Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tonight, at midnight, our Directv will be cut off. No, we didn't forget to pay our bill. We purposely cut it off. I would like to officially say a blessed goodbye to my TIVO.
Goodbye to season passes of my favorite shows
Goodbye to the pause button
Goodbye to fast forwarding through commercials
Goodbye to watching whatever show you want, whenever you want
Goodbye to the time I wasted watching mind numbing junk
Goodbye to the times I heard words I shouldn't have
Goodbye to the scenes I didn't need to see
Goodbye to the issues my kids needed to know nothing about
Goodbye shows that taught me how my house needed to be up-dated, bigger, and better
Goodbye Fox news, I will miss you!
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I could tell you that I played Nertz (my favorite game in the whole world) and lost today. I wasn’t very happy about it. I lost by one point. And the lady, I won’t mention any names (Cherie) that beat me only beat me because she cheated. Yep, that is right. She cheated and all my friends let her cheat. She had one card that she had taken off her Nertz pile and hadn’t set it down anywhere when “Nertz” was called, so she got credit for it. I think I should have won, that is no way to win a game. Or at least had a tie. So now, I am drowning my sorrows with sweet tea and sour patch kids.
Or, I could tell you that all my kids have done since they have gotten home from school is fight with each other. So, I sent them upstairs to play. Now, they are having a water fight in the bathroom and I don’t even want to go up there to see that mess. But for the moment, I don’t have to listen to them fuss at each other, so what is a little water.
Or, I could tell you that Brad came home early from staff retreat and I didn’t have anything planned for dinner so he had to go get take out. (My personal favorite kind of food – the kind I don’t make). Cause when Brad is gone, we just eat pizza and cereal and Brad doesn’t think that is an acceptable dinner.
So, I will just tell you that my life is just run of the mill right now. There has been no words of wisdom or divine inspiration. Just the mundane of life. I am not complaining. It is nice on occasion to not make dinner or have to clean up throw up. A break is good for all of us. I can relax, take a bubble bath.
Maybe this is why Paul urges us in 1 Thessalonians 4:11 to make it our ambition to lead a quiet (or simple) life and at attend to your own business. That attending to your own business might just be a blog for tomorrow. I could go on and on about that. How ruffled we get over things that don’t pertain to us. But, that is for another day. It is the simple and quiet life I am enjoying tonight. When the most I need to worry about is, how much water is on the floor from the water fight and hopefully, it isn’t enough to cause any damage.
Let’s all make it our ambition to lead a quiet life. It sure does make life easier. Jesus knew what He was talking about when He said His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He wants us to live a simple life because He knows that is what is best for us. His way is easy and His burden is light.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Angela and Jon, Kasey and Brad, and Breanne and Paul,
We have been praying for each of you and have felt great joy in the birth of Malia and great sorrow for Breanne and Paul in the miscarriage. For Kasey and Brad there is still sorrow for sweet Jake and again for Angela and Jon,and Breanne and Paul the miscarriages. We have great joy with McKenzie, Drew, Grey, Cas, Jake, Jackson, Isabel and now little Malia. It is hard to describe the joy and the sorrow, the love and pain for each of you. God has brought each of you through difficult days and joy filled days. He has given to us the most wonderful family and there is no way you will ever know how grateful we are for each of you. My heart aches with each of you in sorrow and rejoices with you in the good days.
Life has many joys that He brings to us through our family. The many gifts He has given to us are too numerous to describe but the most precious and wonderful gift is our girls and their families. He has bound our family together with a cord of love and strength that cannot be broken no matter how difficult the day or how full of the good that He has given to us.
I was reading the Psalms of Ascent and this one just prompted me to tell you all, we love you. He has His mighty hand of love on you and your families.
How good and pleasant it is when brothers (sisters) dwell in unity! It is like precious oil on the head (it is like precious oil to our hearts), running down on the beard (well I guess not the beard), on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes (running down into our hearts to heal a broken heart), It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the Lord commanded the blessing, life forevermore (He has blessed us with everlasting love and the blessing of eternal life with no tears and great joy. I added a few lines!
Please know how grateful we are for each of you!
