Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Glory of God....and twenty five years

Jeremy got back from Honduras a few weeks ago. The picture on the header of my blog is a picture he took while he was in the air from the airplane. It's one of the most incredible pictures I've ever seen. When I look at that picture, it's like I'm looking at God in all of his brilliance. The clouds look like mountains, the sun shining through makes everything just illuminate, the sun overhead shines over the whole picture with a glowing brilliance. It reminds me of a song called "I See the Lord"

I see the Lord seated on the throne exalted,
and the train of His robe fills the temple with glory,
and the whole earth is filled with His glory.

When I look at that picture, that's what I see. It's like the train of His robe is filling the sky with His glory. God lives in us. When people look at us, do we look like the train of His robe has filled our temple with His glory? What would this world be like, if when people looked at us as Christians, they saw the glory of God illuminating through us with such brilliance? I dare say the world would be a much better place.

If God can make the sky light up with such brilliance, how much more brilliant is it going to be some day when we are truly standing surrounded by the train of His robe. It's going to be amazing! I can't wait!

(here is a larger picture. I had to shrink the header.)

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord
seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train
of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs,
each with six wings: With two wings they covered their
faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two
they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty:
the whole earth is full of his glory."

Isaiah 6:1-3


Today is also mine and Chris' 25th wedding anniversary! Twenty five years goes by so fast. For our anniversary, our garage door springs broke. So we get to replace those at probably around $200. There is always something!

I am so blessed to married to my best friend. He is my partner in life and my spiritual partner. There is no one I would rather spend my life with. We have had lots of incredible journey's along the way. I can't wait to see what the next 25 years holds. You are my love and my life. I love you Chris! Happy Anniversary!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Going Through the Motions

I generally feel like my life is going pretty good. I've got things pretty much together, I have a great family, I have great friends, I go to church regularly, I pretty much do all the right things. As I began my day yesterday, I realized that things weren't really what I had perceived them to be. They rarely are when you've got so many "I's" working for you. (or against you)

I got ready for church yesterday morning and I had a few extra minutes before leaving (a great feat in and of it self for me! because I'm not a morning person) so I opened my bible up to James and started to ready. I only had time to read for about 5 minutes before everyone was ready to go, but that 5 minutes was enough to bother me. There were a couple of phrases that seemed to just jump out and knock me back. "he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind." And then, "unstable in all he does". I left for church thinking, why did those phrases pop out at me? I've got things together.

We got to class and had another great lesson, by Jim Kirk. He has an incredible way of teaching and making you feel like your watching a movie. He brings the stories we are discussing to life in remarkable ways. By the end of his class, I felt even more like I was being convicted in my heart. A couple of things he said to close class were, "Only when we realize we need cleansing, can we be cleansed." "Only when we reach the end of "our" way, we will turn to God and accept His way." It really hit me and I started thinking, "am I really trying to do everything my way?"

Then, on to worship. I looked at the song selection in the bulletin and thought, wow... that's a great list of songs. We got into our worship time and after the call to worship, the next song was "Breathe". I was thinking, oh I really like that song and we haven't sung it in a while. But then our worship minister, Chad Higgins, had us stop and breathe in deeply. He asked us to thing about what we picture God's glory to be and breathe that in deeply and then exhale, to continue to breathe the Glory of God in deeply and exhale and after several times of doing this, we began singing the song "Breathe". The song convicted me like never before. The lyrics are...

This is the air I breathe
This is the air I breathe
Your holy presence living in me

This is my daily bread
This is my daily bread
Your very word spoken to me

And I, I'm desperate for you
And I, I'm lost without you

The part about God being the air that I breathe, started to hit me. Do I really allow Him to be the air that I breathe? And when we reached the words, "I'm desperate for you, I'm lost without you" I realized just how desperate I was. I realized in that moment that I let myself get caught up in the motions of being a child of God. I had let my spiritual life become routine. I had not been breathing in the air that is God and I truly was desperate for Him. I realized that the words in James I had read earlier that morning where the beginning of my conviction that morning. Because I realized I did feel like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind and I felt unstable in all I did. When we start having so many I's in our language, we lose sight of the fact that "I" am nothing without "Him".

I want God to always be the air that I breathe. There is no other air that is more refreshing!

the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground
and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,
and the man became a living being.
Genesis 2:7

God is the air that I breathe! Blessings!

Friday, July 20, 2007

A Little Weekend Humor for Talking off Those Pounds!

There seems to be several of us trying to take off some of those unwanted pounds. It can be very hard to do and very hard to stay focused on your goal. Obviously keeping God at the center is the first step. But for those days when you feel like screaming, click here for a little something to make you smile!

(it may take a few seconds to load)

Enjoy and have a great weekend!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Looking to Ourselves for Change

As I was driving down the road the other day, I passed a church that had an interesting statement on their marquee. I can't remember what it said exactly, or even the name of the church in which I saw it. But the implication of the comment has stuck with me and caused me to think.

It said something like... Change in me what I see in others that I think needs to be changed.
It's one of those statements you have to read over and over a few times to really let it sink in. I started thinking about the times I see someone doing something and think they shouldn't be doing it, or they shouldn't be acting that way, or why on earth would you do something like that.

How many times do we say things like that. It's so easy to see in others the changes we think they need to make in themselves. Maybe it's so easy to see those things, because God is trying to show us those are things we need to change about ourselves. We are so blind or maybe so arrogant that we don't seem to be able to see as easily the things we need to change in our own lives or with the way we act in certain situations. I bet if we really stepped back and looked at ourselves, we would see lots of things we need to change.

