Saturday, February 28, 2009


"And I'll become even more undignified than this." (David Crowder Band, Undignified)

Does the groove ever hit you and you become undignified in dancing before the Lord? I love it when that happens (and my kids think it is hysterical). Sometimes we just need to dance before our Lord (and being from a Baptist background brings some baggage here).

I was reading from 2 Samuel chapter 6 this morning and we see David (from the Bible, not the Crowder Band) dancing with all his might and shouting to the music, with gladness. When chastised by his wife for his behavior in public he says, "And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight."

He was simply saying that out of his humility of heart, and worship of His God, he will dance. There is freedom in Christ, freedom to sing, freedom to worship, and freedom to dance. And though we all struggle with what others think at times, it comes down to an audience of One.

So turn it up and become undignified!

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Friday, February 27, 2009

This (IM)Perfect World

Perfectionism. My husband sat through a course recently where the instructor asked the students to name one positive and one negative about themselves. He said, "Perfectionism" for both (which I would have said the exact same thing about myself so you can imagine the lot for our poor children). Anyway, the instructor's comment was that there was actually nothing positive about perfectionism. This statement left us pondering.

Yes we should strive to "be and do our best" in every situation, (translation in God terms: do everything to His glory) but the problem with perfectionism is the inner turmoil that arises with the imperfect. When things aren't "perfect" (which is always), a perfectionist gets all twisted up inside. When my house is in disarray (which is very often with three kids) I can let it affect my mood. Or when my kids disobey a basic tenet of our home for the 5th time before 8 a.m., I get all mangled. Why? Because things should be perfect. (WRONG!)

Things in this life will not be perfect: dings will happen, sickness will come, people will disappoint, spills on just-mopped floors will occur, and money will vanish. But God. His desire for His child is that we rise up inside this rain, amidst the imperfect, and shout "Jesus is Lord!" We cannot do this in our own strength, it's not even possible (especially if you are a perfectionist). But God has given His Spirit to indwell all who name Jesus as their savior. As His child you have the power of God to live victorious in a very imperfect world.

In fact Paul, in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 explains the victory through the imperfect. "'(God's) grace is sufficient for you, for (His) strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me...For when I am weak, then I am strong." Did you get that? When we are faced with the imperfections of this life (sicknesses, reproaches, needs, persecutions, distresses...for Christ's sake), there is strength available from El-Elyon (God Most High) if we seek and trust in Him.

Instead of crying over spilled milk, bless your cat with a drink.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

No Goliath too Big

I know why God constantly says in His Word "Remember," simply because we as humans too easily forget!

The example of David's confidence in the Lord refreshes my soul. (And if you know the full story of David's life, I am speaking specifically of his early years.) David, probably a young teen at the time, comes to the valley where the Philistines are at war with Israel. Sent by his father, David is on a mission to bring food to his three oldest brothers and check on their welfare. When he arrives he hears this 9 foot tall Philistine, Goliath, taunting the Israelites and challenging a "winner-takes-all" dual.

David, shocked at the fear evoked within the Israelites, proclaims, "Who is this...Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?" Then, after he volunteers to fight this giant of a man, he says, "The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine."

Such fresh faith! When everyone around him feared, David (the youngest of the bunch!) looked to the God who has shown Himself faithful time and time again. He remembered and therefore trusted.

I don't know what Goliath you face today. We all have stuff, which means we all have opportunities: either I can trust in the living God who is forever faithful or respond to the ever-changing circumstances of life in fear and trembling. No decision, no illness, no relationship, no difficulty is outside of the power of God. We just have to make the choice to turn to Him in faith. I am not naive; I am not proclaiming this is always easy, in fact it may be the most difficult thing you ever do, but I am more than certain it is always best.

Just before the battle David declares to Goliath, "I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied...the Lord will deliver you into my hand...then all will know (that) the battle is the Lord's." Did you catch that last phrase? That is the point: the glory of God most high. He will become famous in our own little corner of the world as we allow Him to show His great power in the midst of seeming despair.

Keep at it, sweet friend; His Word to you is waiting.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Me? Sin?

I learned a simple concept while in seminary that has stuck with me (amazing considering all of the brain cells that are jumping ship). It explains God's relationship with His children as so:
  • Obedience leads to blessing.
  • Disobedience leads to discipline.

