Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Got me to a calling....

"...But when He was alone with His disciples, He explained everything." (Mark 4:34)

That alone is a revelation. Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. Some of them went away knowing they had met The Christ. But surely others went away with nothing more than a good story. Still, His disciples got to be alone with Him, where He explained everything. Imagine being alone with Him and He explains everything?
Or not!
I have spent hours, days and years reading about The Word. I happen to like a couple of writers ALOT. It is so easy for me to read other's research and glean like crazy all the Lord has taught them. I adore a good, biblical based blog. If you looked at my "favorites menu", most everything there is about Jesus...or hair. I've got lots of girls and we all got lots of hair. But I digress.
Just me and Jesus, present in The Word? Does it happen? Daily? Truth is, less time than I should have. Okay, some seasons less time than a heathen.
I use to be able to rationalize it: "But Lord, I am studying ABOUT You. I am studying ABOUT Your Word. Isn't that enough?" I come with my ready answer. I think I half expect Him to reply thusly, "That's fantastic! Let me know what You find out!" Instead I hear that still small voice,"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." (Jeremiah 33:3)
Hmmm. I think the Body has fallen into a certain laziness~speaking to this Body part as much as any other by the way~ that is so pervasive we may not even realize it. There is nothing wrong with starting your day with a good devotional...I know of one, sorry, shameless plug there. I'll be good. There is nothing wrong with allowing that devotional to jump start your prayers. And there is nothing, at all wrong, with gleaning knowledge from a teacher. We live in an age where there is truly, "an increase in knowledge." Have a question? Google for crying out loud.
But what if we (insert I here) just came to Him...with nothing but the Word? What if I (insert you if you are so inclined) just came with my note book, my bible and a good cup of coffee? Oh and a heart full of the expectation that He and I would meet. Do I believe He would sit alone with me too and "explain everything" to the likes of me?
I'll let you know what I find out!
 

Monday, March 28, 2011

The pit...

True loves kiss. That is all the beast needed to change him into the handsome prince...Her love was so powerful that all she had to do was prove it with a kiss. Yup. And not only would he live happily ever after, she gets a nice castle and a prince charming to go with it all. Not to mention servants that sing! Not bad work if you can get it. Malarkey. That is so what that is. Now don't take this as a statement over my man, please! He is full aware that he got no bargain in me. I pretty much knew that while I got me some good kissing power, it could not change any beastly characteristics he may have come with...not that he did come with any. Just clearing our names here. I mean all of this in general. Be it a spouse, a friend or even a child...we can love them with all the human or in the case above, enchanted love, a castle can hold...ya' can't pull somebody out of their pit. Pits are fiercely personal. They tend to be loved deeply. I have seen some rather well appointed pits in my time, and I gotta' tell ya', I am not sure I would want out my own self. The other thing about a pit that is worth knowing is that the language changes down in one. Simple truth becomes something the pit dweller can't even begin to understand. It makes the non-pit dweller sound like a crazy person standing on the edge of the pit offering a hand up. And that is place of danger for anyone who loves a pit dweller. You, or me for that matter, can't pull anyone out of their pit. Not our job. Talk about something that will ruin a relationship. I am not saying that we should help the pit dweller decorate or anything. And there may come a time when you have to remove your hand from the edge, less you get pulled into that pit too. "Brethren, and if a man be overtaken in any fault, you, who are spiritual, instruct such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." (Galatians 6:1) I use to think that verse was kind of silly. Like if I were helping the crack addict, I would become one. Not gonna' happen. But the truth is I've seen myself slip into my own pit next door for the hapless way I've tried to help someone get out there pit. Prayer. That is the only way to avoid the trap. It is the only way not to get sucked into your own pit of despair. When you have someone convinced that there is no way out, don't be surprised if you wind up falling into a pit yourself believing there is no way out. "Consider thyself" as the King James puts it. From what I can tell, avoiding sin is the only time the Word tells us to consider ourselves before someone else. "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." (1Corinthians 10:13 NIV) Temptation isn't always about crack (or chocolate or facebook for that matter) but sometimes, a temptation is about your own ability to fall into a pit...and it may just be lovely, well appointed and comfortable. Everything may be just the way your remember it...sitting with Him is about the only way I know of to avoid the thing. If you have a relationship with a pit dweller and you start to hear a tea pot sing, you may want to run or get on your knees in prayer. Just sayin'.




Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rattlin' Blog....

I've annoyed my children with Irish songs this morning. When Liz got up this morning, she said, "Happy Amature Day!" as that is what me dearly departed, and not at all sainted, dad called today. John had to leave for work early due to all the partiers on the train.

Recently in Walgreen's, they had all the St. Patty's Day merchandise on display. On the bottom shelf, they had cases of beer. Hmmm. I asked if the manager, who happens to be woman of color, if she thought perhaps that was a bit racist? She looked at me funny and so I suggested that if they had put the Paps Blue Ribbon under the Black History Month display, it might seem....I never got to finish my sentence. She was laughing too hard.

