Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Looks Can Be Deceiving...Are Our Looks Deceiving??

While Jeremy is gone to camp, I have been watering his garden. He has been gone almost 2 weeks (he comes back on Thursday!! Yah!!) so I have noticed a lot of changes, particularly in the tomato plants.

He has two rows of tomato plants and not one of them looks the same. The interesting thing is, one plant has grown to 2 or 3 times the size of the other plants. It is green beyond belief, looks wonderful and healthy, has blooms that come up everywhere, but there is not one tomato growing on that plant. There is another plant that is about one fourth of the size of that plant, it is green, but only a light green, in fact about half the plant is really a tan color. But this tomato plant has 3 tomatoes on it! And the tomatoes are all growing bigger and bigger every day!

As I have watched those plants, it has gotten me to thinking, are "our looks" deceiving? How do we look when people from the world look at us. Do we look like that tomato plant that appears to be flourishing and growing beyond belief? When really on the inside nothing is happening. There is no fruit actually being produced. We aren't really living the life God called us to live. Or are we like the tomato plant who at first glance, looks pretty rough around the edges. But if you take a closer look, you can see the beautiful fruit growing under the rough and worn edges.

Even though plants may not all produce fruit, we as God's children produce some type of fruit. Is the fruit we produce something beautiful and sweet that draws others toward Christ or is the fruit we produce something bitter and sour that turns people away from God.

What do people see when they look at us? Do they see someone who looks really great and beautiful on the outside, but at closer look really has no substance or nothing to offer. Or do they maybe see someone who looks a little rough around the edges and a little worn, but upon closer examination, they see something beautiful and wonderful growing. Something that looks like Christ and something that causes people to take that extra look at us.

I know that no one is perfect. Only God is perfect. So why are we so worried about what we physically look like. No matter how rough and worn we look, as long as we look and smell like Jesus, nothing else really matters. Because if we look and smell like Jesus we will produce fruit, the fruit of the Spirit...love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. And there is no sweeter fruit than that!

Friday, June 23, 2006

In the Blink of an Eye...

Tomorrow, on June 24th, Ashley will turn 20 years old!! No more teenager. It's so hard to believe she is all grown up. It’s weird, even though there are a lot of things throughout 20 years you might forget, I don't think you ever forget anything about the day they were born.

Even though 20 years has past I still remember in great detail the day she decided to arrive. It started at 4:00 a.m. I won't go into all the details, but she was very stubborn, she finally arrived into the world a very long 18 and a half hours later. About 30 minutes longer and they were going to take her. It's funny how at least in my children, their delivery seems to parallel their life. She is still quite stubborn in everything she does! :)

Ashley has grown into a wonderful woman who is not only beautiful on the outside, but more importantly beautiful on the inside. I am so amazed at how God works in my children, even through all of the mistakes I make. She learned at a young age, 7th grade, that you sometimes have to stand up for faith. Even if someone who is an adult is telling you that you are wrong because of how you worship and that you and your parents are going to hell. She learned a lot and learned what it meant to study scripture and begin to own your own faith.

I was so proud of the way she handled that situation at an early age and she has continued to make me proud. Even when the mom in me wanted to sometimes throttle some people, (through school, sports, etc.) she continued to so God's love and taught me a lot in the process. She still does. She has a heart for always seeing the good in people. And continues to teach me a lot in that area as well as others.

She is a junior at ACU now, a long way from those 1st cries 20 years ago, and she still amazes me. And her amazing smile still melts my heart. So Happy Birthday Ashley! I can't wait to see what the Lord is going to use you for and accomplish through you as you become a young adult. Always keep your eyes focused on God and remember whose you are. I love you!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A New Psalm

About 15 years ago while we were at the Mesquite church, God sent 2 incredible people into my life. I learned a lot over the years from Rick & Beverly, but one specific thing that has always stayed with me is the first series of lessons I ever remember Beverly doing. They were on the book "The Blessing" by Trent and Smalley. Those lessons and that book have been some of the greatest blessings in my life.