Even though the concept is simple, the reality can be somewhat difficult when brought into the day to day. In my studying this morning of Kay Arthur's Lord I Want To Know You, I was reviewing passages that pointed to God as the Healer. And though this isn't always the case, the majority of passages refer to sickness as related to sin. Yes, there are instances where sickness has nothing to do with sin. Please hear me. But the vast majority link sickness to sin. So why was this so hard to swallow?

Kay Arthur asked how I personally respond when faced with sickness, either my own or others. Do I point people to the possibility of sin as the source of their suffering? Rarely. I mean, I do search my own heart when faced with sickness; but if it is someone I love telling me of her health issues, I rarely ask if there is any unconfessed sin. Why? I guess because I don't want to come across as judgemental or "sprayed with holiness" as my dad used to say. We as humans do not like to think we bear any responsibility for our suffering. It goes back to the garden; it is natural to blame.

I am pondering a relationship ailment I faced last year. The easy thing was to blame and think of all the wrong the other person had done. But God quickly brought the issue to my own heart. I realized that I had my own issues to work through; my own sin to own.

We cannot look at the sufferings of others and assume disobedience. But when faced with sufferings, whether emotional, spiritual, or physical, we will be more in line with scripture if we first examine our hearts before a holy God, asking Him to reveal any areas of sin.

Let's just be real with Him. He already sees our hearts anyway and He is the God who heals.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Demand and You May Receive

The story of Israel demanding a king always sends chills down my spine. On a general note the Israelites were not trusting the Lord and were easily swayed toward other gods (again); but what makes this especially chilling is that they didn't heed the specific warning from Samuel, their godly judge (See 1 Samuel chapter 8).

The bottom line? They wanted to be like the other nations who had a king. So they demanded and the Lord obliged.

Oh how I don't want that to be my story. I don't want the Lord to "give in" to anything I demand of Him; especially if it is outside of His best for me. I don't want to insist on something that godly counsel and His Word warn against. He just might give it.

Thankfully He is a sovereign God, meaning that He reigns over all. He is able to turn demanded circumstances that yield corruption and heartbreak into moments of beauty and abundance...IF we let Him and IF we turn to Him.

Father, in the words of Christ, not my will but Yours be done.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Bag Lady

I have termed my sweet daughter "Bag Lady" (Is this a derogatory term?; I really don't mean for it to be). She is forever collecting a bunch of stuff in bags. Most of the time she says she is going somewhere but I think it just reflects a bigger truth: she is a pack-rat.

I say this with nothing but love; I mean, she comes by it honest. No, not me. I am at the absolute opposite end of the pack-rat spectrum. I will throw away your favorite anything if it is left out of place long enough. Not her though...and not her daddy. They keep everything.

For instance, if you need a speed bump we have one in our garage. Seriously, my dear husband saw it in a trash pile and couldn't believe that the Greensboro Fire Department would throw it away...So he brought it home.

And my daughter wants to keep every single work of art she creates, including menu drawings from restaurants. The special folder I made for her creations is bulging at every corner and the thought of parting with any sends her into a panic.

So what am I trying to learn from this personality trait? Its not wrong; It sometimes feels really wrong, but its not wrong, just different from me. And that's OK.

*Permission was given by my beloved husband to reveal all incriminating evidence.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Power of the Pod

Ipod that is...

I was at the gym the other morning, having church on the elliptical with my mp3, when I started noticing how the majority of people are streaming something into their brains. Like me, they have their ear buds secured and the tunes pumping. And I started to think (imagine that), "I wonder what he, or she, is listening to..."

What we choose to listen to has power. It gets into our heads and affects how we think. I remember a specific time in college when I was heartbroken over some relationship. I decided that the thing to do would be to sit with a box of Kleenex in my apartment living room floor, listening to a specific song by the Cranberries, over and over and over, weeping in agreement to the singer's bitter words. How could that be healthy? Yes, there is a place for being honest about how we feel. But ultimately we will be most blessed when we set our minds on things true, noble, and right.

I am not trying to be legalistic by any means; it isn't about some religious box we have to check. But there are really only two choices: either we choose music that points our eyes to God or we choose music that points our eyes to this world (and the many relationship woes therein).

Just something to ponder.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Peaceful Parenting?

