Monday, December 23, 2013

Norm

A card came today. It had only one name on it. I expected two.
One is no longer here. And I didn't visit them recently and I didn't know. And people don't live forever on this earth. Life is a vapor. Even if it's 90 years or more. It passes too quickly.

Norm Danielson is no longer here. And I'm sad about it.

I bought a 1990 Lincoln Continental from Norm in 1997 and he was a friend for life. Everytime I had car trouble (even with subsequent vehicles) he told me to come to his house and he would grab his cane and check my fluids and make sure that all was a-ok. Later, he would grab his walker and check my fluids and make sure everything was a-ok. And we would talk for an hour or more in his office.

He had three daughters and he always said to me everytime I saw him and everytime we spoke on the phone, “Kori, you are just like one of my girls.” There is no greater compliment in the world. I am thankful.

I tried to visit a couple of years ago but it was not an ideal time because Norm was in a wheelchair and the house was being renovated to accommodate his wheels. And I never was able to stop by and catch him after that. But I should have tried harder.

I always worried that Norm would die and I wouldn't know about it. And that's just what happened. Sweet Norm has been gone for a year. And I found out today. And I am sad.


I love this Norm Danielson, and am so thankful for his presence in my life.  

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Kindle.


Caught this in Springs in the Valleys today and it is the prayer and mission of my heart. 


"Thou thyself art…a light of them which are in darkness."
~Romans 2:19


We are kindled that we might kindle others.  I would like, if I might have my choice, to burn steadily down, with no guttering waste, and as I do so to communicate God's fire to as many unlit candles as possible, and to burn on steadily until the socket comes in view; then to light in the last flicker, twenty, thirty, or a hundred candles at once, so that as one expires they may begin burning and spreading light which shall shine until Jesus comes.


Let me burn out for Thee, dear Lord,
Burn and wear out for Thee;
Don't let me rust, or my life be
A failure, my God, to Thee.
Use me, and all I have, dear Lord,
And get me so close to Thee
That I feel the throb of the great heart of God,
Until I burn out for Thee.
(Bessie F. Thatcher)


~Springs in the Valleys,
Mrs. Charles E. Cowman,
December 18


The words of pilgrim William Bradford, the governor reelected 32 times to the Plymouth Plantation, come to mind:  "Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are; and, as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindles hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehovah have all the praise."


Yes.
Be this.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Thanksgiving…is never late.

I spoke for a Thanksgiving dinner at my church a couple of weeks ago and wanted so much to have some time to really think…  To think through Thanksgiving.  But, responsibilities, family, church, life keep me from any moments of deep thought, lately.  Honestly, some of the obstacles are my own wasted time.  Life is full and I am glad, but I never write and this blog is way unattended.  I guess my decision to address it now is futile.  After all, it is Christmastime.  I have a rehearsal in 45 minutes.   Life goes on.

I did have "posterity" on my heart and, as a result, had much to talk about regarding a generational perspective and the whole "it's not about you" issue, so all was well.

I danced this weekend for a local Christmas program at our community theater.  It was really enjoyable.  An honor to worship the One I love yet again.  Thank You, Lord, for the opportunity.  At least He is somewhat welcome at a Christmas show.

So, I back up a couple of weeks to Thanksgiving.  I read an article in AFA Journal titled "Blessed, or Spoiled?"  Enjoy: http://www.afajournal.org/2013/November/112013thankful.html

Some excerpts that specifically caught my attention.
"America's government has been consistent for well over 200 years.  In that time it has been tested and tried. Sometimes it has walked away from a situation with a black eye, but other times it has stood as tall as the Statue of Liberty."
"Freedom is one of the easiest blessings to take for granted.  Typically, one generation fights for it, the next treasures it.  The following abuses it, and the next loses it."  Guess which generation we are in.

And this:

10 blessings easy to overlook

• Clean water: 884 million people lack access to clean water.
• A bathroom: 40% of the world does not have a toilet.
• Electricity: 1.6 billion people live without any electricity.
• Shelter: 2.5 million in America are homeless and 640 million children worldwide do not have shelter.
• Food: 28% of children in developing countries are estimated to be underweight or have stunted growth.
• Your stove: 2.5 billion people use fuelwood, charcoal or animal dung to meet their energy needs.
• Regular income: Most of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.
• Education: Nearly 1 billion people cannot read a book or write their names.
• Health: 2.2 million children die each year because they are not immunized. Annually there are 300-500 million cases of malaria including 1 million fatalities.
• Freedom to worship God: More than 400 Christians die for their faith every day across the world.
From J. Lee Grady’s column “10 basic blessings you should be thankful for.” Read the full column at charismamag.com

This Christmas, my mom handed the boys a catalog from Compassion International and asked if she could get the boys something from there this year.  "For the cost of a Lego set you could buy a family clean water,"  Grammy said.  Si replied, "What's more important: plastic or life?"  Si chose water.  B chose a goat for milk.  I personally find this a hilariously appropriate choice since B's favorite thing in life is milk.  His favorite animal is a cow because they produce milk.  He's very practical.  ;)

