Monthly Archives: November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’ve finally decided to turn on the technology today only to be greeted by hosts of Happy Thanksgiving from friends and family. So many things to be thankful for!

One of the blessings I’ve been really thankful for this year is the ability to travel more and this holiday travel brought us to Texas. My parents have a large spread of land in South Texas.  At dinner this afternoon, our youngest who had already created place setting nameplates for us, presented us with a craft that she had been working on (she gets very art inspired when we come to South Texas).  They were little crafted ears of corn with a piece paper stuffed inside on which we were supposed to write the things which we were thankful.  We then traded our little corn and tried to guess who wrote what.  It resulted in unrelenting laughter as we ended up making fun of what we each wrote (and things we didn’t write, but should have) as opposed to making it the reflective exercise that I’m sure was originally intended.

This morning we dug a fire pit in my parents backyard.  The temperatures are dropping here tonight from the 70s to the 30s.  Hopefully tomorrow night the wind will die down enough so that we can have fire in the new pit in the backyard.

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Monday Morning Learnings — Longing for God

From, a ministry of Church by the Saviour in Washington DC

Longing for God

by Suzanne Guthrie

Wherever we look we find the language of longing at the heart of the quest for God. Are we made for love? This perpetual longing, the unquenchable thirst for intimacy, the gargantuan appetite for love, seems to me the most natural state of being.

Fortunate are the ones who realize early enough that another human being can’t possibly respond to this unrequitable need for love. Even more fortunate are men and women of prayer who realize that peace comes by embracing the longing itself. Addictions and loneliness can mask this deeper longing for God. Our material culture exploits these natural longings. Screaming advertisements dupe us into believing that a product, a gadget or some glittering things will satisfy our unformulated, nonspecific desires. It all comes at us so fast! We can’t allow ourselves to reflect, to feel foolish about it before we buy more stuff like an addict no longer in touch with his conscience….

The prayer that Jesus taught acknowledges the longing embedded within us. Thy kingdom come! We beg the kingdom come to satisfy our kingdom-sized desire. We beg for union of heaven and earth, for bread, for healing of our sins and for relief from suffering and evil. Jesus acknowledges our needs, our inborn desires–the sense of unrequited love, the knowing that our love can’t be fulfilled temporally. To sit with the Lord’s Prayer is to sit with longing.

Source: The Christian Century (11.02.2010)

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The One Thing…

Perry Noble’s Blog today is one of those I want to save so that I don’t forget to read it over and over again….

What’s The “One Thing” That Is Holding You Back? November 18, 2010

The story of the Rich Young Ruler has always seized my attention.  (You can read it in Mark 10:17-22)  Jesus told him in verse Mark 10:21 that there was basically ONE THING that was holding him back from being His follower.  (And the guy was unwilling to give up that one thing!)

I’ve been in ministry for about 20 years now…and through my personal experiences and with what I’ve seen in others I’ve basically identified four “one things” that commonly hold people back.  (You can read the rest at the link below:)

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Monday Morning Learnings — Others First

Mondays for me are more like my Sabbath than Sundays.  As a family we so love being involved in what’s happening at our church, that I’m lucky to sneak in an hour for my ritualistic Sunday afternoon nap.  We usually head out the door at about 9 AM and yesterday we were home from church at 2 PM and the girls were out the door at 3:45 for their evening youth group activities which had us back at the house by 8 PM.  If you are looking for a good day to rob our house, Sunday is your best bet.

Mondays are my chance to recoup and absorb.  I love just being quiet and being with God.  This weekend I came across one of my favorite (convicting) chapters in the Bible as it is translated in The Message.  Romans 12.

If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.

Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.

Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”

Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.

There are so many rich life lessons in this chapter.  I love reminding my 3 year olds of verse 17 when there is a battle over a toy.  “Look the Bible says “don’t hit back.” But alas that doesn’t always work.

The big take away for me in this chapter:  If I am truly living as God calls me to then I need to be intentionally stepping into others worlds.  I need to put their needs and interests before my desires.  God sent His son to do exactly that; to step into our lives so that He could connect with us, show us that we are loved and have a relationship with us.

There are a couple of good blogs this morning that I came across which brought this all together for me.  Its something I’ll be working on this week.

The Incarnational Principle of Leadership, by Michael Hyatt

Parents in Transistion, by Reggie Joiner

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God’s Discipline

As I headed home from dropping my high schooler off this morning, I saw the most beautiful sunrise.

The radio announcer was reflecting on a conversation he had with a friend regarding God’s discipline in our lives.

Many times when we go through rough times in our lives we see it as God punishing us for past sins or mistakes.

He went on to say that actually the word discipline is better seen as God shaping or building us for something stronger. Much like discipline in the Army or in sports. This discipline is preparing us for the next level…where God wants to take us so that we can more effectively serve Him.

Websters says it this way: “training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character.”

I would also add discipline is a process that strengthens us and draws us closer to Him.

Today I looked back on my life and wondered how many times I have mistaken God’s discipline (His refiner’s fine) as punishment for mistakes and failures, instead of seeing it as an opportunity for God to take to me to the next level in my walk with Him.

Hebrews 12:7-10

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My New Project

One of the things I’ve done lately is to look back on my past blogs. It is a constant reminder of how much God has taught me here in Florida. But I also realize its been a while since I did a “me” update. So here goes…

The summer ended with my first half marathon in Virginia Beach on Labor Day. My family loves to travel, so one of my goals was to travel to all the places we could easily access and walk in half marathons. For those of you who know me, I’m not an avid runner and watching both of my parents go through their knee replacements really kills my desire to be hard on my knees in my 40s, but I do enjoy walking. And now that I live in tropical paradise where it is 70 degrees plus for 9 months of the year, spending time outdoors on the walking trails is a wonderful and inexpensive exercise.

But after my Labor Day half marathon, I fell off the exercise bandwagon. I had planned to take one week off after the half marathon (in which I placed 13,229th), but a week became two and two weeks has now become two months. I did jump in and complete a 5K with the girls and one of their friends to raise funds for the Christian club at their school, but other than that, my only exercise has been my once a week yoga class in which I am the most flexible old person (according to my instructor).

I’m hoping next week will change. I need to up my walking game again.

As you can tell from my blog I’ve also started a new project. Project 365 is an idea that someone (not me) came up with to take a picture of something in their life everyday for a year. Some do it as a self-portrait, but no one (especially me) wants to look at him or herself every day of the year and watch the wrinkles grow. So my goal is to take a snapshot of something around me. I can’t promise it won’t be about me (like me driving with my knee, which I do so often that I have an indent in my thigh muscle where the steering wheel fits), but my goal will be to give you a glimpse of the world I see and the things I appreciate, through the lens of my camera on my phone. I can’t wait to see the slideshow at the end of the year. My hope is that I will remember the reason I took every photo and, like my blog, it will give me a better appreciation for all the work God is doing in my life.

My husband wants me to put captions on the pictures so others will know what they are. I prefer to just let everyone guess, although you are free to comment and create your own captions if you wish.


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