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Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year Ahead!

I love that on this last day of 2009 the first words I read in my One Year Bible were, "Songs of Victory in Heaven." I can begin with the end in mind. What a great way to start 2010!

I can dream about seeing"...a white horse standing there. Its rider named Faithful and True...His eyes like flames of fire and on his head many crowns...He wears a robe dipped in blood and his title is the Word of God." (Revelation 19:11-13)

Someday my Lord will come for me. My Rescuer riding on a white horse to sweep me off my feet to a paradise he's preparing for me now. As long as I remember that, momentary trials seem just that, temporary. With that beautiful thought beheld in my mind, dusting, mopping, vacuuming, laundry and the millionth game of Cranium sounds pretty good, eh?

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

Happy New Year's Ya'll!

Think Forward

As I said yesterday, my mind's all a flutter. My thoughts are all over the place. I think one reason is that I'm trying to think forward.

New Year's is a time I want to enter with some clear, intentional goals in place. I like a theme for my year. 2009 was The Year of Yes. Granted it was towards the end of January when God whispered the year's theme to my soul. Yet it remained the year of yes.

Saying yes led me many new places. Women's Retreats, bloggy meetings and late nights with Jesus were all part of my year. Placing a sign in my yard, packing my home into boxes and saying "yes" before I know to what or to where is how my year will end.

At the same time another year is beginning. I want to intentionally reach for Jesus. I want to hear his voice more clearly. I want to say yes more quickly. I want to embrace him in all of his goodness all the time all the way.

I want our family to love one another better. I'm praying we listen more. I'm praying gentleness and kindness become second nature...or rather first. I want us to have deep fellowship with each other and with Jesus.

I want to cherish my friends. Go deep with them. Love them well.

God just keeps blowing me away with his goodness. I'm praying I can get my thoughts together and organize with intentionality my new year's list of goals. This does make the mind flutter. Trying to look back and look forward thoughtfully making my brain think with some sort of vision. Whew! So that's what's on my fluttering mind tonight. What's on yours going into 2010?




Wednesday, December 30, 2009

So Much

My mind is all a jumble right now. Although I have pictures of this whole lovely Christmas celebration flashing through my mind, I can't seem to connect the cord to the camera and the computer to share them. I will in time. For now I'm just enjoying the reruns in my mind.

We decided to increase our packing and readying a notch or two this week. So last night we up into the wee hours of the morning. Ahem 3 AM to be exact. Unloading a trailer of scary tailgate stuff and reloading with neatly boxed housewares. We got the trailer half full and went to bed knowing that someone would call first thing this morning to view the house. Well, of course they did! We scurried for about an hour and a half, put the children to work, worked ourselves and loaded that trailer full and carted it off again.

Bad news, I had to do my hair and makeup in the car today. Good news, they're coming back for a second showing tomorrow. Pray it sells. I'm ready to move, tired of waiting and eager to decide where I'll be living. I'm reminding myself all the while that God knows already where we will lay our heads when this house sells. He knows when this house will sell and exactly how busy things are about to get. I think I'll just leave all the thinking to Him because just typing that scares me a little. Excites me but scares me too.

Lastly, this post is all over the place because we just got word that yet another friend suffering with cancer has been released to hospice care. I just really hate cancer! As my husband and I got the news, I began asking God why again. Why does it have to be this way? I also ask God to heal our friend, Layne and let his family enjoy him awhile longer, let his very.young.sons get to know their daddy and let his wife experience grace, peace, joy and rest like never before.

Erin and Layne go to our church. They have two precious little boys ages 2 and 4. I had the pleasure of teaching their 4-year-old in Cubbies last year at Awanas. Layne has brain cancer. He has been battling it quite awhile. Their 4-year-old has been sick and was hospitalized last week in Texas Childrens but is doing fine now. Layne has been in the hospital at MD Anderson since Saturday but is home now also. All that to say, I know Erin is weary. Please lift Erin and Layne boldly before the throne of grace with me.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16




Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

I know it's the day after but we are off to celebrate again. Oh yes, as one of my friends said her family's mottos is..."If you're gonna do it, over-do it!"

The truth is, we are just so blessed to have so many loved ones that we will have one more Christmas celebration this year.

