Archive | February 2011

Thank you Chris Tomlin and Louie Giglio!

Louie Giglio and Chris Tomlin have done fantastic jobs in their past concerts highlighting the greatness of God as displayed in the universe.  Chris makes sure to make the concerts a worship service, not just a time for us to be entertained.  He wants you to praise God while you are there.

In “How Great is our God” and “Indescribable” concerts, Chris in his songs and Louie in his message, focus on the creation of God, specifically the galaxies and the sun.  Louie compares the earth to a golf ball and shows that it takes a G-ZILLION golf balls to fill up the sun and other stars in other galaxies.  How great is our God!  How huge He is! 

Louie also talks about  “Laminin”.  What’s laminin, you say?   I had never heard of this before I listended to the DVD talk of Louie’s.  Laminin is your body’s cell-adhesion molecules. It is the “glue” that holds all the cells in your body together. Do you know what is so incredible about this? It’s in the shape of a cross. The “glue” that holds your skin together, that holds your organs together, that literally holds everything in your body together, is a cross!  SO COOL! 

But the concert I went to on February 17th with my daughter, her friend and my daughter-in-law (“And If Our God Is For Us”) focused on all creation singing His praise.  We were reminded how we at that concert were joining all of creation in praising God.  Every snowflake that falls.  The songs of the whales in the ocean. The sound of a flower bud opening.  Birds.  Wind.  Rustling leaves.  Lapping waves.  The rocks rolling down the mountain.  The furthest galaxies…. the satellites pick up the sound they make.  On and on and on.

And I am reminded that as I sit alone in my living room singing the songs and playing the guitar that the Lord has given me these past few years, that I too join the sound of creation.  I am so blessed to be reminded of that.  Thank you Chris Tomlin and Louis Giglio.

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Celery and Blue Cheese

These children are amazing.  Seriously????   Celery and blue cheese for their bedtime snack?  What about cookies and koolaid????   Oh my, they have such good eating habits!  They put me to shame.

  Here’s me and Caleb cuddling.  Caleb loves to cuddle and asks to be held.  Shortly after that, Angel also wanted to be held.  These children are so amazing!  I mean what Grama doesn’t want to cuddle her grandchildren, and then when THEY ASK FIRST!  Wow.

Of course my new puppy “Louie” didn’t think much of this.  He’s used to getting all the attention!

Right before bed, Angel pointed out her beautiful toenail painted feet compared to mine (not so beautiful, …. well let’s face it:  ugly feet)!  We tried to get a picture but she turned her feet at the last minute!

Every time I come to Sioux Falls to babysit for Missy, I am again amazed at my daughter.  How did she learn how to be such a good Mom?  Surely not from me!  Angel and Caleb are amazing.  (That’s the third time I’ve called them amazing, I just realized that.)  I know I’m prejudice, BUT:  Caleb, he’s tough, and funny, and creative.  He is so potty trained!  I mean he doesn’t miss a beat in this area!  It seemed like he trained himself, overnight.  And Angel ……. what a delightful little girl she is!  She is SO ARTICULATE.  SO SMART.  SO LOVING.  She has such an incredible faith.  She sings about Jesus, and talks about Jesus and has such a childlike faith.  Oh, yeah, she IS a child!  Sometimes it’s hard to remember that, because she is so brilliant and articulate.  I sometimes wonder if God has a special calling on her life.  Because that little girl has such a simple yet clear understanding of heavenly things.  The other reason I wonder is because she is often plagued with night terrors.  I might not be too smart, but I am smart enough to know that Satan despises the children of God.  He especially hates and tries to destroys those who are devoted to God.  Just look at Job.  Job loved God and was considered a good righteous man in God’s eyes.  And Satan was out to destroy him!  So I pray for a special hedge of protection around our Angel. 

I knew Missy had a bedtime routine for the children.  I asked Angel what they did when they went to bed and sure enough she walked me through it.  First, =Prayers.  Angel’s prayers are specific.  She prays for specific people and things and she always thanks God at the end.  Wow.  Doesn’t the Bible say that’s what the Father wants?_……”Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philppians 4: 6-7

“……give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

  1 Thessalonians 5:18

 The next thing they do is sing a song (one that I didn’t know).  Then Caleb puts in his request too:  they call it ‘Papa’s Song’.  It’s the ‘hush little baby don’t say a word, Mamma’s gonna buy you a mockingbird’ song.  Except this one is ‘Hush Angel and Caleb, don’t say a word.  Papa’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.’ (:)

So now it’s 10:00 p.m. and I AM EXHAUSTED.  I don’t know how Missy does it.