A fine Irish gentleman at the register yelled over to us: "Nothing wrong with that display. They know the truth as do we all!"

Being full of the Blarney today, I thought I would tell you about the new magazine subscription I received. Yes, to Ebony magazine. A dear friend suggested it is because me dearly, departed and sainted mother was dark Irish. Perhaps. I called to make sure it wasn't one of those scams where someone orders a magazine for you and you get the bill. Honestly, I did not know if this was a complement or a dig.

As I flipped through the magazine the part that just about killed me was the ad for identagen.com~Aha. Paternity testing kit available in your local drug store. I suppose no more stereo typical than the beer/Irish display in Walgreen's.

Have a happy and safe St. Patty's Day all!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Angst...


Woke up with a head full of it today. 9am service. Want to go, but don't want to be there. Can I pull it off, with no less than half a night sleep? Of course I could have. We do the things we find most important. But allow me to complain a moment won't you? Thanks.

Teenagers in the door at all kinds of hours because of the school play. When, by the way, did school plays decide they had to be cutting edge? What happened to family friendly productions? I can't bring young kids to see Footloose, Wappingers Central School District. Rumor has it the show is tantamount to child porn. Great message. "Don't drink, don't smoke, don't have sex...but be entirely entertained by those who do, on stage in your auditorium. That is all. Go back to your classes."

That was complained number one, by the way, in case you are keeping score.

Number two on the list would be Scarlet Fever. Maggie jumped over strep and went right to SF...you could have fried an egg on the poor things head. Long nights for both of us. Poor baby. Since I am already complaining about the school district, could I blame the other disease ridden vermin on this as well? No, that would be wrong. Okay. I shall leave that one alone.

Number three: A dog. A big yellow dog. Let us call him Seabiscuit shall we? Yes, let's. Well, Seabiscuit has decided he has no bladder control for a good portion of the night. Last time I let him out, I closed the door and took a nap. Not sure when he came back. But husband brought him in.

Number four: Yes, as in 4-12 shift. Or was it 3-11 with a late call for some medical emergency that got John stuck on the job (he is still a medic you know) and therefore unable to get that teenager I told you about in complaint number one after the play...don't judge too harshly the fact that she was a part of it. I thought they cleaned it up. She was on stage crew, not the pole dancer in the show. Nuff said. Had to beg a ride from another mom, 'cause you can't leave a SF child home alone in the middle of the night with other sleeping teens.

Number five: Go tell others, I tell my children. Yeah, one of them decided to do that this week. Aha. She had to call her friend and let her know that we would not be picking her up for the 9am service but rather the 11am service. By the way, I have to get teen to play for the afternoon show at 11am along with the kids of the mom I begged said ride from. Did I mention that I am not sure how all of this is going to work out yet? Yeah, didn't thinks so.

A day of rest? I wish.

Can't wait for Monday so I can tell you all about the Word He gave me on sleep. At the moment, it kinda' makes me want to cry, it is so tender...But it will have to wait...Remember, it was Day Light Savings time, and I am therefore running an entire hour late.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pure Bliss...

Thinking...

Earlier this week, I wrote a post for Blissfully Domestic about God thinking on me. This morning, I read the blog that David Wilkerson writes. His blog makes the same point that my Bliss post has. No, I am not screaming copyright. Duh.

Not only did Pastor Wilkerson use the same scriptures the Lord had placed on my heart, it was as if the Lord was sending me a quick reminder. Glory, huh? You can't help being crazy about this God of ours, who would think on the likes of me...

We have a family member that is profoundly mentally ill. Oy. How to love on someone who is so profoundly ill in mind. Worse then the disease itself, is the system of care that "we the people" have allotted for her.

One of her workers told John that it is exceptional that there is anyone who loves her...not that she is unlovable, but that they don't see family involvement. Wow. That will bring on some guilt. There is a strong history of our not being involved in her life. We were busy making and raising babies and building a life. As we were building our lives, we were busy forgetting that she was losing hers. A brilliant girl, with an amazing career, now folds clothes in a store. It is a job she is very proud of and has done very well with. We saw her once or twice a year. Just enough to make us feel good. Not sure how it made her feel. Not sure what to do differently either. Not sure at all.

That's not all of it. Truth is there were years and years of this illness that were left un-treated. The children and I were subject to severe outbursts of rage. Truth is, while she may be as gentle as a kitten today, back then, I was very much afraid of her...and not with unwarranted reasons.

I'm no sap. But today I find myself weeping for her and crying out for her healing and deliverance form the torture of her own mind. Reminded that if not for us, who would be "thinking on" on her? Her Heavenly Father that's who. He has not forgotten her. He formed her in her mother's womb. He knew she needed us to love on and think on and pray on her.

We have a running joke around my house. When I walk in the door, if John is home, I'll ask him if anybody called. Some days his answer is, "Everyone called, call everyone back." And if the answer is that no one called, my answer is, "Nobody loves me."

