Tuesday, July 24, 2007

while I'm gone...

Seek His Strength

Seek the Lord, and His strength: seek His face evermore.
PSALMS 105:4

O JESUS CHRIST, grow Thou in me,
And all things else recede;
My heart be daily nearer Thee,
From sin be daily freed.

Make this poor self grow less and less,
Be Thou my life and aim;
Oh, make me daily, through Thy grace,
More worthy of Thy name.

AS, on rising, we should hear Him saying to us, "Take this yoke upon thee, my child, today," "Bear this burden for me and with me today," so, before retiring to rest, and collecting our mind for our evening prayer, it were well to put these questions to our conscience, "Have I, in a single instance this day, denied myself either in temper or appetite, and so submitted myself to the Saviour's yoke?" And again, "Have I, in a single instance, shown sympathy or considerateness for others, borne with their faults or infirmities of character, given time or taken trouble to help them, or be of use to them?" If so, I have gained ground; I have made an advance in the mind of Christ today, if it be only a single step. Let me thank God, and take courage. A single step is so much clear gain.

I'll be on the road for approximately 62 hours in the next month. Pray for us.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Our Romance

On the topic of worship music, I'd like to introduce you to my favorite song. I have sung it several times while attending/visiting Victory Assembly, but that's the only time and place I'd ever heard it. While I was looking up the lyrics the other day for Hosanna! I came across this media player, and was so excited to have found it I immediately bought the song from itunes. I've listened to (and worshiped with) the song 17 times since then. (Make sure you click on My Romance when you follow the link to the media player.)

Worship is a most special communion between our Betrothed and our spirits. Rebecca Groothius, in her essay titled "Let’s Put Worship Back in the Worship Service" s says this:

[T]he worship service is a symbolic acting-out of what should be to the soul an ongoing inner reality. As our relationship with God is celebrated in this way, it is confirmed and established in our thoughts and our lives.

When we come to church in order to worship, we come to desire and enjoy God for whom he is, rather than merely for what we can receive from him. We come first to bless the Lord, and secondarily to be blessed by him.

In a culture that focuses on self-expression, worship is readily perceived merely as an expression of our feelings about God and what he has done or can do for us. The other side of worship—that of God making himself known to us—often goes unacknowledged. [W]hen we worship God according to a true knowledge of God, our spirits are opened to receive a further revelation of who God is and how he loves us. As our knowledge of God increases, so does our desire to worship him.

Worship is an intermingling, and this song beautifully conveys that image, praising God all the while.

My Romance

Look at the way the flowers bloom for You
They want to show You their beauty Lord
Running waters dance, You and I romance


Unto You be all the glory.
Unto You be all the glory (repeat)


The angels dance around You
The earth it sings about You
Open up the heavens Lord
Let Your Kingdom come to earth

My praises all surround you
My soul can't dance without you
Open up the heavens Lord
Let Your kingdom come to earth

And if that wasn't enough, I've begun rereading Ted Dekker's Circle trilogy, which I *highly* recommend. It's Narnia-esque, with talking animals, a great journey, and the reconciling of man to God. It masterfully, creatively, beautifully depicts God's love for us, and our surrendering to Him- the Great Romance. It's "adrenaline laced...packed with unexpected plot twists, unforgettable characters, and incredible confrontations between good and evil."

Monday, July 16, 2007


It means "Save Now!"
I understand this sentiment. Not in the usual "salvation of Jesus" way.
I am "saved" in Christianese, but "save now!" is immediate, it's not for the future of life & death.
It is "save now!" or I will not make it tomorrow.

Life has been harder than ever lately. Really, harder than being pregnant and alone, harder than being (pregnant and) broke. In those hard times I knew, I *knew* everything was going to be alright.

But lately?

I recently realized that it was considerably easy to choose to follow Christ and turn away from my sin. Physical, blaring sin, that is. It was easy to say, ok, no more pot, no more immodesty, no more this, no more that. It was a physical thing/habit/ etc that I put away and did no more. It was easy to mark off the check-list and say, "Now I'm good."

But lately?