I know.  Nothing mind-boggling or life changing.  I am out of practice on my writing.  But I like to record what is on my heart and mind and rarely have the time to do it.  Have a great week.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

noiseless clarity


"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee." ~Isaiah 26:3

O master, let me walk with Thee
In lowly paths of service free;
 Tell me Thy secret, help me bear
The strain of toil, the fret of care

In hope that sends a shining ray
Far down the future's broadening way,
In peace that only Thou canst give,
With Thee, O Master, let me live. 
~Maryton


I'm feeling in desperate need of finding my true north (again) today.
Life for me is spinning 'round and there's a weight on one side that is causing the balance to suffer and I'm on the verge of spinning chaotically out of control...if not for the subtle checks of the Holy Spirit.

The above verse and hymn are from the boys' devotion that I read to them every day (Leading Little Ones to God by Schoolland- though, it leads mommies to God oftentimes also.).  Part of the prayer today: "Help us to understand how wonderful it is to fill our minds with thoughts about You and Your Son Jesus."  Yes, Lord, help me to come back to center.


Streams in the Desert, Oct. 3

"And after the earthquake a fire; and after the fire a sound of gentle stillness." (1 Kings 19:12)

A soul, who made rapid progress in her understanding of the Lord, was once asked the secret of her easy advancement.  She replied tersely, "Mind the checks."  And the reason that many of us do not know and better understand Him is, we do not give heed to His gentle checks.  His delicate restraints and constraints.  His is a still, small voice.  A still voice can hardly be heard.  It must be felt: a steady, gentle pressure upon the heart and mind like the touch of a morning zephyr in one's heart, but if heeded growing noiselessly clear to your inner ear.  His voice is for the ear of love, and love is intent upon hearing even the faintest whispers.  There comes a time also when love ceases to speak if not responded to, or believed in.  He is love, and if you would know Him and His voice, give constant ear to His gentle touches.  In conversation, when about to utter some word, give heed to that gentle voice, mind the check and refrain from speech.  When about to pursue some course that seems all clear and right and there comes quietly to your spirit a suggestion that has in it the force almost of a conviction, give heed, even if changed plans seem highest folly from the standpoint of human wisdom.  Learn also to wait on God for the unfolding of His will.  Let God form your plans about everything in your mind and heart and then let Him execute them.  Do not possess any wisdom of your own.  (Emphasis mine.)

Oh, how I appreciate the gentle checks and am so thankful for those rather than the humiliating, harsh discipline of rebellion.  My heart is to rebel, of course, because its default is that it is deceitfully wicked; but my heart renewed in Christ is to not rebel against Him, but to please Him...in all I do.  Awash in politics and current events - a place where I feel called - I often overwhelm myself by focusing and dwelling too much there.  And it is in these times - when the spinning top is swirling off-balance and is about to tip on its side and roll erratically this way and that, difficult to catch before it falls of the ledge - that God blows a gentle zephyr to cause pause.  In this pause, I realize my focus is off.

The whole purpose of my calling is to bring him glory, to win souls, not to win the argument.  Yes, I want to be true and right, but for what purpose?  It is this I must keep my sights on.  I must keep my eyes on the goal...and not be distracted by worldly pursuits of admiration, putting another "in their place," and just making myself look good.  "Do not possess any wisdom of your own."  Let everything be His.

I do love Him, and am so glad to know that I do.  I know this because I do hear the "noiseless clarity" of His checks.  It is surprising to me, because so often I feel like I am running heedlessly in my own wild direction; but there is a divine sensitivity within me that senses when things are going awry.  He is gentle.  He is love.  He does not wish us to be humiliated, but to be gently reminded.  My job is obedience.  This is His greatest desire of me.

My works will get me nowhere.  But my obedience to Him is key.

"You are My friends if you do whatever I command you." (Jn. 15:14)

"Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord:  Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams." (1 Sam. 15:22)

"With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the High God: Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?  Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, ten thousand rivers of oil?  Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?  He has shown you , O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?"

My ministry, my calling, my work - these things become idols when not checked.  They become idols to me.  And so His gentle checks come.  Obedience more than the sacrifice of time spent proclaiming truth; more than fighting, fighting, fighting for righteousness in the nation.  He does not NEED me.  He WANTS me and let's me serve Him.  But I am not necessary.  His will will be done in spite of whether I am involved or not:

"For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place..." (Est. 4:14)

"The she sent and called for Barak and said to him, 'Has not the Lord God of Israel commanded, "go and deploy troops at Mount Tabor; take with you ten thousand men of the sons of Naphtali and of the sons of Zebulun; and against you I will deploy Sisera, the commander of Jabin's army with his chariots and his multitude at the River Kishon; and I will deliver him into your hand.'  And Barak said to her, 'If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go!'  So she said, "I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.' Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh.  (Jdg. 4:6-9)

He can and will use anybody.  If it's not me, then someone else.  I am dispensable.  But, I choose to not pass the buck, but to do my duty...so long as I can allow it to not become idolatry.