As you go about your day after activities, celebrate the birth of Christ. Salvation come to earth. And one thing you bloggy-folk have taught me about celebrating Salvation, you certainly know how to do that! Merry Christmas!

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” (Luke 2:13-14)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Flurry Up and Pray


Last year's Christmas was what I like to think of as the culmination of "all I could handle." The fall was the busiest and frazzled I've ever felt even after carefully and prayerfully planning our calendar. I think God wanted to teach me lessons that I had to be in this totally depleted, totally dependant mindset to understand.

Because my experience last year was consumed in a flurry of activity, I have to confess I started this holiday season with a little less joy than usual. Truly Christmas is my most favorite time of the year. I love the smell of cinnamon, the glitter of lights and the magic of gifts. I do. But when December 10, 2009 rolled around and I had not.one.single.gift purchased, I might have been heard saying, "I hate this time of year." UGH!

Catching yourself complaining about Christmas, the season when God is referred to as Immanuel, God with Us, will stop you in your tracks. It did me!

So I decided to spend the time I wish I could go shopping, praying. I prayed that when I was able to shop that God would lead me to the perfect gifts, within my budget for those on my list. I prayed that all of our extended families and plans would stitch perfectly together. I prayed that my children would feel overwhelmingly loved, blessed and showered by us and be able to bestow that on others. I prayed that most of all, our focus would stay on Jesus and we would celebrate his birth, Salvation come to earth, like no other time in our lives.

The results have been staggering. I shopped in two days between school parties and holiday performances. Easy. In fact, two times when I was waiting in the line to check out, the exact gift I was looking for, which was sold out, was returned by the person in front of me. The gifts I'm giving are the best. Absolutely perfect. I can't wait to give them!

This year I cleared a space for my whole Willow Tree nativity. I love it. I could sit and stare at it for hours. Simplifying the decorating has helped me focus. Lots. We are also going to start a new tradition wrapping up baby Jesus and placing him under the tree. Before we open any other gifts, we are going to read the Christmas story while the children put the nativity together. (I have a special nativity that the children can play with.) We always read the Christmas story but not like this.

Our holiday plans have come together marvelously and I can't wait. So before you wrap your last gift, wrap your celebration in prayer. I did like never before and I think it's going to be the best Christmas ever!

"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel" —which means, "God with us." Matthew 1:23



Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Favorite Last Christmas Memory

Even though I didn't get around to expressing it until March of this year, this is my favorite memory of last Christmas. I was overwhelmed and undone by love...

I often wonder what it would be like for God to walk among my family. My people.

Would He be pleased? Would He see His commands carried out? Would He pierce our hearts with just one glance deciphering our hidden motives and secret ambitions? Would we still be so prone to wander or so frustrated with our own inadequacies?

Romans says this, "For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God." Romans 8:20-21

God allows us to be slaves to our sin so that we will appreciate our freedom. Somehow being a slave to sin puts me in a position to cry out to God realizing my need and acknowledging that He is...the one true God...my own one true God. Knowing my weaknesses up close and personal disgusts me and drives me to the foot of the cross. All at once I see my deep need for Someone to rescue me from myself and the utter destruction I cause in the wake of my life and I feel deep grief in the recesses of my soul for how I've caused One so perfect, so honorable, so beautiful to suffer and die. How my own mess can cause hurt and pain for so many others.

I feel the feeling I feel at Christmas when I receive a gift I don't really deserve. When someone I haven't appreciated near enough does something, gives something way larger than I anticipated. Kind of like being showered with gifts at a place I showed up empty handed. I've felt it. It's literally overwhelming.

This past Christmas, which I haven't blogged much about due to busy, crazy, unfocused living, I showed up at my parents' home with no gifts. No gifts for my nephews and niece. No gifts for my dad or step mom. No gifts. No bottle of wine. No box of candy. No cookies. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

Palmer had just had surgery. We'd been coming and going at both ends. The stores closed on Christmas Eve before we'd even had a chance to purchase everything on our list for our kids. A crazy Christmas to say the least. Not that I want them to think it's all about the gifts they get. But I do want to shower them with love, overwhelm them with my love for them, so that just maybe they can get a glimpse of God's great love for them, His giving in overwhelming proportions. I got that this past Christmas. I felt it. Saw it with my own eyes.