Through that study I learned what it meant give your children the blessing and pray blessings over them. If you have never read that book, I encourage you to do so. It will change your life, but more importantly it can change the lives of your children through the blessings you learn to pray over them.

Among many other blessings, I have always told Jeremy what a heart for the Lord I see in him. And that the Lord is going to use him in incredible and amazing ways in His kingdom. It has been amazing over the last few months to watch the way the Lord is using Jeremy among the youth at Highland Oaks. It has caused him to really show his love for the Lord even more. I Praise God for that. He went to Encounter at LCU a coupe of weeks ago and he said that it was amazing. I know it was because he has started something incredible that can only come from the Lord.

It fills my heart with such joy and love for the Lord when I see God bringing those blessings I have prayed over my children into realization. Jeremy is gone this week and next week to another camp, Camp Wyldewood in Searcy. They have an amazing camp there as well. Before he left, I asked him if I could share what the Lord has put on his heart. He said that I could.

One of the other things I have always prayed for over my children is that God will do whatever it takes in them to draw them continually into a more intimate relationship with Him. As a mom, that is sometimes a hard prayer to pray. Because you don't know where it is leading. But it is so amazing when you can see the blessings you have asked for children come into fruition. When Jeremy got back from Encounter, he decided he was going to try and start writing his own Psalms. The following is the first one he wrote...

"Hear my cry oh, Lord. I cry out to the heavens when I feel the war inside of me. Your consuming fire takes hold of my body and burns away all my impurities, it cleanses me fully. I thank you, my God, for cleansing me. Showing me my wrongs and allowing me to bring them to you, for you to take them. My heart cries out for the ones who are suffering. It pains me like a needle to my nail. Lord take us now! So the new born ones wont have time to fall and we wont disappoint you anymore. Hear my cry, oh Lord. Hear my cry...."

"by the power of Christ in me..." -- Jeremy Moore

Wow! God is so amazing when we let Him work through and in our lives. I praise God for the gift and the heart he has given Jeremy. My prayer is that God will continue to use Jeremy even more and that He will continue to fill him with His Spirit.

To God be All the Glory and Praise!!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day Thoughts

Father's Day is one of those holidays that I have struggled with over the years. My father passed away with cancer when I was 12 years old. I have lots of great memories with my father for which I am very thankful. But there have also been struggles along the way. One thing I struggled with for years was the fact that the last time I saw my dad at home was the day after his 36 birthday. I knew my father had cancer, but back then you didn't really hear as much as you do now about people dying with cancer. So I don't think I thought it would every really happen. (I know that no one every thinks or wants that to happen and I don't mean for that to sound belittling to anyone going through that struggle right now. I’m just remembering thoughts from a 12 year mind.) My father was taken to the hospital for the last time the day after his birthday. That was at a time when children were not allowed to visit patients in the hospital under any circumstances. It was just not permitted. So my dad left that day with me not really realizing that was the last time I would see him alive. I still remember vividly a few days later when my aunt came to pick me up at school. I knew what had happened without anyone saying a word. I didn't realize until many years later how I had struggled with not being able to say goodbye. Of course I told him goodbye as he was leaving that night, but in my 12 year old heart I didn't know it was "goodbye".

When I was in my 30's I had my first small group experience with a group of wonderful women. We studied "Experiencing God" by Blackaby. As we began that study I had such a hard time understanding how to have a relationship with my heavenly Father. But through that study, with the help of those women and most of all the help of God, I began to realize why I had such a hard time with that relationship. Besides the fact that when we were all growing up a relationship with God was never talked about, I realized I felt cheated by not still having a relationship with my earthly father. I hadn't been able to let go of those feelings because I realized I was still troubled by never being able to say goodbye. Through that study and through many personal bible studies since, I have learned to trust in God and the relationship that he wants with me. I have learned that he is always there and He will never leave. The foundation of my relationship with God to this day is based largely on that 1st small group with those women. I praise God for allowing me that opportunity with them and for showing me that He is truly seeking a relationship with ME!