I know this is not the first time this imbalance has occurred in me.  I cycle through this all the time.  Ever since I took on politics and public policy, I find this.  A desire for my knowledge to be current.  A desire for politicians to stand for what is right and what is Constitutional.  A desire to urge others to do their part.  It becomes obsessive.  And when that occurs, God sends His subtle checks.  If only I could live in the balance and not swing so far to worldly extremes and overwhelming politics.

Father, help me.  And thank You for your gentle, quiet voice that beckons me to return to you and to rest.  "The world is too much with you, My child.  Your mind leaps from problem to problem to problem, tangling your thoughts in anxious knots." (Jesus Calling, May 25)  Yes, it does.

"Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Php. 4:6)

It really is that simple.  Here it is.  Clear.  Concise.  Am I anxious?  Then lay my anxieties before Him.  Then, peace will come and it will guard my heart and mind...the very things that are off-balance.

Obedience solves everything.  I keep telling my kids that.  This child needs to recognize her own disobedience.

The Presidential Oath of Office


Regarding the presidential oath of office:

Q:  What is an oath?

A:  It is a solemn calling upon God, who knows the hearts of all men, and will call every man to account for his conduct in this world, to bear witness that what a man says is true, or that what he promises he means to perform.

Q:  What is the President's oath of office?

A:  It is in these words ---  "I do solemnly swear, that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States; and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

~Elementary Catechism on the Constitution of the United States for the use of schools, by Arthur J. Stansbury, 1828

_____________


Thursday, August 8, 2013

"Controversy for its own sake is a sin;
Controversy for the sake of truth is a divine mandate." 
~Walter Martin


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A few great quotes in my life the past couple of days:


"No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size.  Government programs, once launched, never disappear.  Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" ~Reagan

"...before a moral society can arrive at depravity, it must first travel through absurdity.  We are certainly at absurdity now." ~Michael Kasper

Charity, Economics, and the Bible

The following post is in collaboration with Mark Ross at The Original Republican.  Enjoy.  And comment below if you'd like.
______________________________________________

Being an American, and having grown up in our predominantly Capitalist country, I have never really had the occasion to ponder economics as it related to my faith. I had always worked, gone to church, and, for the most part, like millions of other Americans, have taken for granted the economic system that we have grown up with.

 It wasn't until a few years ago that I began hearing some fellow Americans citing Biblical verses in a manner that was tacitly, if not explicitly, promoting Socialism and Communism. For a Christian person, like myself, who has always cherished the freedoms we have had in this country, and felt blessed for the standard of living that we have had in this country, it is beyond disconcerting.

 Over the last year or so, I have had some informal conversations with some fellow Christian friends, in regards to this subject; but, for some reason, over the last few months, I have felt compelled to make an attempt to try to truly understand God's true intentions, as written in The Bible, in regards to how Christians should be conducting themselves, economically, charitably etc.

 Recently, I began discussing economics with my fellow Christian friend Kori, as it related to our faith. In the past, myself and Kori have collaborated on the subject of Christianity and Marriage, which, with her permission, ended up as an insightful post on this site; and, to which we were fortunate enough to have many great comments. Since she did such a wonderful job at researching Scripture, and Biblical history, in regards to that subject, I was inclined to ask her to collaborate, once again, with me, on this subject.

 With Kori's permission, I would like to share her recent e-mail correspondence to me:

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Theme of our culture...withdraw yourself

Theme of our culture:
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from truth, and be turned aside to fables."  (2 Tim. 4:3-4)

False teachers beware:
"My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment." (James 3:1)
God does not take lightly the leading astray and deceiving of His own.

Matthew 18:6 - "But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea."

We must wisely, carefully, and with all truth impart the Word of God.  ALL of it is true...or none of it is.  We can't pick and choose what we like to "tickle our itching ears" and make us feel good about our sin.  There are many churches that are more concerned with being "user friendly" than true.  "If anyone teaches otherwise...  From such withdraw yourself."  (1 Tim. 6:3-6)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pray about the Prop 8 Supreme Court Ruling tomorrow

Hello Pray-ers,

Tomorrow is the very important decision on what kind of "marriage" is Constitutional according to the Supreme Court.

From CWA LAC:
"Make no mistake: YOU will be forced to choose between keeping your religious beliefs or supporting 'gay rights.'  TOMORROW the Supreme Court rules on constitutional marriage.  Please pray for the laws being made in our country.

Please be in fervent prayer today and tonight as this ruling is handed down.
And pray sincerely for marriages all over th world that reflect the marriage of the church to the eternal Bridegroom.  The mystery of marriage is that it is a picture of Christ and the church.
Join me in prayer!



