timing. Now Jamey is obsessed with dinosaurs and I have the ability to explain it from a Biblical perspective. As I think about homeschooling my kids and realize how much I do not know I am thankful for places like this that can teach me so I can teach my children.

If you would like to know more about the museum visit:

If it's a long drive you have a place to stay. It's only about 1 1/2 hours from our place. I encourage you to go, see, learn. It's fascinating!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

You have Redeemed My Soul

by Don and Lori Chaffer

You have redeemed my soul
From the pit of emptiness
You have redeemed my soul
From death
You have redeemed my soul
From the pit of emptiness
You have redeemed my soul
From death

I was a hungry child
A dried up river
I was a burned out forest
And no one could do anything for me
But You put food in my body
Water in my dry bed
And to my blackened branches,
You brought the springtime
Green of a new life
And nothing is impossible
For You

Now, You have redeemed my soul
From the pit of emptiness
You have redeemed my soul
From death

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Much Needed Getaway!

So thanks to some amazing friends (Luke and Ann) insisting, Jim and I were able to have a night away at a beautiful bed and breakfast in Harrodsburg, KY. It was the first time since our Honeymoon that we actually went somewhere alone. We just celebrated 7 years of marriage and what a wonderful time away it was. The town was a quaint little town with a cute main street that had typical shops and a nice soda fountain place. I got to have a purple cow! We learned a poem about purple cows in kindergarten, I think, and my mom use to make them sometimes, but we grow up and forget about these cute little things until we're adults and we have a moment where we remember being young again.
After exploring the town we went back to the Manor and just rested in quiet. It was a mini taste of empty nest syndrome. Though the quiet was beautiful, after a while you start to wonder what's wrong just out of habit. But then you remember your children are safe playing with friends and you rest, you talk, you take the little breath and just relax for a while.
At dinner we met a wonderful couple from a small town in Ohio. We learned about each other, talked, laughed and enjoyed each others company. We even played Scrabble. It is amazing the little blessings God surprises you with even in rest. It is a great reminder that rest is good when done appropriately. Knowing the balance is the hard part, but I'm learning more about it every day.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Longing Heart

Today they posted a link from the trip a group from our church recently took to Europe. It connected to a link for pictures and it took me back. I teared as I saw these photos, especially the ones of Belgrade. It is an interesting mixture of Eastern and Western Europe and so my heart was aching for both though most of you know my heart truly in Eastern Europe.
As I looked through these photographs I remembered the longing that is ever in my heart to be on that side of the world once more. Though I know it is not true, it seems as if for a moment the world is perfect. The clear blue sky, the crystal aqua ocean, the architecture that is pure beauty. Something about those images just whisk me away to a place that is so beautiful that I yearn to be among it and the people there. And yet I know that it is dark, completely imperfect and lost. And that is where my true yearning lies. To be with those people sharing the light of Jesus with them.
I talked to a great friend of mine who is from that area of the world and it added to the longing. Then tonight we had a women on mission event at our church and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I am on mission now and I'm called to full time "over there" mission too. I must let this yearning, that is God given, keep me on mission all the time. As a follower of Christ it is always our job to be on mission where ever we are.

If you would like to read more about the Europe Mission trip or see pictures the links below will take you there.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Great Reminder

Yesterday afternoon I attended a songwriting workshop at Sojourn with Bob Kauflin. It was a great time of learning as I love to write songs but have never given much thought to the process as I simply write what comes to me when I feel inspired.
The most profound thing that was said, in my opinion, is Bob saying he is thankful he has an average voice because that is how most of the people in your congregation sing. I have never really thought about this and, in fact, lamented the fact that I had not spent more time developing my voice (or other musical instrument) so that I could have other opportunities that seemed to be given only to those who are "professional" or "classically trained". But to hear someone who has worked in leading worship say this reminded me that I don't have to be professional or classically trained to sing, praise or even lead worship. I am to use what God has given me and use it how He sees fit, even if all I do is sing praise songs to my children and teach them how to sing praises to our Lord.
So how about you? Are you using your gifts and talents to further God's kingdom, even in little ways or are you waiting for your "big break"? God has something for all of us to do, and whatever He has for you is important in His kingdom even if it does not seem important to anyone else. Do not take any opportunity for granted. God is at work, so let Him work in and through you.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

