Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Do you ever feel like you have something to say and not sure how to say it? Then you read something or someone and think, that's the way I would like to have said that. Only she did it so much better! Here are some blogs I am loving right now. Why? They are honest with their feeling and struggles and hurts and honest about what God is doing in their lives.
Sarah Markey - The Best Days of my Life 


Saturday, September 26, 2009

How's Your Training Going?

All this football talk is making me wonder how we are doing in our own spiritual training? How are we working out our own spiritual muscles? My bible reading yesterday showed me what we need to be trained in. 
1 Timothy 4:6-16 is a passage where Paul is talking to Timothy and telling him what he can do to be a good servant of Christ Jesus. I think there are a few things in here that show us what we need to focus our training on.

  6 If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. 10 For to this end we toil and strive,because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. 11 Command and teach these things. 12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and a your hearers.

Here is the list I put in the side of my bible about this passage:

What to focus my training on:

*tell the brothers what they word says

*train in the words of faith and good doctrine

*have nothing to do with irreverent myths - myths period - my chapter in proverbs today (ch. 26) told us to avoid the whisperer and why =TROUBLEMAKER

*train yourself for godliness - godliness is of value in every way - it holds the promise for the present life and the life to come

Command and teach these things:

*set an example in speech, conduct, love, faith, purity

*devote yourself to public reading of scripture, exhortation, teaching

*don't neglect our gifts

*practice these things, immerse yourself in them so that all will see your progress

*keep a close watch on yourself and your teaching

*persist in this

Don't you love those words: train, devote, practice, immerse, close watch, persist? We sure have a job to here! Sounds like a hard core football practice to me. Let's train not just the physical body but our spiritual one as well. Many of you know that I am using the Professor Horner's Bible reading plan to read my bible each day. I have also been doing a couple other things that has been helping enrich and challenge me in studying God's word. If you are brave enough - listen to David Platt's secret church teaching on how to study your bible. (It is long but WELL worth it) Every paragraph or so I am
trying to write a purpose for what I think about the paragraph I just read. It doesn't have to be long or very theological. Just my thoughts of what I just read. Or I put a name with a date by it if it is something I prayed for my kids or family or friends. Or I might just write, "we want this to be true of our family." You get my point. (I use a journaling bible that has blanks on the margin where I can write. If you need extra help with how to study the bible, I would recommend "the New Inductive Study Bible because it
tells you how to study each book. There are other journaling bibles out there but these don't have quite as many "helps" in them.) The other thing that I have added is one of my favorite easy to read and follow commentaries by Warren Wiersbe. It is called the Chapter-by-chapter Bible commentary. It is a small book and can go anywhere with you. It is the best for just a quick understanding of what you just read. It is also very helpful in understanding what is going on in a chapter. Just make sure you read the
chapter first before going to the commentary. Also, when I start a new book,
I read this summary about each book before I start, "Making the Bible Clear," by Fred Lowery. I realize that is a bit different that Pro. Horner's intention of reading the bible, I have also turned it into a study time and is working better for me. Others are reading these chapters and doing a separate study time. You decide what works best for you. I might change later but liking this right now. It might be that you have to split it up and only do 5 chapters a day. You figure out what works best for you to train yourself in godliness. Just keep doing it!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Louisiana Football

Drew had his first football game in Louisiana this week.  It was a rough one.  I won't tell you had bad they lost. We got a spankin'!  The morning of the game, while I was out running, I had been praying for Drew and his game. I was really nervous since this was his first real game since his accident. I kept pouring my heart out to God about Drew and asking God to grow him into a godly young man. I so strongly believe that football is good for boys for many reasons that I actually wrote a blog about it here.

I don't want football or school or anything he does to just be about that event but about God's glory in making and molding him into the man God has planned. One huge thing the boys must learn is self control and football, as well as many others sports and activities, teaches this. My bible reading this morning had this verse, Proverbs 25:28 "A man without self control is like a city broken into and left without walls." What a great picture of what the lack of self control does - it leaves us unprotected.

