Wednesday, October 31, 2012

God in the Storm

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV)

The wind rose and the water swelled as hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast. She was scheduled to show New York, and its surrounding states, no mercy. My relatives, whom I love dearly, reside in those areas and, I am sure, prepared for the worst. The last time a loved one of mine saw a hurricane was when Katrina slammed into Louisiana and Mississippi. It did not go well.

This time, however, everyone reports they weathered the storm okay. Thank you, Lord! I am so grateful for your hedge of protection around those I adore so much!

Speaking of "storms"...A few weeks ago I was sitting with someone and we were discussing unequally yoked relationships. How insanely difficult they are! It is no wonder the scriptures advise against them! I mean, really! The seventh commandment should say (not that I am adding onto or changing something God created...I'm just saying), "You shall not commit adultery or marry outside the church!"

Perhaps youth groups should do a course on "unequally yoked" marriages so our Uth have a better understanding of what the word of God says regarding this topic. I am sure few plan how, when, or with whom they will "fall in love". I have many times heard the statement, "Hey, I can't help who I fall in love with!" But what about if one waits it out and trusts wholly in our God and who He has for each of us?! It's worth it, don't you think? What "could be" or "could have been...if only"...depending on the person and situation.

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? (2 Corinthians 6:14, 15 ESV)
It's like they cannot understand each other. One is speaking in a foreign language and they just get frustrated trying to communicate and make it work. There is no "common ground". No "same page".

What portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? Not much. Maybe one-forth, tops! If that. Or one-eighth or even one-sixteenth. Partnerships are hard enough without throwing the "unevenly yoked" issue into it! Blah! Do you hear me, single, females? What would I tell my own daughters? (Given they would listen to me on this one.) Wait on the Lord! His timing is not our own and it may seem like "forever". But, be patient! He sees and knows hearts! That is HUGE, of course!

But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.' (Acts 26:16-18 ESV)

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Me Without You by TobyMac

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
(Psalm 103:1. ESV.)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

God in the Not So Everyday

One hundred, eighty-seven miles by motorcycle. My idea of a SPLENDID time! Especially on a Suzuki GSXR. (And being I was not the operator...this time...but that's a post for another day.) Weight on my arms, now to my legs, I shift my feet on the pegs. This was going to be my routine the entire ride in an effort to keep pressure off of hubs' back and arms. "Wouldn't a cruiser be more comfortable for joy rides?" one might ask. Perhaps, but I love the "crotch rockets"! I am so in love with them, per say, I do not mind how uncomfortable the ride might get.

Each red light (and stop sign, for that matter) offers a moment of rest as we both sit up. Shake out the arms, ease the legs. The light prepares to turn green and we resume our rocketing positions. We hit the open road and lean into the turns. I cannot help thinking about Luke Skywalker and Leia on the speeder, racing through the forest, on the moon of Endor in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. I am so relaxed as we pass through Toyon to Angels Camp, I could fall asleep.

The temperature in the air suddenly changes as we reach the higher altitude and Arnold. Trees line the road and I am reminded of Big Sur and Big Bear Mountain. How fun would it be to rent a cabin in the woods with a fireplace! We pass quaint establishments on a picturesque highway and stop at the Giant Burger Soft Serve Ice Cream joint (before heading back home). Would this place count as a diner, drive-in, or dive? We capture the attention of some patrons seated outside when we pull in. I reckon they like the bikes.

Truly a magnificent day! The adventure, the diversion, the wind against my body like free falling tandem to another human being while barreling toward the earth! But, most importantly...the wonderful time spent with incredible companions! The other couple with whom we traveled are absolutely a blessing to know and I am thankful for our time together!

And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:44-47. ESV.)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

God in the Everyday

They are like bees coming out of a hive, sounding irritated. Engines revving, the guy stands with his sign high in the air. The anticipation builds. Then the sign turns, the gate drops, and off they go! Buzzing around the track, they drop a booted foot at each turn and skirt their bike around it. The stench of exhaust muscling through the fresh air like a bully pushing in a crowd. Dirt goes flying as riders are neck in neck. Paramedics running, yellow flags waving to indicate a crash. It is the last night of "Friday Night Motocross" at the raceway and we could not miss it, of course.