AMAZED

Matthew 12:23  And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?

♥I am amazed that Jesus had no problem with most people treating him as a ‘nobody’, even though He was God.

Mark 6:1  Jesus began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.

♥I am amazed that Jesus continues to teach me, guide me, love me.

Mark 6:51  Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed.

♥I am amazed that I and my loved ones have been through some pretty horrific storms and we have not drowned.  Jesus has been there to calm the storm.

Habakkuk 1:5  [ The LORD’s Answer ] “Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.”

♥I am amazed almost every day when I see the world events and realize that Jesus’ kingdom is coming closer and closer!  All the things Jesus told us, all the prophecies in the Bible, all coming true…. how exciting to be living in these times!

Matthew 15:31   The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

♥I am amazed at the way Jesus healed me.  The pain and self-loathing is gone.  The depressions are gone.  The panic attacks are gone.

Luke 5:26  Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”

♥I am amazed at the remarkable miracles in our own family, especially the miracle of a long awaited grandaughter Angel, and then the incredible blessing when God opened up Missy’s womb and sent us our grandson Caleb.
This entry was posted on February 17, 2011, in Uncategorized. Leave a comment

Fig Leaves are not enough

It happened in an instant.  They had done something horribly wrong.  They had been deceived.  They fell for the lie, hook line & sinker.  They had done the one thing they were told not to do:  eat the fruit of that tree.  The serpent had made it look so good, seem so good, …… oh, why didn’t they run to their Father?  But they didn’t.  They jumped in without thinking.  Now it was too late.  There was no going back. 

They knew it almost immediately.  When they had eaten that fruit, it didn’t feel good at all.  Oh the first bite was sweet and savory, but it didn’t last.  Things didn’t happen like the serpent said.  Instead they felt shame.  It was a horrible, ugly, uncomfortable feeling, this shame. 

They tried to cover it.  They found some fig leaves.  They tried to cover their sin by something they made, something they did.

Then they heard their Father looking for them and they hid.  The shame of their sin made them hide.  But their Father found them, and then everything changed.  Now instead of a life of perfect happiness, being content, not wanting or needing anything…… now their lives would be lives of hardship and pain and trouble and sorrow and anguish and all the things that come with sin. 

But something really touches me about this story.  Before God sent Adam and Eve forth out of the garden, he did this:  “Unto Adam and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”  Genesis 3:21 

He ‘clothed them’.    The fig leaves were not enough.  God the Father knew that his children needed more than fig leaves.  They needed the skin and the fur of an animal to be covered, to be warmed.  I contemplate on Adam and Eve going out of that garden, with only fig leaves on.  If they lived in the Northern Plains like I do, they wouldn’t last long.  The weather forecast is predicting 10 below zero tonight, with wind chills of 25 to 30 below.  They would have died in those conditions with just fig leaves on.  But with the skin and the fur of an animal, they would live.  Yes, blood would have to be shed.  And so God ‘made coats of skins’ so His sinful disobedient children would be adequately covered.

Blood must be shed.  Abel understood this better than Cain, when he brought God his first and best lamb as a sacrifice, and God was pleased. 

Every one of us will come to understand this at some time in our lives:  fig leaves are not enough.  We cannot cover ourselves with anything we “make for ourselves”.    The Bible calls them ‘filthy rags’ when we try to ‘earn’ our way into heaven.   “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.”  Isaiah 64:6

I will just call them fig leaves.  I want to strive to be a good person.  I want to do acts of kindess to others, I think it can be a good thing to attend church, and sing worship songs, and tithe.  I think it’s awesome to pray and read the Bible.

But all of that of itself is fig leaves.  It’s not enough.  We need a skin  to cover our sin.  Blood must be shed.  As I sit here writing this blog entry, I find myself thinking, “what blood would be enough to cover the sin of the world?….. I find myself repeating in my heart what the apostle John cried out on Revelation 5:2-4.  “I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the book and to loose the 7 seals which seal it?’  And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.  And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book.  And one of the elders said to me, ‘Weep not:  behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, He hath prevailed to open the book and loosen the seals.'”

And my spirit soars as I read Revelations 5:11 “I beheld and I heard the voices of many angels around the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessings.”!!!!!!!!