What if, every time we wanted to make a comment about something in someone else we thought they needed to change, we just didn't. And we took that thought and applied it to ourselves and our own lives. Do you think we would begin to see that there are lots of things in our own lives we need to be working on? That there really isn't time for us to worry about the things everyone else needs to change if we focus those thoughts inwardly and apply them to ourselves? My grandmother had a saying, "You need to clean out from under your own doorstep before you start worrying about someone else's." And I imagine that if we started looking inwardly first, and things started to change in us, we would see far less wrong with those around us.

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ,
if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with
the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy
complete by being like-minded, having the same love,
being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish
ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better
than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your
own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Philippians 2:1-4

Blessings! And have a great week!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Medina Children's Home and Avery Johnson

On Saturday, June 30th, Chris and I were privileged to be a part of the annual benefit dinner benefiting the children of the Medina Children's Home. Avery Johnson was this year's guest speaker. He was awesome! But more on that later.

We were a part of the auction committee so we were there beginning at 9:30 at a.m. that day. It was a long day, but when you hear the stories of those children, it's all worth it! It is so cool to be a part of something that does so much for the kids at Medina. Between the silent auction and the live auction alone, $36,000 was raised for the children. (At the silent auction there was a really cool Pirates of the Caribbean Movie Poster with an inset autographed picture of Johnny Depp!! It went for way out of my price range...But Johnny Depp is another story!!:) That doesn't even include donations made that night, corporate donations and the 1300 seats that were sold!! It is truly amazing to see all of that go to these kids.

We have been privileged to help and attend for several years and it's always amazing to hear the stories of some of these kids and the struggles they have overcome. I cannot even imagine telling a child, "even God doesn't love you" as one girl who is now graduating from A&M was told by her mother before she arrived at Medina. It literally breaks your heart. And to see how far these kids have come because of a place like the Medina Children's Home is just amazing. Only a God who truly does love them very much could get them to where they are now. Praise God and praise God for the Medina Children's Home.

It was also a great privilege to hear Avery Johnson speak. Somehow, God graciously allowed us to sit at the 2nd table from the front! I don't know how that happened, but we are so grateful! What an incredible, Godly man Avery is. His story was amazing. He has overcome so many things to get to where he is and said that he realized, "If things don't change, things don't change". He gives God the credit and the praise for where he is in his life. I only wish he had more time to speak. Not only is his story very inspiring, he has such a gentle voice. He is known as "The Little General". But there is nothing little about him. He has a big heart, a big love for God and a big smile that can't help but make you smile also. A big thanks to Avery for giving his time to such a worthy cause.

May God continue to bless the Medina Children's Home and all the good work going on there.

Jesus said, "Let the little chidren come to me,
and do not hinder them,

for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.
Matthew 19:14

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Rain Continues...

The rain continues here in this part of Texas, as I'm sure it does in most of your areas as well. I have never seen so much rain in my life. It is raining here pretty much every day and has been for about a month. There are sporadic times of sun, but mostly rain.

I was driving home the other day and the sun was shining. All of sudden as I got closer to home everything turned dark and down came another torrential downpour. It lasted about 5 minutes and then stopped, but then more rain came later that day. The 4th here was great though. A few showers in the morning and then what turned out to be a gorgeous day outside with a great breeze. Probably one of the coolest 4th of July's I've ever experienced. It was spent with dear friends which just made it that much better!

As we are in mid summer, I find myself so busy. I usually think summer is when things slow down. But this summer has been busier than most. The other hard thing about summer is we are out of our usual routines. For me, that makes it harder to keep my focus, stay up with my studying, etc. I find myself falling into old patterns that I'm trying to correct.

As I was getting out of my car the other day in yet another rainstorm, I began thinking about how much rain we've had. It is so unusual. And then I started thinking about how I've been getting out of good habits and thinking of the world and all the worldly things that go on. As I watched and thought about the rain, a thought struck me. It's almost like God is trying to clean up the world some with all of the rain. I know that's not really why the rain is here, but it did start me to thinking.

It rains and rains and just when you think it's not going to rain anymore, then it starts again. Almost like God saying, ok... things are looking better now, wait... no, there they go again. We need more washing out of the old habits.

It really made me think about my life and making sure my good habits stay good and don't get lost in my busyness. It was like God was telling me, I've gotten her cleaned up to start fresh, again, oh... maybe not... there she goes again.

Although I know that Jesus' blood continually cleanses us, I don't want to feel like I'm in a state of needing to be washed continually because my focus doesn't stay where it needs to be. And I'm not talking about huge things... I'm talking about just letting every day life get in the way and letting myself resort to old habits of putting reading the word at the end of the day if I'm not too tired, rather than starting the day with it; being grouchy at someone who cuts me off in traffic rather than thinking, wow... they could really be having a bad day today; etc.

I love the fact that God's grace and Jesus' blood continually wash over me and keep pure in His eyes. But I don't want to make him feel like, Ok... start the showers, here she goes again. I thank God for the rain this Earth so desperately needed, but I'm praying for spiritual blue skies for the rest of the summer!

(On a side note, Jeremy left this morning for a mission trip to Honduras with the Highland Oaks youth. Please keep him and his group in your prayers.)

In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 2 Timothy 2:20-22