"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him; for the marriage of the Lam is come, and His wife has made herself ready.  Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb...these are the true sayings of God...worship God." (Rev. 19:7-10)

We are a selfish, disobedient, debased people.  Please, God, intervene in our laws and make things right.  Much more - intervene in our hearts and make things right.

God's kingdom will come to earth as it is in Heaven!  Come quickly, Lord Jesus!  Rescue us from these bodies of death.


Monday, June 17, 2013

"The founders of Harvard got it right when they crafted their 'Rules and Precepts' in the early 1640's: 'Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life...and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.'"
~Zan Tyler, home school pioneer

Really, nothing else in life is nearly as important as securing your eternal destiny. EVERYONE will live forever. Where will you spend it? 

"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." ~Jesus (John 14:6)

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Man Called Peter






“I suggest to you that America needs a prophet today.  A prophet who will set before the nation the essential choices.  In the words of that great poet and the essayist J. B. Holland: ‘God give us men - men whom the lust of office does not kill, men whom the spoils of office can not buy, men who possess opinions and the will, men who have honor, men who will not lie, men who can stand before a demagogue and damn his treacherous flatteries without winking.  Tall men...who live above the fog in public duty and in private thinking.’
Millions of people in America live in moral fogs.   They move in a sort of spiritual twilight, modified immorality.  Modified dishonesty is the practice of millions more.  Surely the time has come for us to be honest about it.  If we have thrown away our national heritage... If we no longer believe that this nation was founded under God...  If, contrary to what is stamped upon our coins, our trust is not in God but in Baal...  Let us say so.  Let us, at least, not be hypocrites.  
Yes, like the ancient Hebrew nation, America needs a prophet like an Elijah... a prophet who will have the ear of America and will say to her now, ‘If the Lord be God then follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him, and go to hell!”  
~Dr. Peter Marshall

not really a p.c. sermon.  Preach it, Marshall!  and this was back in 1950-ish.  

The book, "A Man Called Peter" and movie by the same title are something to get your hands on.  The movie is available on Netflix. fyi.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Real Patriots in my heritage!

My recently-retired, darling Aunt Toby is taking on a new hobby: Ancestry research.

Apparently, my sixth great grandfather on my Grandpa McClain's side, John Drury Ledbetter, served in the 6th Virginia Regiment in the Revolutionary War.




This makes me (and all the women in my family) eligible to be a member of Daughters of the America Revolution.
Not sure that I will pursue that.  I am still researching it.  



Also, this fun find today:

"193 years before the Kori's birth, Colonel Arthur Forbis from Philladelphia, husband of 5th great grandmother Elizabeth Wiley (on the McClain side), was gravely wound during the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Guilford_Court_HouseHe died on March 15, 1781 [my birthday]
Elizabeth found him on the battleground. Upon his death, she applied for state aid was awarded 25 barrels of corn.She then married Arthur's brother Major John Forbis also a soldier in the Revolutionary War.
So that makes three patriots so far on Dad's side of the family."



Anyway, fun for me.  I feel like a revolutionary princess. :)  Very proud to have had family that served in securing the independence of this great nation.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

a gentle tongue breaks a bone



A fellow Christian friend recently exhorted me to take to heart Philippians 4:8.

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things.”

I took it a bit like a slap in the face.  I don’t know her very well and she certainly doesn’t know me.  As one who takes exhortation seriously, I started to question my life.  Well, not my life, really.  But politics.  Politics may be true, not very often noble, rarely pure, definitely not lovely, of good report? please!, virtuous... a few politicians might be, praiseworthy - well, I’ll lump that in with those few virtuous politicians.

So, am I wrong to walk this path I just spent a good deal of time just last week confirming that God actually does have me on?  Am I bipolar?  Is God?  Does He or doesn’t He want me talking politics and exposing truth?  Am I to be the watchman or not?  Because, seriously, I really don’t want anyone’s blood on my head. (See previous post.)  And how did prophets of old settle this?  Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah?

Wait, it doesn’t say “think about this stuff only and never think of anything else”, it says “...MEDITATE on these things.” (emphasis mine.) 
Oh!  Well, that I can do!

It did cause me to rethink this thing that can often take over my life.  I get so wrapped up in the drama and injustices of this world that it quickly evolves into meditating.  Well, my exhorter would be right.  I ought not to dwell on the ugly, but instead the true, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, praiseworthy things.  Which is probably why every once in a while I have to seriously detox from politics.  I haven’t quite figured out how to not begin to drown in the horrid stuff.