Now I really like to win, I mean really like to win. But I prayed a hard prayer for me to pray. "Lord, use this game to cause Drew to rely on You, to long for more of You. If losing will fill him up with things other than You, let them lose. If winning will add pride to his heart and not a thankful
dependence on You, let him lose. Your will be done. Oh and please don't let him get hurt!" I was listening to David Platt the other day and he said that we are more worried about fake battles on Saturday (college football day) then the real battle (spiritual) all around us. I am so guilty of that and asking God to change my heart. I want to train my boys for the real battle. Football can be a tool for that but they must know why they are playing, why God gave them athletic ability and shown examples of those who have used that ability for HIS glory.

My mom reminded me that day that God is Drew's protector and defender. With Drew being the quarterback, we need some big defenders! Thankfully, God is a big defender. He is our protector too, even when they do get hurt. God wasn't any less our protector the day Drew was carried off the field in a stretcher than the days he walked off the field. That is a truth I must
ingrain on my heart so that football doesn't become a stressful thing but a fun family event.

This picture shows my favorite part of Louisiana football.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Gift From My Parents!

My parents have given my lots of gifts over the years, some big and some little. Some gifts have been tangible, others not so easy to see. I have been thinking lately about how one of the greatest gifts I think they gave me was the courage to not just do things because that is what has always been done. I am not sure if they consciously did this or just allowed certain behaviors or feelings to stand in our house that they could have easily discouraged. I am sure looking back, as a parent, it would have been easier to curb certain behaviors in us. We are three strong willed sisters and somehow they created a sense of "courage" in all us girls. I won't lie, we were a handful! My dad once wrote this just in case you were thinking how fun it would be to have a daughter like me!

"First, I know some of you pastors wonder about your kids and the effects from the stress of being a PK. Kasey is my middle daughter and she went through her time of rebellion. There were times when I took her car away, cancelled her insurance, and put our house on lockdown. Some days, I didn't think we would make it. My friend Michael Catt's favorite church story is about Kasey. When Kasey was three, she told the church day care workers that if they didn't get under the table and play with her she would have her daddy fire them. I think by reading this you will realize that her strong will has given over to His will. The pain of rebellion has turned into the pleasure of obedience." Charles Lowery, taken from SBC LIFE

As you can see we weren't allowed inappropriate behavior (at least when they were around) but we were allowed to speak our minds. Our rebellion of God is never good, our rebellion of this world - YES! We were allowed to question certain things that we didn't understand or didn't make sense to us. It wasn't that anything necessarily changed based off our feelings but we were given the freedom to say what we thought on most occasions.

I specifically remember when I was in elementary and my older sister was in high school. We both went to the same private school and an unfortunate event had happened. One of the teachers had had an affair with another teacher and the other spouse worked at the school too. Needless to say it was a mess and many heated discussions came from that. No details needed but that we both saw two different sides to the story and felt passionate about each side. I still remember us all sitting around our beds talking about it. Our parents allowed us to hash it out!

My dad was one who went to a church and rocked the boat a little :)) HA HA! I have to laugh now but each of us saw the hurt and pain that came from not just doing church a certain way BECAUSE THAT IS THE WAY WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE IT! That is a story I won't go into here but we saw our dad take a stand for things that didn't make him win the pastor of the year award! We knew it and we felt it and we learned that like the country song says, "you've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything."

I think they taught us how to stand for something. I am not saying I always get this right or that I don't mouth off things that I am thinking way before I should. But I was given a gift from them and I will treasure it always. I will take that gift given and in the place where God has put us - and use it. I love the bumper sticker that says "well behaved women never make history." Now, I am not saying that we go out and unnecessarily cause a ruckus. I am saying, God has placed us here for a reason and that reason is to glorify Him in all we do. Let's not be satisfied with status quo, let's go out and make "history" (HIS STORY) known!

Monday, September 14, 2009

To Do List!!

Every morning I think through what I need to do for the day. Even last night before Jackson was going to bed he asked me to do something today and I said, "sure!" Then he said, "put that on your list so you won't forget." HAHA! He knows me well.
This morning as I started my list I did something different. I wrote down all the things that I thought I needed to do today. THEN, I started praying over the list asking the Lord to show me what HE wanted me to do today. I was thinking that maybe He might send someone to sit in the car line for me?? Nope, He thinks that is something I should do, go figure!
I am sure I make walking with the Lord way more difficult than it has to be! Listen and obey!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

This Poem Was on Beth Moore's Blog - Fits Perfect!