The rainy months are here. Jack Frost blows in my face and I fold my arms tight against my chest. No wonder the races are over until the Spring. Who wants to ride in the cold precipitation on a saturated track? Not many, I suppose, hence the close of the season.

"It stinks around here," I say.

"I like it!" replies the Little Leaguer. He is geared up and ready to go...covered from head to toes---helmet, goggles, neck guard, jersey, gloves, chest protector, riding pants, and boots.

When it is his turn I follow him around the track with my eyes, standing on the tailgate like at the edge of a cliff. "Eyes in the sky," so I can see the entire course. Hubs positions himself in the center of the track as riders wind around him, over "table tops", around flat turns, and skimming the "whoops". He watches the Little Leaguer in the pack. Tenth place tonight. Not half bad for a beginner with a four stroke. Fumes hang in the air and attach themselves to clothes and hair, like those of a camp fire. It will take me forever to get the smell off.

But this is what the Little Leaguer currently loves. Who am I to take away such joy? Grades are good and attitude, decent. Six months of practice until the next races. The motos go quickly. We are done and leaving by 8:30 p.m....a record! Truly a sign that the interest (and crowds) are dwindling...until next year.

I am thankful for safe travel to and from this event and for a hedge of protection around the Little Leaguer as he participates in this worldly pleasure.
He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life.

The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
(Psalm 121:3-8.)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Not Only to His Own Interests, But Also to the Interests of Others

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4.)

The sun shined brightly, yesterday, in a clear, blue sky as its heat tried to penetrate the cool air announcing, "Winter is almost here!" (Not that I am a fan of old man winter or his boy wonder side kick, Jack Frost! I much prefer the humid, tropical climate or even a dash of Spring or hint of Fall...without all the freezing, cold rain, of course. Giant, warm drops that soak a person in one hit is more my speed.) Anyhow, as I was admiring the touch of warmth on my face I could not stop thinking about Philippians 2:4 and how everyone seems so BUSY these days. I once heard an acronym for the word BUSY...perhaps on the radio...consisting of BUSY: Being Under Satan's Yoke. A shout out, no less, to Mary and Martha. This, of course, made me stop in my tracks. Am I too BUSY in my own interests that I blow off those of others?!

This is a picture of me and Sweet Pea. Sweet Pea (who is very, very dear to me) has been going through chemotherapy treatments for the past few months and turns 10 months old, today!  Though I get regular updates as to how Pea is doing, I wish I was closer and could offer some hands on help. But for now, my prayers are all I have to give.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15 ESV)
Pea's parents (who are amazing believers, by the way) meet with the surgeon today to discuss the next step in treatment.  God is my King, my Heavenly Father, my provider, my protector, etc.  I truly believe in His sovereignty and His loving hand in all of this.  He gives the tools that are needed and we have faith in Him and His will for precious Sweet Pea.  Our hope is in a full recovery with no reoccurring issues.
I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away. (Ecclesiastes 3:14, 15 ESV)

On a lighter note...this is some random dog who keeps showing up in our backyard. One of the neighborhood kids broke our fence so as to climb through it. Though my friend and I tried blocking the gaping hole, there is enough room for this young pup to come bounding into the yard. It seems we have become the "Island of Misfit Pets."

We already have a cat who has adopted us which the kiddos call, Charlie. Lovely as she is, I cannot allow her in the house because I have cat allergies (including sinus headaches and hives).  Though each chance she gets, "Charlie" tries to jet passed whoever may have the door open, at any given time, and roam around our home.  Her owners live two doors down and appear to leave "Charlie" out in the elements.  Rain or shine, hot or cold, she makes her way around the housing area looking for shelter, food, and water.  On harsh nights I let the kiddos put her in our garage to sleep on an old mattress from our RV (recreational vehicle).  Others leave out food and water for her and her sister (which my crew has dubbed, Ms. Mittens.)