“Let all those that seek you rejoice and be glad in thee… But I am poor and needy; the Lord thinketh upon me; thou art my help and my deliverer; do not tarry, O my Lord” (Psalm 40:16-17)

He is thinking on her, just like He thinks on Mary, or Maryellen for that matter. He won't tarry. He never has.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

So long Facebook...

Today is the first day of Lent... The Catholics will wear ashes. Love that tradition. The pente's will begin a fast. Not sure what the Conservative Baptists will do. Me? Yeah, so long Facebook....Sorry, Mark Z. Not sure if sending this over to Facebook or not is what I am suppose to do, but it is also not something I am going to stress on. I'll be here if you want to find me.
I thought briefly about giving up all things technology...but the truth is, my banking is on here, and e-mail is too. I still have a phone to consider as well...but I can at least enter the rehab of Facebook and Twitter for 40 days...Don't be surprised if on Easter Sunday, I am all over FB/Twitter with proclamations of "HE IS RISEN!"

This morning, instead of heading to the computer, I head to The Word first. John and I have a busy day ahead of us and I wanted my "double edged sword" sharpened before we go off to slay some Dragon-like principalities...How Frank Perreti of us!

"The Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee" (1 Chronicles 28:9).

Given my penchant for an over active imagination, this verse not only gives me comfort, it gives be breadth. Given some of our current battles, I have practiced every conversation and been ready with a plan A, B, and C...

...and eventually bring it to Him. It takes less time now days to turn to Him with my folly, but maybe someday, I'll start with Him, instead of starting with me. You know, the old, "i am" instead of the "He is" thing.

I pray a blessed start of this season for you. For us too! I am expecting that dynamite of prayer and fasting (yes, the fast around here is deeper than just giving up Facebook, duh) to explode a deeper walk with Him. He alone is our provision and I can't wait to meet Him in it, again.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

"What are you giving up for lent?"

I grew up with that question. One year it was chocolate, another it was TV for about five minutes. Not sure what I gave up all those years ago. I know in my twenties I was pretty good about not eating meat on Fridays. I know for sure that one Ash Wednesday, my friend Barbara and I went to a diner at 11:40 pm and asked the waitress to not serve us our bacon cheese burgers until after midnight...hey, we were trying to the right thing.

Today, I am faced with a fasting challenge again. The kids are asking about doing vs giving up. Last year, my oldest did a 40 day fast of meat and snacks. She kept herself to fish and fruit. Not bad for a 14 year old at the time.


There is such power in fasting and praying together. I want that. I want to draw close to God because I know He will draw close to me. Simple. I need that kind of explosion in my walk with Him in this season.

So fruits, veggies, fish? What will my fast look like? I have to say, I am leaning heavily towards...a tech fast too. The horror. Talk about sacrifice!


It created some interesting dinner conversation last night:


Jack thought he would give up taking out the garbage...I told him he should try something new instead...he already doesn't do that on a regular basis.


Caity started this past Wednesday, 'cause she thought it was the 40 day mark...Love her.


Brennan ceased to be involved in the conversation.


Liz said she wasn't sure.


Maggie wanted to know if she was too little to do a fast of any kind...um, no kiddo. You are not to little.


John thought it would be nice to do a family devotion time together...except that these days, we often don't see Liz until 9:00pm....too late for the little ones. Not to mention his work schedule.
And the mornings are out just because of the train-like schedule we keep. We are still trying to work out that one. Hmmm.


By the time we were clearing the dishes, John had reminded them it is not about the logistics of the fast. If they are only doing it to fulfill an obligation, they should not bother. The point to making a sacrifice is to spend time with God and to seek His face more intensely. And not just so they can get something like a pat on the back from God for it. There is nothing we can do to earn His love. But we can remove something we love for a season to love more intensely on Him. Besides all that, fasting without prayer is just self deprivation. It might make us lean towards a more disciplined life but not one that can affect any real change in us. And the point is to be changed more deeply into the likeness of Christ...who prayed and fasted.


The whole conversation gave me something to chew on...along with my carbs that I love so deeply. I know, maybe I could give up my nap? I'll get back to you on that one!

The narcoleptic agoraphobic...or not.

This time of year, if I had to pick a disorder to embrace, it would be a cross between two: Narcolepsy and Agoraphobia. Just before the joy of Spring arrives, I want to be home and I want to nap.
Of course, there are scriptures that make both of those things impossible for me. For napping I have the conviction from Proverbs 6:10-11 that says, "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest--and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man."(NIV) So I guess that nap is out...

...and if that were not enough, Jesus gives us Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20 "Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (NIV)

Well...that takes care of most of my agenda doesn't it? Sigh.

God's Word NEVER returns void. He said so in Isaiah 55:11 "So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. " (AKJV)

One of the things we saw at House Wyne, were woman who had no idea how to read The Word. That must seem so odd in the age we live in. I mean, here in our nation, we are free to read it or anything else we might want to. Perhaps that is the enemies greatest victory over America: apathy.

Hmmm. Lord, how would you have us proceed? I know, no nap. No staying in my cozy house. Got it. So show me what You would have me do. Amen.