Tuesday, November 30, 2010

word purge

Thanksgiving was wonderful, in Texas with my family. Thank you family. AND, I got to meet a precious blogging friend in Fort Worth - a very special treat. Thank you Sarah, for your time and your heart. You blessed me!

I am in the home stretch of completing my continuing education for my real estate broker license requirements. I will be finished this week. Praise God! I am so over it. I have to complete 2 courses today and then just one more tomorrow night and then I am done. This will bless my life tremendously.

My sweetest Tater Tot will be 6 years old on Saturday. 6. I truly hate that number. Go away number. I can't hardly stand what is happening. Day by day my boys get bigger and older. It's the hardest part about parenting. This Saturday we are celebrating with a party at a crazy place. It's our first for this, as all of our parties have been in our home. Asher is stoked. Because he is 6. And that is par for the course, for a 6 year old. Dangit.

I sold a house yesterday. A treasured friend and someone who is in my business network referred a precious couple to me a couple of weeks ago. We have been on the hunt and yesterday they scored a deal to purchase their first home. I got the sweetest email from them yesterday thanking me for all that I have done to help them in this process. I sat in my car (at a red light) and red that precious, humbling email from them and was immediately covered in goose bumps and a praise was released from my lips. I am so thankful when my involvment impacts a life. I am so deeply grateful and humbled by that. Sometimes my clients don't even realize the value that I add to their experience. So when I receive those verbal and written rewards, I rejoice. I'm so thankful. I know I said that already but I am so thankful.

I'm not ready for Christmas. Have not decorated. Have not shopped. After Asher's birthday, must get busy with that.

This is a crazy chaotic season for many. I'm praying for the peace and the truth of Christmas to rest in our hearts. I'm praying we are celebrating the majesty of the birth of Jesus. My personal prayer for myself is that I will rejoice in His name, His power and His glory daily through the Christmas season. He is the reason I live, the reason that I hope, the reason that I serve and the reason that I love.

Is He your reason?

I pray so.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Shawn and the Gunk Song

My Thankful Post

I am thankful most days. I don't really know any other way to live life without going completely insane. Because there is plenty in this world to be discouraged about. If you watch the news you know we are in a world plagued by evil and hatred. And if you read the Bible, you know this is no surprise. My list today isn't cutsie or fantastical. But my list is what I hold onto.

I am thankful for;

  • mailboxes in the USA and a mostly reliable postal system
  • hot cafeteria food for my kids
  • carpet - even if it is dingy
  • clothes - even if they are too tight
  • calories - even though they are my enemy
  • my husband, for his heart - certainly not for his communication skills
  • that my oldest son still calls me "momma" - sometimes
  • text messages and emails from Zimbabwe
  • friends who can lift my spirits - even when my spirits don't need lifting
  • that i get to be mommy to asher and shawn ~ a gift even beyond my own comprehension
  • the broken road that got me here
  • birds, flowers and trees
  • little fingerprints on walls and doors
  • kitchen walls splattered with yogurt
  • my dreams and imagination
  • music - Lord Heaven where would i be without music?
  • that i cannot escpae thoughts of Zim - day and night, day and night, day and night
  • family - near & far
  • hope
  • love
  • Heaven
  • Jesus
Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Invisible Blog Post

Would y'all believe I have written 2 blog posts in the past two weeks that I just didn't publish? I am seriously not doing well with follow through at the moment. Argghh...

But here is the deal. I'm just busy and a little too busy at that, and it's mostly with stuff that isn't enjoyable so along with the business of busy'ness also comes stress and dread and that brings on fatigue and overwhelming feelings of blech! Our family has also been a little sickly with sinus/allergy problems, runny noses, etc. I think we are better now. The boys are fantastic...full of joy and blessing me every day. Joe is slammed busy with his work right now, but praising God that his hotel (employer) has been restored from the flood damage and is officially back open and better than ever.

I am sorry that my blog is ever so dull lately. When I complete my continuing education for real estate I'll return to blogging more regularly. Until then, if you don't hear from me, happy Thanksgiving to all.

Now, if I remember to press "publish post" this one won't be invisible. Here goes nothing...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The God of Disappointment

I hear it a lot.

There are many versions of "the church turned on me" when I went through _________.

Or, "I lost my faith when this Christian or that Christian betrayed me."

Or, "Christians are hypocrites, so why would I want to believe in their God!"

These are the challenges that face me lately. How do I explain that there are two heartbeats inside of me? Mine...and....HIS. How do I prove that? I cannot. I just cannot. Is it enough that I'm not who I was? Maybe it is for anyone who knew me then, but what about those who only know me now? How can they see the resemblance of His good if all they are looking for is my sin?

Matthew 10:21-22 speaks a hard truth of those who love and revere the Lord God Almighty in the name of Jesus, the Lamb of God. It's hard and it is real.