Parenting has the capability of making a person crazy. I am only 4 1/2 years into the process and I already discerned this reality. But I think I figured out one of the reasons why this is so (other than the fact that I have 3 kids under age 5).

We as parents expect our kids to obey; and when they don't (for the 53rd time that day) it makes us crazy.

Now from what I figure this is a wrong expectation. No, seriously. If we think from a spiritual perspective, kids are completely in the flesh, "Globe heads" as I once heard Beth Moore say. They think primarily of themselves in most every situation and you don't have to teach them to "sin." Do you have to coach a child to lie? or hit? or even be proud? No. It is the natural man, in the flesh. So for us as parents to expect obedience, even to the point of perfection, means we will miss the point...and in turn may have to be admitted.

It is just like what Paul said in Romans. The Law was given to point us to Christ. Yes, the Law shows us boundaries and keeps us safe, just like the rules we rehearse with our kids. But ultimately the Law, or our list of rules, cannot "keep us in line," it doesn't possess that power. The Law, rather, should point our kids to the fact that they (we) cannot live this life victoriously on our own, in our flesh. Our rules should turn their little faces to the only One who can give them the power to walk this life in obedience, and therefore in blessing.

So next time little Jimmy pulls his sister's hair out in a clump, rejoice in the opportunity to point him (yet again) to the Lord.

Keep at it, sweet friend. Let Him be your peace even amidst the whining.

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Glean in Abundance

This morning I was reading in the book of Ruth. Ruth had lost her husband, brother-in-law, and father-in-law to death and displayed her character by committing to stay with her mother-in-law, Naomi. So the two widows traveled back to Naomi's hometown with Naomi filled with bitterness and Ruth full of grace.

In her commitment to care for Naomi, Ruth goes to the fields to glean heads of grain. She finds favor in the sight of the land owner, Boaz, whom, it is discovered, is a close relative to Naomi's deceased husband. (Did you get all of that? Brother's, father's, cousin's, neighbor's, dog's last owner...)

So what struck me? The mercy of Boaz toward Ruth, which reflected God's own heart toward me and you.

Boaz praises her in 2:11-12 for her faithfulness toward Naomi and speaks the blessing of God over her, a foreigner in the land. Then in 2:16 he commands his young men to let grain purposely fall for her that she may glean in abundance. Wow. Such mercy and grace.

It is clear in scripture that we are saved by faith, it is a gift of God that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9). But it is also taught throughout His Word that God Almighty blesses obedience (and disciplines the rebellion of His children; but we will talk about the blessing today). It is like my relationship with my own kids.

There are these moments (which seem to be fleeting) where my older two, who are complete opposites, actually show unprompted love for one another. My heart overflows in these times, praise falls from my lips and blessings from my hands. Then there are the unfortunate seeming majority of interactions where the two clash heads (both figuratively and literally)...and discipline ensues. (Oh how I pray for their relationship; God has them siblings for a purpose.)

My point is that when we obey, and even live a life of sacrifice to the Lord, He will bless to the point of overflowing. He will command our paths to reap a harvest that we may gather in abundance. And even if no one else sees your sacrifice to Him, He sees and He will reward, whether in this life or the life in His presence to come.

Fight the good fight of faith, sweet friend; He does bless obedience.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

School Daze

I never thought deciding on a kindergarten for my first born would be such an issue. It's just kindergarten, right?! Tying shoes, writing letters, building friendships, carrying a tray of questionable food; so why the struggle? I think it comes down to control. The thought of not being in control of the vast majority this child will hear and see makes me a bit nervous. The bubble I have her in will most likely burst in the first few weeks of school life.

What do I want? I want to teach my kids how to respond to this world that often rejects our God; how to be a light in a dark place; how to be a blessing where God leads. But she's my baby. Can I really send her amongst the wolves (figuratively speaking)?

And there you have the dilemma.

So what's the bottom line? My heart's desire is that my kids would grow to love and honor the Lord. That's the point. That's the goal. To teach my kids to move from dependence upon me to dependence upon the Lord; that's it. So I am praying for wisdom; God show me what is best for this one...

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

No Fear? No faith.

Gideon. I think there was a guy in my high school named Gideon; but to be honest I have never pondered this "mighty man of valor" found in the pages of Judges chapters 6-8.