One particular day in the not-so-distant-past, I had been especially vocal about the woes of American politics (I mean, really, have you ever seen so much darn corruption in this nation?  Ever?!) and I was just wiped out.  I felt like I had been assaulting all of Facebook.  And the Lord just quieted my heart and said, “A gentle answer turns away wrath.”  Ok.  yes.  Time to pause.  Then, I click over to Sally Clarkson’s blog which basically cut my heart out. (http://www.itakejoy.com/standard-of-christian-conduct-for-facebook/)

After getting these not-so-gentle little messages, I spent a day in silence.  Here’s something about me.  When I am criticized (and please don’t take this as an invitation to do so), I actually take it to heart.  I grieve over it.  Whether it is a correct or incorrect criticism.  I go through some serious introspection...because more than anything in life, I want to be in the very center of God’s will.  Am I that way? Is it right to be that way?  How come I’m that way?  Everybody hates me and I want everyone to love me.  I’m a failure and I suck!  O Lord, I give up.  It’s just too hard.  Ok, I don’t give up because I can’t.  But God I love people and I want them to love me.  Why can’t everyone just love me and I can live that fluffy life everyone prefers?  Oh, that’s right.  I’m to please you and not men.  I want to please you and not men.  Help me to please you and not men.  And why am I such a freak?  (Really, you so don’t want to be me!!  There’s something wrong in the head here.)

About the same day as I was wondering why in the world I’m commanded to think only of fluffy things and yet am clearly called to expose the yuck (and the occasional, very rare happy story), I spoke with a precious sister who genuinely knows my heart.  She said, “Oh you just have to read the May 25th entry of Jesus Calling.”  So, on my ponderous, silent day, I did.

I’m quiet.  I’m reflective.  I’m sad that I can’t figure out how to pursue this calling correctly...it seems.  So, I pull out Jesus Calling, turn to May 25, and read:

“The world is too much with you, My child.  Your mind leaps from problem to problem to problem, tangling your thoughts in anxious knots.  When you think like that, you leave Me out of your worldview and your mind becomes darkened.  Though, I yearn to help, I will not violate your freedom.  I stand silently in the background of your mind, waiting for you to remember that I am with you.
When you turn from your problems to My Presence, your load is immediately lighter. Circumstances may not have changed, but we carry your burdens together.  Your compulsion to ‘fix’ everything gives way to deep, satisfying connection with Me. Together we can handle whatever this day brings.”

And for good measure, since this was on June 5th, I went ahead an peeked at that entry of Jesus Calling also:

“Remember that you live in a fallen world: an abnormal world tainted by sin.  Much frustrations and failure result from your seeking perfection in this life.  There is nothing perfect in this world except Me...
I have planted longing for perfection in every human heart.  This is a good desire which I alone can fulfill...”

I quickly texted my friend:
“Just read May 25 of Jesus Calling like you recommended.  Soooo good!  Exactly how I feel... And today’s - about the longing for perfection in our hearts.  So apt.  I want God’s perfect kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.  Such a drive of my heart.  Just wanted to thank you for sharing, for praying, for being gentle with me.  Love you!”

So, here I’m noticing that there’s a theme, right?
I went back through Facebook posts and I don’t see any overt harshness or unloving-ness.   I am driven by love --- in obedience to my Savior and for my precious children who have a very grim future ahead of them.
But, I realize (as if this were some new revelation) that whether or not it sounds loving, I need it to actually BE loving...to a lost and hopelessly deceived world.  In reality, deep in my heart...90% of the time - I’m just frustrated with willful ignorance, irritated that people just keep on with the status quo, ticked off that we are being so audaciously abused by our own government, and fed up that so many just want someone else to do something about it while they sit on their patooties assuming everything is going to come up roses without lifting a finger to ensure it.   As true as all these things may be, the approach is everything and the heart behind it is what God is concerned with.  

“By long forbearance a ruler is persuaded, and a gentle tongue breaks a bone.” (Pr. 25:16)

“The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly.” (Pr. 15:2a)

And, not coincidentally, my Bible study happened to be in 1 Samuel 25 about the patient forbearance, wisdom, tact and couth of Abigail.

“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, an without hypocrisy.” (Jas. 3:17)

I want to and will apply this, and change, and do this right...even if it’s noticed only within my own heart’s attitude.  I want to use knowledge rightly.  I want to have patient forbearance and a gentle tongue...even when the truth is not in any way gentle.  I think unpleasantness is no reason to shy away from truth, but I hope to deliver it in a way that pleases the Lord.


(Pr. 15:1; Gal. 1:10)

Sunday, June 2, 2013

I'm blowing the trumpet




“Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, speak to the children of your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head.  He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself.  But he who takes warning will save his life.  But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.” ~Ezekiel 33:1-6 

I see the sword coming and I WILL blow the trumpet.  I will blow it loud and long.


I read this passage to my husband this morning and he said, “Not everyone is a watchman, but for those that are, they must not be silent.”  yes.


You can either heed or not, but I will not let the willful ignorance of others be upon my head.  I warned, I shouted, I frustrated, I annoyed, I irritated.  Will anyone heed?


Some are down on me because I do not live a fluffy, cotton candy, ice cream cone life.  I have a calling.  It is mine.  It is not everyone’s, and that is fine.  But I will not veer from what the Lord has called me to.  I may be many things, but I am obedient and hope I will ever be, no matter the discomfort. And I will do my best not to rob others of the blessing of fulfilling their own calling.