Jesus spoke these words:
"Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."
He may as well have said, your family isn't going to agree with you just because they are family. Your children may choose a different belief. Those friends of yours on facebook, some of them want to vomit every time you type my name. Some of your blog readers think you are a blubbering idiot. Your neighbors think you are over the top and your co-workers find you annoying, just because you love me. Secretely and overtly you are hated by some and will continue to be hated. They will hate you because they oppose me and they are not comfortable with your love for me. They deny me and they will take that out on you. But stand up strong my child because my love covers you. I have given you my hope, my comfort and my counselor. Stand up and don't be afraid to be hated. Yeah, He might as well have just come out and said that.

It is a challenge for certain to walk into an invitation for hate. The challenge isn't in processing the feeling, and not even in showing love anyway. The challenge is to understand and accept that this is the way that it is and the way it will always be. The challenge is in wanting to fix it. I want to help people "get" that the god of disappointment is nothing more than man. We are the gods of disappointment. We are the gods of betrayal. We are the gods of let down. We are the gods of hypocrisy. We are the gods of lies and deceit.

People who do not believe in the mighty name of Jesus will watch us like hawks to catch us in our stumbling. They believe that when we fail, God has failed. If they bother to give Him a name at all, they will only utter it in tones of disappointment. When we get called out, He gets called out. And we WILL get called out, you can pretty much bet on that. True or false, perception is everything.

Recently I attended an awards ceremony at my childrens' school. Sitting in front of me was a mom and a little sister of some child in that packed room. The little girl was probably 3 and she was displaying some annoying behaviors. In a flash of wisdom I pegged her mom as being aloof, as she probably displays similar behaviors in her adult life and doesn't even realize that they are bad. You know, as in the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Then I recalled several days ago at the ballfield when one of my very own children acted in a way I didn't teach, I didn't model, and I do not condone. In that case, that apple had fallen off a completely different tree. Right? I'm reminded that not even in the power of my own intentional influence, can I ensure that my children will behave appropriately. This is never more frustrating than when your child is throwing a public tempor tantrum over something that doesn't even make sense. There are no telling how many other moms and dads jumped to the conclusion that the stem of my little apple was still clinging to my branch.

We are just like this with our Father. Sometimes we act out because of stresses and pressures that we fail to keep in check with the Spirit. Sometimes we lose our ever loving minds kicking and screaming until we can finally regain composure. What others don't often see are our closed door repenting, the lessons learned, and the grace. So, instead of marveling at God's mercy and grace, they marvel at this:

  • my tantrum = God's tantrum
  • my lie = God's lie
  • my deceit = God's deceit
  • my judgement = God's judgement
  • my unforgiveness = God's unforgiveness
  • my greed = God's greed
  • my failures = God's failure
God begins to look like the god of disappointment. People HATE to be disappointed. People will deny God because we dissapoint them. People will spend eternity apart from God and apart from us because some human proclaiming Christ will let them down. They will believe that He respresents us in our "bad" rather than we represent Him in our "good". One bad apple spoils the entire bushel. There are some really rotten apples out there, and so to some, it makes us all stink. And really, who doesn't hate a rotten apple?

I have no idea where this blog post is coming from. I'm not experiencing "hate" that I know of. I'm just more and more aware of how a relationship with God through Christ requires commitment for spiritual transformation. There are imposters because there is evil in this world. The bible says that Satan is the prince of this world and it is evident that he has some power. And he will continue to until his head gets squashed. I know that I cannot save anyone. Only God can do that. But the devil has created imposters all over this earth who damage the credibility of Christ. This is no shock to the God of the universe. He knows what's up. And He knows that you and me, those of us who sincerely love Him, He knows that we are trying to shine light in the darkest of places and He knows this is no easy task. The lights we shine, the love we share and the hope we spread is not wasted. It is never wasted. It is never for naught. It has a purpose all day every day. Let us not give up. We don't have to see the fruit here...we hope to but we may not. Let us just not give up. He didn't. In Him there is no disappointment.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Worst Place In The World

Zimbabwe voted worst country in the world to live in. This article was provided by a UN source on 11/4....yea, just yesterday.

A Friday in November

It's Friday. I have so much on my plate. No, that's not the case. I have too many plates going right now. I guess that means I have so much on each of about 4 plates. Yea, that is more accurate.

But I am excited. So very excited.

In no certain order, my plates are:

1. Real Estate. I am in the process of ramping up my business and marketing plans to implement a bigger business. This excites me more than I can express.

2. Plate 2 is the charitable organization I have started. I will reveal this in more detail soon, but I am humbled by what is ahead, and I am ecstatic about the opportunities. I'm thankful that for at least this moment in time I am standing in the middle of God's will with no fear. No fear. No worries. No fear. I am in His hands and all of my projects are in His hands. This is a wild and exciting place to be.

