Thursday, September 27, 2007

Goin' Rock Crawlin'

Well folks, the weekend is here that my husband, Eldon has been looking forward to for months. We're goin' four wheelin'. (Can you hear my Texas draw?)

We have two 4X4 vehicles we'll be taking to the rocks. Our teenage son will have his maiden voyage on the rocks with his newly acquired Suzuki. My husband insists that I drive on the rocks this weekend. I insist on taking all the videos and photos. (Who will win this insist game?) I like his jeep. But I really like it better when he drives it. I drove it the last night to pick up my son and my pony tail blew in my face and I couldn't see. You know it is still warm in Texas and of course the doors and top are off. I tend to be more like a cat, not a dog. I don't like the wind in my face. Not to mention that it takes a lot of work to drive a stick shift.

Here's the kicker. I just learned a few days ago that we'll really be camping. Now Eldon told me we were going camping, but I thought camping with bathrooms off down the road with showers. You know the kind made out of cinder blocks with the spiders in all the corners, but you're glad they're there anyway (the toilets, not the spiders). No! Only port-a-potties! No electricity and no running water! Did I say I'm thankful it is only for the weekend!

Eldon informed me at dinner tonight that I need to be ready by noon on Friday. We are leaving promptly at noon. He even told me to think I need to be ready by 11am. No reason for him to repeat it to me three times. Do you really think I would give him any reason to believe I wouldn't be ready on time? After all, on this trip I dont need any make-up or even a curling iron or hair chemicals. Probably a pony-tail holder and a ball cap will do.

I think I'm ready---I've already packed the wet wipes and toilet paper and food and drinks. He has the tent and sleeping bags. Should I take my toothbrush or should he kiss me with stuck in food and bad breathe?

Well I hope to post some pictures and a good story or two when I return. Ya'll have a good weekend now ya hear.

(P.S. --I just decided to take my toothbrush & toothpaste. I wont be able to stand it.)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Partial Obedience--Not Obedience

Is it just my imagination or has the size of things changed? I’m talking about clothes and shoes.

I went shopping last week and tried on the size I thought I wore and lo and behold they were snug and I refuse to buy a larger size! But last night I needed to buy new running shoes. I started jogging again and my back has been hurting. When I looked at my shoes, the soles were flat. No wonder I could feel the pavement under my feet! When I went to the store to try on shoes, I pulled my size off the shelf. My toes touched the ends. I pulled another brand the same size thinking it was the brand. But no my toes touched the end in the other brand. I pulled the next half size. Same thing. Finally I pulled a full size larger than what I bought last year and it fit. I thought this is the last straw! My feet cant be growing! I’m too old for that!

Well I went into my prayer closet when I put the shoes away. I sought the Lord about my size and weight. I have been with a well known weight loss membership program since January 2006 that emphasizes lifestyle changes. I have lost a significant amount of weight—28 pounds. But I have 15 pounds to go and I haven’t lost any weight this year. I thought I have been doing all the right things—eating healthy and exercising.

I recently read 1 Samuel 15. This passage of scripture tells about King Saul’s disobedience to the Lord for refusing to wipe out the Amalekites. He kept their king and best sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the Lord. Then Samuel tells Saul in 1 Samuel 15:22-23 (NIV):

"Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD ?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,
he has rejected you as king."

Upon recalling this scripture, I felt the Lord drop into my heart that “Partial obedience is not obedience.” OUCH! I fell on my face and sought forgiveness from Him. I know what He’s telling me.

The Lord showed me in January 2006 how He wants me to eat. I believe the Lord knows each one of us so well that He knows what the best diet is for each of us. He showed me when I studied about when the Israelites left Egypt and they were in the desert. They craved and longed for the foods that they ate in Egypt—fish, leeks, onions, garlic, cucumbers, and melons (Numbers 11:1-20). They especially missed the quail in Egypt. God gave them manna from heaven; the food of angels (Psalm 78:23-25). In Exodus 16:11-12 (NIV) reads,

11 The LORD said to Moses, 12 "I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, 'At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.' "

God allowed them to eat the quail at night and gave them the manna in the mornings. I looked up some of the Hebrew lexicons.