We meet up with Gideon while the Israelites were in the midst of oppression from the Midianites. (Imagine that.) Once again they were "doing evil" and rebelling from their heavenly Father, forgetting all of the wonders He had worked in their midst. So God chose Gideon to stir things up a bit. Gideon, the youngest from the weakest clan of Israel, obeyed God by tearing down the altar of the false god and then leading the invasion on the enemy's camp. And God revealed His power.

As I read this story my mind circled around one thing: fear when faced with challenges. I am not talking about the fear that arises from stupid decisions (like right before you go down an icy ski slope entitled "The Plunge"). The fear in which I am speaking is that holy fear that penetrates your bones when you know God is leading you to do something outside of your power or control. Do you know what I mean? This is the kind of fear that usually precedes a mighty work of God, if we obey.

Gideon experienced this fear and so have I (though God hasn't asked me to lead an invasion on the enemy's camp...yet). But it is usually through this kind of fear we must walk with leaps of faith if we are going to experience and reveal the great power of our God through our lives.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dance with Him

It was just one sentence that sent chills down my spine. I was reading in Judges this morning (a light read for 6 a.m.) and one sentence jumped off the page, "the children of Israel (God's covenant children) dwelt among the (people of the land)...(intermarrying and serving their gods)." Do you know what happened? The anger of the Lord was hot against Israel and He gave them over into the hand of the king (Judges 3:5-6, 8).

Something within me longs for revival. It has been a beat of my heart for the last six years, but recently I can almost hear the thumping. If you are one that calls yourself a child of God (as I am), then I believe the time is at hand to get real with this God we call Father. We live in a society that calls good evil and evil good and as believers we have a choice: we can dance around with the world, "intermarrying and serving its gods," or we can choose this day to love and serve God Almighty.

This world is enticing. I battle the seduction myself, almost daily, and at times hourly. But nothing this world has to offer fulfills like knowing God. Nothing. He Himself is life. He is love and abounding in mercy.

Judges 3 continues, "When the children of Israel cried out to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for the children of Israel." (v. 9) He is waiting with arms open wide, as a father waiting for his child to come to him for provision, ready to meet the most tender of needs and the most consuming of fears. Let me not be guilty of forgetting.

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Monday, February 16, 2009


My husband and I returned Saturday from a little Valentine's Day ski trip. It was wonderful; the first time away from all three kids in over a year. We could actually hear one another talk over dinner (a rare occurrence). Well, in light of our little getaway we decided not to get one another anything for the overrated and over publicized love day. (Can you guess where this is going?) After confirming our decision the day before V-day, my husband actually didn't get me anything!

When we went to bed Saturday night, after a long day of battling ridiculous thoughts as to how he must not love me, I expressed my disappointment. (How we women must baffle their minds!) The poor man was so confused. "But you told me not to get you anything!" he reminded. "I know but it's Valentine's day!" I explained, "You weren't supposed to believe me." Then the kicker, "I should just have no expectations for any special day. That way I won't be disappointed." Wow; This poor, poor man.

So why did I get upset? Why disappointment? I am the one that told him not to get me anything. The reason? Hope.

The next morning I was reading in Paula Rinehart's book Better Than My Dreams (a must read!) and God met me...and I was humbled. I realized three things. The first two lessons are obvious: I must rightly communicate my desires and then guard myself from the expectations of the world. In this case the disappointment honestly did not hit until I started hearing all the media and seeing all the red. That is when I decided that my dear husband must not love me.

The third lesson is more subtle. I realized that I am guilty of living on patrol with my heart, protecting myself so as not to get hurt. Rinehart explains that there is a fine line between entitlement and resignation; demanding our longings vs. packing them neatly away along with all hope. Even though I have a desire to be romanced, I packed it away without prayer or communication.

Rinehart continues that we first have to identify the longing in our lives, then bring it to the Father, seeking His wisdom as to whether or not it is a selfish desire. If the desire isn't selfish then we must live in a place of hope, deciding that there are worse things than disappointment. In the words of Rinehart, it is the struggle with God through disappointment that makes for intimacy; grieving our losses with integrity brings tears that give way to fresh hope.