3. My 3rd plate is like a collectors item. I don't have to have it, but I like it. I am working on writing a book. I am making progress. I have made absolutely zero professional connections in this arena. I do not have a publisher, and no one out there is issuing deadlines and waiting on the edge of their seats for my manuscript. But I am writing and believing that God will use this plate to help serve plate #2. And I just have to say "Glory be". I am happy.

4. Obviously while 1-3 are taking up much of my frazzled mind at the moment, I never cease to be mommy and wife. I take the blessings of my family for granted every day. All day every day. But sometimes like now, in the quiet of a moment, with the crisp air washing over my fingers, I can stare across the room to the blank wall and see images of my children dancing as if on a film. I see my oldest son finding his footing, even if walking in clunky boots. I see my husband working his behind off at work and garnering attention of leaders who value him. And what'doyaknow? I see fingerprints. Oily, smudged finger prints that need to be washed off with a cloth asap oh Lord somebody get me a wet cloth.... I just can't keep these walls clean. Where was I? Oh, yea....................... the blessings of family.

My sweet young friends in Zim are taking their final exams soon which means most of the kids are completing high school and will have to start taking care of themselves, with little opportunity. My heart is breaking over this.

There is my update. Please share your updates with me. :-)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Romans 10:14-15

**First my apologies for being so quiet at my blog. I'm so busy getting caught up on real estate continuing education, starting a charitable organization, and eating Halloween candy. I am also writing more and more, just not on my blog. Thanks to those of you who check in periodically. I'm well.**

Chapter 7 of Radical by David Platt gets into the nitty gritty of reaching the people groups who have not heard the gospels. He titled this chapter "There Is No Plan B", meaning, there is only one way to Heaven. You can't have the backup plan of doing good deeds, no backup plan of equality and universalism. My pastor says this alot "Good people don't go to Heaven. Forgiven people go to Heaven". The Bible says this forgiveness has to come from a genuine act of faith in God through Jesus. Faith ~ forgiveness ~ salvation. This is THE plan and there is no plan B. And this plan was created for every human being, and unfortunately there are 1.5 billion people on this planet who have never heard this message. God has made us to be disciples and ambassadors. We shouldn't be confused or unclear as to what God's will for us is. He has made it abundently clear in His word. Jesus taught it with clear verbal instructions. If you and I have been saved by the grace of God, if we are putting our trust and hope in Christ, then our calling is clear - spread the good news. Mr. Platt puts it boldly on page 160 "The will of God is for you and me to give our lives urgently and recklessly to making the gospel and the glory of God known among all peoples, particularly those who have never even heard of Jesus." For me the key words are the descriptives: urgently and recklessly.

I don't believe that we can predict when Jesus will return. But based on scriptures I can state that I believe Jesus won't return until all of the people groups have been reached. The scriptures show us that people from every tribe, language and nation will be represented in Heaven. Heaven will house His people. He does not discriminate...as He has called peoples from (say it with me) every TRIBE, LANGUAGE AND NATION. And just who is going to reach every tribe, language and nation to tell them about Christ? Christians are. I, like so many of you, am eager for Jesus to return. Life is hard. It is daunting if we are perfectly honest. We are surrounded by evil. We have children who must grow up and function in this awful world and who will face many trials, pains and awful suffering. I want Christ to return, like, yesterday. I have said it many times "Jesus, come quick!". Those of us who believe in Heaven with a passion are pretty eager to get there. We're ready for this earth to be destroyed and to just get on with it....right? Some of you are confused right now but many of you are saying "Amen" right about now because you are as eager as I am to move on to eternity. We can't. Not until God's mission is perfectly completed. I believe this is what Mr. Platt refers to when he uses words like "urgently and recklessly". The sooner the gospel reaches the unreached, the sooner Christ can come for us. Until all of His people have been reached, we can just continue to live in this world and die in this world. I don't know about you, but that gives me good reason to want to live urgently and recklessly to the message of Christ. I'm eager for all of creation to praise His Holy Name.

Mr. Platt says "God has saved you and me by His grace. He has not only given us knowledge about Christ, but he has also give us the presence of Christ and the promise of Christ to provide us with everything we need to take the gospel to them...... There is no injustice in God. The injustice lies in Christians who possess the gospel and refuse to give their lives to making it known among those who haven't heard."

That is uncomfortable. We don't like it. But we shouldn't be afraid to reach the unreached for Jesus. We shouldn't be afraid to give sacrifically of our finances to support missionaries to go out and do this very thing. We should be afraid of the persistence of the evil in this world that will not ultimately be defeated until God's plan is completed and perfect. There is no plan B.

***Two things - go visit Marla's site to read more about chapter 7.

***Go visit Pastor Pete Wilson who wrote an incredible book called "Plan B". I highly recommend the book. His use of the phrase "plan B" is used simply to show us that God has a different plan for us than the one we have for ourselves. And when we are in the midst of living through something we never expected, God is with us.