We love you
Dad and Mom
How Awesome is that?
What will move you? Paul had decided before he faced all the trials that he faced that NONE OF THESE THINGS WILL MOVE ME. It is a decision we make, not based on how we feel but an act of obedience. The great thing about our God is that He changes our feelings too. Sometimes, it just takes time and our decision to not be moved by the things that we encounter. We must decide like Paul, that no matter what we face, we will not be moved. It sure makes the things we encounter so much easier to handle.
Why? Because when we haven't decided that nothing can move us, something will move us. When we face a trial, a hurt, a loss and haven't made that decision we are really facing an added trial on top of the original one. Let me see if I can explain. When Jake died, I knew that I would still trust the Lord, regardless of the hurt. So, I had to just grieve the loss of Jake and not the fight over would I trust the Lord or not. If we haven't made that decision, we are grieving our loss and we are in a battle over our souls. Will we trust or not?
Satan is not a respector of our losses. He doesn't say, "Well now, Kasey has just experienced the loss of her life, I think I will let her alone for awhile and give her time to recover." NO! He swoops in ready to tell us that God can't be trusted, God really doesn't have what is best for us in mind. You know all the things he tells us. He uses those times of weakness to pound us into the ground. Don't let him. That is why it is so important to make that decision today. NONE OF THESE THINGS WILL MOVE ME!
Have you made that decision? You should. God can be trusted. God plans for us are for our good and not evil. Then we can look back and say like Joseph did, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Or like Job who said "Tho he slay me, yet will I hope in him."
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
February is Compassion blog month. Please read past blogs to see what Compassion has done for our family. (I am new to this blogging thing and I couldn't figure out how to re-post it, sorry.)
However, the impact of Brad's Peru trip lives on. For Valentines Day, our boys got some money from their grandparents and we asked them they both send it to Daniel (our compassion child). I was so proud of them. Jackson was not happy about it at first but he eventually came around. Sometimes, it is just hard to give. It has been such a great tool to teach our kids what it is like to live in another country and how blessed we are here. They love to pour over the pictures and Jackson really thinks he is his brother, he just lives in Peru.
It gets better. At church last week, Jackson got a penny for V-day and he came out of class and said, "I am sending my penny to Daniel." He got it, he really got it. Something about him sending his one penny to Daniel made my heart want to burst. It makes me think of the story in Mark where the poor widow gave all she had. Mark 12:41-44 "Jesus sat near the Temple money box and watched the people put in their money. Many rich people gave large sums of money.Then a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which were only worth a few cents. Calling his followers to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow gave more than all those rich people. They gave only what they did not need. This woman is very poor, but she gave all she had; she gave all she had to live on." Mark 12 : 41-44
The penny was so precious because it was all he had. Just one single penny. We all have things that we can offer to help those in need. It might be a single penny but to Jesus, when you give all you have. It means so much.
Ok, back to the Peru trip. Brad had to come home early and didn't get to offically see Daniel this time but our dear friend Nikki took our gifts to him. He was so excited and sent us back the sweetest handmade gift. We had sent Daniel one of Brad's cd's before and Daniel's mom told Niki that he knows all the words in English. How sweet is that. She also said that Daniel thinks Brad is "magic." I must say, I agree! He is the best.
Our lives have been impacted for the better because of Compassion. Don't you want the same for your family? What an impact on this world we can have! Search for child you can adopt today. I have the link right on this blog. Please visit http://www.shaungroves.com/shlog/comments/stories_of_compassion_international_its_your_turn/ to read all the stories of how compassion is impacting others.
Then Brad went down stairs and got his guitar and sat at the end of the couch that Jackson was laying on and sang to Jackson. I laid in my bed and watched as he sang "Don't Cry" which was Jackson's request. I almost died right then and there. It was just about the sweetest thing I have ever been a part of. To watch his daddy sing him to sleep. To watch his daddy quiet his tears and settle him to sleep. Then I thought, God does this for us. When we are hurt, crying, and distraught and God sings over us. What a picture. He loves us so.
Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing."
I will never look at the verse the same way again. Don't you love when God gives us an earthly picture of His Heavenly LOVE!
