Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Unsettled and a Talking Donkey

If I were asked to describe my life in one and only one word right now, it would be "unsettled." And that seems crazy to me. The choice for my life-partner was determined a loooooong time ago (longer than either of us knew) and has been confirmed many times over (Whew! Thank you, God, for him; he's wonderful). The decision to have kids, as well as how many, has been settled for awhile now (unless God has some plans I don't know about yet--look at Lysa TerKeurst, for Pete's sake!). We live in a community we love with wonderful Christian influence. We seek God's promptings in living out His will for our lives. These are things I'm sure about, so why do I feel unsettled?

Enter Brittanie D. She is at a different life phase than I am, and yet when I read her blog last night I could sooo identify with it. I think we all can. In fact, I believe we'll all probably continue to have seasons of "unsettledness" because God can use them so powerfully to mold and shape us. Those are our pruning times.

If you want to be blessed, click on Brittanie's link over there ---->
and read her posting entitled "God's Favorite Verbs." It's as deep and inspiring and beautiful as she is. (Love ya, Brit!)

In another handing out of "props" (did you have any idea how widely anticipated and highly coveted the Kathy's Blog Awards are? Riiiiiiight....)...
Major props go out to our brother Denn-I for being the first estrogen-challenged participant in our little blog community. Wooo Hoooo! Da blog----->

And if this posting doesn't seem void of unity enough or is quite disjointed or unsettled enough for you, I could write about Balaam's talking donkey in today's RTBIAY readings. My study Bible suggests the use of the animal makes sense in light of Balaam's pagan animal divination, and it's ironic that the donkey could see what was spiritually right, while its owner could not. I LOVE that God chose to talk through a donkey! How infinite is He? And I love that he chooses the tools to talk to us that are unique to our circumstances.

Ya know, I don't feel quite so unsettled anymore. :-)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Ditty

Attribute it to cabin fever after being snow-bound for two days, or just the crazy spirit of Valentine's love, but the kiddos and I have created a little Valentine's song. To fully enjoy this you must grab two or three people you love and belt it out at the top of your lungs. Presenting...

Cupid, The Diapered Archer

(Sung to the tune of Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer)

Cupid, the diapered archer, had a pair of rosy cheeks,
And if you ever saw him, your love life might get some tweaks.
All of his love-filled arrows, flying through the chilly air,
Might really hit their target, and then your heart you'll have to share!

Then that cupid, he'll look around, and see who you might match.
And when he sets his sights on him (or her), you're gonna have your catch.

Ooooooo (dramatically draw out with flair) oooooh, Cupid the diapered archer, hit his targets fair and square.
And on this Valentine's Day, (dramatically slow and crescendo) he's... made... a... rather... pair!

Ske-be-bop, skooby-de-bop, He's made a rather lovely pair!!!

Wasn't that fun? Bet you didn't know we could skat! Oh, yeah!
(My apologies to people who know true musical direction.)


Happy Valentine's Day! We love you!!!

Friday, February 9, 2007

The Power of Speakin' It

It has come up in a few different Sunday school classes and in varied snippets of conversation: the power that comes from speaking the Word into our lives. In yesterday's scripture reading, John 6:63 brought that concept to mind again. "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life." Life, spirit, word... Life from the spirit in the word. Bruthas and sistas, hang on to your have got to check out the following link. If you don't have a good ten to fifteen minutes, do it later because you'll want to absorb it. The very end was a powerful reminder to me that even praying before meals can significantly impact us. Father, I praise you for the Power in speaking the Word! Guide me to tap into that which you freely give. By the power in the Name of Jesus, Amen.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Mirror, Mirror

We were talking in Sunday school yesterday about how cool it is that for several weeks in a row now, the lesson we've had in class has mirrored the sermon. Nonbelievers would say, "Yeah, that's quite a coincidence." We say, "God must really be trying to get our attention by orchestrating it this way." I LOVE when He does that.

A similar "mirroring" incident caught my attention between another message at church yesterday and our RTBIAY readings. A quote from the elder's meditation resonated with me: "God wants our whole heart and our obedience." Ah, yes. An excellent message for 21st century folks like ourselves, right?

But check out how closely that actually reflects, or mirrors, what we've been reading in Leviticus. In the first chapter alone we read three different times about the sacrificial offerings that were "a whole burnt offering made by the fire, very pleasing to the Lord." Many more references in the following chapters indicate how pleasing it was to God when the Israelites offered their numerous sacrifices, obediently adhering to a strict set of procedures. A few things strike me about this.

First, the offerings (at least those in Chapter one) were WHOLE. Complete. The whole she-bang and kit-n-kaboodle. Application? We are to hold nothing back. Nada. Not grudges or anger, not hurt feelings or pride, not arrogance or ignorance. We are to give it all to Him, offering our WHOLE selves as living sacrifices.

Second, these were BURNT offerings made by the fire. Been burnt lately? Felt the heat and panicked because the flames were nipping at your heels? Have you felt consumed? In faith, trust that your Lord is preparing you for whatever your next step is. In fact, He's probably happily singing over you (Zeph. 3:17), knuckle-deep in forming you to the perfect shape. Lev. 9:28 says, "...It was an offering given to the Lord by fire, very pleasing to the Lord." Imagine the aroma of your sacrifice, the smoke resulting from your fire, rising to God and Him inhaling deeply and contentedly because you recognize his Lordship.

The third thing that strikes me about Leviticus so far is just the imposing detail in correctly executing the procedures. (Praise God for the New Covenant, Amen?) But we see how serious God was about His people following his directions to the letter when Aaron's sons take a short-cut and are struck dead (Ch. 10). So the key? Careful, meticulous obedience. Chapter 16 concludes by noting, "Moses followed ALL these instructions that the Lord had given to him."

It has also been neat that these OT readings are now paired up with readings from John. The initial Tabernacle blueprints are striking when juxtaposed with Jesus' claim to "Destroy this temple and in three days I'll raise it up." The ritual of the sacrifices are an interesting contrast to the sacrifice of wholly believing. Incredulous Nichodemus is told that belief in Jesus will be his salvation and that there's no judgment awaiting those who trust (Jn. 3).

What was law for the people of Moses' era is freedom for us today, sitting in our pews under the new covenant, and hearing the message, "God wants our WHOLE heart and our obedience." That's what is pleasing to the Lord. (Thanks, Darren!)