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Archive for June, 2011

Good morning.  I have thought and thought about it.  The last thing I want is to get on here, this blog thing, and just chatter away about things that don’t really matter.  I would like to clarify after my blog post yesterday, where I shared my great savings while shopping……..and hopefully you realize this if you have read anything on this blog……life is not about the “stuff”.  Life is Christ. It’s all about Him, and glorifying Him.  For me, anyway.  I want to reflect that.  I want to be about that.  about Him.  And to encourage you to be about Him too.  ok? Forgive me if that’s not what I reflected in the post from yesterday.  Yes, I had a fun, wonderful, out of the ordinary day yesterday, and I shared it with you.  But, the joy wells up from my relationship with God, and always will.

Thanks.  And with that said, here is my Jesus Calling devotional for today.  enjoy.  Enjoy your day, and the surprises the Lord gives you along the way.

“I am creating something new in you: a bubbling spring of Joy that spills over into others’ lives.  Do not mistake this Joy for your own or try to take credit for it in any way.  Instead, watch in delight as My Spirit flows through you to bless others.  Let yourself become a reservoir of the Spirit’s fruit.

Your part is to live close to Me, open to all that I am doing in you.  Don’t try to control the streaming of My Spirit through you.   Just keep focusing on Me as we walk through this day together.  Enjoy My Presence, which permeates you with Love, Joy, and Peace.”  

“So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.” John 3:7-8 message

“But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.” Galatians 5:22 message

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so. much. fun.

Ok, so here’s the deal.  It’s been a quiet weekend before some craziness, so I have loved it. Finished a great book.  Started another.  Great times of running, and riding my bike.  Ordered Chinese food, and enjoyed with my girl.  while watching a movie. Got some things done ahead of time.  (bonus) And in my organization, realized I had a skirt to return to one of my favorite stores. anthropologie.  (small sigh for the loveliness of that place.)  And in an extra-fun discovery, didn’t realize until really late Saturday night that I had friends coming to Faithbridge to preach/lead worship, but made plans to go……

Excellent morning at Faithbridge – great great sermon by Ben Stuart, and glorious worship by Jeff and Jourdan Johnson.  I. loved. it.  SO, it had already been a great Sunday.  We talked a little with Jeff and Jourdan, I love them so much.  they just constantly glow with love for each other and for Christ. so happy to share a Sunday morning with them.

So then, I felt the timing was right to take back that skirt.  yes, on a Sunday.  I really try not to do errands, shopping, etc. on a Sunday for the most part (giving the Lord’s day my attention, with rest, and worship, and staying home), but felt really the pull to go today.  So, I did.  They were having a bonus sale. an extra 25% off all sale items. Listen, people, I have this great joy in saving money.  But today, my joy was multiplying with each moment……..as I was returning the skirt, I asked about the bonus sale.  like, if I could do a price adjustment on a few things I had bought about 10 days ago.  The sweet darling girl, (who is now my best friend, btw), said yes, I could indeed get a price adjustment, if it had been within 2 weeks……my mind is just swirling! I ask her “ok,how do I do this – go home and get my receipt and come back with it?”  Yes, she said, or with your anthro card, I can just do it now.  (my mouth just gaping open with great and exceeding joy)

As I stood there, she brought up my last transaction on the register, took off an additional 25%, and handed me a nice little handful of cash.  with a smile.  oh. my.  The beauty of it all.  Of course, I had to just glance at the racks to see what I might just need to buy with that little handful of cash……..

In one hour, I had run my errand, gotten bonus money back (making that previous purchase all the sweeter, since none of those items were available anymore), and bought a couple other things with the bonus 25%off.  I practically flew home on my joy.

Now I know, in the midst of really troubled times for some people I know, in the midst of really hard struggles with illnesses, family problems, and other issues for many I love, this is frivolous.  certainly not essential.  not life-changing.  I am praying for these needs, and take them very seriously.

But sometimes, our God surprises me just out of the blue, with a little pocket of fun, of joy, of times like these – a huge savings in one of my favorite places. totally unexpected.  I am so grateful. thankful. appreciative of this gift.  And just so you know, I regularly purge my closet.  and when I buy something I make sure I go in there, and take other things out – to donate, or sell. So, I hope to bless others, as I’ve been blessed.

And now?  I get to look forward to our regular church service at my home church, HFBC.  So thankful for this little Sunday sandwich of church, shopping joy, church.  I pray in all I do, I glorify God.  But I also want to thank Him for all He does for me.  Because truly, every good and perfect gift comes from above……

Psalm 118:29
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

1 Corinthians 15:57
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:18
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

*added after another great church service – and my joy in this day continues to grow!  Just got a tweet, complete with a picture, from my favorite brother (grin – my one and only sibling).  The picture? He and my sister-in-law, with my dear friends Aaron and Jamie Ivey!!!  I have wanted them to meet for so long, and now they have.  I don’t know what it is about that picture I love the most – but it sure blesses me.  oh,my heart.  what a wonderful day……..

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wedding guest lists

Last year in April, our Adam married beautiful Laura.  We. Have. Loved. Her.  We totally love this girl that Adam added to our family.  Such a blessing!!!

In just a couple weeks, our Kyle will promise to love lovely Kate for the rest of his life.  We are thrilled, and this wedding will be such a celebration!!!  We love Kate so much, and are so thankful she is joining our family!  She’s such a gift! So happy!!!  Can hardly wait.

AND, (drum roll please), now our Mark has proposed to the fantastic Lindsay, and she said yes!!!  Interestingly, the wedding will also be this year!!!  (date to be determined so soon)  Lindsay will also be an overthetop wonderful addition to our family!  We are thrilled, and so thankful that God has answered the life-long prayers of this mama!  As I rocked each of these baby boys, I would pray over them, asking for so much.  But also praying for their wives.  He. Has. Answered.  And we thank Him, for the answer of each of these ladies into our lives.

So……this mom’s working on another wedding guest list as we speak, and am filled with joy……my cup runneth over.

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I was in my little study off my bedroom, looking through my last two Bibles for a certain little piece of paper I knew I had tucked away in one of them.  One that contained words I needed that very moment to restore my soul.  (I found it, by the way.  and it did what I knew it would)  I also found this.  from a long time ago – and it ministered to me afresh, just as things of God will no doubt do.  I pray you also find ministry among these words.

This is an excerpt from John Piper’s The Pleasures of God:

“Suppose you were exploring an unknown Greenland glacier in the dead of winter.  Just as you reach a sheer cliff with a spectacular view of miles of jagged ice and mountains of snow, a terrible storm breaks in.  The wind is so strong that the fear rises in your heart that it might blow you over the cliff.  But in the midst of the storm you discover a cleft in the ice where you can hide.  Here you feel secure.  But, even though secure, the awesome might of the storm rages on, and you watch it with a kind of trembling pleasure as it surges out across the distant glaciers.  Not everything we call fear vanishes from your heart, only the life-threatening part.  There remains the trembling, the awe, the wonder, the feeling that you would never want to tangle with such a storm or be the adversary of such a power.

And so it is with God.  The fear of God is what is left of the storm when you have a safe place to watch right in the middle of it.  Hope turns fear into a trembling and peaceful wonder; and fear takes everything trivial out of hope and makes it earnest and profound.  The terrors of God make the pleasures of His people intense.  The fireside fellowship is all the sweeter when the storm is howling outside the cottage. (pages 205-206)

~thank you, Dr. Piper.  amen.

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