Sunday, February 17, 2008
First, Moses is talking to the Lord and saying "you have given me these people to lead and I am not sure who is going to help me?" He knows that he has found favor with the Lord to be called to lead His people but not sure what to do from there. I feel like this sometimes. I have been given this family, this group, whatever it is the Lord has called us to lead and then I think - "I can 't do this? Why have you called me? I need to do what Moses did. He asked the Lord how. Moses says, "If you are pleased with me, TEACH ME YOUR WAYS so that I may know you and continue to find favor with you." God wants us to teach us and show us how to lead those we have been put in charge of.
I think, what if it is an 11 and 4 year old boy? The Lord answers and says, "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." God's presence is what brings us rest. His presence going with us is what will lead and teach us how to lead and teach the people around us. Are you frustrated and feel inadquate in where God has called you to lead? Moses often was - he once tried to talk God out of using him. He told God he was slow of speech and tongue. God replied, "I will help you speak and tell you what to day." When God calls us to something or someone (even 4 and 11 year old boys) He will teach us how to do it. We only need to ask.
Moses then replies to the Lord, "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here." Wow, are we like this? Do we only want to go where the Lord leads? Or, are we too attached to things of this world to go where God leads? Beth Moore said on Life Today this week, "Whatever carnal thing we are hanging onto is not worth what we are giving up." Do we believe this? Do we believe that His Presence leading us is enough? Will we change directions if we know "His Presence" is not leading?
Moses goes on to ask, if you Presence is not with us, how will anyone know that we are your people? What will distinguish us from the other people? I am paraphasing here, but you get the point. Moses knows what distinguishes us from the other people of this world, it is His Presence. Are our lives distinguished by His Presence? Do others see the difference in us?
Moses ends the chapter with asking God to "show me Your glory." And God does! God hides him in the cleft of a rock so he can get a glimse of God's glory.
Moses gets it - Moses knows he can't lead anyone without God teaching him how, he knows not to move an inch without God's Presence. Moses knows that without Him we are nothing. Moses knows that He is what distinguishes us from the others. He knows that God's glory here on Earth is what this life is about.
Oh Lord, Show us Your Glory!
We do this, don't we? God calls us to do something, we march out boldly in belief and it doesn't seem to be working the way we thought it should. So we whine and complain to the Lord that He doesn't know what He is doing. He must have brought us here to die. Now, it might not be that dramatic but we think this. We think that God's plans for us are not good. We think whatever He is going to call us to do is going to destroy us instead of free us to do all that God has for us.
Listen to Moses' response to them, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the
deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. THE LORD WILL FIGHT FOR YOU; YOU NEED ONLY TO BE STILL."
Psalm 27:14 says "Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD."
Waiting is so hard for me. I really don't like it. I want to know what God is doing right now. I want to know His plan right now. He says "Wait patiently on me and I will turn and hear your cry." (Ps.40:1). Our waiting lets God work. Our waiting lets God fight for us. (Who wouldn't want that?)
So, today, Let's "Be still and KNOW that He is God." (Ps. 46:10)
Friday, February 15, 2008
Are you a wise woman? Do you open your mouth with wisdom, as Proverbs 31:26 suggests? Please remember that a wise woman encourages her husband.
Is your husband a "wise man?" Does he have a godly perspective that comes from knowing God and walking with Him in obedience? Does he have a sense of purpose for his life and vision for your home? Tell him how much this means to you.
If you are not sure about your husband's vision for your home, ask him, "Honey, what do you want to accomplish with our marriage and home in the years to come?" and "How can I help you accomplish that?"
If he does not have a vision, your questions may inspire him to develop one. If your husband is not walking with God--or perhaps, does not know the Lord--you have the opportunity and responsibility to practice your faith and create a thirst for God. Thank God for giving your husband a place in his heart that only He can fill, and keep praying that he will turn to the Lord to fill that vacuum!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
I think of the rich young ruler. I used to think so little of him. You know the story, a man runs up to Jesus and asks Him what he must do to inherit eternal life? Jesus answers him with a list of the commandments and the man replies that he has kept the commands since he was a boy. Mark 10:21 says that Jesus looked at him and LOVED him. Then He said "The one thing you lack, Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven." It goes on to say that the man didn't do this because he had great wealth.