O Love That Will Not Let Me Go

by George Mattheson

  1. O Love that wilt not let me go,
    I rest my weary soul in thee;
    I give thee back the life I owe,
    That in thine ocean depths its flow
    May richer, fuller be.
  2. O light that foll’west all my way,
    I yield my flick’ring torch to thee;
    My heart restores its borrowed ray,
    That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
    May brighter, fairer be.
  3. O Joy that seekest me through pain,
    I cannot close my heart to thee;
    I trace the rainbow through the rain,
    And feel the promise is not vain,
    That morn shall tearless be.
  4. O Cross that liftest up my head,
    I dare not ask to fly from thee;
    I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
    And from the ground there blossoms red
    Life that shall endless be.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fellowship So Deep

by: Aaron Senseman and Kinley Lange

For the love that knows no ending, in the wisdom of God's plan
For the light that was descending to revive the heart of man
Christ the Lamb was made to suffer and to die upon a tree
So that we, sisters and brothers, could know His fellowship so deep

Let us sing of our Redeemer and of His love that made us free
And know this gift is ours forever, a fellowship so deep
A fellowship so deep

We can feel his love among us; we can sing redemption's song
We can hear the Spirit call us to a place where we belong
For His joy is in our laughter and His comfort in our grief
Let His love here ever after be the language that we speak

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia to the Lamb, alleluia to the Lamb
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia to the Lamb, alleluia to the Lamb

Monday, June 6, 2011

All Grown Up Part 2

Walking up and down stairs. Choosing clothes and getting dressed. Using the bathroom alone. Riding in the front seat of a car. Eating what I like and knowing how to chose things that are good. Getting food or drink. Carrying bags. Doing laundry. Cleaning. Being able to reach most things.
All of these things and many more I know I take for granted on a regular basis. I see Jamey struggling these things consistently. There are days he wants to do these things and is confident in being a big boy. Other times he wants to be a baby and just wants to be carried or play. I see this battle and I think of myself. Do I play on the computer or do the laundry? Do I read my Bible or watch TV? Do I plan a meal or just eat something from the freezer or fast food? I could continue on, but I believe you get the idea. Knowing what takes priority and learning balance seems to be the biggest keys in "growing up". Or maybe it just seems that way to me at the moment. I keep realizing that there are so many good things to do and things we can do, but we must realize that there are things that must be a priority and things we must do as a part of living for God and there are things we should do to be a Christ-like witness or be healthy.
How do we make these decisions? Pray! Read the Bible! Seek advice from Christian friends and elders. It's not easy, but it is all necessary. I seem to be asking myself these questions all the time and seem to be floundering in them. I am grateful that God is patient with us and helps us as we muddle through these questions to figure out the right answers. I think the hardest part is that these change on a regular basis. But we must press on, ask the questions and rely on God to get us through each and every day.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My Maker and My King

by Anne Steel (adapted by Mike Cosper)

My Maker and my King,
To you my all I owe;
Your sovereign bounty is the spring
Where all my blessings flow;

A creature of Your hand,
On You alone I live;
My God, Your benefits demand
More praise than I can give.
My God, Your benefits demand
More praise than I can give.

What can I give
When all is Yours before?
Your love demands a thankful heart;
But my gift is so poor.

O let Your grace inspire
My soul with strength divine;
Let every word and each desire
And all my days be Yours.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

All Grown Up

This past weekend my baby sisters (yes, they are twins) graduated from high school. I may sound like an older person for a moment, but being nine years their senior I remember their lives. I remember the day they were born, when they finally came home from the hospital 2 weeks later, when they began kindergarten, middle school and high school. I remember the little girls who were my bridesmaids almost 7 years ago, then turning around and realizing they are no longer little girls. They are now 18, preparing to go to college and become part of the "real world". They are all grown up!
Or are they really. Reflecting on this has caused me to reflect on this ideology of being grown up, but what does it really mean. Once we are 18, 21, 30 we are all grown up? Or because we have a job, a mortgage and two cars? Because we are married? Because we have kids? When are we really grown up?
I have come to the conclusion that though we may enter the adult world, we are never fully "all grown up". There is always something new to learn, something different to do. We look at adults all of the time and wonder if they are ever going to grow up. Sometimes I look at myself and wonder if I will ever be grown up. And then it hits me, only in Christ can I be grown up. He gives me the ability to make "grown up" decisions, to be wise in uncertain circumstances and to know how to handle every day life. Do I do this perfectly? By no means! I wish I did. But everyday I'm crying out to God, "make me grown up! Make me perfect so that I will no longer hurt your heart or those around me!" Only God is really grown up. I hate it when I make childish decisions, or mistakes from just not paying attention to what is going on around me. But praise the Lord, the blood of Jesus covers me and now I can ask Him every day to help me be truly grown up.