Tuesday, March 30, 2010

An update on Jame's shoulder

Jamie finally got the diagnosis after his MRI last week.

Apparently, the thunking/cracking he has been experiencing in his shoulder is a "foreign object" about the size of an eraser tip, probably a broken off piece of cartilage or bone.  The doctor expressed the idea that the chipping off of bone or cartilage could be a disease-related.  He will ultimately have to have surgery again but the doctor really wants to get to the source of the problem so Jame will be seeing an orthopedist for a second opinion.
He is not allowed to work or use his right arm until this is figured out.  So, we are taking a few steps backward.  This is a bummer, but we know God is sovereign, and we are very glad to have some sort of diagnosis of the problem.  Thank you for praying.  Please continue to.  I am confident God's hand is in this and He is growing us, and especially Jamie through such an uncomfortable time.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A blade of grass

"I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it." -Chuck Swindoll

This quote is staring at me as I prepare to read the next chapter of Sarah Palin's book.  I used to live by these wise words and have somehow forgotten them, and how to apply them to my own life.  A friend told me once that I was like a blade of grass...when I get stomped down, I'm down for a bit and then I pop right back up.  I know that is in me somewhere but it seems lost at the moment.

Jaci Velasquez lyrics come to me..."Here I am again willing to be opened up and broken like a flower in the rain.  Tell me what I have to do to die and then be raised to reach beyond the pain like a flower in the rain."  Such a theme song of my life at one time and yet I wish I could blossom in the downtimes like I once did so well.  But I hold bitterness and hurt so much tighter now.  Why is that?

And my mind...thoughts play over and over in my mind.  What does that person think of me?  What do they say when I'm not around?   Ugh!  It is absolutely the enemy.  Even if these people do disapprove of me.  Who cares!?  God knows the motives of my heart.  He knows my heart!  All I need is to please Him and no one else. "For do I now persuade men, or God?  Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ." (Gal. 1:10)  (Haha!  My spell check doesn't recognize the word "bondservant", a reflection of culture, I guess.)
And I try to take those thoughts captive to the obedience of Jesus, but they still dominate my mind.  I must replace them with thoughts that are true.  "God is good."  "He has a plan for me."  "I am significant to Him."  "He will use me."  "He gives me passions, talents, gifts, and opportunities.  What are they?  How am I going to use them?"

So, here's to "bouncing back" no matter who may gloat or boast at your downfall.  God is picking me back up.  Why should I return to the pit?  Get out and walk away from it.  Letting no one take from me what God is doing.  Not any person, not the enemy of my soul.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Drive Thru History

Drive Thru History :: Episode 12 CLOSING from ColdWater Media on Vimeo.

This is a series our family has really enjoyed.  I highly recommend.  This particular video was sent to Jame recently and I thought it was excellent.  Enjoy!

Friday, March 26, 2010

a letter to Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck has recently unveiled some inspiring artwork with the words, "Faith", Hope," and "Charity."  Below is a letter I doubt he will ever have time to read, but I wrote anyway.  Be encouraged.  God tells us through Scripture that we are to bear these three qualities in the last days which are coming upon us.

(property of Glenn Beck)

I awoke in the middle of the night the other night and began to ponder our nation, and end times prophecy.  America seems to not be in end times prophecy which means that we, most likely, will not be a prominent player of the stage being set for the return of Christ.  Of course, I believe this moment is soon approaching.  In light of prophecy and the fulfillment of it, I questioned whether or not my energy to the restoration of the USA to its founding principles is futile.  I don't know if that makes any sense.  Anyway, I began a Bible study on what I should be found doing (particularly concerning my country) upon Christ's return.  I am still in the midst of this study, but I found something rather interesting that proved to me that you are right about faith, hope, and charity (love).  Here it is:

1 Thessalonians 5 is well known as being a description of the coming of Jesus Christ or the "rapture" so it is an appropriate place to look to find out what we should be doing during that time.  Look at verse 8...

"But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation."

You are right.  I follow you pretty avidly and was so encouraged to have your vision confirmed in scripture, in my own personal quiet time with the Lord.  Keep on keeping on!  You are doing a great job!  You are a watchman of Jeremiah 6:17.

Jeremiah 6:13-17 is so where we find ourselves today:  "Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them, everyone is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even to the priest, everyone deals falsely (isn't this so true that the overwhelming majority of our leaders, even 'spiritual', are in it for selfish gain?).   They have also healed the hurt of the people slightly, saying, 'Peace, peace!' when there is no peace (lying to the people that there is no economic crisis; the hc bill is going to be great 'but you just have to pass it first so we can tell you all about it'; global warming).  Were they ashamed they had committed abomination (a homonym I often think is no coincidence. Teehee!)?  No!  they were not at all shamed; nor did they know how to blush (a result of arrogance and pride).  Therefore they shall fall among those who fall;  at the time I punish them, they shall be cast down," says the Lord.  Thus says, the Lord, "Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths (our founding principles), where the good way is, and walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls.  But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'  Also, I set a watchman over you (thank you, Glenn!!), saying, 'Listen to the sound of the trumpet!' But they said, 'We will not listen.'..." (commentary, obviously, mine.)