Let me be clear, my parents did not expect anything from us. They understood our situation. They just wanted to spend time with their kids. My family's presence was all they desired. When my parents began passing out gifts, I received so many, my kids received so many, I had to leave the room and cry. I did not deserve, nor did I expect the material blessings I was given.

As I sat there weeping, I saw something very clear. That's what God thinks about me. He doesn't even expect anything but my presence. He's so gladly given me more than I could ever repay. Just because he wants to be with His kids.

It's in His presence that He can shower me with gifts, freedoms, deliverance. In His presence I am transformed. The change happens as He walks among us.

Why?

So He can be mine and I can be His.

As if that wasn't enough, He freed me from my shame over being so undeserving. He teaches me a better way of life and sets me in a new place so I become free to live it.

I know the answer to my own question. God is pleased if I'm in His presence. He is most pleased when He is walking among us. That's it. So simple. And, again, it's just like with my parents, when they are pleased with me, I walk, forward, moving on with my head held high knowing they are pleased.

There is no shame in that. No shame in failing as long as it's in His presence.

And that, my friends, causes me to stand. Stand tall. To walk taller. Move ahead. Stand higher. And in turn, dig deeper. Dig deeply to seek my God.

"I will walk among you; I will be your God, and you will be my people...I broke the yoke of slavery from your neck so you can walk with your heads held high." Leviticus 26:12-13b



Posting a Rerun as I Run

I have some ramblings on my Christmas season this year I want to post and a Christmas wish to all (12) of you who read faithfully, but because I'm running around taking care of last minute stuff for Christmas, lunching with friends, reading through the stacks at the library with the children, crafting the last of our gifts, tidying a few more draws and cabinets, going through some boxes that were in the attic, working for the hubs and trying to squeeze in a workout (so I won't be squeezing in my jeans next week), I'm posting a favorite from Christmas past today.

"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us." Matthew 1:23

This Christmas I have been telling myself, on a daily basis, that it is all about presence...not presents. I, naturally, want to bless all the people I love and who are important to me with gifts, lots and lots of gifts...especially my children. What parent doesn't want to bless their children abundantly? But due to the constraints of life...mainly, time and money...this is just not possible on as grand of a scale as I would love.

Don't get me wrong, my kids will get gifts and gifts and gifts...more gifts than they need. I'm not saying they won't get much. I'm saying I won't get to buy as much as I'd like. I love to shop and I love to give. It is a wonderful combination when the budget is large!

But, when it's not as large as I'd like I have to remind myself...Christmas is all about presence. Presence of family. Presence of friends. And, most importantly, Christmas is about Presence. Presence of the One I long to be with and can't go on living without...the One I love.

I have to constantly remind myself the presents are not as important as the presence when what I long to bless people with is not even close to the gift I end up actually giving. If money were no object, what fun I would have buying each loved one the perfect gift.

Unfortunately, I am restricted to spending only the money in my pocket, using only the time that comes in each day and happen to be very thankful that Christmas is about presence not presents.

I remind myself of this when I am busily crafting Christmas presents (presents that looked much cuter and craftier in my mind). I remind myself of this when I rush out at the last minute to get the one I forgot. I remind myself of this when I end up settling because I didn't leave enough time to figure out what the perfect gift would be.

Today, I did my Christmas shopping...virtually all of it except for the two errands I ran yesterday and the one last week. We went to place after place after place. The crowds were big, the traffic was slow, my heart was racing. In the hustle and bustle of one afternoon, the completing of just one list, I was pressed to forget about the presence of the One we celebrate this season.

As we ran from store to store to store to find the perfect little gifts for everyone, Julia and I had so much fun...yes, she helped to purchase one of her own gifts and she will look so fashionista fabuloso in her fun-fur scarf, hat and gloves on Christmas Eve because I couldn't resist it!

When we had to search three stores for the one certain play-doh-pick-up-stick-tool that Alyssa so desperately wanted and ended up at Super Walmart the evening of December 23rd in the pouring, freezing rain, we laughed. We couldn't even get our cart down the aisles it was so crowded, we lost our car in the parking lot and got separated no less than a hundred times! But, we were together. Rare, precious time for me to be with only one of my girls...we had presence.