Now, I by no means have great wealth but I really understand what this means, to sell everything. I can't even think about selling my house to get something less expensive without much stress and apprehension. Yet, this man was asked to sell everything. And why? There is a verse that I missed until today. Before Jesus asked him to sell everything it says that Jesus looked at him and LOVED him. When we will see that it is Jesus' love for us that asks us to do certain things? His commands are for us is not against us. He knows what is best for us and commands us to do things that in the long run will be for our good. Think of the times that you have gone against what God has said. Didn't it seem so fun for a season? Are not our biggest regrets the times we disobeyed God and got ourselves in a mess. When will we learn?
Ok, I am got off subject. The verse I started out with reading this morning was 1 Timothy 6:6 that says "but godliness with contentment is great gain." It goes on to say "we brought nothing into this world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."
Two days ago I would not have said that I wanted to get rich or that I thought I struggled with the love of money. Contentment, yes, I can struggle with that but I felt I was pretty content. OF COURSE I WAS. I am sitting here in a house that is very nice, lots of food in the kitchen, and so many clothes that my closet is full and I have taken over part of Drew's closet and the hall closet.
I lack nothing.
Lord, free me from the love of my stuff. Free me from the love of my worldly possessions. Let me be open to go where you want me to go even if that is Peru, Mexico or the neighborhood down the street that "doesn't have the best schools." Train my heart to know that your commands for me are because you LOVE me. I give it all to you! Lord, we pray that our love will abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight so that we may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ. (Phil. 1:9-10)
Sunday, February 10, 2008
w/m by Brad J. Ewing
I wave the white flag of surrender
Lord I’ve had enough of my way
Say goodbye to the ways of old
It’s a new day
Lord, I wish I didn’t struggle
I wish I didn’t hold on so tight
Teach me how to surrender my will
Change me tonight, I've gotta learn...
Give up and lay down
Fight hard by letting go
Hold close, give away
Live the truths I know
Yield to what You wanna do
And resign that it’s mine
And say a blessed goodbye
Give me eyes for things eternal
Help me not to hold on so tight
Loose my grip, from the things of this world
‘cause I’m losing the fight, I've gotta learn...
Give up and lay down
I know that it’s a paradox
That I gain Your life when mine is lost
And though it’s still a mystery
Lord, help me see, I gotta learn…
I’m torn tonight because part of me wants to sell everything and simplify our lives and spend it on what really matters. Not only for the Kingdom but for the good of our family. I’m now questioning the motives of some things and challenged to take a hard look at what matters most in life. Peru has a way of doing that. :o)
I am realizing I love comfort and I love stuff. As I sit here in the room in Peru, I realize how sickening that must be to the Lord. It is so shameful that my heart is like this when there are so many lost and hurting people in this world and all I want is more comfort for myself. I see the loss of hope in the children’s eyes around here. I see the poverty where they might get one meal a day. I see the emptiness in the peoples’ hearts as they come to the Carnival to fill the void. I get sad for a few weeks and then it’s back to the grind of American life. I’m saddened at the state of my heart.
When does it change? How does it change? What does God really think of how I live my life?
What does God think about being comfortable anyway? I read the New Testament and these guys were sold out to the work of the Lord. Does my day to day life match the New Testament mentality or have I been brain washed by the culture of “give me more”? While hiking down the mountains in the village above Cajamarca, I was thinking how much simpler the lifestyles are up here and how they have room for the Lord and for relationships. It seems that I am so good at pushing God to the back burner at home and it makes me sick of myself. I came back fired up from Peru last year and then by February things were back to how they always are in my heart.
Do I want the trophies of my life to be material gain OR to be lost souls that were won through music and believers who were changed by an anointed song? Do I want to sell music so I can be more comfortable in America? Or do I want to sell out for the Kingdom and lower my standards of living so I can give money to things that last and are producing much fruit for the kingdom? Or do I want to be a part of the action in another country where the Gospel is ready to be received and the workers are few? Do I want my precious boys to grow up in America where there is more opportunity to be “successful”? OR do I want them to fall in love with Jesus where knowing Him and reaching others is the priority? I wonder how we are doing with that because most of the time it’s about what can they get next from Wal-Mart and not who can they help today.
