Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Best Advice Ever

Decided to share four of the wisest things i've ever heard in all my life.  File under "Best advice ever."  Credit given in parenthesis.
1.  Best safety advice:  "Never walk down a hill backwards with your eyes closed."  (cousin Joe Kelly Groves, at age 4)
2.  Best advice for understanding people:  "She's really a nice lady, she just didn't fall off the same watermelon truck as everyone else."  (Roy Crowell, Minister of Education)
3.  Best ministry advice:  "Walk slowly among the flock."  (Gail Linam, mentor during early ministry years)
4.  Best relationship advice:  "It is better to be kind, than right." (unknown or unremembered)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Come Weary Saints

Come weary Saints.

I did not write all of this, merely compiled things. But I live here today.

As the people of God , we find ourselves tired. Scripture teaches there is weariness to the Gospel. "Let us not become weary in doing good..." (Galatians 6:9). We must not faint. We must not lose heart. We must not move on but move forward. But it has been a season of weariness, exhaustion, seemingly insurmountable challenges.  When it's most difficult, it's even hard to remember we are advancing the Gospel to the next generation.

Christ said, "Come unto me, all who are weary and burdened..." (Matthew 11:28). Christ bids me to come to Him, rest, die to self-indulgence and my way rather than the narrow way. The broad way seems much easier and less tiresome. It is not.

Yet the Lord time and time again speaks into my heart life giving words…"Therefore since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart."  2 Corinthians 4:1 

"The gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable," Romans 11:29

But I am weary.   

As believers, we know that our most painful problem—separation from God—has been solved. Jesus Christ, the only Savior, has taken our sin upon himself, enduring God’s wrath in our place and rising from the dead to assure us of our forgiveness. But all our problems don’t end when we turn to Christ. We grow weary in battle. We still get sick. Marriages end. Children die. Our plans, great or small, are disrupted.

Scripture assures us that God is sovereignly using our difficulties as tools to make us more like his Son. “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Ro 5:3–5) While we know these things are true, in the midst of our hardships we can lose perspective. Problems can loom large, and our hopes can grow dim.

Come weary saints -- redirect your focus to the God whose love has been forever demonstrated at the cross of Calvary. May your faith and joy in the Savior be strengthened for the challenges you face, now or in the future.

Oh the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus
Sovereign Grace Music

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free
Rolling as a mighty ocean
In its fullness over me
Underneath me, all around me
Is the current of Your love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To Your glorious rest above

Oh the deep, deep love
All I need and trust
Is the deep, deep love of Jesus

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Spread His praise from shore to shore
How He came to pay our ransom
Through the saving cross He bore
How He watches o’er His loved ones
Those He died to make His own
How for them He’s interceding
Pleading now before the throne

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Far surpassing all the rest
It’s an ocean full of blessing
In the midst of every test
Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Mighty Savior, precious Friend
You will bring us home to glory
Where Your love will never end

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Favorite Moment of Today

I copied this from my daughter's blog, because i have pondered it every day since she posted it on May 2, and every time i do...it just makes me smile. I asked her permission to post it on my blog, since hers is "by invitation only" for a while.

Titus and his speech teacher Miss Anna.

Our church now has a link on our web site called, "Prepare for Worship." Here you can read what the sermon will be about as well as listen to the songs we will be singing that morning. We have started using this in our home on sunday mornings to teach our children the words beforehand so they can join in with us. We love it! The kids bust out with their instruments and we repeat the chorus of each song multiple times to help with memorization. It prepares my heart just watching my children worship. Amazingly sweet.

So, one song we practiced yesterday for church was "Stronger." (click the word to hear the song!) Titus totally resonated with the chorus and internalized it pretty quickly. I noticed that as he sang, he was annunciating his sounds very clearly. It happened to be some of the sounds he has been working on with Ms. Anna, his speech teacher. Specifically his middle "g" sound (stronger) and his medial "k" sound (broken), etc.

I have been asking the Lord to give me a greater boldness and creativity in sharing the gospel lately with three kids and staying home a lot. The Lord laid on my heart to ask Titus if he wanted to sing this song for Miss Anna to both show her his sounds and tell her about Jesus. He enthusiastically agreed. I don't know exactly where she stands with the Lord but am striving to use these little opportunities to build relationship, love, and testify.

So....my favorite moment today. Kneeling beside my four year old (ok the tears are streaming now as i write) and helping him sing this song to his precious speech teacher. Here were the words he sang so sweetly...

"You are stronger, You are stronger,
Sin is broken,
You have saved me.
It is written, Christ is risen,
Jesus You are Lord of all!"

Miss Anna was all smiles.

After a month of destructive tornadoes and on a day in which the Lord brought justice to the oppressed through the death of a terrorist I closed up explaining how Christ is stronger than the pain and hurt in this world. What an honor to be able to explain Christ through a song of my four year old.

That was this mother's favorite moment today, and I can't imagine how much joy it brought the Father.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

To the Ends of the Earth

Came across this visually astonishing video recently, and wanted to pass it on.

It is Psalm 67 set to music, based on the cry for God to shine His face upon His people that we, in turn, might be a light to the nations. (Basically the content of the whole semester of the Perspectives class I'm taking.)

“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. May the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you rule the peoples justly and guide the nations of the earth.” Ps. 67:1-4

Those with a heart for the Nations...enjoy. http://prayercast.com/shine.html

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Welcome Home

A reminder popped up on my computer today about Frances' birthday coming up in a few days. Not meaning to be melancholy, because i really am happy for her- moving to a new location and living the astonishingly perfect life...pain free, no tears, sweet rest, closer to Jesus that i can imagine...

But i've really been missing her lately.

I just know she'd be so involved in getting me ready to go to Africa, have all these amazing ideas of fabulous creative things to do with the kids, hand me a list of things to bring back for the resource room, pray me there and back. And she'd already be fussing at me for not being better planned and already having my suitcase packed days ahead of time. Because she surely would have.

I was blessed to attend a Michael W. Smith Christmas concert in early December where i heard him sing, "Welcome Home", a new song from his latest project, Wonder. It fit right where my heart was at the time, and ministered to me having just lived through the tedious, emotional days of loving her to the Homeland. So every time i hear it now, my eyes fill up and spill over just a little bit, and i so miss the sparkle and life of my friend. But we do not grieve as do those who have no hope. What a blessed promise.

Welcome Home

I can't believe that I'm here, having to say goodbye.
And i can barely see you through these tears i cry.
I close my eyes.

I can hear the sound, as angels gather 'round
Saying, "This is where you belong - Welcome Home!"

There are the days that my heart aches wishing you were here.
But i know where you are the hurt and the pain disappear.
There's no more tears.

I can hear the sound, as angels gather 'round
Saying, "This is where you belong - Welcome Home!"

Happy birthday, Frances! I'll try to do good in Africa!!!

(And someone tell Duane that this would be a great song to sing at my funeral...right before the fireworks!)