I pray I will have the gift of presence with each of the ones I love this Christmas holiday. I pray you will have the gift of presence with each of the ones you love too.

I also pray we will all make time for the One whose presence we can't live without...Presence.

What a good lesson for my kids to learn, what a good reminder for me...Christmas is all about Presence.

Immanuel...God with us.

Wouldn't you agree, Christmas Presence is the perfect Christmas present?

I long to experience Christmas Presence...God's presence all year long.

I pray you experience His presence all year long too.

Let's celebrate with Christmas Presence each day of the year!




Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Gift

Pray for Andrew
(To read Andrew's story click on the picture above.)

Upon hearing of Andrew’s death I was speechless and numb. As I began to weep, I started to pray.

“Lord, you know I love you. You know I trust you. You know I believe you are good. But, Lord, you know I have to ask ‘Why?’”

“Why now? At Christmastime?”

“I hate that I am preparing to go buy my children Christmas presents and Melanie is preparing to bury her son.”

“Why?”

And quietly, in my questioning, He spoke.

Lisa, why are you buying your children gifts?

“Because I love them, Lord and I want to shower them with affection. I want them to celebrate an outward expression of my love.”

And what will you do with the gifts that you buy?

“I’ll wrap them and place them under the tree for my children on Christmas Day, Lord.”

What will your children do with the gifts?

“Why they’ll take delight in them and enjoy them and use them.”

Even quieter…

What will Melanie do with Andrew?

Me, softly, “She’ll place him in a box and present him to you, Lord.”

And I will take great delight in him and enjoy him and use him.

You may not see it yet, but Melanie is blessed among women. She has the opportunity to give me a very precious, rare and costly gift that most can never give. She knows I will use his story.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Believing the Impossible

I had the privilege of talking with Melanie this morning. Our fellowship was sweet as she shared precious memories and pieces of Andrew's personality with me. I will cherish the conversation forever.

As she was sharing she said she felt that in their fight she had laid aside some truths. Specifically, this truth: "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him." 2 Corinthians 2:14

First, let me say, and I think ya'll all would agree with me, that I have never seen Melanie lay aside truth. She has carried more truth, spoken more truth, meditated on more truth during the past four months than anyone I've ever known. She is truly a lady filled with faith.

After we got off the phone, I pondered the triumphal procession. I began to think about Lazarus. Upon his death, noone was looking for a miracle. In fact, every.single.person thought that once Lazarus had died, it was too late for Jesus to do anything. Martha even tell him that he's too late!

God chose to heal Lazarus because he was moved. The Bible says Jesus was moved by the Spirit. . John 11 The New Living even says because he was angered. I like to think God is angered by cancer, don't you?

I am asking God to be moved for the sake of Andrew and the Dorseys. I am choosing to believe the impossible. I am asking God to raise Andrew from the dead. I know He has. I know He can. I am choosing to believe He will.

And I am praying with all my might that He will give me the faith to believe it. Won't you join me?

"For nothing is impossible with God." Luke 1:37

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Services: Andrew Dorsey

Many of you have asked if I have any information regarding how to get in touch with the Dorsey's to send your prayers and condolences and just to let them know how much this wonderful bloggy world supports them.

Services for Andrew ~
Viewing Friday from 6 - 8 at Grace Christian Fellowship
901 Ridge Road S.W. Largo, Fl 33770

Funeral service ~ Saturday 11:00 at Grace Christian Fellowship Laid to rest at Serenity Gardens in Largo
"Forever a Family of Five"

Correspondence can be sent to the Dorsey's c/o Grace Christian Fellowship.




Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Andrew Dorsey


Please visit Melanie to offer your prayers and condolences or just to sit. She has posted a beautiful tribute to Andrew.



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Update: Andrew

It is with a heavy heart that I give you this update. I received a text from Melanie a little while ago saying, "Andrew went to heaven today."

There are no words. Only tears. God has given me an idea about how to honor Andrew's courage and legacy. I will let you know as it progresses.

For now. No words. Only tears.

Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was. Job 2:13




Monday, December 14, 2009

URGENT! From Bella Mella

Pray for Andrew

Bloggy Friends!! Please pray for Andrew right now. I just received a text from Melanie and the doctors don't give Andrew much time. Maybe hours.

We know who holds time in His hands. We know who numbers Andrew's days and has his life planned out from beginning to end. We long to see Andrew experience the goodness of the Lord and complete healing in the land of the living! We are asking for Andrew's healing. A healing that will be used for God's glory, spreading His fame everywhere, all over the earth! I am praying that God will rise with healing in his wings and Andrew will go out and skate like Tony Hawk on steroids!! Let's stand together in victory. Andrew's victory. Melanie's victory. The Lord's victory. Amen!

But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall. Malachi 4:2




Greater Things

I’m preparing to run. I’m nervous. Farther than I’ve run for a few months is my goal. It’s because I need the clarity, the focus and the strength that running gives me. I need to hear from God. Remember, it’s our conversation spot. When something that takes all my physical energy begins to occupy my brain space, it frees God to speak. In my weakness, I can hear. Really listen.

I’m ready. I’ve accepted the invitation. God’s given me encouragement lately by reminding me, “Without change, nothing changes.” I want change. I’m ready for change. I’ll face the hard, look difficult in the eye and proclaim victory.

The challenge has always been overcoming in my mind first. It’s true. If I think I can, I can. Today I will. I will rise and I will run. Today is another day in my “Take that Forty” quest. I will prove once again that greater things have yet to come. And I will be encouraged.

If anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father. John 14:12




Sunday, December 13, 2009

Alyssa Gets Glasses

Open the eyes of her heart Lord, that she may see you.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." Matthew 5:8





Thursday, December 10, 2009

B the Turtle Lady


As if my fall wasn't exciting enough already, I met Barbara. I just call her B like lots of you.

This bloggy friend is the most encouraging, life-speaking, energetic, b-eautiful lady. I mean, I loved her already from her creative and out of the box blog but I was truly blown away by how beautiful she is in person.

I love how God connects the hearts of those who b-long to Him. I just love B! Meeting her was a highlight of my November. Just thinking of her makes me smile. If you haven't met her, you should. (Just click on the title of this post.) Knowing her will change your life.




Some More Catching Up

Hunter lost his first tooth. His top two are loose, as well as three others, and I can't wait until they all fall out at once. I'll get the classic snaggle toothed first grade picture!
And, of course, I'll be happy to share.





Fall Connections

The months of October and November when I was not in bloggyland, I was reconnecting in real life.

Connecting with family and cousins. Here we are having fun with my brother and his family. My family is truly one of my greatest blessings. So, so thankful for them. All of them!

Cousin time is always a big hit.
And sometimes not so much.

With my cousins and my brother's family here. It was fun to spend time with my cousins Josh and Tiffany. Josh got married and carried Tiffany straight to Hawaii where they could become island kids and begin their life together. I have gotten to know Tiffany online because well, it's daytime in Hawaii when I'm online :) I have loved, loved getting to know her this way and hope to spend lots more face to face time in the future.

Reconnecting with friends too. Here I am with Jennie at my twenty year high school reunion. I moved to a new high school as a sophomore and Jennie was my first friend. Knowing her brought me camaraderie and acceptance when each day was a little awkward. I love Jennie!
And Lainie, one of the girls I spent most of my junior year with as we were on the same drill team squad. We went to summer dance camp and roomed together when hazing was still legal and let's just say that I'm not sure I would've survived those senior girls without her. Love, love Lainie!





Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Fall Festivity




Better late than never...




The Big Reveal


This house I live in with my man and our four children is really the first place that ever felt like home for us.

The first year we were married, Andrew and I lived in a little duplex. We didn't unbox many of our wedding gifts. We slept in a king sized waterbed circa 1980. We had mismatched furniture. We didn't own a vacuum cleaner and our lovable yet hairy dog had to pass through our tiny, king sized waterbed holding room to get to the backyard. Oh, life was good!

I just worked too many hours to think about making that humble dwelling homey and he just didn't want to waste any time on a place he knew was only temporary. My nesting instincts were frustrated at best but I worked long, odd hours in a retail job and, well, when I'm that tired I cease trying. Life was about to get better.