I feel we lose out when we do not take the time to serve what ever way they need to be served!
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:3-8 ESV)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Half Baked Toys

As we continue to prepare for our move, we have been "down sizing" (yay!). Which, of course, means saying, "Good bye," to various items both sentimental and not (so much). Little by little we go through the garage, closets, and other areas, sorting amongst possessions we have had since we got married and bought (or rather, financed) this house. (Other things date back to before we even knew eachother.) This home being the one in which each of us has stayed the longest in our lives.

In addition to sorting and packing, we are also getting accustomed to the showing of our residence. Thankfully, I usually get at least 24 hours notice but keeping the place "show ready" is (as I have mentioned) a challenge and when the agents bring in buyers, we have to make ourselves scarce, of course...including the dogs.

Whether we are off running errands or just hanging out at the park, my precious pooches enjoy going for a ride in the SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle). Sydney (the pug) generally sits on the floor in the back seat and the brute (Brutus the white Boxer) is delighted to have the 3rd row folded down and all to himself.  When we are not in motion I open the back window so he can take in the fresh air...not yet too cold, despite being on the fringe of winter.  I have yet to smell the fireplaces burning at night.

Frequent trips to the storage unit are going to be thrown into the mix, soon, as well. Further, I cannot help wondering about our next dwelling place. I know we are going to rent and we have an idea as to where, however we are not actively seeking anything.
I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away. (Ecclesiastes 3:14, 15 ESV)

I tried to talk the kiddos into putting this peddle car on the curb with the other "free" items but they were not going for it. I thought they were too big for it now but they (and hubs) insist they are not. Oh, alrighty then. (We got it off of one of our neighbors.) The curbside pieces started with a few beloved, half baked, outdoor toddler toys. By the end of the evening it ranged from toys to home decor with a tad of this and that thrown in there.

We finished up at roughly 8:00 that evening and by 9:30 the following morning all but two items (a suitcase and booster seat) were gone.  Infact, we have since put out another group of items and everything but the suitcase and booster seat disappeared from that batch, too.  I guess no one wants a suitcase and booster seat.  I'll most likely end up donating all of our old suitcases (there's at least three) to foster children so they do not have to pack their belongings in garbage bags when they move from placement to placement.  (That breaks my heart when their stuff is just tossed into trash bags.  I cannot imagine what that action says to them.  But that is a post for another day!)

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24.)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Cloudy with a Chance of Power Outages

I opened (or rather cracked open) my eyelids breifly. It was still way too early to even think about getting up. But something had woke me. My water bottle was close enough to reach but I made excuses why not to roll and grab it for a quick drink before falling back to sleep. Then, suddenly, it became nearly pitch black and all was silent. There was no hum of household electronics or the purr of the heating and air conditioning unit. I thought it odd but not enough to get me out of bed to investigate.

It was not until the sunlight touched the sky this morning that I realized the power was out...annoying but not usual around these parts. "Vacation day," the kiddos cheered. Yeah, no, I don't think so. Nice try, though. It is business as usual.

I am wondering if the rainy season has officially started. Generally, it saves itself for October 31st each year, but perhaps this time will be different. Hubs and I have a motorcycle ride planned for later in the week so I am hopeful the clouds will clear out and we will have beautiful weather for our excursion.

The power was restored not too late in the morning but still, gray loomed all around as raindrops fell on and off. This was mild compared to other places in our region, as I understand it. There was snow and tornadoes, this afternoon! What!? Thank you, Lord, that all I have had to deal with is precipitation and seven hours without power.

Do all things without grumbling or questioning. (Philippians 2:14.)

This is one I hear myself say to my children often. I guess the apples do not fall far from the tree and I should place a guard over my mouth more often. In all things, I should give thanks!

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4.)

