July 27, 2012

Hebrews 12

Hebrews 12 (ESV)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?
“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
    nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and chastises every son whom he receives.”
It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11  For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 14  Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; 16 that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.
18 For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest 19 and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. 20 For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21 Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. 26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.


July 26, 2012

Jesus is Never Snarky (or... an apology)

I offer sincere apologies to anyone who reads my Facebook posts and was upset by one post from yesterday (that has since been deleted).  I am truly sorry for my choice of words yesterday and have already had face time with the Lord over it, so now I'm doing the electronic version for anyone who cares.
Yesterday in a snit of self-righteousness and frustration I posted something on Facebook that was definitely snarky in tone and probably rude.  One of those motivations is definitely a sin that I'm continually having to struggle with and repent of and the other... hmmm... have to get back to you on that.
I read an amazing blog post by Teri Lynne and was both inspired and irritated.  You can read the post she wrote here.  She's pretty awesome a lot and I generally find helpful insights in her writing.
So.. back to my response.  I was inspired because God has been really impressing on me over the last year or so that we don't have to be some super-saint or have some amazing talent to be useful for Him.  We just have to be willing and say 'yes' when an opportunity presents itself.  Please note that I do not think that these opportunities arise by accident - GOD is planning all this - it says so in scripture "For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10.
I was irritated because I'm struggling with a nasty funk of feeling like there are lots of fat sheep in our churches being only consumers without doing anything or sacrificing anything (Dietrich Bonhoeffer has been in my head lately too).  I'm really sure that Jesus got his hands dirty when He walked this earth and maybe we don't actually have to get physically dirty to serve for His kingdom... but we have to get out of the chairs.  Even in small ways - like Teri Lynne talked about.
So.  I apologize for being snarky and rude. 
But I do NOT apologize for the feelings that I'm wrestling with about how to live a better story for Jesus, and to DO what I say I believe.  I don't want to waste this short life that God has given me (yes - John Piper is in my head too) -  when I can choose to do something that may somehow make a difference.

What will you choose?
Joshua 24:15 "But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

Blessings on the journey~

July 20, 2012

Books Suggestions

No surprise that I love to read.  Anyone who knows me knows that I have something of a mild addiction to books.  I love books.  I own tons of books and my kids own tons of books so it is not a shock that we have bookcases in most rooms of our home (including two bookcases right in the kitchen) or if there is no bookcase, there are stacks of books on tables/floors/etc.  It's just how we live and I think it is pretty marvelous even though I admit to days when it makes me a tad crazy.

I thought I'd start sharing some suggestions for books that I've loved in case anyone is reading that needs/wants a suggestion and hasn't had me rave about something to you in real life.  If you are a friend nearby and I have something still in my possession that you'd like to borrow, let me know and I'll see if I can hunt it up for you.  I'm happy to loan my books as long as you promise to make a sincere effort to give it back when you finish.  Deal?

This book I read a few years ago and it began something in our lives.  After I'd finished it, Steve read it and discovered while he was reading it that an engineer friend at work was reading the same book.  I love when God does stuff like that.  Voddie is easy to read, very real and I'm deeply impressed with his ability to share his heart and challenge the reader to seek what God is setting for standards and follow them.  You can buy this at CBD of course (one of my favorite vendors for books!)

J and I both read this one recently - we borrowed it from the library.  It was really fast read - a few hours at most.  A marvelous, amazing story/journey for this family.  Parts made me cry and many parts made me laugh out loud.  Definitely worth the time.

You knew this one would be here.  I've talked about it before of course.  Ann's book continues to deeply impact my life.  I'm still involved in studying through this one with an amazing group of ladies.  Warning to anyone who dislikes poetry or has a hard time with lots of imagery in writing - you will be hard pressed with this one.  Ann has a poet's soul and her words are true to her soul.  I do think it is worth the effort though.  I don't see how anyone could read this book and not be blessed and challenged and perhaps truly changed.

That is all for today.  I have some cookies to finish baking for Steve and my kids.

Blessings on the journey friends~

July 9, 2012


It is always nice to get away... and sometimes I wish we could stay away longer!


July 4, 2012

Big Whoop?

Why yes... that is a new whoopie pie that was made just for today's celebration. 

I recently discovered not just one, but TWO cookbooks about making Whoopie Pies.  Who would have thought there'd be even one such thing let alone two.  But two there were and I checked both of them out of the library in search of expanding my abilities in whoopie pie baking/making.
These were actually J's idea and she diligently helped with the filling process.  They were fun to make and everyone seemed to enjoy them at the Independence Day cookout this afternoon.

They are a 'from scratch' recipe chocolate cake with buttercream frosting filling and I think they are better than the other ones I make.  Looking forward to trying out some other recipes from the books.  Now to find some willing taste testers... I'm sure my kids & Steve will be happy to oblige... and there may even be a few willing mouths at church as well. :-)

May God bless America!  May we never forget why our country was formed and all those who have fought & died to grant us our many freedoms.  And may we never take for granted any blessings we enjoy.

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. ~2 Chronicles 7:14