I’m the same way and am leading them in it. When Deigo was sharing in the Plaza, he had his little two year old girl on his back and she was just watching him share the Gospel to the people there. I was hungry for that type of family life. A family where Jesus is everything and the Gospel is our mission. Not just something we talk about at church. They have reasons to REALLY pray and not simply ask God for a good day today.
Being here in Peru changes things. It opens my eyes to the huge need of Diego as a pastor and what God is doing here. God IS moving in a mighty way here and I love being a part. Even if it’s not moving to Peru, I would love to be able to give financially but our standard of living doesn’t allow it. Diego and his family live in a crappy house according to our standards of living, but they are so happy to be doing the Lord’s work. We have so many distractions in our culture and I feel like we’re missing out on God’s best for our family.
What do I want to see when I look back on my life? Do I want to see a comfortable American Christian or a SOLD OUT believer who gave up comfort for the sake of the Gospel. I want to live the great adventure and make sacrifices for the sake of my KING. I am way too comfortable and need to shake things up. Just wondering what that looks like for my family and me. I think when this happens, then God will smile upon my life and say, “that’s more like it, son.”
When I get to heaven, I want to hear the Lord say, “Well done, son.” I don’t want to hear
the words, “I did use you, but you missed out on so much fruit because you were comfortable in your way of life.” God forbid!! The Gospel is worth the loss of my life.
Lord, I am sorry for my selfish heart. I do long for comfort and things, but I thank You for
showing me my weakness. I ask You now to change me and change my family. Move us and use us wherever You want. Shake us up and make our lives count for eternity. We want to make You proud of us. Thanks again for allowing me to come to Peru. You definitely had work to do in my heart. It is a great place to serve You but mostly to see You up close and learn more of Your heart for others and myself. Bless Peru with Your Word and Your love, Father. In JESUS’ NAME, Amen.
Wow, what questions we should all ask of our lives. I am currently studying Daniel by Beth Moore and she asks us these same questions. Are we falling into the "Babylon Mentality" that says "I am, and there is none beside me." (Is. 47:8,10) How often we feel this, It is all about me? My comfort, my stuff, my, my, my. Fill in the blank. We all have it. How do we stop it? Let's be like Daniel " who resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine," (Daniel 1:8).
Are we letting the things of this world defile us?
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Friday, February 1, 2008
After dropping him off, well, dropping him off for the SECOND time because he forgot his passport and we had to go back home and get it. :) Anyways, I picked our oldest up from school and headed to Walmart for snacks and movies. As I curled up in my big brown chair, I just felt sad. Hard to be one who stays home while the hubby is out ministering. Then God so gently reminded me about 1 Samuel 30 which I have been studying in the bible study 5 Aspects of Woman. What is in 1 Samuel 30? Since you asked, I will tell you. David's camp has been stolen, 400 men go to get back their stuff, 200 men stay back to with the stuff. Then a fight occurs between the men who went to retrive their stuff and the men who stayed behind. Verse 24 says "They shall share and share alike. The ones who stay with the baggage, the ones that go out." (This also happens in Joshua 22:8 if you are interested)
God just brought this to mind as I lay here watching "Transformers" with the boys, I stay back so he can go. God blesses my staying as much as his going. Thank you Jesus. Now, can He please not count all the calories of junk food I will consume getting through a week without my husband??
- ► 2009 (71)
- I AM SO EXCITED!
- My Blessed Goodbye
- The Pressure is On
- My Parents
- None of These Things Will Move Me
- Compassion Blog
- 3 AM Wake Up Call
- Show Me Your Glory
- Be Still
- Mission Accomplished
- Malia Kate
- But Godliness with Contentment is Great Gain
- Peru Pictures
- Blessed Goodbye
- My Last Night in Peru
- Answered Prayers
- The Note
- Ask and You Shall Receive
- When It Rains, It Pours (hail, that is)
- The Going and The Staying
- ▼ February (21)