Friday, May 30, 2008
Today was my first day working at this year's local assistance project. I'll be meeting 75 of our high school students and 25 adults at our campground before heading out to our site for the day. It is usually hard work and can be buggy, dirty, sweaty, and a myriad of other descriptors. The temperature stayed in the 70's most of the day, until the sunshine broke out around 2pm. Our group was building a deck, planting flowers, putting out mulch, and various inside upgrades...taking giveaway clothes to GoodWill, shredding stacks of unused papers, replacing sink faucets, hanging pictures, building shelves, moving curtain rods.
What we didn't count on was....when we started the washing machine with a load, tested the new dishwasher, and flushed a toilet...the waste water became clogged and backed up into the shower and both bathtubs...eeeeeeewwwwwww! We quickly shut off the water to keep the toilets from overflowing and quickly starting looking for the outdoor trap to clean out. The unfortunate thing about this was we couldn't find it...really. All the work that had been done in the front flower bed with new mulch had to be raked out and we had to dig a trench across the front of the house to find the pipe heading to the street....oh, my goodness, what a mess and what a lot of work...digging in red clay 18" deep. We were blessed to have two angels show up who knew how to glove up and clear the trap....thank you, Jesus!
It always seems we have a surprise missiion in a mission each time we do this...and I'm so thankful we were able to handle this for our client without them having to pay for a costly plumber.
We'll be going back tomorrow to finish the deck and a few more things inside.
If you've never done this kind of service before in your area, look for a group you can volunteer to help. It really is a great way to see God work his miracles in ways you never expect.
I have to remember when I go back tomorrow to retrieve my Starbuck's travel mug...I left it on her dining room table....My Mom always says I like to leave something behind so I won't be forgotten.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
I was just gonna pop into Kroger to pick up her few items before she had to pack her bag to go work on a local mission team.
I was just going a mile down the road and was in the car less than 5 minutes.
I was just going into the sliding doors at Kroger as I realized I had been pounced on by an evil, tiny, didn’t-see-him, couldn’t hear him, “skeeter”…an unforgiving little, which became BIG, blood sucker who bit me 9 times on the back of my calves and heels! He must be the size of a large tick by now with all the blood he must have harvested from the backs of my legs!
This forced me to walk faster around the corner and down the aisle to the pharmacy section where I grabbed a spray bottle of Bactine, seeking the cooling comfort of the benzocaine spray on the now puffy whelps on my “white as snow” skin. I looked like I had a sudden outbreak of chickenpox. : ( and, geez, was I itching.
I was just praying it was gonna work soon, ‘cause if you know me, you know I hate to “itch”…I’ve had eczema before and my skin doesn’t do well with scratching…scratching brings on large, red, raised skin that’s so appealing to anyone around me. I’m sure I looked like I had been flogged with a leather strap.
Skeeters, as we call them down here, are known as mosquitoes in other parts of the country…but that’s too nice a name for them here. They’re mean and aggressive…I put on tons of spray and they still find my “peaches and cream” complexion when I am outside in the summer, and they devour me like last weekend’s barbecued ribs. I associate them with the Evil One, who wants no good for us. (1 Peter 5:8-9 "Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up….So keep a firm grip on the faith.”)
I know it sounds sick but I get great pleasure when I see the exterminator driving through the county spraying for these little “suckers”…I sometimes want to go help them spray just to get some revenge on these little beasts. I have now been itching for four days...I'm scared to get back in my car for fear my needle-nosed friend has called in friends for another attack.
Speaking of real comfort, God is going to handle His rival in the end days, too (Rev. 2-:10, “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”)
Just think, there WON”T BE ANY “SKEETERS” in HEAVEN! Go, God!!!
Monday, May 26, 2008
Impressive is not a big enough word--respect for men and women who have given their ultimate for our freedom--an act that is too big for words.
Tapped heels clicking against the concrete,
sounding like it will crack right through the payment...as they approach the
site to takeover duty.
Gloved hands balancing heavy rifles--clicking and
sliding bolts, looking into the chamber ensuring ammo.
