Monday, February 23, 2009

My Nana!

My Nana went to be with Jesus on Saturday. I am off to the funeral. I won't be posting but wanted to leave you with this scripture that Brad sent me today.

"For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
6 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. 7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord."

2 Cor. 5:1-7

Amen, sister! She is present with the LORD!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

What IS a neighbor?

I have a friend who gives me a hard time because when I introduce her to someone I tell them this "my neighbor, Melanie." For some strange reason she thinks thinks this is a true indication of the level of our friendship. Now we all have levels of friendships-- best friends, friends, co-workers, acquaintances. What is the highest level of friendship? We can have a neighbor or we can have "my neighbor!" My neighbor has a key to my house, my neighbor brings me books at 11 pm when I finished one book in the series and can't wait for the next. My neighbor is welcome to come and get anything she might need out of my house (like my brown stools) and I have no clue they are gone. My neighbor, when I have a migraine, picks me up and takes me to the doctor then puts me in bed when I get home and adds blankets to the windows so it is really dark. My neighbor picks up my kids when I can't make it to school on time or it is snowing and I don't want them to walk home in it. My neighbor is on speed dial and gets about 12 calls a day on the average. My neighbor and I can vehemently disagree on something and still love each other. My neighbor and I can solve the world's problems in one single phone call.

In the Old Testament, neighbor is used figuratively of a fellow Israelite. (Ex. 2:13;I Sam. 28:17). In Harper's Bible Dictionary, a neighbor is defined "as members of a community united by divine covenant, law, and teaching, the Israelites' obligations to God were reflected in their moral obligations to each other."

Now, I must say that is what a neighbor is to me! It is WAY more than living next to each other! It is a covenant, more than a friendship. It is a promise to each other that we will be there when we are needed.

The dictionary goes on to state our duties to our neighbors: "They were to be 'a kingdom of priests and a holy nation' (Exod. 19:6). Thus, they were commanded concerning each other not to covet their neighbor's wife or possessions (Exod. 20:16-17; Deut. 5:20-21); not to hold a neighbor's garment for pledge past sunset (Exod. 22:25-26); not to steal, deal deceitfully, swear falsely (Lev. 19:11), or defraud (v. 13); not to gossip, or to be passive while injustice is being done to another (v. 16); not to hate one another (v. 17), to avenge or bear a grudge (v. 18), to take usury (Lev. 25:36-37), or to enslave (v. 39); not to oppress (vv. 43, 46), to withhold loans or charity (Deut. 15:7-11), or to ignore a neighbor's stray animal or lost property (Deut. 22:1-4). The Israelites were obligated to each other for the property placed in one's care (Exod. 22:6-14), 'to love your neighbor as yourself' (Lev. 19:18), to help the poor through free loans (Lev. 25:35), or hiring the poor for pay (vv. 39-40), and the like. One who has harmed his neighbor will be punished in kind (Lev. 24:19-20, 22). God will destroy those who slander their neighbors (Ps. 101:5; cf. Prov. 11:9). To despise one's neighbor is to be devoid of wisdom (Prov. 11:12) and to sin (14:21). According to Zechariah 3:10, in the messianic age neighbors shall dwell together in peace."

I think I have well defended my case of what a "neighbor" is! Now, I have to send this to her because she edits all my posts before I can put them online. (I have a BIG problem with run on sentences. What can I say? I write like I talk!)

Enjoy your neighbors today!

Watch This~

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Good Credit Score

A few weeks ago I got an e-mail from a dear friend to come and teach at their ladies' night out. I was so excited. A few days after that I got another e-mail from her. Now, on my phone when I get an e-mail, I can see part of the message on the screen without having to open the whole message. I was at a stop light and decided to check my e-mail. (My mom gave me her old Iphone and I am really addicted.) I got a message from my friend and it read, " Kasey, we are so excited to have you. Please send me your contact information, what airport you need to fly out of. a good credit score." What???? Did she just ask me for a good credit score? My heart dropped. Not that we have a bad credit score, (Brad has a service that checks it regularly and keeps us right where we need to be.) but I already struggle with "Why, Me?" Why would anyone want to ask me to speak to their ladies. Me, who thoroughly spent 4 years trying to single-handily destroy my life through sin and rebellion. "WHY," Iasked the Lord? I am SO not the one to do this! God spoke to me through the words of Jeremiah 1:5-9 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.""Ah, Sovereign Lord," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am only a child."But the Lord said to me, "Do not say, 'I am only a child.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the Lord. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, "Now, I have put my words in your mouth."

I am not worthy to go and do anything in the name of the Lord but Jesus is and He for some strange reason has a calling on my life! I know better than to disobey that! Not too long after that e-mail came, I received another e-mail from her. Jeremiah 15:19 was in the next e-mail. It says. "Therefore, this is what the Lord says, If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy not worthless words, you will be my spokesman."

What am I to do - repent for my sins, He will restore me. If I utter worthy and not worthless words- I will be His spokesman. He does the work in me. My job is to repent and utter worthy words. My prayer is like Jeremiah, that the Lord would reach out His hand and touch my mouth and "put His words into mine!"

PS. When I opened the full e-mail, the request for a good credit score was an advertisement on the bottom of the e-mail. She wasn't asking for my credit score after all. YIPEE!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Different Perspective

When we were in Cajamarca, we had to hike up a huge hill to get to a remote village. The hike up was beautiful and hard. I didn't realize how out of shape I was. It was lots of work. Once we got up there the kids and parents were happy to see us! I was glad we braved the hike to get up to see them. However, when we were up in the village, it started raining. I mean really raining! Really, really raining. So much that we tried to call taxi's to come and get us to take us back down the hill. It was raining so much that they wouldn't come to rescue us. Off we went to hike down the hill in the pouring rain.

Everything was going pretty well until we reached a large drop off with a quick flowing river that we had to cross. From the top it looked very dangerous and quite scary! Needless to say, after much discussion we sent two guys down to check it out. Once the guys got down there and tried a couple of ways to get across the river, they said to come on down and it would be fine. However, many didn't want to do that. From where we were standing and looking down, it looked too dangerous. The guys down at the bottom kept telling us to come down, that it will be okay. We hesitated and took way too much time contemplating and arguing over if it was safe or not.

I think that is the way that God feels about us. He is down at the bottom of hill (He is seeing it from His perspective) and telling us to, "Come, follow Me." What do we do? We argue and debate and question His way down the hill.
Once we got down the hill and across the river, we realized that it wasn't as bad as it seemed. All the debating was for nothing. The river didn't seem so big when you were right on it. One jump on a rock and we had crossed the river.

I think we so often think what God has planned for us is going to be awful, so we stand at the top of the crossroad and debate if we are going to do it or not. When God has gone before us and knows where He wants to lead us, He is saying, "Come on, let's go! It is time to cross."
Can we trust Him when He calls us to go? Do we know that "His ways are not our ways." Often all it takes is for us to take that first step, climb down the mountain and the river doesn't seem so bad!

PS. I was just watching Beth Moore from my Esther study and she just said the most profound quote that talks exactly about what I was blogging about.
"Trust reverses the detours of adversity into the highway of destiny." When we trust Him in our circumstances and follow Him, He will lead us into the path of our destiny. He will lead us in the way that He has planned for us! Trust Him today!

Friday, February 6, 2009

We Are Back!

That is me - the red head!
We had a wonderful trip! Peru was awesome! As soon as I get my laundry, Drew's homework, and all the other stuff done, I will be back blogging! Thanks for your patience.