In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Daniel!

Since Daniel is 17 years old tomorrow, here I am thinking about him.

There are four words that come to my mind whenever I think of Daniel: meticulous, hard-working, deep, and faithful.

Daniel pays attention to detail, every detail. Whether it's paying attention to ensuring that all the punctuation is correct for an essay he's writing, or correcting some not-exactly-correct method to my driving, life is about the details for Daniel.

Daniel is the epitome of hard-working. I've seen him come home after school sports practice bone weary and just eat dinner and fall into bed, only to set his alarm for 3AM so he can get up and complete all his homework for the up-coming day. I've watched him work hard every single day of football practice, sometimes even staying after practice to work more on some specific thing on his own, only to sit almost all of every game out on the bench; but no matter what the outcome, he gives each practice his all. He understands the worth of the process, the by-product of excellence in general.

When I think of what a deep thinker and feel-er Daniel is I'm reminded of a passage from Psalm 42:6-8:
6 My soul is downcast within me;
therefore I will remember you
from the land of the Jordan,
the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
7 Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.
8 By day the LORD directs his love,
at night his song is with me—
a prayer to the God of my life.
Have you ever noticed that the deep people struggle more with the "dark side" of life than the happy, care-free, type personalities? I think the word melancholy was coined with these kind of folks in mind. King David was certainly such a person; a man who experienced deep relationship with God, the joy of God, and the depths of sadness. Such is Daniel.
The definition of faithful from dictionary.com is "Loyal, constant, and steadfast: "remain faithful to the principles". That's a rather apt description of Daniel. I know that sometimes it makes life more difficult for him as a young man of faith in Christ in a secular high school. But I also know that he will continue to reap the benefit of his faithfulness.
So I want to wish a Happy Birthday to my meticulous, hard-working, deep, and faithful son!

Friday, May 27, 2011

In the Irons

Today I learned a new term, "Irons". It's a sailing term for a windless time of drifting. I kind of feel like that's what it's like in my life right now.

I don't feel close to God.

There are tough situations either with those I love, or that those I love are going through - either way it hurts.

I'm grateful for the knowledge that even when I do not feel close to God, He is still here. Grateful that the truth is that God loves me (and everyone else) and has I plan for my life; even when I can not see it, and don't feel particularly enthused.

I'd mentioned before that my husband John had recommended a simple devotional, Silent Strength for my life, by Lloyd John Ogilvie. Repeatedly through my life I've found devotionals helpful when I'm in those dry times. It only requires a ten minute commitment on my part so I can always make myself do it. I've found that devotionals allow me to maintain the discipline of daily time in the Word, while also giving me someone else's thoughts on the Word to contemplate when I'm feeling disconnected and depleted. They kind of help jump-start my own thoughts. I appreciate this type of devotional because it has a portion of the Bible that you look up on your own and read, and then one or two verses from that portion are printed with the author's thoughts. I can say that Ogilvie's thoughts are worth reading. Yesterday Ogilvie ended with a quote from Francois de Fenelon that I'm still pondering:

"Should we feel at times disheartened and discouraged, a simple movement toward God will renew our powers. Whatever He may demand of us, He will give us at the moment the strength and courage that we need."

I'm sure counting on this truth!

What about you, what helps you when you're going through dry times?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Church

This week over Kingdom Bloggers we're sharing favorite childhood church memories.

What about you, what are some of the seeds that were planted during your childhood church experiences that you see the fruit of in your life today?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pockets filled with holes

I was reading during my morning devotions in Haggai and came across these verses in Haggai 1:5-6 (NLT) :

5 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Look at what’s happening to you! 6 You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!

Who does this sound like to you?

I don't know about you, but I was struck with how much this sounds like a large portion of Americans.

Now I recognize that, in context, this scripture is about when God spoke through His prophet Haggai to Israel because the people were free and out of captivity, but had ceased to re-build the temple of God. In verse 4 He's even explaining that the people are living in luxurious homes while the temple lies in ruins. But I also believe that a principle can be lifted out of this situation.

Neglecting to re-build the temple is an awful lot like neglecting God. It just really hit me this morning as I was reading what a prevalent the situation is described in these 5-6th verses; how many people do you know who could say that they feel like they put their wages into pockets with holes in them?

As I read this I'm filled with gratitude that I don't have to live that way. I can honestly say that my family is never without all our needs met. By God's grace and direction in the Bible concerning money and possessions, giving, and debt I never feel this way. I'm always able to save and give.

Having said that however, there are also tons of things we don't buy or do that I see the people around me (the ones who would say yes they've got the holes in their pockets) buying and doing. There are also things we do with our money that the holes-in-their-pockets folks don't do.

The relevancy and usefulness of the Bible never ceases to amaze me!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Devon!

Today is the Birthday of my oldest son, Devon; today he is 23 years old.

Like every parent, I’m painfully aware of how fast the time goes by. It seems that just yesterday I was walking him to school for his first day of kindergarten. Feeling bereft as we crossed the street to the far corner of the school and he quietly told me that I could leave him now, because he would walk the rest of the way by himself.

He’s never stopped being so independent.

Just last year at this time I was thinking on Devon’s future and how full of promise it seemed. He was graduating from West Point and getting married. Now here we are a year later in what may very well have been one of the toughest years of his life.

But I think I admire and respect Devon more than ever. He inspires me.

This has been a year when it seems as if his dreams have been smashed. A year when people and situations have kept him from obtaining what he wanted, what seemed right, what must have felt needed. Yet he was doing the right thing.

What’s really inspired me is watching Devon go through all of this and not back down from who he is or what he believes. He’s not the type to proclaim statements such as I’m standing on the promises of God. Instead he just quietly tells me about how he’s currently reading The Great Divorce by CS Lewis. He tells me about how sometimes at the end of his 12-hr work day he all he wants to do is go home and crawl into bed, but that he makes himself something healthy to eat and goes out for a walk around the block or even just to Wal-Mart to walk around. It never appears to enter his mind to be upset at God or even think about denying his faith; that’s not an option in his mind. He doesn’t deny his feelings, he just chooses to base his life on what he believes to be the truth in spite of what is happening to him or how he feels. He chooses to be as happy as possible and chooses to continue to do the right thing.

As I’m here thinking about Devon’s 23rd Birthday I’m amazed at what a man of faith and character he is at such a young age. I’m grateful that God’s blessed me with being Devon’s mother.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A secret place

Lately I've been struggling.

So I'd asked John if he could recommend a good read; something that might be of help to me. He actually gave me a stack of books from which to choose. One of which was a super simple devotional entitled Silent Strength for my Life written by Lloyd John Ogilvie.

This morning's texts were Philippians 4:6-7 and Psalm 91:1-2. Ogilvie made this comment that really caught my attention:

"There's a secret place in all of us and there's a secret place of the Most High. When the two meet, profound prayer takes place."

I'd be interested in your thoughts, what do you think that means? What have you experienced with regard to this?
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