As I have had my own children, there are still times I greatly miss my earthly father and still struggle some on occasion with father's day. Times like when your children are born, when the play their first ball game, when they're in the school musical and you think about him not being there to share in those special moments personally. And as my son gets older I am sometimes reminded of father even more. People who knew my father think Jeremy looks a lot like him. I think so too. Jeremy loves a lot of the same things that my father did. Jeremy has always loved to be outside, he likes to garden, he loves animals, I could go on and on. It's things like that I remember about my father and see in Jeremy that make father's day or any other day sometimes a little harder. Jeremy has the most Godly heart you could ever imagine and at the same time he can also be the most mischievous thing you have ever seen. I know from stories I have been told all my life about my father when he was Jeremy's age, that he was the exact same way. So even the mischievousness of Jeremy makes me think of my father and how I miss him. I know they would be best friends, two peas in a pod and probably driving us all nuts!

Even as those things sometimes make me sad, I also take great comfort in them. My father was a wonderful husband, father and son, but most of all he was a child of God. So I know there will come a time when we are all together again, when he will see what a beautiful Godly woman Ashley has become and when he and Jeremy are hi-fiving at all the things Jeremy did to make this mom crazy! It makes me smile just to think about it.

I have learned to experience father's day through my own husband and my children. I am very thankful for my husband and the godly leader and example he is in our home. I know that he was sent to me by God. I love and cherish him and I praise God for sending him into my life. God is allowing us to help guide His children that he has so graciously loaned to us for a time. I am so very grateful for that.

So through it all I have learned to call on God by two of favorite names Jehovah Shammah “the Lord is there” and Jehovah Nissi “the Lord is my banner”. I have learned to adjust my father's day thoughts to those with my children's father and the blessing he is in all of our lives, to always look to my heavenly father in and for all things, and to know that because my father was a child of God we will all be together again one day.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Groanings too Deep for Words

I seem to be thinking a lot about the power of prayer lately. Not that I don't always pray and I know its power, there are just times when everything seems to be more focused through my prayers. Now seems to be one of those times. There are several things that are heavy on my heart that I have been in constant prayer about over the last couple of weeks.

I find myself praying several times a day for these things and it feels like I sometimes say the same things over and over. It sometimes makes me wonder if God gets tired of hearing the same things over and over from us. Like we sometimes do when someone keeps pestering us about the same thing constantly. Even though I know He doesn't feel that way, the human side of me sometimes still wonders about it.

I am so thankful for a God who has given us His word so that when we feel those types of things, we can go to His word and know that He never grows tired of hearing from us. As I was doing my bible studying the other day I started looking through my bible for something I had marked. I ran across the verse Romans 8:26 (which wasn't what I was looking for at the time, or was it?) "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." Wow! It's not that I haven't seen that verse before, I have it marked it my bible, but I love the way that God brings us things through His word just when we need it! The way His word is new every day! Because even if we've read something a million times, God's word has a way of hitting us with freshness and newness every time we read it. I know that I didn’t just happen to run across that verse at that time. God knew that I needed to be reminded that He still wants to hear from me even if I’m coming to Him with the same ole’ things. He wanted to remind me, He understands my pain and my groanings and He longs to hear from me.

I am so thankful that as God hears my prayers, which I sometimes feel must be like reruns to Him, that the Spirit intercedes for me in ways I cannot imagine. The phrase "groanings too deep for words" is so powerful. Because sometimes I don't even know what to pray, but to know that God knows my heart so well, that the Spirit is groaning before the Father, just for ME (and for you) is one of the most amazing comforts I know.