Hum, switching gears here, because that is what I do...jump from one thing to another in no time, flat! I am excited to come across this verse. I feel it is so easy to get wrapped up in the things that are right in front of my face and the stuff that demands my immediate attention that sometimes (or even often times) I forget to look past my own nose to those I love and call "family" and "friend" take "interest" in their day to day lives.

Praying tomorrow my attitude will be better!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Time to Laugh and a Time to Embrace

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
(Ecclesiastes 3:4a and 5b. ESV.)

My friend and I have had an enlightening (and somewhat frustrating) weekend. First, our peddling failed miserably yesterday and today was round two...a "Blessings Unlimited" party at my house! Not disappointing as yesterday however, with all of the invitations I handed out, I certainly expected more than just a handful of people to show up!

Knowing only two people R.S.V.Ped (albeit one was a "maybe" and the other a "no") I bought a minimal amout of food. In my experience, the absence of a R.S.V.P. usually means a, "No." So I figured, no one was coming...maybe one.  C'est la vie! I did not take it personally. I was hoping for a MUCH better turn out to show support for my friend's business. But, it seems to me, whatever the business ---whether Beachbody, Blessings Unlimited, Partylite, Pampered Chef, Avon, or Melaluca--- the struggles are the same. Either individuals are interested or they are not. It's not worth arguing with them over it. You know?

And, yes, I did put out my stuff too for the party at my house. Why not? There is a local bazaar coming up in November but I don't know. Will it be worth the fee? Or should I just stick to the internet and maybe some home parties.  Someone is hosting one for me in January!  Yay!

I'm tired now from my unproductive weekend. Time to go relax and unwind. If you are curious about "Blessings Unlimited" and would like to take a look at their stuff and perhaps order something for someone special in your life, for Christmas. Please click here! Thanks!

If you would like to check out P90X, Insanity, Shakeology, or any other Beachbody product, please click here! Thanks! Catch ya on the flip side!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Time to Build Up

...a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;...
a time to break down, and a time to build up;...
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
(Ecclesiastes 3:2b, 3b, and 7b. ESV.)

Today was an experience. My friend and I loaded our vehicles, paid our money, and set up our "booths" to peddle our goods. Hers is "Blessings Unlimited" (for which I am hosting a party tomorrow! It is not too late to place your order, by the way!) Mine, is "Beachbody" home workouts!

I arrived early (well, for me anyway) at 7:00 a.m. To make sure everything was in order and ready by the time visitors were scheduled to arrive at 8:00 a.m. This was my first event as a "Beachbody Independent Coach" and I was eager to make the best of it. The cold, morning air numbed my fingers and toes as my nose threatened to run. The sun was rising and the heat was coming, but not yet.

What is not to love about home workouts? I mean, really? Each is 30-90 days long (depending on which is chosen) and the price is about the equivilant of a local gym's fees (for those months) without the "membership" charges! Throw in some Shakeology and the results are through the roof! But no one took the time to hear my presentation today (for which I had a power point presentation and everything)! A few wanted to hear about the "fitness challenge" but none signed up! No one even "signed in" to receive more information. I suppose I could be devastated. My friend was definitely disappointed, but I walked away confident that next time will go better.

People keep telling me that sales individuals have to have a tough skin because they hear, "No," more times than not. I am used to it now but I refuse to give up! I want to make something of my "Beachbody business"! It is right up my alley! Today was a good lesson. I believe we will continue to do these types of events but perhaps just not this exact one, again. Did I mention I was at this thing for nine hours? Yeah! But all in God's timing if it is His will. No worries!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Are You Up For The Challenge?

I am getting geared up for manning a booth at a local event this weekend! I have rented a space and it is going to be about health and fitness!

Are you up for a challenge? If so, click on the P90X picture to be directed to my Beachbody website or you can email me at Matt5verse6 [at] yahoo [dot] com!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Your Friend Who is As Your Own Soul

This past Thursday - Sunday was a festival weekend for us. Our dear friends even came, from out of state, to visit and spend time with us and others in our community who absolutely cherish their company so much! My cup runneth over.

