Tuesday, January 31, 2006

She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Proverbs 31:27 NIV
I have tasted the bread of idleness. It tastes a lot like Oreo cookies.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Quiet Time - Mark 9 - "If you can believe...."

Mark 9:14-29 (New King James Version)

A Boy Is Healed

14 And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. 15 Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. 16 And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”
17 Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. 18 And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”
19 He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” 20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.
21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, “From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” 26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
How often do I feel like this man. I believe. My trust and faith is firmly in and on the One who created me. My God is an awesome God. I believe all things are possible to him who believes. I believe that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Yet in my small brain, somethings seem too big for God. Help my unbelief!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

No matter what... I'm a winner!

Blest has posted a contest/challenge to memorize scripture.

I'm always up for winning a prize so I've committed to memorizing Psalm 8. Whether I win the book or not, I know I'm a winner for hiding God's Word in my heart and brain.

Psalm 8 NIV

For the director of music. According to gittith.
A psalm of David.
1 O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
above the heavens.

2 From the lips of children and infants
you have ordained praise
because of your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.

3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,

4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?

5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.

6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet:

7 all flocks and herds,
and the beasts of the field,

8 the birds of the air,
and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.

9 O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

This Psalm has sweet memories attached to it for me.

For a while I was learning Inductive Bible Study Techniques from a very smart young wife. She was teaching me how to study the Word and I was teaching her homekeeping things. I think she got the shorter end of the stick. For one of our meetings I was supposed to teach her about Psalm 8. I didn't make time for my assignment. I listened to Psalm 8, over and over, all the way to her house. It was the Max McLean version which is quite dramatic. I started reciting with Max in the same dramatic matter. I was cracking myself up. I didn't use any of the things I had learned, but I fessed up and she still enjoyed hearing what God had spoken to me.

Another memory comes from a recording session at church. My Pastor was recording a song and wanted people reading verse 1 over and over. There were 3 of us speaking the verse in a round. We were supposed to stress a different word in the verse each time we said it. So one time it would be "OH Lord, Our Lord" and the next time it would be "Oh LORD, Our Lord". It was hard not to crack up, great fun and a wonderful memory. The song is available on the web, but if I posted a link, I'd be giving away some of the privacy that I desire.

Surferman the Dad

I thought I had Grom's heart, but this week I realized that "Mama" means "give me ..." or "I need ..." or "I can't reach..." Bummer.

Thank God for Dads.

My husband is a wonderful Dad. Surferman loves his son so much and it shows. Grom loves Da like no other. He lights up when Surferman finally gets home from work. They laugh and wrestle and carry on.

Surferman and Grom have games I can't play and will never understand. They "dirt surf" together - Grom balances on an old bodyboard while Daddy pulls him over the dirt burm at the back of our house. Neighbors stop and watch as a toe headed boy giggles his way over dirt waves.

Surferman is far from the perfect father. We (I) have rules that I need to constantly remind him of. An example of one of the rules is... "Don't do anything with Grom that makes people gasp". He has to be reminded of this rule often - he loves to get reactions out of folks- like when he throws Grom towards the moon, does a 360 and then catches him - all while eating an ice cream cone that he then shares with "the baby".

I found this article, A Mom's Guide to Letting Dad be Dad, at America's Family Coaches.

Here's the high points and some of the things I need to work on.

Relational Fathering. Moms long for their husbands to snuggle, hug, kiss, or verbally express how much they care for their children. To some men, relational fathering can be the most threatening aspect of fathering. Here’s how to boost his confidence:

1. Leave Him Alone with the Kids.

2. Establish Special Traditions.

Surferman has this part of fathering down. He is affectionate and attentive. He craves time with Grom and often sends me off so that I can have some time to myself.

Personal Fathering. Each father will do fathering his own way. Mom’s job? Step back and let him! He might dry his son’s hiney off with a bib because it’s the closest object. He might take his kids fishing or teach them to use the computer at age three because those are “his things.” The point is, your husband will father in a way that is unique to his personality. Our job as moms is to let dads discover their own style and then get out of their way while they practice it.

1. Free Him!

2. Honor Him!

3. Appreciate Him!

Here is where I need some help and prayers. I can be controlling. My way is the right way. I can be critical and he hears all about it. I can be ungrateful. I don't know how good I have it.

Spiritual Fathering. Fathers influence the faith of their children. Sigmund Freud claimed that a child’s psychological representation of his father is intimately connected to his understanding of God. Moms want dads to take a spiritual role in the family, but most men find themselves held back by feelings of inadequacy. Try these 2 tactics to encourage him to be intentional:

1. Pray for Him.

2. Show Him Jesus.

I can't pray enough for my husband. He deserves more than my last fleeting prayers thrown out to God as I drift off to sleep.

Source: (Elisa Morgan and Carol Kuykendall, Make Room for Daddy (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002), 133-146)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Quiet Time - Mark 8 - "You are the Christ"

In this chapter of Jesus' ministry, He was surrounded by people - his disciples, the multitudes and those pesky Pharisees. I see myself in each of these groups.

I am like the disciples. I want to follow Jesus wherever He goes. I love the sweet times alone with my Savior. I love to be privy to the miracles He works. I want to listen to what He has to say but sometimes I just don't get it.

I am like the multitude. I come and go. I want to be with the crowd. I love fellowship. I enjoy the blessings He pours out on me when I don't deserve them.

I am like a Pharisee. I want to challenge God and see Him prove Himself faithful. I want a loud and bright sign.

And then...
I get to the end of Chapter 8. My Bible has the subtitle "Cost of Discipleship"

34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”

Matthew 8:34-38
Here are His instructions:
Deny myself
Take up my cross - I'm thinking about this one and might be back with more.
Follow Him (Jesus
Don't be ashamed

Monday, January 02, 2006

From empathy to sympathy

I had the smallest taste of what the people who endured Katrina are going through today. Our weather in California has been stormy. We've had drenching rain for the past few days. We hunkered down and mostly stayed indoors - not a big deal.

Today though, a crate of stored memories was found in our rickety, leaky utility room (functions as a laundry room/ shed) was found full of water. I was frustrated because I hadn't wanted to store the box out there to begin with. But it was and I had to deal with the aftermath.

It was all stuff from my schooling - Jr. High, High School and College. Random weird stuff that was supposed to be fun to go through sometime with my kids. Now it was a chore. My yearbooks were waterlogged; the autographs and sentiments running all over. I couldn't imagine that they could ever be as good as new - into the trash they all went. My scrapbook full of past accomplishments was soaked. I was sad but brave. They were stuff of a girl who is long gone.

Surferman was wonderful. As I sulked, he hauled out the blow dryer and peeled apart all the photos, and scraps of paper from the memory boxes and methodically started drying them. I tried to tell him that he didn't have to do it. I felt like it should all be trashed. That my memories would have to be enough.

Tonight he brought me a stack of photos - old friends, old boyfriends, old Robin. It was great to be reminded of college friends I had forgotten about. I was stoked to have any of it.

My crate is down to a box. I had to think about all the people who weathered Katrina. All the people who didn't have a chance to save anything from a box of memories. I couldn't fathom their loss before. I still really can't, but I got a glimpse.