Inspection is very intentional and once
completed, the Master Sergeant assigns the soldier to his post--swapping
positions with the current soldier on duty.
Few words are said yet the drill is emblazoned on
White gloves, black shoes shining...
Creases in blue pants straighter than a ruler.
Shaven heads peak out from underneath hats, bills pulled down over
the nose,keeping their eye on any potential target.
Clean-shaven and pristine--no curls or stubble to ever be found here.
High collars protecting necks that are known sometimes as "leather"...
knowing it could be them in that tomb.
When you're sitting by the pool in the blaze of the summer sun, or running on the beach taking pictures of your kids, or swinging your child back and forth as they squeal and giggle:
Friday, May 23, 2008
So many times are my words falling on deaf ears? I've become a master of non-verbals, which could sometimes knock me off my chair...rolling eyes, deep breaths followed by "Mooooom", or walking ahead of me anytime we're in public so people won't recognize we're together. Yes, teen parenting calls on many different skill sets you learn thru hard experience or wonderful, sharing friends who have already been there.
Just when I'm at that point of collapsing, I'm sent an encouraging friend sharing good things she's heard or seen in my child--or a decision she makes for the right reason...then I am given confirmation her ears were working! Paraphrasing from your words, "2nd Cup of Coffee", "We notice (like God notices) when they "listen" to what we place on their hearts."
So....I'll continue to pray she understands God to the depths of her soul, seeking His input in every decision; especially when I'm not there to remind her--then He'll have to deal with her rolling eyes! ~:)
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Boy, they’re fast now! Thirty-five minutes, to be exact.
After confirming the paperwork, she followed the nurse to the surgery room behind the glass wall. It felt like I had just walked in the door and started working on my journaling, when the nurse called me back to recovery. “She’s doing fine and the surgery went very well.”
Down the hall and around the corner to a small room with a recliner and two side chairs, Italian artwork and ironwork surrounding my teen as she sat there mouth ajar with rolled gauze puffing up her cheeks. She won’t remember this room looking more like a den that a recovery room but it was much more comfortable than I expected. Wow, 35 minutes!
Once she saw me, her large blue eyes widened beneath her exclaiming eyebrows--tears puddled in each corner then quickly ran down the edge of her nose and cheeks. Yes, her wisdom teeth are gone and recovery has begun--anticipation and anxiety now turned into a cleansing release of tears. My heart went into my throat because I had to do something, yet she’s too big for me to scoop up in my arms like I used to when she was two. But, she’s not too big for my kissing her forehead, wiping her tears, whispering in her ear, "You did great, keep taking big, deep breaths for me" and running my fingers through the tiny, blond wisps on the side of her temples. She's unaware it was only 35 minutes...
We’ll be maneuvering our way later...numbingly walking to the car, sleeping all the way home, deciding how best to prop ice bags, swallowing meds and eating her "non-chewing" food. Hopefully by then, the anesthesia will have subsided and she’ll begin to feel her tongue.
When I was a teen, I had to stay overnight in the hospital for this procedure (and endure an almost-broken nose caused by an un-experienced nurse forcing a tube up my deviated septum nose—which hurt me more than my teeth!). Wow, 35 minutes!
Lord, watch over my child as she heals…and thank you for her friends--they’re bringing her ice cream later today!
the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Wasn't it just yesterday she held the car keys as she sat in the grocery store buggy...jangling them , clanking them against the handlebar...she was loving the sound ...oh no, she's put them in her mouth. Sweetie, let's not chew them--they're dirty. Well, now it doesn't matter because she's just flung them up and over her head into the back of the buggy! Her squeal catches the grocery clerk's attention who smiles at the big, blue-eyed baby giggling with her Mommy. We'll leave well enough alone and find something else to play with from Mommy's purse...what in there is good to chew on?? Let's see...I know that was yesterday...