Our Father God provided.  He sent His only son.  And Jesus willingly shed his blood, so that we could be covered.  And being covered we would not die, but live.  Someday this world of pain and sadness and disappointments and troubles will be over.  One of these days we will be back in the ‘Garden of Eden’, in our Father’s presence, walking with Him daily.  It’s where we were meant to be all along.

Thank you, Abba.  Thank you, Jesus and Holy Spirit.  Thank you that you have provided the blood.

Because fig leaves are not enough.

This entry was posted on February 7, 2011, in Uncategorized. Leave a comment

It’s the Presence not the Blessings

Seeking His presence.  Not just seeking His blessings, but seeking His presence:  I want to learn how to do this better. 

I think that is how the apostle Paul could say he could be content in any circumstance (Phil 4:11).  Paul was something else, wasn’t he?  What a man he was!  Just listen to just some of HIS problems:  He had received thirty nine lashes on his back; beaten with rods three times; stoned; shipwrecked three times; had many dangerous trips, (among highwaymen and robbers); was often in danger from his own people as well as from the Gentiles, from false Christians, in the city and in the wilderness; suffered toil and hardship; spent sleepless nights; was hungry and thirsty; was in cold and nakedness; had the worry of all of the churches daily on him.

But he never turned bitter, or resentful.  He never lost hope.  He was content.   “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 corinth 4:8-9)  

I bet experiencing the presence of God is how Abraham was able to leave everything he knew, and then later trust this same God when he was asked to kill his long awaited precious only son Isaac.  And later Isaac himself, and then his son Jacob, had their own experiences on the mountains of their fears.  And they were blessed.  Not by blessings (which, yes, they had) but by His presence.

It’s why Hagar proclaimed that God was Jehovah -‘ the One who sees’.  Even though the One who had appeared to her had basically told her that her child would be a hater and hated by all.  Now what Mother wants to hear that?  Shouldn’t she have gotten offended?  No, she never forgot that day, as she had experienced the presence of God.  “God has seen me” she proclaims. (Genesis 16:11-13)

It’s why so many Christians have endured so many things throughout the centuries.  They experienced the presence, they believed the promises, they looked forward to where they will end up though they did not see it at the time.  “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” (Hebrews 11:13)

It’s why the writer of this song can write these lyrics “Held” (sung by Natalie Grant) “To think that providence would take a child from his mother while she prays, is appalling ……this is what it means to be held, how it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life and you survive.  This is what it is to be loved and to know that the promise was that when everything fell we’d be held.”

Or how Horatio Spafford could pen the song “It is well with my soul” after several traumatic events in his life,….. the death of his only son, followed by the great Chicago fire which ruined him financially, then a shipwreck at sea, on a ship his wife and 4 daughters were travelling on to take a family vacation (he was going to join them later).  All 4 of his daughters died.  Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write these words as his ship passed near where his daughters had died. 

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Refrain:
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

I want to be grounded enough so that when trials come…. no matter how horrific….. when there are no ‘blessings’ in the worlds eyes…. even then (especially then) I will be content and I will have peace.  Because I have experienced my Father’s presence.

I know God tells me in His Word that His Word is the source of this presence.  That’s what He tells me in Psalm 19: 

The law of the LORD is perfect,
   refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
   making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the LORD are right,
   giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
   giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the LORD is pure,
   enduring forever.
The decrees of the LORD are firm,
   and all of them are righteous.

 10 They are more precious than gold,
   than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
   than honey from the honeycomb

Jesus says, “Man does not live by bread alone but by the Word of God.” (Matthew 4:4)  (By the way, Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy 8:3 “….man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.”)

I also know I can experience His presence through worship. Not ‘worship’ in the way the world has debated it: hymns? contemporary? charasmatic? emergent? solemn procession? or shouting and clapping?….. No, I’m seeking out the kind of worship where Jesus cuts through all that tired debate with a clear description of what God is really looking for:  not a ‘kind of worship’, but a ‘kind of worshipper’.  “The Father is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth”.  That’s my heart.  Heart worship.  Love Him and fear him and honor him with all my heart, soul and mind.  That’s a big bite… those are big shoes to walk in….. but I will pursue it.  It’s like Paul says in Philippians 3:12  ” I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection.  But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.” 

I’m not there yet, but I will keep on keeping on…….