Being the real estate wizards we are, our first purchase was not a house to call home but two small four unit apartment buildings. I was blessed. I got to pick from the two vacant units. Which one would I call home? The downstairs unit with no washer and dryer or the upstairs unit the tenant had fled. I chose the latter. Can you say nast-y?

Sensing my mounting frustration, I had some very, very dear friends help me. One gave up precious, precious time to clean the much with her very hands. One came while I was working (I had no vacation) to unbox some of my most beautiful wedding gifts and transform the pitiful into pretty. Tears still threaten to spill out of my eyes when I think of those precious sisters and what they gave.

We lived in that classy ghetto apartment for exactly one month.

That's right. One month. Then my man comes home one day and announces, "I think we should buy a house." He shows me two then the one he thinks we can get because of our real estate wizardry and all. We make an offer, negotiate and close in ten days setting a record in fastest deal start to finish. I was in somewhat of a tailspin. Happy, weary, ready.

We moved our one pickup truck load into our 2200 square foot house and laughed at the fact we'd just practically stolen a mansion from some of our very good friends. We loved our house. We picked out furniture decorating everything just right. I look back and chuckle at what I thought was so rich looking.

We dreamed of filling the rooms with children...and we did. We filled the rooms, the closets, the nooks and the crannies. Full. Our house became packed with children and their stuff. About two years ago, I went crazy. Full-on frustration overtook the organized homemaker of yesteryear as the stresses of a full life, full house and full schedule began to take their toll.

I joked that we were going to have to move out of this one and move back in or just plain move for me to ever regain the organization and functionality I had lost as I flat ran out of space. I began to pray for God to give me a solution or at least help me to let go of the frustration and honor him in my daily life in my home.

In October, Andrew came home and said, "Let's sell the house." By the next week we were preparing to sell. Eight days of painting, flooring, sorting, selling, donating, boxing and my house was in perfect shape. We've unloaded ourselves of about a third of our stuff. It's gone. Sold, donated or trashed. Awesome feeling. We've packed about a quarter of what we have. Again, the lighter the better. My closets are once again half full, cupboards organized and shelves so neat. Woo-hoo!

Now just waiting on God to bring the one buyer he has for this sweet memory-filled home and waiting on him to reveal the next step in our family's journey together. Exciting times in these parts!

We are clinging to some very solid truth. "All hard work brings a profit." (Proverbs 14:23) and "...He (God) determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live." (Acts 17:26)

Enjoy the results of our labors!


















Growing Weary

The middle.

It's the point in a journey, a situation, a dream, in life that tiredness begins to set in, the euphoric feeling of the newness of the beginning has worn off but the adrenaline of the end has yet to take effect. It's the middle.

About a month ago, someone told me that character is born in the middle. I think character is not only born in the middle, it's also proven there.

Lots of people, me included, can make promises, start strong and have great intentions. It's in the middle when nothing is happening, at least nothing we can see, that determination, grit and perseverance begin to show. That is if one possesses them.

This summer the Lord began giving me a picture that I dreamt of all night and saw all day in my mind's eye. In this vision, I am playing poker. I have lots of chips. The hand has yet to be dealt but I am "all in" pushing all my chips to the middle of the table.

Now I don't know much about poker but I do know a few things about my God. With him, I don't have to see the cards I'm dealt because his plans for me are good. They are for hope and a future. (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.)

I know that there are pleasures forevermore if I remain in his presence. (Psalm 16:11 You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.)

I know that just because I belong to him, my life will be filled with goodness and mercy. (Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.)

Essentially, I know the outcome of this poker game. (Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.)

So I can play the whole thing, beginning, middle and end with all my might. Isn't that great?
Today if you're stuck in the middle, tired of waiting and growing weary of giving it your all, consider these key truths before giving up and please share any others that have helped you along the way.

Hebrews 12:3
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.



Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A Long Winter's Nap


Even Foxy can appreciate a silent, holy night every now and then.

Trust me, she knows how rare they can be. Four children & a beloved family pet makes for some doggone good appreciating of all things silent and holy.

Amen