It hasn't been so much about the outside, but *all* about the inside, and that is not an easy place to have remodeled. Especially when there are 4 little rascals running (or crawling) around. I could speculate why it all happened, what started the moodiness, the hormonal changes, the lack of patience, the reactionary mothering, but what it really all boils down to is that I am *not* good, and I need Jesus with me right now, today, saving me, my husband and my precious little [rascals] from my horrible no-good sinful self. Somehow the blackness creeped back in. Or maybe it was never really gone.

But lately...

God has been pursuing it- bringing it out into the open, showing me what I really am, breaking down the pretense of what I thought I was, or tried to be, and it is *hard*. Harder than anything I've ever gone through before (which is saying a lot if you ask me).

And yesterday we sang a song, Hosanna!, and it brought me emotionally to my knees. It confirmed within me that I am not making up the heaviness of my situation, but that God will indeed "save now!" Here's the song:

Praise is rising, eyes are turning to You, we turn to You
Hope is stirring, hearts are yearning for You, we long for You
'Cause when we see You, we find strength to face the day
In Your Presence all our fears are washed away, washed away

Hosanna, hosanna
You are the God Who saves us, worthy of all our praises
Hosanna, hosanna
Come have Your way among us
We welcome You here, Lord Jesus

Hear the sound of hearts returning to You, we turn to You
In Your Kingdom broken lives are made new, You make us new
'Cause when we see You, we find strength to face the day
In Your Presence all our fears are washed away, washed away

Hosanna, hosanna
You are the God Who saves us, worthy of all our praises
Hosanna, hosanna
Come have Your way among us
We welcome You here, Lord Jesus

'Cause when we see You, we find strength to face the day
In Your Presence all our fears are washed away
'Cause when we see You, we find strength to face the day
In Your Presence all our fears are washed away, washed away

Hosanna, hosanna
You are the God Who saves us, worthy of all our praises
Hosanna, hosanna
Come have Your way among us
We welcome You here, Lord Jesus
Hosanna, hosanna
Hosanna, hosanna

And for all you auditory/visual learners, here's the (layman's) video:

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

I picked up this picture at Home Ec 101. It makes me smile, considering we won't get to see a nice display this year. Little Rock, Arkansas is the best place for that.

Monday, July 2, 2007


I couldn't find my baster to paint the bbq tofu with...
so baby girl & I had a little fun.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

a ha ha ha ha

The Self-Esteem Theory

A stranger complimented me today. She said, in her beautiful, accented voice, "You look so hip. You look like you're from Europe." I said thank you, and promptly stuck that one in my back pocket. I got into the car and wondered why the kind words from a stranger meant something to me.

For a while now public schools have been criticized because self-esteem has become one of their new pet topics. The church we used to attend (dubbed 1st Critical by my hubby) used to criticize the "ridiculous" exercises teachers were "forced" to go through to make sure they didn't criticize a student in a negative or harsh way (or dent the child's can, as my drama teacher, Mrs. Unkenholz, used to say). Some say teachers shouldn't be bothered with this kind of esteem building in children, but I realized today why it might be more important than the hyper-critical think. (So begins my underdeveloped theory...)

As I understand history, my generation raised more fatherless children than any before it. Father's left the home, mother's worked hard, and much of the time praise and encouragement didn't make it into the conversation. From a girl's perspective, this meant growing up without that special bond God intended between girls and their daddies, and it dwindled down the dynamic between girls and their mothers. It was detrimental to a child's healthy understanding of who they were and where they belonged. In order for their self-esteem to develop many kids found themselves misplacing the longed for attention and approval of their parents into the hands of friends and/or the opposite sex. And oh, the chaos this caused!

It's entirely possible that my fellow, fatherless friends are now members of the school board, making policy, and making sure that children get encouragement instead of criticism. They acknowledge many children aren't receiving it at home, therefore teachers are admonished to pay enough attention to their students in order to encourage them when appropriate. It seems natural, acceptable, and harmless to me.

Teachers should never replace a parent's role in giving a child praise, encouragement, direction, or purpose, but they sure can help. Let the children get all the praise and encouragement due them. They are created in the image of God, after all.

And quite possibly, when they're my age, they won't walk around with kind words from strangers stuck in their back pockets (for future reference, of course).