It is all about the journey with our Father; hope and expectation are meant to be fuel in this adventure (Rinehart). My longing the other day was minimal next to other longings through which we sometimes struggle. But all longings have the potential to bring us to the feet of our heavenly Daddy. He wants to meet us in the most tender places of our hearts and be our hope in seemingly hopeless circumstances.

Well, my sweet husband vowed to make it up to me and brought home 2 dozen roses on Sunday. Poor guy... I just might make him crazy.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Better than 25

It has begun. My daughter is only 4, in preschool, and the girl drama has already begun. You remember: finger pointed, hand on the hip, flip of the hair, then "I'm not going to be your friend anymore."

The other day my husband experienced our first instance of girl drama. He picked up Hailey from school and asked about her day. "Dylan said she didn't like me anymore and wasn't going to be my friend." He probed a bit further, tried to encourage, then passed the situation on to me later in the day.

So I asked, "Why did she say that?" "I don't know. There was no reason," Hailey claimed, "She just doesn't want to be my friend." I held back my motherly instinct which screamed, "Let me at her," and calmly suggested we pray together. Hailey agreed; so we sat on my fairly clean bathroom floor and I prayed over her and the situation.

The next day Dylan said hello to her in the parking lot. Hailey looked up at me with her big brown eyes and said, "I thought she was going to be mean to me today." Ouch, my heart. After saying a word to her teacher, "If Dylan says that again just take her down," I left my perfect baby girl for another day at preschool. (Seriously, I am so far from delusional. I am certain she has or definitely will play her own part in hurting many feelings along the way. How you couldn't pay me to go back to childhood.)

When I picked her up from school I asked about her day. "Mommy, it was so good," she said with a hop in her step, "Dylan was nice to me. She was my friend. It was better than 25." Better than 25. Not sure of her scale but it sounded pretty good.

"Sounds like God answered your prayer."

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Miss the Blessing

I do not want to miss the blessings of God. I know I have missed many over the years, but enough is enough.

We hear the terms "permissive" vs. "perfect" when referring to the will of God. And though I cannot think of a specific verse in the Bible that uses those words, there is something to this concept.

God has given humans free will. In most all circumstances of life we have a choice: blue or green, pizza or salad, UNC or Duke. Then the heavier choices: stay with him or leave, keep the baby from a rape or not, one last drink, one last pill, one last look. The vast range of choices presents a wide array of consequences.

Some choices are obvious. We know that salad would be better for our health than pizza or that UNC is far superior to Duke (Have I lost some of you?). While other choices seem surrounded by fog. The bottom line is that we can miss God's blessings in life. In our society of cushy couches and full refrigerators, difficulty or inconvenience often sends us running to Ben and Jerry's.

But God. I don't know your situation and am not telling you what to do by any means, that is between you and God. But I heard someone say yesterday that God would never ask someone to stay in an abusive situation. I disagree. AGAIN, this is not a blanket statement right for every situation. Please hear me. But, to say never is pretty presumptuous of God's character, ability, and will.

I actually think the opposite is true. We see in scripture the promise that as a child of God we will experience trials, persecutions, and difficulty. It is through these seeming impossible situations, apparently hopeless scenarios, that God can show His power and might in ways the human mind has trouble conceiving. And it is through those circumstances of trust that the blessings of God can literally take our breath away and bring us to our knees in praise.

Keep your eyes set on Him, sweet friend, He is the blessing.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009


The moon is an interesting thing. John Piper in A Godward Life alludes to the "awesomeness" of the moon, "If you stood in the sunlight on the moon, the fluids in your body would boil, but if you walked into the shadow of a large rock, you would quickly freeze solid."

The other night when driving home my daughter asked about the full moon that was shining brightly in the clear sky. In essence she was wondering, "Why?" I tried to explain the concept of reflection; that the moon was reflecting the light of the sun. (How her mind must have been spinning.) In my short dissertation to my precious first-born, I had to throw in some theology, "Just like God wants us to reflect Him to others."

This morning as I was reading Exodus 34, I was reminded of this conversation. After much drama with the Israelites, Moses once again goes back up on Mount Sinai to meet with God to renew their covenant. When he came down from the 40 day fasting retreat he didn't realize that the skin on his face shone. He was reflecting the glory of God...and the people were afraid, in awe.