"But you be watchful in all things, 
endure afflictions, 
do the work of an evangelist, 
fulfill your ministry."
~2 Timothy 4:5
(emphasis mine)


Wisdom calls out in to the streets.  But few listen.  Few heed.
We call the truth ‘fables.’  We tickle our itching ears.  We ignore reality.  We proclaim that the emperor has glorious robes, when we can plainly see he is naked.


I’m sorry if my message isn’t liked.  I would rather tell you cotton candy, fluffy, ice cream cone things because they are pleasant and positive.  That is actually more my personality.  I would rather dance through life with a happy face and no worries.  It would be easier to hide my head in the sand and pretend everything is honky dory.  I would rather people like me than scare them half to death with the truth.  But, I have to do what I have to do.  I do it because Something drives me to and I must.  I do it because I love this country.  I love the freedom God created for us.  We were born to be free!  Stand up and claim your freedom.  Fight for it!  Don’t let oppression come knocking at your door and mine because it was just too hard or unpleasant to stand for something.  


I do understand that we are free even if we are slaves in this world.  I get it.  But I will choose to be free in Christ AND a free American...as much as it depends on me.  And I will choose freedom for my children and their children and their children...and YOUR children.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” ~Reagan

So, please, heed for God’s sake. 

I spoke with CWA field director the other day and one of her statements was: “We are here to preach to the choir.”  2 Chronicles 7:14 calls HIS PEOPLE - not the unbelieving world - to humble themselves, pray, seek His face, turn from their wicked ways.  Church, please do what is right in the Lord and not according to your own opinion/preference and wild interpretations of the clear truths of scripture.  I beg you to walk straight.  I beg you to immerse yourself in His perfect Word, and know it extremely well.  I beg you to seek His face and pray.  I beg you to purge all ugliness and sin from your life.  It is up to us, the church.  And if we fail, then the land fails. This nation fails.  And yes, God is ever sovereign.  Israel was warned time and time again to turn to God to save their nation.  And when they did, the nation was spared.  But when they refused, it was awful...terrible.  The people of Israel turned to cannibalism for their stubbornness to obey God.  Please!  Don’t bring a horrible fate upon this nation.  


Oh, I am not anywhere near perfect.  I never, never see myself as such.  Every time I am criticized by one of you, it tears me apart and I have to search, search, search my heart and I always, always find deceit and wickedness in me.  I am worse than you know!  My heart is deceitfully wicked!  But you must know that, though, I often am frustrated at the willful ignorance of people who have the truth at their fingertips, and though I often am outraged at what I see going on around us; my heart is ever driven toward righteousness.  My heart is for God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.  My heart is for protecting my children!  I know I often sound unloving...and honestly, sometimes I AM unloving.  There is NOTHING good in me except Jesus.  Anything good, everything good comes from Him.
I often say I am like a Mack truck with information and truth, and I slap a bumper sticker on the back that says, “love ya!”       Know me.  Know my heart to please God above all.  To please Him more than men.  And know that I want to know how to truly speak the truth in love.  I want to truly love - not just obediently but emotionally too.  ...with the fluffies, cotton candy, and ice cream cones.  I don’t very often. But please know it is my prayer nearly every day to truly love from the heart and not just be assaulting people with truth and information.  If you want to pray for me... Pray that I will truly, deeply love - the kind of love that Jesus has for the lost.  A kind, compassionate, merciful, warm love.  Pray I will balance well this love of country with a deep and uncompromising love of God.  For I truly want to do both and I know there must be a way to settle the two together.  I don’t want to separate “church and state” in my heart.  They must live there together and co-exist because I am called to love both; though, clearly one takes severe precedence over the other.



Thank you for caring for me.  I don’t have any idea why you do.  Because I am not always pleasant and gentle.  I just am so thankful for those of you who truly know my heart - and love me, freakiness and all.  

Have a truly blessed and great week.  May we forever be free in God AND country.




Proverbs 8:1-11; 2 Timothy 4:2-5

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

rushed


I’m a rush of nothing and everything.  educate, wash the laundry, hang the laundry, dust, vacuum, read, get distracted online, spend too much time online, remember to plan dinner, forget to plan dinner, I hate making dinner. Take down the laundry, “clean up the room”, I need to vacuum the floor, “pick up your toys so I can vacuum the floor”, wash my hair, it’s too late to wash my hair.
Why do I feel like life is passing me by and I am totally missing it?  Will my kids look back and see an absent mom?  I didn’t play enough.  I didn’t laugh enough.  I wanted to change the world too much.  Is everything I pursue in vain?  I want to help with this and that.  I want to focus completely on my family and nothing else.  Because the other things take me from them.  But I feel a driving force behind me, pushing me to speak, to truth, to change, to hope, to despair, to words that seem to go unheeded.
Put down the phone.
Turn off the computer.
Make lists and get to them when I get to them.
Light a candle.
Play some music.
Go for a walk.
Breathe.
Read.  Really read. 
Smile.
Laugh.
Breathe.
Make a dang meal.  It won’t kill you.
Enjoy the cardboard village that invades these walls.
Accept that the world is falling apart.  Yes, God knows about it.  No, I won’t save it all by myself.  But I can do what is right for me, for my family, according to the truth of God’s word.
Relax.  It’s all in His plan.  
Do not turn to the right or the left, but hear that voice behind me that says, “this is the way; walk in it.”  And have peace.
Pause.
Breathe.
Search Him.
Yield.
Obey.
Love deep and full and for real...no matter what.