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
[Sir Francis Drake]

The Snake

Well, this morning was a first for me. While I was running across the street from our apartments I ran right past a dead snake. A DEAD SNAKE! The snake had obviously been run over by a car but was still outlined on the road in a large S shape. (I almost ran back here to get my camera but I was too hot and tired. ) Since there is not much to do while running and seeing a snake on the road is a first for me, I can't seem to get that dead S shape out of my mind. God is teaching me so much on my morning runs. Maybe it is because I am stuck out there with not much else to do but listen to Him. It is a good thing for me. 

When Brad and I were trying to pick places to live when God quickly called us to move to Bossier CIty, LA. (I mean, 3 weeks is not much time to move across the country) We felt that God was telling us to just move to an apartment for a little while to see what God has for us after that. I am so glad we didn't rush into buying a house. God is teaching us so many things about what His desires are for us and I am praying daily that God will give me a heart for what He cares about. I don't want to get wrapped up in the things of this world and lose my vision for His plan for our family. 

I remember in my Beth Moore study of Daniel that Beth taught us that if we are not purposefully taking stands against the materialistic pull of this culture, we will fall prey to it. How true it is. While running through these beautiful neighborhoods out here, I can get sucked into the 'I wants." I see this house or that house and my flesh is crying out, "you need this." I was battling it out with my flesh today - I need HIM and only HIM. Then I see the snake, dead in the road. It is like God was saying to me, "doesn't matter where your neighborhood is, it's got snakes." We can live in the hood (like my new found blog friend) or live in a mansion (don't really know anyone that lives in one of these, a mini-mansion, they are everywhere) IT HAS SNAKES. 

I think God was showing me this morning that no matter what we all look like on the outside and we can pretty that up real well and cover the snakes, we all have them! He is the answer, not things. Of anything I have learned over the years is that our time here is short and can end unexpectantly and is not worth wasting on the things of this world. What are we doing with our time? Our money? Our dreams? Are we daily seeking His face for HE has for us each day and then going out and doing what He says. I pray today that we start the habit of asking Jesus each moment what He has, learn to listen to His Spirit.
 Ask questions like, "should I buy this?"
"Should I go and talk to her?"
"Should I go out today or stay home?"
"What. Lord, do you want me to do today?"
"Should I . . . . ?" (You fill in your blank)
Begin to let God show you daily, hourly, minute by minute what He has for you today. He longs to guide you and show you where He wants you to go.(or not go) 

You are loved, snakes and all!

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Wow, is really all I can say about the last week. After we lived through the anniversary of Jake's death, we were confronted once again with tragic loss. Brad's uncle Chris was killed by a drunk driver over the weekend. I have pondered all week what life is all about and how we are living it. It can change so fast. SO FAST. One phone call and our worlds as we know it can change. My heart broke for Nana and Grandpa and what I knew was ahead for them. It was just way to familiar for me, the tragic death and the loss of a son, the burial at the same place Jake is buried. It was surreal to say the least. I felt myself detaching at moments and feeling it ALL at other moments. I am rambling. I think there was a point to this. Maybe not.

I was running yesterday and I learned something about myself. I have this nike thing that goes in my ipod and tells me how far I have run and how much longer I have to go. I set it for 5k yesterday and went out and ran it and it felt good. However, the day before I set it for 3 miles and I could barely make it through it. There is something about little chunks, like 5 kilometers that is easier for me to get through than three long miles. I have learned that I can run little by little, one kilometer at a time.

Isn't that the christian life though? God gave the Israelites manna each morning, He gives us mercies new each morning. What we need for the moment we need it. It is just like grief, if we look out at how the loss is going to effect us for the rest of our lives we can get way overwhelmed. We must focus on small (1 kilometer) chunks at a time. God gives us the grace we need when we need it. That is why, I think, he tells us not to worry about tomorrow. He will handle tomorrow with us, tomorrow. Let's just worry about today with Him and ask for that extra grace to make it through whatever is troubling us today. One day at a time.