Wasn't it just yesterday... she's holding the razor skooter in its travel bag, begging to ride with Emily down the culdesac...I'm big enough and I promise I'll be careful. (Yes, I know it was yesterday) the day I said, "OK, but I'll watch from the window!" Minutes later, Cody the albino great dane is hearing her skooter crash, so he's jumping the fence and standing over her until his Daddy is scooping her up from the pavement. Only a few bumps and bruises were the outcome but she understands the unforgiving attitude of the pavement. (Maybe it wasn't yesterday).
But, it had to have been yesterday as she was peddling her mountain bike around Callaway Gardens with the Summerbell clan. "Yes, Ma'am, I put on sunscreen and I'm staying with the group as we ride through the azaleas and past the chapel. Yes, your Mommy is nervous again...I can't seem to see her from the window. She's moving further away each time...oh, what will tomorrow bring?
You're saying, it wasn't yesterday, but it feels like it was. My days must be passing quicker now, but there are still 24 hours...how can it be going so quickly? Another yesterday come and gone...can I put a hold on her for a little bit? Each picture I am taking is capturing her latest "new" adventure. Today's driving test was a challenge--nerves were popping out all over, for me and her. As she's smiling for the picture, I'm excited for her achieving her goal yet nervous for the reality of "letting God" be her co-pilot now...unknow roads ahead without my being in the car.
So, I'll be standing at the window watching and waiting...praying the phone rings each time she leaves and arrives and her telling me, "I'm leaving or I'm here!"--then, my heart will slow down for the moment.
Yes, I know it was yesterday...but those yesterdays are coming so quickly they're feeling like tomorrows...and by time I realize it's today, it's really yesterday.
Monday, May 19, 2008
We were asked if our "connection" to God seems to be "disconnected" or maybe the "cell site has been lost". One of the responding posts reminded me that God is "Mighty to Save"! Hillsong's, "Mighty to Save", is my favorite to sign (AmericanSignLanguage). Praising Him each time I sign it!! The words truly capture so much of His love and our need:
Everyone needs compassion
Love that’s never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness
The kindness of a Saviour
The hope of nations
Saviour, He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save!
He is mighty to save !
Forever! Author of salvation.
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave!
So take me as You find me, all my fears and failures.
Fill my life again. I give my life to follow everything I believe in,
now I surrender.
Shine Your light and let the whole world see;
We’re singing for the glory of the Risen KingAnd the best thing when we CALL on Him, we never get a recording--we don't have to punch a button for a language, 'cause He's got them all covered!!
Thanks "Steps in our Journey" for the great devotion on Internet Cafe's "Cafe Chat"
~D My Cup Overflows!
Sunday, May 18, 2008
- In which areas of my life do I continually and regularly experience 'struggle'?
- Am I willing to turn those areas over to Him, knowing He is fully sovereign and trustworthy?
- Where do I know God is working out a beautiful, holy plan for my life?
I grew up in a wonderfully loving home but when my parents had disagreements they handled them behind closed doors. So, I had a skewed vision for handling disagreements. My struggles involve handling conflict--it's very uncomfortable and makes me uneasy. If I ignore it, will it go away maybe? Our society teaches "taking the easy way out" which doesn't teach us how to truthfully handle the situation. Sin is still sin and will always be such...a turning from God and His ways.
Through Biblical guidance, prayer, and an accountability group that helps me understand conflict and openness--I find help. Those combined helpmates guide me me to hand it to God first to massage my words and direct my thoughts to approach tough discussions...when I'm brave enough to actually do it. Yes, I still struggle but I know He will help me when I give it to Him from my heart.
Close behind conflict runs confession--which rights us with ourselves, with God and with whoever else was involved..(maybe there were spontaneous, hurtful words or rolled eyes, deep breaths or silence?)
When we finally give confession it streams in as salve for the self-induced injury and when shared honestly is followed by grace (from God or from the other person). Wonderful comfort knowing our Savior loved us enough to sacrifice His most precious Son to ensure relationship with us sinners...His Son didn't sin yet he took ours. He IS already interceding on behalf of our confessions, before we utter a word, he KNOWS our hearts and IS already taking our requests to the Father...notice the present verbs...He occupies a seat at the right hand of God!!