The truth is that when we spend time with God, getting to know Him, searching His face, hearing His heart, and being changed from within, it will reflect. When Peter and John were arrested, documented in Acts 4, the Jewish leaders commanded them not to teach in the name of Jesus. Their response inspires, "...we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."

Reflecting God (His heart, His words, and His ways) will come when we have been with Him. But we have to be with Him to reflect Him.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Go, Mommy, Go!

Has a 2 year old ever told you how to drive? From the back of my van I often hear, "Go mommy!" as I am stopped at a red light. "I can't go, baby, or I will run over that car in front of me." Then a fleeting silent moment is invaded yet again, "Go, mommy!" He just doesn't get it, does he?!

The truth is my little boy is just like me. If I am not careful I will yell at God from the back seat of my life instructing Him on how to drive. (There is just something wrong with that picture.) Here's the thing: God sees all. He knows more than you and I. There are times that if He does what I am demanding we are going to crash and someone is going to get hurt.

The goal should not be to turn 16 and get my driver's license so that I can be in control. The goal should be to simply allow Him to drive; allow the breeze from the open window to kiss my face and rustle my hair, with eyes closed, enjoying the ride.

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Laughter and Honor

Have you ever laughed with God? I do on a regular basis. Many times we laugh together at my random antics (like when I am looking everywhere for my cell phone while I am talking on it to someone...oh yeah!) or the words of my children ("Mommy, that baseball game is going to be hysterical. What does hysterical mean?"). My favorite though is laughter that flows from His blessings poured upon me; Not material blessings, necessarily, but blessings more weighty, blessings in the spirit. This is the laughter that sparks both unspeakable joy coupled with utter amazement.

God is just so cool. He is both intimately acquainted with every aspect of me, every aspect of you, while at the same time being completely other-than, so infinitely beyond our human mind's conception. He is both Daddy and Holy Father; Lover of my soul and Creator Most-High; Lamb and Lion. He designed you and me with great precision, great purpose, and desires that you and I walk in victory and abundance. He is able to loose chains of bondage when at every angle there appears to be hopelessness. He is God. He is good.......He is even fun. Get to know Him from His love letter to you (a.k.a. the Bible).

You are amazing, God! I Praise You!

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Monday, February 9, 2009

By Faith

Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, is a scientist, atheist, Darwinist featured in the movie Expelled (see previous post). One of his most famous quotes regarding faith states, "Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence." (An interesting side note is that to believe Darwinism there are great leaps of faith where evidence is lacking.)

If you believe the Bible to be true (which I do and also see a great amount of evidence to support the authenticity and reliability of the Bible...a whole other discussion), then you have to take the words from the book of Hebrews to heart. Hebrews 11 has been termed the "Faith Walk." It begins by saying:

"Now faith is the substance (the make-up) of things hoped for, the evidence (or proof) of things not seen. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible." (And not made from a pile of mud, as proposed by Darwinists.)

Then further down in the chapter, "without faith it is impossible to please (God), for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."

Faith is not a cop-out, as Dawkins declares, or an evasion of evidence. If you have faith in God it is not because of lack of evidence, or worse, in light of opposing evidence. Faith is the proof of what we don't see. When we can't progress any further with the question "why" or "how" but we see evidences at every corner pointing in the direction of Divine intervention, then faith.

Faith is evidence because as God's word purports, He rewards those who believe and then diligently seek Him. God has revealed Himself to me so clearly, so personally, on a level that Dawkins will never experience with reason and science. God is real. He is active. He is all-powerful. He is love. And He does reward those who seek Him in faith.

Why faith? Because faith takes us beyond ourselves, beyond the physical, to a place of falling into the arms of the Almighty. Taste and see that He is good.

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Saturday, February 7, 2009


Last night I watched Ben Stein's movie Expelled. It would not be described as the light-hearted, feel-good movie of the year; but a definite must-see. In this movie Stein travels the globe on a search for truth regarding freedom, specifically freedom in education. His discoveries may astound you. He found that there are present-day educators and scientists being fired or denied tenure simply for suggesting that there may be the possibility of Intelligent Design (ID).

Can you grasp that? In America, the land of the free, there is an underlying assumption and almost requirement amongst academia that Darwinism be held as truth. If one questions that "truth" you may very well be expelled, or at the very least be considered an idiot. The implications of this should make us stop for a moment.

