Thursday, July 26, 2007

Needing Humility

I've written here before about my recent experiences with memorizing scripture. Its a topic that has been on my mind quite a bit over the last two weeks.

Back in the spring a small group of us were meeting together to pray for each other and for our church family. During that time we came to the conclusion as a small group that we would participate in memorizing scripture together. We gave each other hints, discovered how differently some of us memorize from others. Enjoyed having something in common as well as our uniqueness.

After the first passage was memorized, it was time to choose another. Someone in the group was reading from a book that had a suggested list of passages to memorize. Choosing another set of verses happened to coincide with my discovering of the verses in Lamentations that I have commented so much on in the last few months. The group understood how much these verses had touched me and why and agreed to memorize them with me. This meant that memorizing portions of Phillipians 2 got put on the back burner.

When we all had the next set of verse memorized everyone but me was ready to move on to Phillipians 2. I think this was a good lesson for all of us. At that moment I had a decision to make. I knew that meditating on what I had learned in Lamentations was getting me through challenging days. I also knew that if I gave up that time of meditation and jumped in Phillipians 2 I would be doing it to please the group. I would be obeying some kind of group law. I explained this and they understood. I didn't start memorizing with them.

But now I find it interesting that Phillipians 2 is exactly where I think I need to be memorizing and meditating on the word. This passage reflects on and worships the Lord Jesus Christ for his humility. It challenges us with the reality that being transformed into the image of Christ requires humility and is the experience of humilty. I am now ready to work on learning these verses.

I'm hesitating to type this next part. I'm very embarrassed. But I have been struggling to have an attitude of humility in the midst of God answering so many prayers for us. I'm very grateful the Lord has been convicting me of this. I'm grateful for his forgiveness. There is probably no better passage for me to be working on memorizing than Phillipians 2.

Like so many others, there has been a song that has meant so much to me over the last few years. One of the lines of the song is: Blessed be Your name in the land that is plentiful where the streams of abundance flow. Blessed be Your name. I allowed myself moments of blessing my own name. That is sin. I'm very sorry those moments happened. I hope and pray that I am learning how to walk truly praising God and giving Him credit for all He has done and is doing in my life.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Strength and Courage

I'm doing bible study this summer about faith. The teacher of this bible study is asking us to believe God.

This particular week she has spent time reminding us that God intends our walk of faith to have the qualities of strength and courage.

As I face the challenges associated with moving, especially the challenge that God may be asking me to enter new territory regarding work, it has been a good reminder that God will provide strength and courage for such a place.

One of my greatest inspirations in this area of walking with the Lord is my boy. My boy who is turning into a man. This guy hasn't known for over a year what city or state he would be attending high school in. And, I couldn't even count on two hands the number of minutes he has spent angry or frustrated about it. I can't even tell you how many times people have asked me about how he is doing. When I have described it, I think most have had a hard time believing he was coping so well. We have attributed this to answered prayer. God has provided him strength and courage over this last year to face change.

Since we've been back in Texas, I've seen it show up in new ways. The fact that his old friends don't or haven't been able to attend Wednesday nights at church hasn't kept him from braving new territory. He is determined to have meaningful relationships with God's people. He understands that requires showing up in places and situations that your not always comfortable in at first. That touches this Mama's heart at its very epicenter.

Dear God,

Thank you for giving my fourteen year old boy/man a vision for why on earth church matters. May the journey we've been on as a family this past year be a spiritual marker for him. May he be able to look back on how you provided for him during this time of transition. May that fuel trust in you for days that are even more challenging than the ones he has passed through this last year. May he have the courage and strength to give you his whole heart. May he continue to be willing to walk by faith and not by sight.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Are you waiting for an explanation?

Have you ever looked back on a time period in your life and said, "Now I get it God!"

It feels like I'm having that conversation with God almost hourly the last few days. Light bulb moments are firing off faster than I can remember them. I keep thinking God I want to have time to write down everything you're doing because I want to remember.

I've also noticed that in relationships with people, especially the parent child relationship, a parent says, "Just do what I'm telling you." Sometimes parents say this because they don't have time to explain or they're to tired. Other times it is because their child is not ready to comprehend the reasons why. And still others the parent doesn't really know "why" well enough to explain it themselves. And then when the child comes around to seeing the wisdom of the instruction or action a parent can be very tempted to have an, "I told you so attitude."

Looking back I think there were times when God said, "I just can't explain what I'm doing yet. You just wouldn't understand." But instead of feeling hung out to dry in those moments, I felt a calling to persevere with hope. A call to believe in God's goodness.

Its one thing to believe God is good when things are going smoothly and linearly. Its quite another when God takes seriously your desire to be transformed by Him into his likeness and therefore his perspectives. Because letting go of earthly values can be very difficult and even heartbreaking. But not I can see so many purposes in wandering around in the desert. I needed time away from what was my normal in order to have eyes to see and ears to hear what God wanted to show me.

A crazy part of that journey was that I was wandering around in the desert with people who were in their homelands the last four years. Their love and hospitality went a long way towards making the spiritual desert experience survivable. But it was never meant to be our homeland as well.

So what's my point? If you find yourself in circumstances that don't make sense to you. You wish God would lighten up. Hang on tight to the truth that God loves you. If you have told God that you will go an do and be wherever and whatever He wants you to be, there will be some sifting out of earthly perspectives and their will be some fires for refining. But on the other side of the sifter and the fire there is love for God that can be obtained no other way. I truly trust Him more than I ever have before.

Dear Lord,

You are blowing me away. I am flabbergasted by your orchestration of the details of my life. I am just one little soul on the planet of billions of people. I also watch you doing these things in lives of people I love. Lord, help us all to put our faith in you every single day. Give us opportunities to testify with love and gentleness and humility about who you are and what your up to. Help us not to squander what you've done in our hearts and the resources you have given us. Thank you for providing what we need to hang on to you when things just don't seem to add up. We love you Lord and we want to learn to love you more.


Saturday, July 07, 2007


Oh my goodness, so much has happened in the last eleven days.

Sad "see you laters" to our California friends.

27 hour road trip with all our stuff. Stuff is so overrated. If they would allow families to live in a commune I would seriously consider it this week.

Large and small God-incidences. So many prayers were answered so wonderfully.

Fabulously fun reunions with family and friends.

We are experiencing the fruit of waiting on the Lord. The fruit tastes very sweet and wholesome.

There are many decisions ahead of us over the next weeks and months and we rejoice that we are confident that the Lord will guide us as we make them. We're looking forward to what surprises await us as the plan unfolds.

So what's the adventure God has you on this summer? I would LOVE to hear about it. :)