Romans 8:28 "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

I know that God hears my prayers and that whatever way they are answered, He will work it all out for good. I praise God for the sending of His son, so that we can have that connection to the Father while we are here on this earth. How much more incredible is that connection going to be when we see Him face to face! I can't wait!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Why Worry or be Anxious

I was reading Tim Spivey's blog today on relaxing. (http://www.timspivey.com/) It got me to thinking about how hard it is to sometimes relax. For me, I seem to have so much on my mind, that I sometimes feel like I can’t relax. Satan puts so many distractions in our life to try and keep our focus off of God. At least he seems to in mine. I believe one of the biggest distractions that Satan throws at us is worrying. Matthew 6:34 says, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." The ESV says, "“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

For me I think I'm more anxious than what I would call a worrier. But ultimately, I guess they are both the same. Satan tries to fill our minds with all the what ifs and the what if I do this rather than that, and all it does is cloud our minds with meaningless worry, anxiousness and fretting. We do we not seem to remember the awesome God in which we serve. I feel like my faith is strong, stronger than it's ever been, but still I let Satan throw his demons of doubt, worry and anxiousness into my life.

I pray for a faith that can overcome those distractions that Satan so cleverly puts in our path. I hate the way he even seems to invade my prayers, when there is something heavy on my heart. I find myself even while I'm talking to God and turning things over to Him, saying what if this or what if that. Fortunately, I catch myself in those thoughts and beg God not to let Satan steal anything from me that our awesome God wants to bless me with. But it makes me feel that maybe there is something in my faith that is not as strong as needs to be. I feel sometimes like the father whose son was healed of the evil spirit in Mark 9 when he say's to Jesus "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" We want to turn things over to God, but Satan wants us to hang on to even one little bit of it. Because in doing that, we aren’t truly letting God control the situation and be master of our lives the way He wants to be.

I want to be so full of the spirit of God, that I do not let Satan fill my head with his demons of worry and anxiousness. I want to be like the man who says "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" Because what God has to offer us is so much more powerful and intimate and wonderful than anything Satan can throw in our path. If we truly let God take control, He can do amazing things. But He doesn’t need our help. We have to be willing to give it ALL to Him. 2 Corinthians says “9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” I know that God works through these weaknesses in our lives so that He can fill us with His power. I just don’t want to limit His power in me by my unbelief.

John 1 says...1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. ESV

Praise God for His light that overcomes ANY darkness!

Friday, June 09, 2006


Way to go Mavs!! They won game 1 and if Dirk gets going, watch out. They might just win it in 4! And even Shaq almost broke a record! Actually his own... and only Shaq could have a record of 0-8 in free throw attempts with no points scored! He tied his record tonight, hopefully he'll break that record the next game. Way to go Shaq!! And only with Shaq would announcers make comments like "his free throw percentage is really down in the playoffs." His percentage in the playoffs is 40%. His percentage during the regular season was 47%! Whooooo....it's really dropped during the playoffs! Ha Ha!! I've seen elementary kids with better form during free throws than he has!

The Mavs are awesome!!! I predict Dirk to be the MVP of the finals! I know he'll step it up!


Sunday, June 04, 2006

I am Thankful...

We were privileged to be able to attend the Medina Children's Home annual benefit dinner this weekend. We ended up getting to see a lot of old friends which was an added bonus. Gerald Turner, the president of SMU was the speaker. While he was quite good, I was even more blessed to hear the testimonies of some of the children and mothers who either are or have been at Medina. One young man who ended up at the home when he was teenager, has just graduated from Harding University and is working on his masters there! May God continue to bless him and the others who are and who will cross through the threshold that is called Medina Children's Home. What an awesome work they are doing there.

As I have continued to think about these children, it makes me think of how thankful I am for the family in which I grew up in. My family was not perfect, no family is. But I always had a roof over my head. We never had lots of "things", but our pantry was always overflowing. And we always had a refrigerator in the garage FULL of Coca Cola and Dr. Pepper. I grew up back when everything came in a glass bottle and tasted absolutely wonderful! I can remember a section of one wall of our garage that was always loaded with cartons of Cokes and DP's. My mom always bought them on sale. There is still nothing like a Coke right out of the bottle and to this day, I still don't drink Dr. Pepper unless I can find the ones in the bottle made with imperial sugar from Dublin, TX the way they were originally made. Now that's a Dr. Pepper!