Eat – Hebrew transliterated word - akal – means:
to eat, devour, burn up, feed

Filled – Hebrew transliterated word – saba – means:
to be satisfied, be sated, be fulfilled, be surfeited

The manna the Lord provided to the Israelites was perfectly satisfying for them. I felt the Lord nudge me to inform me that lean meats, steamed or fresh vegetables and fresh fruit was His manna for my life. If I choose to eat that I will be satisfied. And that the candies, cakes, chips, breads, etc. are foods of “Egypt” or “the quail”. And the more I choose to eat from the old way of life (the way of Egypt), the more I’d crave & devour them, but never feel satisfied. Also, I feel it is important to note here that I usually feel these cravings in the evenings. And that is when the Israelites craved the quail.

Last year, I did let go of my “Egypt” lifestyle for a while and ate the healthy foods. That’s how I lost that 28 pounds and felt like I had lots of energy. But the ways of the world (aka Egypt) crept back into my life and I didn’t notice. I thought I was doing the right things; but I’m not getting the results that I wanted. I allowed food to become an idol in my life. I used it to comfort me when I felt stress. I used it to celebrate when I felt happy. I used food for social occasions. (Please note: I don’t think it is wrong to gather and fellowship over food. I think it is wrong when that is all I thought about and it occupied more of mind than the things of the Lord.)

The Lord wants to be my comfort. The Lord wants to be my source of joy. I must not allow food to dictate the way I think or feel. I have determined and resolved in my heart to break this bondage in my mind and in my flesh about food. I determine and resolve as Daniel did not to give into and eat the king’s delicacies.

As a woman I have struggled with eating all my life. I am determined to submit it under the Lord’s authority now. I read about and correspond with other women who struggle with this also (though I know some who don’t). In Genesis 3, the fall of man was because the enemy tempted Eve with food—the forbidden fruit. So it has been from the early days of mankind that the enemy has used the same tactic against women. Let’s not fall for it again and again! Let’s rise up in the power of Christ and His blood that was shed for us.

We have self-control and we have crucified the sinful nature (flesh):

Galatians 5:22-25 (NIV)
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

I want to thank all of you who are praying for me and encouraging me!

Blessings in Christ--

Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Again

My mother sent this video to me this morning by Brad Paisley and Sara Evans. It moved me so much, I wanted to share it with you. Thanks Mom! May you be blessed!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Heart Like His by Beth Moore

I am so excited that I am part of a Ladies Bible study that started yesterday. We're studying Beth Moore's "A Heart Like His." Yesterday we had our fellowship brunch and watched the introductory video. We all had a hoot laughing at the differences in how Beth's hair do and clothes looked 10 years ago and recalled how we looked back then too. We love you Beth! Oh my--but the words Beth spoke on the video were still fresh and relevant today. I am looking forward to digging into God's word through this study. Beth did warn on the video that there are lots of confrontational scriptures & comforting ones as well. She asked everyone to stick with it. I love the Lord as He allowed me to facilitate a group--I just have to laugh for if I make a commitment as a group facilitator, I'll stick with it and complete all the assignments! If you have participated in this study before, please let me know how it ministered to you.

Blessings in Christ my dear sisters--

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Bats & Spiders - Oh My!

Oh how the Lord uses my children to grow me and change me! When I was blessed with my children I did not realize how much it would change me. Emily discussed some of this on her blog and I’m going to build on it and elaborate on it from my point of view. I call this God’s Character Building 101. I suppose 201 will come with grandchildren someday.

We still have Charlotte (see this post). She has laid a huge egg sack. I have not been able to find out how long they eggs will stay there. But I have read that when the little spider lings come out that they will build the parachute type web, climb up on something high (like a fence post) and fly away on the wind. Just like on Charlotte’s Web. I hope I get to see it. But the sad news is that Charlotte will probably die after this event takes place. And today as I walked by the shrubs in my front yard, I noticed at least a dozen spider webs with spiders in them. I guess the word got out in spider land that we allow spiders to live here and they’ve moved in. I’m okay with it as long as they stay outside.

Last week our local home school group announced a scheduled field trip to the Devil’s Sinkhole in Rocksprings, Texas, to see the bats emerge at sunset. This trip is a one hour drive each way. In our new science book there is a chapter on bats. We skipped right over and started studying bats and I signed up to take this field trip with the group. I learned that bats are not dangerous and don’t actually attack people. These little creatures eat tons of insects every night. Chase said, “If we didn’t have bats, it would be an all out war between people and insects.”