Our last day together was spent at Six Flags. They remembered to bring their season passes which was perfect, of course! The place was packed! There was a competition thing going on and the park's frightening Halloween festivities (in which we usually do not participate) began each evening at 6:00 p.m.

But before then, as daylight kept the goblins away, we enjoyed time with each other and the play areas. However, once the eerie bell tolled to announce the start of the scary activities around the park, we could not head to the exit fast enough.

Then, Monday rolled around, our time together was a dream, and they were on their way back "home". Part of me wishes they could have stayed but I understand this is no longer where they live. They were called to move forward...on to bigger and better things. Like a Mars Hill church, for one!

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

Even when I do not comprehend why things are, I still stay true to His word! It never lets me down! God is ever faithful to me and the gospel is His truth!

I may, once again, be without my partner in crime...




But an eternity is ours to share!  (P.S. These lovely pictures were captured at the end of both a long weekend and tiring day!  So, we were super exhausted!)

the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. (1 Samuel 18:1. ESV.)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

He Has Made Everything Beautiful in Its Time

Due to the weather, we did not take the Little Leaguer to "Friday Night Motocross" this week.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; (Ecclesiastes 3:11-12. ESV.)

But we did officially start moving! I crammed a load of stuff into the back of my vehicle, along with my kiddos, and my dogs...then off we went. There is nothing like a good adventure and what is more so than picking up and starting a new season elsewhere? Even if it is a mere 30-60 miles away...for now.

The gray clouds blanketed the sky as we made our way toward our destination. Off the highway the back roads twisted through an old town and leafy canopies swayed in the breeze. It has been years since I have taken this particular route. Memories burst like fireworks of what seems like an ulternate universe or another life. Have I really been in this state for 15 years?! Too long. It is time to explore other places. Hubs and I have talked of Texas or maybe Kentucky. I bet Georgia is beautiful. I know Virginia is, but too cold in the winter. I am a Tropical girl and snow makes me cranky.

No snow here, though. Just dreary clouds today. Thankfully, nothing falls or shifts out of place while I am driving. Hubs meets me to unload the stuff. Not a bad start. The future is unknown, which might be scary for some, but for me it is a challenge I gladly accept.

P.S. My faithful follower, Brutus. He jumps at any chance to go for a ride in the car! (The pug, Sydney, was in the backseat with the kiddos.)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Return of the 80's Dancing Queen

Who is the "80's Dancing Queen"? Actually, it is a "what". The name, is one I have affectionately given our (inherited) recreational vehicle (RV). Which we pulled out of storage Wednesday! Just in time, none the less, for a visit from someone very dear to me.

I, personally, LOVE this RV. It was free...sorry, it had to be's from one of my favorite time periods---the FABULOUS 80's---and I swear I could/would leave my house tomorrow and live in it! It is so easy to clean, it is mobile, it does not come with an electric/gas bill or sewage/water bill! It has less issues than my current residence! For me, it is a dream! Does that sound bonkers?!

Bolt a satellite dish to the top, hang a big screen television on the wall (somehow) and it just might be "a dream" for my hubs (and kiddos) as well. I wonder if we can install a dishwasher in the kitchen area?

With all the new, fancy RVs, there are so many bells and whistles to be had. But I adore ours. Though I don't know if I would ever drive the thing! It's so huge, to me! And would most likely scare the wits out of me with its tendency to backfire! I have yet to hear it, THANKFULLY, but hubs says it sounds like a gunshot!  I think I would pee my pants!

It has it's own generator so we would not have to worry about power outages like where we live now. And, it is pet friendly! My dogs seem to cherish it nearly as much as I do.  Did I mention how the kiddos just cannot get enough of it (of course)?  It may not have "bedrooms" but it does have groovy bunk beds!

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!
(1 Chronicles 16:34. ESV.)

Hold up! (Sound of a record player needle scratching off of a record.) Hum, what about doing laundry?  There is no room for a washer and dryer in here...not even the stackable kind. Hum.  And, no!  I am NOT going back to doing our clothes at the local laundry mat!