Saturday, May 25, 2013


Yesterday evening, I worked at my clothesline quietly, praying that my mind, heart, life wouldn’t be such a jumble.    Crying for a break.  I am so driven to inform people of truth and so exhausted of it.  I wonder so often if I am just shouting into the streets to deaf, annoyed ears.  I love facebook.  I hate facebook.  It drains the life out of me, distracts me terribly because I am so darn distractable, wears me out.  I hate it more than I like it.  I am addicted to it.  I prayed last night that if the Lord told me to walk away, I just would.  I want to yield, always yield.
This morning, my CWA director called to ask me if I would take over her job as CWA Area Director for Southern California.  I am a magnet for stuff like this.  She told me that I came to mind easily because I’m basically already doing the job since I am so politically vocal on facebook and such.  In addition, I would need to spend about an hour a month collecting monthly reports and passing them along to the Field Office and that’s basically it.  I, of course, can lobby, add more Prayer Action Leaders, plan events, etc., but only if I want to.  A perk is that CWA pays my way to their every-other-year training conferences usually in D.C.
I was listening to Gregg Harris on my iPod yesterday talk about his “Seasons of Life” philosophy.  Statesmen are those in the latter phase of life.  How old was Deborah?  How old was David?  I don’t know, but it’s worth finding out.  This, according to his ideas, is my homemaking time of life...and boy isn’t it?  I have enough on my plate raising two boys, and trying and failing to be attentive to my husband.
I mentioned it to Jamie and he seems to think the CWA thing is a good fit for me.  And thinks it’s an answer to yesterday’s facebook prayer.  And that if my biggest issue is that I’m frustrated that no one is listening to me, then so what?  It’s not like I’m truly suffering.
True.
“Do not grow weary in doing good.”
My heart is in setting this country right side up.  And I do not want half-hearted no-one-else-will-do-it obligations to take me from that unless God ordains it.  
So, I’m praying.  And hoping I can get my life together.  I’ve been so tired and such a homebody.  Unmotivated to move and be out and about.  Odd for me.  I’m hoping it is just a passing phase.  And trying not to succumb to the “a body at rest stays at rest” science.
Activating my mind toward U.S. history & politics makes me alive.  So crazy and geeky, I know.  Who would ever have imagined? 
I/We also need to come to some sort of decision about Expo and whether or not we will continue to help as Exhibitor Coordinators.  I just don’t know.   

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Duty, Obedience



Life is not about me.  But I don’t live like that.  I live selfishly and vainly.  I want a nap.  I want my time. I want my will.
I am scatterbrained and unorganized and I don’t often use my time well.
I am tired and I want to do what I want to do.
I want to write.  I want to speak about the injustices of planet earth.  I want to expose the dangers in America.  I want truth.  I want to dance.  I want to educate my children well.  I want to read.
But I’m needed to plan events, to serve, to fulfill my role as this or that.  
George Washington.  
Today, I felt/feel so unsettled in life.  I love my life, but I don’t think I embrace it as I should.  I don’t think I enjoy it as I should.  I fear that I will look back on it and think it wasn’t a happy life, but instead a life full of people-need-me-to-do-this-and-that.  And then I thought, well, George Washington wanted to farm and live cozy at Mount Vernon, but he was hardly able to.  Duty called.  He obeyed.  But there is a rest forever in heaven for him and for all who enter His rest.  So what if this life isn’t all about what my ambitions and desires are?  Obey and do right.
I don’t often do right, I think.  I get consumed with the affairs of this world - with politics, with government.  I feel off-balance.  I want to turn off Facebook forever.  I want someone else to take on the affairs of this world, so I can read and have fun with my kids and keep my house clean and be fluffy and bubbly and fun.  But I am compelled by something deeper to speak, to shout, to expose truth.  
Gregg Harris has been sharing his message “Seasons of Life.”  I ought not to comment on it since I haven’t actually heard it in its entirety.  But what I have heard, I often think about.  As the church body, we all ought to be using our gifts to serve one another.  But many are not serving at all.  And those who are are trying to fill every need the church has.  Gregg Harris says that our life is about seasons: 1. the disciple/student phase, 2. the raising a family/homemaking phase, 3. the grandparent phase, 4. the pastoral phase, 5. the statesman phase.  But it seems that most are reaching the grandparent/retirement years, shirking all responsibility, RV-ing and golfing and leaving the world to be run and solved by those who ought to be focusing on their families.  But since they don’t lead in their churches or in government, the Sarah Palins of the world are having to step up and step in.  I have been asked 4 times to run for the local school board.  I don’t want to.  But if no other common sense person will do it, must I?  Where are the leaders?  Where is duty?  If people of sanity don’t fill these roles, this nation will not improve but will only follow its path over the edge.
It is no wonder New Jersey legalized assisted suicide yesterday.  We reach retirement age, we check out of life and all that matters, and we wonder why we’re not worth anything at the end of it.  It’s no wonder the value of the lives of the elderly is beginning to be looked at as nothing and disposable.  But God knows the number of our days.  He has a plan and purpose for each one.  We ought to live like it.  