Chase waiting for the bats

The bats that we went to see are called Mexican Free-tailed bats or Brazilian Free-tail bats. The tour guide said that the name Mexican Free-tailed bat is commonly used here because they cross the Mexican border to get here. This particular species of bats (Tadarida brasiliensis) lives in colonies. They like the caves. Bats are mammals, give live birth and nurse their young. These bats migrate north in the spring after mating, then return south for winter (about October). The mothers have their pups (the term for baby bats) in the caves. These pups stay in the nursery for six weeks. Amazingly, the mothers know their own pup out of the millions of pups when they return to nurse. Then after six weeks, the pups learn to fly. Bats don’t have much lift on their wings so they have to drop or hop and start flapping. And they continue flapping their wings during flight.

The sinkhole we visited is 350 feet deep. The bats start stirring before sunset. I call it stirring because before they start flying out of the sinkhole, they fly in a counter clockwise circle out of the hole. When they come out, it looks a like a tornado and then they fly off in swarms toward the south. They feed on tons of moths every night.

I just stood in awe of God’s creation as I stood there and watched this. I stood there and allowed the bats to fly around me. Yet I did not squeal like the little girls in front of me. I saw some land on the deck in front of me and watch it hop and hop to try and get some lift to flap its little wings. They are as small as one of my hands. Some are a little bigger. I think the tour guide said there are estimated 4 billion, but maybe he said 4 million. This includes the mothers and pups. There are some males, but from what I understand they mostly stay south. I don’t know exactly how many there were, but lots of bats came out of that cave. I asked the tour guide when they stop and he said he has only been out as late as 11 pm and they were still coming out.

My husband is just in awe at how much I have changed lately. Before, I would have never allowed spiders to hang around or stand and watch bats fly all around me. God has used my children and His call on my life to home school them to change the way I see His creation. If I weren’t teaching my children at home, I would NEVER do the things I’ve been doing—like entertaining spiders and standing around the bats. I am certainly overcoming fear.

Having my children has certainly blessed me and they continue to bless me.

Psalm 127:3

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Can I Have a Syllabus Please?

When I was in high school, a few teachers I had gave out syllabuses and in college I received a syllabus from my instructors. Being the type of person that likes to see the plan up front, I enjoyed having a guideline of what I needed to do in front of me. Often times I worked ahead. I knew what was expected of me.

But one thing I have noticed about my Christian life is I don’t get a syllabus. I have asked the Lord, “Can I have a syllabus please?”

Do you know what the Lord said to me?



I looked at Abram in Genesis 12:1. The Lord told him, “Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.” So Abram gathers all his household belongings and people and headed out not knowing where he was going. Hebrews 11:8, “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.”

That’s the way it seems to be with me. The Lord has called me for a purpose. I feel like He has shown me my part in the body of Christ, but I just don’t know where I’m going yet or how I’ll get there.

In Genesis 12:2-3 God told Abram His promise to make from him a great nation. I know I have received my call and promise from the Lord as well. He promises in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

In Acts 15, Paul decided to go back and visit the churches that were planted on his first missionary journey. On this trip he takes Silas with him. They go and strengthen the churches and Timothy joined their team in Acts 16. Paul wanted to go to Asia, specifically Ephesus but was denied by the Holy Spirit to go there. But I noticed that he was not told where to go, so then he headed north to Bithynia but again the Spirit of Jesus would not let him go there either. It was not until Paul got to Troas, which is on the coast and there is no more land to travel on, that he received a vision directing him where to go. I wondered, Why couldn’t the Lord tell him from the beginning to go to Macedonia?

Perhaps like Paul and Abraham I need to learn to walk by faith and not by sight? (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Perhaps having a syllabus would not allow me to walk by faith?

Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

If I had a syllabus and were able to see all that was before me, would I go where He wants me to or do what He wants me to do? Would I truly live by faith? Would I truly live for HIM? Or would I try to get ahead of His timing as I did with the teachers in school?

I wonder if the Lord has an ongoing list of those to include in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11). If He does, will my name be included someday? Will yours?