God bless you, Glenn, as you seek out the truth and share it with us all.  It will truly free us...even if only in our own hearts.  But, I desire and hope for so much more...the restoration and revival of our beautiful, God-blessed country.  And, yes, I will be raising up Godly and patriotic children so they can have a hope-filled future.

Much love to you and your staff for all you do so tirelessly and for very good cause.  You are deeply loved and appreciated by my family and so many others.

Kori Peterson
Borrego Springs, CA
On an unrelated note, the boys told me yesterday that they were talking about our presidents and they want to be president.  Thus followed an in-depth conversation about integrity, humility, service, and the importance of knowing our Constitution.  Guess I will be adding that to the curriculum (which I had in mind already). :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Flower Power

If you want to see the desert wildflowers, you better do it quick!  Soon the green thorny caterpillars will be out to eat them all up.  I recommend Glorietta Canyon.  It is one of the only places where the mustard hasn't taken over.  

The boys enjoying some time in Glorietta Canyon.

Ocotillo and beavertail in Coyote Canyon.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Brandon's prayer

Last night, I was in the living room while Jamie put the boys in bed.  I could hear them pray from where I was at and I heard these dear words come form Brandon's mouth in a most genuine prayer:
"Jesus, please don't let Barack Obama do anything to hurt our country.  In Jesus name, Amen."

Oh, that we all would pray for our country from the depths of our hearts.

Moms and Dads, please instill in your children a love for God and country.  Brandon is 5 and he "gets it."  Their little minds are so much more capable than we give them credit for.

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. Revelation 22:1-3
     Dear heavenly Father, I begin this day somewhat conflicted on the inside… most certainly, a good candidate for some fresh gospel-sanity. I’m very thankful to live in this country—the land where you’ve twice given me birth—in my mother’s womb and from above. I’m very thankful that the “governing authority” You’ve established here (Romans 13:1-3) contains a two-party system—a democracy, even if it’s a broken democracy, which allows for dialogue, debate and dissent. Selfishly, I’m very thankful I get to live in my America rather than the Apostle Paul’s Rome.
     That being said, Father, I need you to center and settle me this morning. As a citizen of heaven (Phil 3:20) and this country, help me know how to live and to love to your glory, in the midst of the current chaos and clamor about health care in our country. Forgive me… when I look to the horses, chariots and men of Congress, more so than to courts of heaven for my perspective and peace. It’s not who’s occupying the Oval Office, but Who’s occupying the throne of grace that really matters.
     Forgive me… when I spend more time being cynical and snide about government, rather than prayerful and engaged with the brokenhearted and the broken-bodied all around me. Health care is a good thing, a gospel thing. You are the Lord who heals (Exodus 15:26). By the wounds of your Son, Jesus, we are healed (Isa 53:5). You give gifts of healings, to and through your people (1 Cor. 12:9). A part of your kingdom agenda is the ultimate health care of the new heaven and new earth, when the leaves of the tree of life will provide healing for the nations (Rev. 22:2). Hasten that Day, Father, please, hasten that Day.
     But until that Day, and in light of that Day, keep us thinking with gospel-sanity… loving with Jesus’ compassion… serving with grace-full humility… and hoping with kingdom vision. So very Amen, I pray… we pray… in the name of our reigning and merciful King, Jesus.
(a prayer my uncle passed along to me.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jamie's shoulder...update

Well, he went to see the doctor a couple of weeks ago.  He has been having some weird thumping in his shoulder and the doctor is concerned about it.  He thinks one of the screws for the anchors is coming out of the bone.  Ugh!  So we are patiently waiting for workman's comp to approve an MRI.  We anticipate this taking a month.  In the meantime, he isn't even allowed to do any physical therapy.  Once the doctor can see if the screw is in place or not, we'll have to move on to the next step which could be to go back in for surgery to correct the problem. Please pray about this as Jamie is anxious to have this over with.  He started limited duty about a week and a half ago so, at least, he's keeping busy.

So, I guess it's safe to say that my husband has a screw loose. :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Happy Birthday!