This world exhausts me



Tornadoes, the compromising/borderline heretical church, illegals that are given privilege, good and decent families deported for no reason, government scams and cover-ups and lies, the killing of a million unborn and innocent babies every year (3000 today)...
Oh, this world is not my home.
When I am overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.
For the sufferings of this world are not worthy to be compared to the glory that will be revealed in us.
Jesus, Abba - I love Your Word.  It is life and peace and truth.  An anchor for my anxious heart.

Praying for Moore, OK, today.  The devastation from its tornado is challenging to comprehend.  But I love seeing the stories of miracles and kind-hearted Americans and Christians and churches who are desperate to help.  I want to help and I want to raise helpers.  To be people that run into danger when everyone is running out - all for the sake of one who might be saved.  To be people who swiftly and tirelessly move and dig and uncover so that a frightened one can see light, can have hope, can live.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

P.R.A.Y.

It seems blogs are hard to fit into my schedule these days.
In truth, they've always been hard to fit into my schedule.  But I do like to write when there's time.  I wonder if that will be in 10 years...when little boys are gone and I'm trying to fill hours previously occupied by book reading, math teaching, history devouring, and just kid learning in general.  It's ok.  I have many ambitions.  But am learning that I must prioritize those ambitions alongside the things I am obligated to, and maybe the extras will fit in later.

So, I've had these thoughts jotted down on my to-do list for at least two months.  Oh well.  Sooner or later it hits the old blog.

I enjoyed the pleasure of dancing at The Rock in San Diego in December for an event their women's ministry was putting on.  A woman spoke and, though I can't remember her name, I do remember her heart.  One of the many valuable nuggets she mentioned was a very practical tool that she suggested to us.

P.R.A.Y.

Sometimes we get so busy and so overwhelmed but it only takes a couple of minutes to P.R.A.Y.

And, though I do usually have the chance to study the Bible most mornings, I have decided to apply P.R.A.Y. to my almost-daily clothes-hanging time.

Jamie got me a cute clothesline a few months ago and boy, do I love it!!  I feel like I'm channelling my darling Grandma.  Weird, I know.  But really I do love it.  It forces me outside for at least 10-15 minutes a day (and usually motivates me to be out there more) where I can listen to the birds sing, the wind blow, the few words of walkers and bike-riders as they pass by, the dogs barking, today it was the unpleasant yelling of a distant neighbor (not my fave), but overall it is a pleasant-to-the-ear time.  I love, in this season, that I can immerse myself in the smell of the orange and grapefruit blossoms...absolutely my favorite aroma on earth.  And I love that for a few minutes a day, I can breathe and slow down...because hanging clothes and folding them takes time and can't be rushed and must be done.  So I allow myself... no, I force myself to pause.  And during that pause I P.R.A.Y. -  just like that darling lady at The Rock suggested.

Praise God for His goodness.
Repent of my recent sins and misbehaviors.
Ask those things which my heart desires.
Yield to His will even if it's not what I thought I wanted; knowing that He is good always.

This only takes a few minutes and I have enjoyed this (somewhat) regularly scheduled time where I converse with God.

You know what I've noticed, though?
Every day I have to repent of something.  Every.single.day.  Really?  I realized this after about a week or so of daily repenting.  I went out there one day and I thought, "Maybe today I have nothing to repent of." And about 1.5 seconds later I realized I did have something to repent of.  And it's pretty much been like that every day.  ...except now I'm not surprised.  I always say something I shouldn't have.  Or had a bad attitude toward a member of my family.  Or should have exerted more energy and attention into this or that. Or, or, or.  Ho hum.  "The heart is deceitfully wicked.  Who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9)  "For we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23)
Don't I know it?  I fall short every single day.

"Purify me from my sins, 
and I will be clean; 
Wash me, and I will be
whiter than snow.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
and make me willing to obey You."
~Psalm 51:7,12

It's such a bummer to be convicted.  All I want is to feel free, clean, and not bear the weight of even my smallest and most unintentional sin.  And so we lay these at His feet.  He takes it.  We may have to make it right within our own earthly relationships, but He is faithful and just to forgive us of ours ins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Anyway, I thought that maybe I might not be the only one who has something to repent of every day.  And thought I'd mention the easy practice of P.R.A.Y.ing.

God bless you,