Friday, January 31, 2014

Not to Fear But to Trust

Ok, so I'm running on fumes. Let me tell you why.

It isn't that I've got a million (well, ok nine) mouths to feed. And it isn't the amount of work there is in running a house occupied by nine.

I awoke several times last night and each time my heart was crying out to Jesus for my children. I so desperately want them to know The Lord and His mercy that I think about their faith even while I sleep. I dream about it and hope for it even when my mind is supposed to be resting. So at 4:30 this morning I was up and slicing tomatoes as I prayed, because I couldn't get back to sleep.

Every day I have to commit my children to The Lord. It is a discipline of my heart not to fear, but to trust in the One who loves them even more than I love them. He is not willing that any should perish but that all would come to repentance. So I wait. And I trust. And I do my best to do more than the little "heart checks" that flit by through out the day.

These little "heart checks" are good, but they are just not enough. They do not take the place of teaching them to fear The Lord. They do not take the place of praying with them, teaching them Truth, correcting them or shepherding their little hearts through life or into a deeper understanding of God's word. For all these things I look to Jesus. When I awake in the night, my heart is asking Him for these kinds of moments. And I also pray that He will cause their hearts to be soft and receptive to His leading and guiding.

Deuteronomy 6:7 "Teach them (God's laws) to your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

Why So Downcast?

She had found a treasure, but her companion laid jealous claim to it and viciously attacked her. She came running to me but she was so downcast she wouldn't even lift her face to me unless I cupped her chin.

There are many people who can relate to her in a spiritual way. You joyfully find treasures in God's word and gladly share them with your companions, and then the unthinkable happens; they trample your pearls of wisdom and then turn and tear you to peices, leaving you wounded and confused. In such situations it's easy to become downcast and it may be difficult to lift your face to God. 


Psalm 147:3
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."

No matter what, we must keep our eyes on Jesus.  Even when others seek to bring harm.  He will bind up our wounds and bring healing.  But don't be afraid to lift your eyes to Him. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

They Make It Look Easy

I can know a song forward and backward, but for some reason and unpredictably so, I sometimes go completely blank just before starting a song. It's gotten to be really funny at times and my family is beginning to recognize that "look" I get in my eyes that says, " does this song go?".

This is a picture of our children just before we sang for the 2014 Memorial Day service at Beaver Creek Church. After the concert Paul was commenting on the "look" I had on my face just as we began "I Saw The Light". I told him I was momentarily freaking out because I forgot the melody. That's when Camon (age 5), in all seriousness, piped up and said, "Mama, if that happens again, just follow me."

My children have taken their turns throughout the years, giving me good reason to laugh.  They take a serious moment, weighed down with the stress and pressures of being in front of an audience and turn it into something simple and humorous.  I am so blessed.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

Do As I Do

Children get the most impressive lessons on forgiveness and forbearance, love and faithfulness, joy and holiness from their parents. 

If we model a life contrary to God's commands, it doesn't matter what we teach them with our words, they will always learn from our behavior.

John 14:15
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments." 

Friday, January 10, 2014


Confession opens the door to restoration.

I spent a lot of time last night plunging the toilet trying to get it to flow. I thought I got it working but then right away this morning it began acting up again. After much plunging, finally Paul brought in a "snake". Then my four year old came in and began questioning what Daddy was doing. After I explained what was happening he looked up at me and said, "Mama, I have a secret". He then confessed that last night he'd "accidentally" dropped some Connects toys into it. Six of them! Suddenly the mystery was solved and we now have a better idea about what to do to fix the problem. But until his confession was made we had no idea what was causing things to go wrong.

James 5:16 "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."

I know there is no direct correlation between my morning plunging and this verse. But it just stood out to me that when people hold on to unconfessed sin, problems and strongholds remain a mystery and become greater burdens than necessary. And we find ourselves as the Body of Christ, scratching our heads about these mysteries, because no matter what we try to do to fix some problems they remain an issue.

Why is the divorce rate is so high among us? Why is there such a lack of unity among us? Why are our children leaving the faith when they leave home for college? These are just some of the mysteries we grapple with in the church. Yet quite possibly the answer lies in confession and our lack of it.

For example, anger. It is much easier to stuff it down and deny it's there than it is to confess it. After all, isn't admitting you're angry like admitting your not a good person or admitting that you are the reason for the problem? Christians aren't supposed to be angry, right??? So if someone sins against me, and I get angry...I'm the problem, not the one who sinned against me...right? Wrong.

"Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger." Eph. 4:26

Having the emotion of anger is not an indication of a lack of Christian virtue. It means you are human and respond with the emotions God created within you. Yet like anything else our emotions are subject to the fall, and dealing with it improperly can lead to sin.

We were told not to let the sun go down on our anger. If confession and openness were practiced, anger would be expressed and dealt with swiftly and bitterness would have no chance to take root. Unconfessed anger becomes bitterness and leads to unforgiveness and sometimes even hatred, which Jesus equated to murder. We loose friends, spouses, family and neighbors all to anger...and our refusal to deal with it. When left unchecked, it grows and eventually becomes so prevalent in our lives that we can no longer contain it, and before we know it, the monster we've allowed to take root within us is out of control, leaving us incapable of responding to each other as Christ would have us. Our love grows cold, and we give ourselves over to the way that seems easiest, which is to walk away.

Confession is good and makes way for restoration and healing. It doesn't only apply to anger. If there is a stronghold in your life, you may want to consider confiding in a trusted friend, pastor or spiritual mentor, and have them pray over you. You may find that it will reveal the mystery of the source of your struggle with sin and give you the upper hand in overcoming it.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Great Boldness

2 Corinthians 3:12 "Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech..."

We speak with confidence and boldness because we have such a great hope!

We speak of sin and condemnation with boldness, because we believe God and dare not belittle that which is such a great offense to Him.

We speak of His mercy because it reaches even beyond the offense of our sin, lifting us up, out of our guilt to give us life in Christ!