Why that particular name for this vehicle, by the way? The 80's part is probably obvious. But, "Dancing Queen" because of 1) the decal on the back and 2) the song that comes to mind by the group ABBA. thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Ephesians 5:20. ESV.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Time for Everything

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
...a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
(Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6 ESV)

When hubs and I bought (or should I say financed) our house, we honestly thought we were getting a gently used, first home. It actually turned out to be a headache, fixer upper. Have you ever seen the movie "Money Pit"? Yep, that is our place. Cute as it is with such potential...a void that has sucked thousands of unplanned dollars!

But this season is coming to an end...and I have to admit, it is bittersweet. I am excited to leave this residence and move forward but, endings are still sad.

First, came the lockbox on the door (so the realtor can show the place)---which felt very "official" to me---but it was not until the "For Sale" sign showed up in our front yard that hit home for our neighbors (who have questioned us today). We've been telling them for months that we are moving but now it is all so real...or perhaps even surreal. Presently, comes operation Mission Impossible: Keep the Place "Show Ready"!

I am thankful for this dwelling. It has been a roof over our heads (even when many people lost theirs...lodging not heads), it has kept us dry---well, for the most part despite the two, large leaking windows (that were probably instaled incorrectly) and dump loads of water on the floor when it rains---and safe (aside from the electrical issues that fortunately have not caused a fire)! It was there for us when we needed it. But, it is time for us to go. And, ultimately (in hopefully two years time), we will be leaving this state and heading East!

I trust the Lord in all that is coming next...whether the house will sell, for how much, and how quickly. What will our next place be like? Will we find it before this one is purchased?

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
(Jeremiah 29:11 ESV)

Friday, October 05, 2012

When Heros Fall

Hubs tells me that sometimes the "real world" and I collide. And when that happens it disheartens me. I believe that is his way of reminding me of 1 John 2:15-17 which states,
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17 ESV)
In other words one is to be in the world, not of the world.

I periodically get wrapped up in something or someone of this world and when it/he/she turns out to be not what I thought or even worse, corrupt, I lose heart. But, why? Jesus is my one, TRUE hero! And He NEVER lets me down! He was perfectly obedient to the Father, He is without fault - faithful to me, and well, well worthy of praise. Are there any others that are deserving of worship? I think not. So why get disappointed? Perhaps it is my pride. Maybe I get annoyed if I perceive I have been duped. But really, I deserve it! My eyes should never leave the cross!

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
(Psalm 103:1 ESV)

I praise You, Lord for You alone are worthy of my praise!

When "heros" fall, I am set straight.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 ESV)

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Thursday, October 04, 2012

My Father...Is Greater Than All

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27 ESV)

This is one of my favorite verses. Have you ever just let the words of scripture wash over you? A pastor once mentioned something about God singing. His statement of this has stuck with me for years so I finally looked it up...tonight. It is Zephaniah 3:17 which says,
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
(Zephaniah 3:17 ESV)
And was God singing as He was walking through the Garden of Eden that day when Adam and Eve were hiding from Him? I cannot help but wonder, "What does He sound like? Does He have a beautiful voice or is He just able to carry a tune?" To what can it be compared? The gentle rustle of the leaves as wind blows softly through the trees? The soft yet powerful crash of waves against a shore. How about a chorus of exotic birds early each morning in Sydney, Australia? Those are sounds that comfort me. Is my Father's voice in there somewhere?

Recently, I was telling someone why I love grappling (when I am training in MMA). As my brother and I were growing up, we would wrestle. Nothing serious. We did not have any sort of training. It was simply a who could beat who thing. As we got older and he got taller, it became more difficult for me to tackle him. But once the "fight" went to the floor, I felt I could usually get the better of him. (Or maybe he was letting me win.) My point here is, grappling reminds me of my brother and our playful childhood. It feels like "home", you know? Is there anything in your life that gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling?

His sheep know the Good Shepherd's voice. He will rejoice over them with gladness. He will quiet them with His love. He will exhalt over them with loud singing! Do you hear His voice?

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