I don't have enough space, time, or intellect to make a strong argument against Darwinism. But I do know that if you take Darwinism to its extreme, as pointed out in the film, you have to eventually believe that human life has no intrinsic value, and in turn there is no morality. Is this truly the society we have become? What should shock our systems even more is that Darwinism is at the core of Nazism.

Believe me, this movie has stirred the waters and is being opposed. But the bottom line is that we must have freedom in our schools; Freedom to present various theories, along with their strengths and weaknesses, without the fear of being harassed or even excommunicated. Without freedom then we have strayed from the very basics of our country's Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Ben Stein encourages Americans to sign the Academic Freedom Petition. You can find out more and sign this petition by going to

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Biggie Brown Eyes

If you are on Facebook then you are familiar with "25 Random Things." If you don't know what I am talking about it is very simple: you spend valuable time within your day to think of the most random 25 things about yourself; then you post them for everyone to read.

So one confession I made was that in college I would talk about how I wanted to be a rap star (and I meant it). Due to the huge response of shock and laughter I was asked to name my rapper self, to which I responded with the following rhyme:

Biggie Brown Eyes in the house and I got somethin' to say,
Lil' mama of 3 kids throwin' a rhyme your way.
I was rollin' down the road in my big "Blue Bling"
When I screeched to a stop cuz I heard someone scream.
"What's the problem?" I requested lookin' back at the commotion,
It was just my 2 year old eating suntan lotion.
(Pa-uh-ha-uh-ha-uh, Pa-uh-ha-uh-ha-uh, oh yeah, oh yeah)

Consider yourself dumber for having read this post.

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Dance Class Canceled

Yesterday was Tuesday (if like me you need a reminder). On Tuesdays Hailey is now going to a Dancing for Jesus class (see previous post). About two hours before it was time to leave she said, "Mommy, I am going to go ahead and get dressed and start practicing for dance class. I want to do really good this week." She went into her room and closed her door to prepare.

As I was downstairs doing my chores I received a call that the class had been canceled (due to the massive snowstorm; actually it was a dusting). "Oh," I thought, this was going to be a downer. In the matter of moments she came dancing downstairs dressed in her leotard, tights, and black dance skirt, twirling two scarves and singing a praise song. Did I have to tell her? She was so happy. "Maybe I could hold dance class here," I thought. My heart sank.

I sat down on the kitchen floor and asked her to come over to me. After telling her how beautifully she was dancing, I broke the news. Her little face turned from a gleaming smile to disappointed confusion. She didn't scream or cry, it was just...quiet reflection. I almost lost it.

Then I started to think. I bet this is how God must feel sometimes. You know; the moments when life is moving with seeming perfection, we are dressed for the occasion, our dreams fulfilled seem to be right around the corner, and then a change of plans, a curve ball we weren't expecting. The dancing stops. Our hearts break. We wonder why.

But in those moments we sometimes forget the character of God. He is all-knowing; He knows that even though you won't have dance class today you will next week. His timing is perfect and His motivation is love. He wants to bless you and me, as His children. He wants to give us good things. He does have to discipline, but it is only out of love. The key is looking at circumstances through the lens of His character, rather than defining His character through the lens of our circumstance.

Thankfully kids are so resilient. In just a few minutes she had turned her attention and she wasn't even holding a grudge towards me for "spoiling" her plans. We could really learn some things from the heart and attitude of a child.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Satiated with Stuff

Do you ever feel like stuff if surrounding you? Just stuff...everywhere. From knickknacks to entertainment venues to containers holding more stuff. It's everywhere. And I keep buying more. Every time I go to Target I see something else that I need and that I have been looking everywhere for. We are dripping with stuff. But are we happier?

Actually depression is on the rise, divorce is up, teen suicide has never been as rampant (in 2007 alone one report says that the rate of suicide for 10-24 year olds increased by 8%, see

But if we as a society truly have "everything" then why are we so unhappy?

The reason is so simple yet so easily forgotten amongst the stuff. We are trying to fill the gap with things of this world. We are setting our eyes on things and people that cannot truly satisfy the longings of our hearts. The truth is that nothing this world has to offer is stable. Stuff can be destroyed, lost, or stolen. People will disappoint, hurt, and forget. Only God can fill the void. Only eyes set on Him brings lasting peace, even amongst chaos. The reason? He is faithful and His character unwavering.