Lord, continually give us Your vision for our words, our actions, even the small things we do each day. Give us a want to bring every concern to You for your Sovereign Opinion and Guidance.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
Hearing that song so many times this week--once at my daughter's broadway review for her chorus class, then I was reminded of it again on a blog I read over at Sweet Pea's site, and then when I captured it on youtube to post on my site for this blog certainly caught my attention. It's a fun song...girls being girls, talking about "boys doing them wrong", but not done in a nasty way. (I recommend seeing it if you've never watched it...there are LOTS of classic songs in this movie, that you can actually understand the words as they're being sung, what a concept!)
Some of the lyrics are pretty redundant, but when you look at them in print, it makes a fun remedy for casting off evil that prowls around us each day wanting to devour us and our thoughts...but we can pray on Jesus' Name and He'll wash him right out and the evil one will "flee", that's Scriptual...
He's gonna wash that "devil" right outa my hair, send him on his way.
Don't try to patch it up. Tear it up, tear it up!
Wash him out, dry him out.
Push him out, fly him out.
Cancel him and let him go! Yeah, sister!
If you laugh at different comics,If you root for different teams,Waste no time, weep no more,Show him what the door is for.
Rub him out of the roll call, And drum him out of your dreams.
I'm gonna send him, send "the devil" on his way.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Changes in life and at church can cause these same sensations…which can be scary. Composers know transitions can make or break the beauty of music…responding and writing down an emotion, a message, a vision, onto a staff to be lived through fingers, lips, voices…the body of Christ. There are times for nursery rhymes and Sunday school songs as pabulum, soft nourishment, eaten early in our Christian lives…when challenges are few and we savor being cuddled.
But we must not remain as infants…in life or in church. Prayer and intentional Bible study grow us in His Word, to be about “His business" rather than “our business”. These are the moments sometime coming at us in minor keys and in an abrupt manner. We often fight what the Holy Spirit is directing us to do, and I believe He sometimes has to throw “blasts” our way to get our ear. How much time have I spent this week praying for and desiring to grow others in the knowledge of Christ as their Savior? Not enough, I must confess to you.
We must not center on carrying our own tune of “what do I get when I come to church”. We must pray and center ourselves on His Masterpiece Manuscript and ask “what did I give to someone for Christ’s sake?”…my patience?...a friendly greeting?...a shared “God incidence” or confession?...”when we are weak, then He is strong.” When these type things become our refrain, the richness of the maturity in Christ becomes a loved Cokesbury hymn, rich in words and melody, or the fullness explodes in our hearts like the Hallelujah Chorus, which cannot be sung quietly, by the way! A true wanting, pounding through your chest, desiring others to hear and understand our Lord’s grace which He sings every day, forgiving each of us in his strains of love.
"...our lead from Christ, the source of everything we do."
"...grow up healthy in God, robust in love. The Old Way Has to Go."
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
We'll start in one location and He pulls us to another reference or critical word that is pulling at our hearts...these "bunny trails" become blessings from the Holy Spirit time after time.
So, I wanted to try and capture how His Word is living in life... How has He spoken to you in Scripture?
Chasing needs, wants--Holy Scripture
Going behind, pursuing His knowledge
Seeking out His vines; His garden of Heavenly words
His sweet scented Bread-of-Life aroma; Recognizing His scent?
Worldly volume LOUDER--His voice becomes then a whisper.
Quieting worldly noises, fainter-- so His voice becomes clear
Living life, beating paths; walking calmly or running in turmoil
Walking on cotton balls, soothing, peaceful one-ness in His Word
Searing concrete heat, denying His Word
Jagged pains reaching every joint, unending pounding, no rest
Proud deciders appearing successful, trailing behind Him
Without Him, loosely falling, spinning
Many believing themselves; falsely deciding self's path
Climbing insurmountable hills then valleys full of human mud
Splatters covering, grinding sand in wounds
Throwing stones, bruising and being bruised
Dirtiest now, deep in muck; black-blue turning green, needing relief
Following His Wisdom, creation, wonderfully made
Acknowledging Him--paths becoming straight, pleasant, peaceful
Walking His path-a broken trail of promises? ”Not one has failed”
Praising His unending steadfastness
Knowing man's heart, He’s still healing, guiding, comforting
Today throughout Eternity!
