Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A few Bible study pics...

Some photos of small group discussion during Stepping Up Tuesday...these are some fabulous women! There is a real sense of anticipation as we journey on to the next place with God.

Yay! Bible study tonight!!!

I'm SO excited to be meeting with a great group of pilgrims (sans starched white collars and buckle shoes) as we continue "Stepping Up." I hope everyone had a great week - and completed their homework - in preparation for tonight. But come on, even if you're behind! We're going to (try) to start promptly at 7, share a little about what we learned during the week and then enjoy this week's video (here's a teaser: it's all about music and song and it's GREAT!).

On another topic, I was reading Tozer in the tractor again (that could be a series, don't you think: Tractor Time with Tozer?) and wanted to share some of his thoughts on meekness. This book was written 60 years ago and the writing has an old-fashioned quality yet the truth is absolutely timeless. This passage has meant a lot to me over the past two years as my heart makeover (with Jesus as my "contractor") has progressed:

"The meek man is not a human mouse, afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather, he may in his moral life be as bold as a lion and as strong as Samson, but he has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God's estimate of his own life. He knows he is as weak and helpless as God has declared him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is, in the sight of God, more important than angels. In himself, nothing; in God, everything. That is his motto. He knows well that the world will never see him as God sees him and he has stopped caring. He rests perfectly content to allow God to place his own values. He has attained a place of soul rest. He has found the peace which meekness brings."
-- A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Time to step up!

I'm beside myself with excitement about "Stepping Up - a journey through the Psalms of Ascent." A group of women will begin the Beth Moore study tonight where we'll be challenged to go up - move to the next step in our relationship with God. We're different ages, different stages of life, all setting out on a journey carrying different luggage. We're pilgrims, clinging to this promise of God:
"I'll shower blessings on the pilgrims who come here,
and give supper to those who arrive hungry." -- Psalm 132:15
Are you hungry?
I am!
See you tonight!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Broken shells...

Jesse and I are at Orange Beach, which is beautiful, though rainy today. The sky is gray, the gulf is gray, the waves are huge. We've enjoyed two good beach walks today - the one this afternoon ended in a soaking wet jog as we attempted to get back to the condo in a sudden downpour! Something that struck me on both walks was the number of really large, beautiful seashells scattered along the water's edge. Every time I reached down to pull a particularly large, colorful one from the sand, however, it was only a piece of a shell. The jagged, broken edges were submerged in the sand. It kind of reminded me of our lives at times. We want to be seen as beautiful, perfect, together. So we desperately try to keep our jagged, broken edges covered. I guess we're afraid that once our brokenness is revealed, we'll be cast aside. Thankfully, God makes it clear in Deuteronomy 31:6 that He is the Keeper of broken things.

"Be strong. Take courage. Don't be intimidated. Don't give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He's right there with you. He won't let you down; he won't leave you."

Let's accept - embrace even - our own brokenness and be like God in our love for the broken.


(Betsy's teaching her younger 'sisters' in Sunday School in my absence - pray for her! And I'll see the 'big girls' when we kick off our study Tuesday - Can't wait!)

Monday, September 15, 2008


A fellow blogger, "V," wrote something that I think will resonate with a lot of us in the "be all you can be" generation. She certainly captured the essence of much of my journey for the past year -- the essence of what I'm hoping for. I asked her permission to share it with you, and she graciously agreed. Her blog can be found at http://repurposed.wordpress.com.

"I’m a recovering business - administrator.

Previously driven by all things productive, motivational and rewardable.

Currently driven by all things true, honest and pure.

Previously devoted to things to fill the void.

Currently devoted to nothing that serves myself.

Previously devoted to acceptance and admiration of others.

Currently devoted to redeeming things others have passed by, passed on, passed over or dismissed.

Life is too short to be plagued with worry, with fear and with
any sniff of doubt.

Life was made to be whole, complete and find its purpose in

I’m a Wife. I’m a Mom. I’ve lived to be older than my Mother.

I understand the fragility of life.

I understand the permanence of kind words, actions and love for those placed in our lives.

I live very far from perfection, but I am being perfected.

I live far very far from having it all, but I am supplied for.

I fight against wanting more and am learning to live with less.

I fight against judgment and am learning to live in awe of the gifts within others.

I fight for others on the things that matter. I fight against things unseen.

I am a warrior.

I am wholly REPURPOSED."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A prayer...

I read this prayer on a tractor this morning and thought it was worth sharing...

"O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, 'Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.' Then give me grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus' name. Amen."
-- A.W. Tozer, "The Pursuit of God"

Friday, September 12, 2008

Blogging 101...

Okay, girls, I'm new to this, and I know some of you are too. if you want to leave a comment, you click on the little thing below the post that says "0 comments" or "2 comments" and you can type a message where it says "Leave your comment. " When it says "Choose an identity," you can just click "anonymous" if you don't want to set up a blogger identity, just be sure leave your name in the comment and I'll know who you are! I think if you click " google/ blogger" it will prompt you to set up a blogger identity, which is pretty simple and kind of fun if you plan to post on anyone's blog! Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

And for the 'big girls...'

...the women are invited to join us in a new in-depth Bible study on Tuesdays, beginning Sept. 23.
"Stepping Up" by Beth Moore is a look at the Psalms of Ascent. It's a six-week study of Psalms 120-134 (with homework!!!) that will challenge and inspire serious students of the Scripture and those brand-new to Bible study. Here's what Eugene Peterson says about the psalms:
"There is no literature in all the world that is more true to life and more honest than Psalms, for here we have warts-and-all religion. Every skeptical thought, every disappointing venture, every pain, every despair that we can face is lived through and integrated into a personal, saving relationship with God -- a relationship that also has in it acts of praise, blessing, peace, security, trust and love. Good poetry survives not when it is pretty or beautiful or nice but when it is true: accurate and honest. The psalms are great poetry and have lasted not because they appeal to our fantasies and our wishes, but because they are confirmed in the intensities of honest and hazardous living."
I want to press to a higher place with God. I want to step up. Come along...

This Sunday...

...our Sunday School class (girls in grades 7-12) is looking at the family. I'm going to have to break some tough news to the teen girls: their parents are flawed -- deeply and without exception. And yet, we're still called to honor our imperfect parents. What does this mean? How does this work out in real life? And what about siblings? The good news is this: God isn't asking us to fix every family struggle - He's calling us to obedience and asking us to trust Him. We're also called to I Corinthians 13-style love:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
We'll look at some other Scriptures and have a lively discussion of all things 'family.' Join us!

I have no idea what I'm doing...

Well, after blog-shadowing friends and family for about a year, I decided to jump into it myself. My initial thought was to provide a spot for our girls' and women's ministries - a place to share thoughts, insights, concerns, celebrations...who knows?