Will I still buy stuff? Yes, probably even today. But I want my eyes set on things that are eternal: loving my God and loving those He has placed in my path. Then the stuff loses some of its luster.

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Monday, February 2, 2009

The Worth of a Woman

My passions have been stirred. It is a mixture of anger, disgust, and despair.

I only watched about 30 seconds of the actual Super Bowl game last night, which I heard was an incredible game. I did see Jennifer Hudson do a phenomenal job with the National Anthem. (Oh how my heart breaks for her). But the actual passing, receiving, kicking aspects...only about 30 seconds. And I am OK with that.

What has my passions stirred is about 7 seconds of a Doritos commercial. It opened with a close-up of a man taking a bite of the delicious, crunchy chip. Just as I was thinking, "Yummmm, I would really like a Dorito right now" the scene switched to a woman walking down the street. She was so "affected" by the crunch of this yummy snack that all of her clothes just came off (happens to me all the time; doesn't it you?). So she is standing there on the sidewalk with a shocked look on her face and sexy black lingerie on her body.

I have been analyzing why disgust overwhelmed me. Is it because I am jealous that my body doesn't look like that? Possibly. But I don't think that is the core issue. I think at the root is my 4 year old little girl and my two precious sons.

What are we as a society teaching children about beauty, about women? If you look to media for the answer then it shouts: beauty is a scantily clad woman with a full figure, long hair, and wanting eyes. Women are portrayed as objects to be used for pleasuring lustful glares. Is that seriously where we are? I don't want my daughter to believe the lies that beauty is merely skin deep. That you have to look a certain way to be considered attractive. I hope to teach her (despite the bombardment of seduction at every corner) that true beauty, lasting beauty, is of the heart.

Now regarding my sons. I want them to see women as human beings. As people with real feelings and flaws, to be respected and looked at in the eyes; not as an object to be coarsely jested about or candy to be lusted after. Are men really at the mercy of their hormones? Surely not. There has to be a higher road. And if you believe in the power of God then you have to believe that this higher road is able to be traveled by the power of His might. It isn't hopeless for our sons!

So what is my, our, responsibility? Do we just throw in the towel and declare defeat? I don't think so. It obviously begins at home. It isn't possible to shelter our kids from every possible image. So we as parents have to teach our kids to be thinking people. People that evaluate what comes in through their senses. But to teach it we must live it; we have to evaluate and guard our own eyes. Or have we become so desensitized that we aren't even affected by the lies anymore, lies regarding value and worth?

I know that the world isn't going to stop publishing lies. I am not that naive. But I do believe we can make a difference in our own little spheres of influence, with our own daughters and our own sons, by the grace and mercy of God. What are you believing?

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

The day the Little People invaded

This is my kitchen floor the other night at 6 p.m. while I was trying to cook dinner. "Trying" is the key word here.

My kids had meticulously carried each and every Little People person and animal into the kitchen and carefully lined them across the floor. So I am sauteing green beans, draining the pasta, setting the table all while dodging miniature seals and pigs, saying with as much grace as I can muster "Good job, Bryson. You are really good at making straight lines."

"Is there a lesson to be learned?" I ask. Ummm, I'm at a loss. But at least they worked as a team.

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Heal the Wound

I've got this song stuck in my head. It is called "Heal the Wound" by Point of Grace. (It is definitely better than having the Barney song stuck in my head). In this song they sing, "Heal the wound but leave the scar; a reminder of how merciful You are. I am broken, torn apart. Take the pieces of this heart. Heal the wound but leave the scar."

Have you ever done anything, or been through anything, that you would initially beg God to erase? Then as time progresses you can see how He used it for good and you really aren't sure you would want Him to take away the past?

That is where I am.

Last year was a rough one and my family went through some really tough relational issues. But God has brought beauty from ashes. He has brought life from seeming death. I can honestly say that I wouldn't change a thing. Not because what happened didn't hurt. But because He proved His all-sufficiency through the fire. He proved that as I (or you) trust Him and seek Him to be my everything, He will take me to places of peace and joy this world cannot offer...just as He promises.

He has healed the wound, left the scar, but reminded me of how merciful He truly is.

Follow the link to hear a portion and/or download:

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