I met Erika in 2000 while I was a dancer on a cruise ship in Alaska.  She was a fitness instructor.  She was also a Christian and so we instantly connected.  We attended a weekly Bible study at midnight on Tuesday nights with a group of beloved Filipino guys.  Erika and I spent many lunches at Starbuck's in Vancouver, hiking Skagway, we even took a helicopter tour to a glacier one day, KMart runs in Juneau, and you should see the old west picture we have together (there are other secret memories we have that are confidential-teehee!).  2 weeks before Brandon was born, I flew to Tulsa to be in her wedding.  About a year later, she was pregnant and miscarried at 5 weeks.  It was a terribly devastating time.  Since then, they adopted a little boy from Taiwan named Raphael (Jehovah Rapha means the Lord, my Healer).  I was able to see them when they were on a layover in L.A. on their way back home.  Erika has always been so dear to my heart and I treasure her so dearly.

I woke up this morning to a text from Erika letting me know that she was in labor (her hubby, Nick, was texting me from her phone) and about to deliver their precious daughter, Blythe.  I didn't realize the due date was 8 weeks away.  She was born this afternoon at 2:18 p.m.  Weighing 3 lbs, 6oz., 16 inches long.  She is in the NICU.  And Erika had to undergo an emergency surgery afterward.  Please pray for this precious family.  I will post a photo just as soon as I can.  This is a Jesus-loving family.  Please pray that Blythe will thrive and be able to be in her mommy's arms very soon.

Today is Blythe's birthday.  It is also my birthday.  Little Blythe is absolutely the most fantastic birthday present ever!
an update as of 3/29/10:
Blythe is off oxygen, though she will remain in NICU for an undetermined amount of time.  However, all things considered, she is doing well.  Pray for this little sweetie!
Erika & sweet Blythe

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My Bible

I have a pink Bible that I treasure with all my heart.  It is worn and written on and cried over just as the words I will copy below describe.  I can hardly open it because some pages are just too fragile to touch and entire sections fall out.  I have loved this Bible so deeply and it has brought me through the depths of heartbreak.

This is an excerpt from Beth Moore's Esther study that just touched my soul so deeply that I have to share them with you.  In fact, I may just pause at these words tonight and reflect on them, letting them melt into the depths of my heart.  What a treasure we have in that precious book that we hold so freely in our hands.  May that freedom never be taken from us.
From Beth Moore's Esther study, page 143.:

Author Patricia Raybon described a time when she sought the presence of God in a hospital chapel while her husband underwent life and death surgery.  "I picked up a Bible, I waited for that nice rush that comes from holding a worn, loved copy of the Scriptures.  Bibles like that have their own heat.  They've been prayed over, cried on, sung with, stroked and gripped and loved so hard they just emote-- just by being touched-- that human loam and steam and hope that faith gives off."
Don't miss the point by looking for the doctrine in it.  Steep yourself in the emotion.  Glance over at your Bible.  Think what you've been through with God in those pages.  Think of the hope, guidance, assurance, and affection you've sought.  Think how thankful you are that God wrote something you can hold to your chest, rocking back and forth, when your heart is shattered and your sight too blurred to read.  Every Bible is the Word of God, but with no ears to hear it, hearts to love it, or hands to warm themselves by the fire of it, man is tragically lost to it.
What beautiful words about the most beautiful Words ever written.  I think I will meditate tonight on how thankful I am that I have my precious Bible that God has spoken so often to me through and comforted me time and time again.  His Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

I Can Only Imagine

My sweet friend, Joyce, is still battling cancer.  In fact, she is in her third bout with it.  She just finished 3 weeks of radiation treatments for a tumor that had appeared on her spine.  We are waiting for the results of her latest tests to know what her current situation is.  

3 weeks ago, I was helping at the youth group and the youth band played "I Can Only Imagine," which always makes me think of Joyce since it is a dance Miriam has performed for a few years that she has loved so much.

I was overwhelmed with the thought of gathering together all Miriam dancers (past & present), the Youth Missions Club for Girls (which Joyce has supervised), and the children in the congregation whom Joyce has such a love for.   I wanted to see these groups come together to present a special gift of love through dance to Joyce.  I also thought it would be special to have the Undespised Youth (our youth group) band play the song as we dance it.  And I felt an urgency to put it together very quickly to be a surprise for Joyce.

I asked my Monday morning women's Bible study to pray about the idea and they loved it.  So, I sent an invitation to the dancers via email and text.  Almost everyone was available.  My pastor agreed that we should try it and do it as soon as possible, so I held a one-day/5-hour rehearsal Saturday, February 27th and we danced it the next morning at our Sunday church services.  Joyce was present at the 2nd service to see it.

I wasn't going to post this on my blog for the most ridiculous reasons: I am embarrassed that it isn't as polished as it would be had I had more time (no fault of the dancers- they are amazing to learn this so quickly and do such a marvelous job)...and the most silly reason, I am not as thin as I once was.  Ugh!   Why is that such a struggle!?  So please forgive me for not sharing with you earlier this God-blessed gift for our sweet Joyce because of my stupid vanity.  (I hope you don't mind my transparency in sharing this secret of my heart with you.  Maybe others will be encouraged to know that I struggle with my vanity and weight too!  I strive for contentment with my appearance.  I am God's work-in-progress.)