I also had a wonderful father who died when I was in the 6th grade with cancer. Even though I had my father for a much shorter time than most people, I still have wonderful memories. I am thankful that though my time was cut short, I had a father who loved me and thought the world of me. I think of some of the children from Medina whose fathers drank and then beat them and their mothers and it's reminds me that even though my time was short, I was still blessed by a wonderful, loving father. After hearing their stories, I realize I got more love and blessing from my father in a short time, than they have in their entire lives. I am so very grateful for that.

I am also grateful that even though my earthly father is no longer physically with me, I have the assurance through Christ that we will meet again one day. I am also grateful for the knowledge that my heavenly father is always here with me. Because of the loss of my father, it took me a long time to realize that, but I am so thankful for the relationship I have now with my heavenly father. And I know that through the Medina Children's Home, these children have learned that relationship and blessing as well. Hebrews:5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Praise God for His blessings, through places like the Medina Children’s Home. If you haven't told your family lately how much you love them, please tell them, because they are a blessing from God. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. You do not know how long you'll have them.

On a different note, this was also a charity auction. They had an autographed basketball signed by Dirk in this nice ball case. For those who know my daughter Ashley, she is absolutely a Dirk fanatic! We went to a Medina dinner a couple of years ago and they had a Dirk ball that went for $200 in the silent auction. She just about flipped out that year when I told her about it and said, "I would have paid that for it!!". So this year, I called her from the dinner and told her about this ball, it was at $325 at this point. She sat there on the phone for a minute and said, "Hmmm.... I'll go to $500!" I said are you sure??? And she said “Yes!”. You might be wondering how a college student would have that kind of money. Well, she has been working all year at the Abilene Newspaper. And of course she never spends "her" money she only spends the money we send her. Anyway, back to the ball (I got sidetracked on a parent moment!!)... I bid on it once about 25 minutes before the end of auction. When they announced it was 5 minutes until the auction was closing, I went back and the bid had increased to $400, so I waited until about the last 2 minutes to increase the bid to $425. Well, the auction ended and we ended up with a basketball! She was besides herself! We came home and sat it on the fireplace. When she arrived home later, she walked over and took the case off the ball, pick it up and looked at it, and then smelled it! Yes, my daughter smelled the ball! I told you she was a fanatic. Then she placed the cover back on the ball and just smiled from ear to ear.

So I guess on that note, all I can say now is.....
GO MAVS!!!!!


Mavs win the West!!

Bring on the Heat...


Thursday, June 01, 2006

Blessed by God Through Others

As I mentioned in my previous post, we are now attending Highland Oaks Church of Christ. We started our Summer Series last night and Chris Seidman from the Farmers Branch Church of Christ was the kick off speaker. I'm know I'm a little late on the draw on this one, but that was the first time I had ever heard him speak. WOW!! He said some powerful things that have really gotten me thinking about the way I am living for Christ. I'd like to share a couple of his thoughts with you.

He said, "The degree to which you experience the promises, is directly related to the degree in which you step out on the premises. In order to experience the promises you have to 1st step on the premises." That's a lot to put your mind around and I won't even try to go into his specific details, (I could never do them justice), but I think it is so true in our lives. He even commented that we all want to accept God’s promises, but some of us don’t even want to step on the premises!

He used the text from Joshua 3 where it talks about them crossing the Jordan. It wasn’t like when Moses crossed the Red Sea and the waters parted while they all watched, the water stopped flowing when they set foot in the Jordan. He also spoke about Joshua 1, where it says that God will give you every place you set your foot.

There are so many things out there that God is just waiting to give us, but we don't have enough initiative, maybe faith... to just step out on the premises and allow God to bless us with all of His promises. Chris Seidman's lesson really got me thinking about where I set my feet. If God is going to give me every place I set my feet, I better make sure they are setting on the right places!

I love the way that God's word is new every day. No matter how many times you read something from God's word, there is always something new to learn. I am so thankful for the way God blesses men like Chris Seidman and our minister Tim Spivey who study His word and blesses them with the ability to share those insights with others. They are both very young men and God has given them an incredible talent to teach and share with others.

I pray that the premises on which I set my feet are worthy of the promises that God is waiting to bless me with.