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Our Lord's homeland...Did you know Americans helped save it...
In 2005, I facilitated a Disciple 2 class and at the end of our 34-week Bible-study journey, they presented me with a certificate I never expected...one confirming the purchase and planting of two trees (in my honor) from the National Jewish Foundation in Israel. I was taken aback.
Yatir Forest, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Here are the rules for this one:
1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.
My closest book: STREAMS IN THE DESERT, L. B. Cowman
Page 123, 5th-8th sentences:
Let us remember that no earthly circumstances can hinder the
fulfillment of God's Word.
We must look steadfastly at His immutable Word and not at the uncertainty of this ever-changing world.
God desires for us to believe His Word without other evidence, and then He is ready to do for us according to our faith."
Monday, May 5, 2008
“I’ll Be There for You!”
Balloons, hand-decorated bags
Chattering friends, enjoying the moment
Junior hosts, hostesses
Seniors servants, black and white attendants
Favorite youth memories
"Ridin' with Allen", beach "Sun-sets, no -rises"
Campground, peanut butter plexiglass
Button-downs, ties, skirts
Expressing themselves, uniquely
Kids, no longer
Hugs, all around
Wanting to freeze the moment
Wet cheeks, bright smiles
Growing up shots
Couches, listening, love letters remembering
Small then, Now grown
Mentors’ golden advice
Meredith: Always Seek Him; Andrew: Go Big or Go Home!
Allen: Seek Christian community FIRST
Into the world
Continue His Elevation, out there!
Friday, May 2, 2008
Be daily aware…
- What accomplishments were for God’s eternity?
- Who have you led toward Christ?
- When was your worship its sincerest?
- Where do you see His daily grace on you and your family?
- How much time was in prayer, resting in His Glory--as He sits at the Right Hand of God interceding for you--taking unclean and presenting them to our Maker as pure?
Life’s about THE JOURNEY and the ETERNAL.
“Honor and enjoy your Creator while you're still young, Before the years take their toll and your vigor wanes, Before your vision dims and the world blurs, And the winter years keep you close to the fire.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
“THIS IS MY STORY” (BY LISA WHELCHEL) HAS SET A NEW FIRE IN ME AND BY WEEK SIX, MY “LEGACY OF FAITH” SCRAPBOOK WILL BE SOMEWHAT COMPLETED FOR MY DAUGHTER--DESCRIBING MEMORIES OF OUR FAMILY AND VARIOUS RECOLLECTIONS OF WHERE AND HOW JESUS HAS WALKED WITH ME, US, AND FRIENDS OF THE FAMILY.
MY ONLY “CON”...WHO HAD THE IDEA ORIGINALLY TO NAME THEM “SCRAP” BOOKS”?
SCRAP IS THE WRONG WORD BECAUSE MY ENTRIES WON’T BE “DISCARDED, WORTHLESS, JUNKY PARTS”. THEY’LL BE THE “GOLDEN, PRECIOUS MEMORIES” OF MY FAMILY, FRIENDS AND “JESUS-INCIDENCES”…TO ME, MASTERPIECE MEMORIES OF HIS CREATIVE LOVE AT WORK IN AND THROUGH MY GRANDMOTHER, MOTHER, FRIENDS, SISTERS IN CHRIST AND MY CHILD, WRITTEN DOWN AND SALVAGED FROM MY “COBWEBBY” BRAIN THAT MAY GROW EVEN “COBWEBBIER” AS THE YEARS PASS.
HOW WILL YOU LEAVE YOUR CHILD “JESUS INCIDENCES” OF YOUR LIFE?
"Write it down now—"cobbwebbiness", starts before you know it!