Ok, a funny part of this crazy Joyce-dancing week was that when I sent the mass email to the dancers...I ALSO SENT IT TO JOYCE!!!!  AAAAAAHH!  Of course, the instant I hit "send", I realized my enormous mistake.  So, I panicked, called Milo (Joyce's husband) immediately and begged him to chisel his way onto the computer and discreetly DELETE my email.  He, of course, got a great laugh at my expense...and deservedly so.  Haha!  So, needless to say, Milo was in on the whole thing and I'm glad he was because Joyce was not feeling well that Sunday morning and he practically dragged her to church because of the dance for her.

The video link is below.  You will see Joyce on the house right side dancing with her hands right along with us.  May we always "bear one another's burdens" and "edify the church", "giving to one another as they have need."

Please keep Milo and Joyce in prayer.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

a discouraged mom

I am on an unofficial Wholeheart (ministry of Sally & Clay Clarkson.  See www.wholeheart.org) yahoo group.  And I recently received an email from a girl who is discouraged.  I think most of us moms feel this way sometimes.  Thought I would share our correspondence.:

My name is Melinda. We are homeschooling our 3 boys 8, 7 & 5. Mostly I am delighted to be schooling them. I couldn't see it any other way. However, I noticed I'm feeling really discouraged in my choices lately. It seems as though every mother around me is homeschooling plus, meaning they are working part time at some other job. Or have 5 plus children and working outside the home would prove impossible.
We're not planning to have any addition children.
I'm needing to hear from mom's who have decided to make this job of mothering full-time and why they feel it's important. I feeling like I should be doing more, working other than schooling our children. Somehow on this journey I'm clouded up and can't see clearly right now, at one time in my life I was so sure that mothering and homemaking would be my purpose in life, no I'm not sure anymore. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Hi sweet Melinda!
Gosh!  Don't we all struggle with feeling like we aren't doing enough?  I do all the time.  And then I have to stop and remember that God fills in all the areas I miss with my kids.  I attend a Mom's group weekly where we go through Sally's books.  We were discussing this very subject a few weeks ago and a story Sally shared once came to mind.  She saw a scope & sequence and realized she hadn't taught the children what bodies of water were and so she started to beat herself up over it.  Then, she quizzed her kids to see if they knew.  They were so well-read that in their reading, they had learned about bodies of water.  Also, Sally shared at her last conference that she had to send Sarah and Joel off to take their SAT's and she knew she hadn't taught them all they needed to know for the test.  But God was there and they passed with flying colors.  We are all so inadequate.  But, God is our help.  His strength is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9-10)

I have 2 boys and can't have any more.  (Unless the Lord calls us to adoption...)  And I am a full-time, stay-at-home/homeschooling mom.  My boys are 4 & 5 so not as old as yours.  I struggled the first years of my boys life with feeling like I should be doing more with my life, that I should work, that I should do something other than look at the 4 walls of my house.  I used to call my life "Groundhog Day" because everyday was exactly the same and I was depressed.  But the Lord has transformed my perspective (Thanks to Sally) and now, I treasure my time at home with my boys and we are learning so much together.  I have found a new passion in schooling my boys and, for me personally, a deep passion and love for my country as we study our founders, the American Revolution, etc.  It is so cool how the Lord takes the mundane tasks of our days and starts to open ministry/generational opportunities from them.  God has a great plan for your life!  And shaping the hearts of your children is of utmost importance.  Don't be discouraged by what you see in others around you.  

Looking down depresses us.
Looking around distracts us.
Looking up delivers us.

(I know that isn't originally how I heard it but you get the gist. heehee!)

For me, right now, I feel so passionate and commissioned to raise godly children who love God, love our country, know the truth of our history and God's hand in it, and will grow into men who defend the truth, stand up for righteousness (especially in a culture that is plunging into despair, immorality, and selfishness), and love their own families one day.  They will learn all of that from me and my husband.  What a very important job we have!  Our children are the future leaders.  I hope you are encouraged at the incredible importance of your influence on your boys.  3 boys!  Awesome!  We need godly men.  And there you are, with 3 in your own home.  Keep on keepin' on, girl!  The enemy would love to discourage you because you have influence over the minds and hearts of these boys.  Bless you for staying home and serving them.  In that, you are serving HIM!!!!

I do hope you are feeling better, Melinda.  It is so hard being a mom...especially in a culture where we practically have to be Wonder Woman to be perceived "worthy".  Mom is the hardest job in the world.   And the most important!

Love you!