Wednesday, September 30, 2009

12th Imam

Yesterday, Glen Beck had Joel Rosenberg on his program and they explained what some of the Shia Muslims believe about the last days. Ahmadinejad continually mentions the 12th Imam (Mahdi) in his prayers at the U.N. I hope you'll listen to it. VERY interesting!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Meet my prayer partners

They would kill me if they saw this. But not to worry....they never read my blog! Meet my prayer partners--Liz Holt (left) and Jodina Plumley (across from me). We've been praying together for about 15 years. When we started meeting, we weren't really friends--just acquaintances with mutual friends. And back then, we met at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays to pray. Mind you, this was when we had kids in school--which is exactly why we met that early.

Now we meet at 7:15 on Tuesdays. We usually meet in one of our homes, but on mornings like today when none of us have our lives together enough to host prayer time, we meet at a restaurant for breakfast and share what's going on in our lives and then we pray. You'd love hearing our prayer times in the restaurant. We just make prayer a natural part of our conversation---someone usually just breaks out into prayer when a topic is brought up. You'd never know we're praying. In fact, our waitress interrupted our prayer time and she never knew it. I love that. God is just there with us in our conversation.
And now? Now these 2 "girls" are more than friends, they're a part of me. And guess what? There's a 16 year span from the oldest to the youngest of us. Like Jodina always tells us, "I never would have chosen you for friends!" We're not sure we like it when she says that. (Can you guess who the youngest brat is?) But we like the way God did it.
My favorite quote from our prayer time today? After talking about our pastor's sermon on Sunday when he told us that we should thank God for the gift of tomorrow and all of the promises it holds, Jodina said this: "I sure am glad I thanked God for Monday on Sunday. I'm not sure I coulda thanked Him for it last night!" We're pretty honest with each other, too.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

34th Anniversary

When you've been married for 34 years, you've probably done it all and seen it all. Yep, we humiliated ourselves tonight. We reduced ourselves to sticking flashlights up our noses (not the first time, mind you!) and flashing to the tune of Dueling Banjos.




Makes you wonder what we'll be doing on our 50th anniversary....

Friday, September 25, 2009

Joel Rosenberg

I read Joel Rosenberg's 5 fiction books this past year and couldn't read them fast enough---I loved them! And since then, I've been following his weblog. I was convicted by his latest blog....I hope you'll read it. And by the way, you can find his weblog under my blog list to the right. He updates it every day.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cubbies

Let me preface my story by telling you that David is leading worship for our youth service on Wednesday nights. So that means that David, Lindsey, Ryan & Addie have been coming over every Wednesday for the past three weeks and going to church with us. Ryan started out in Awanas and Addie in Cubbies, but because of a little anxiety for both kids about being in a new church (after a couple of other "new" situations), we put Ryan in Cubbies with Addie tonight. And I've been staying in there with them.
Well, tonight we started out with playdough. And then the kids took turns going to the bathroom to wash their hands (I was the hand washing overseer). From there, they went into music class with Ms. Georgia---the kids love Ms. Georgia. I slipped away for a few minutes. (I have this plan to wean the kids from me being in there.) So I was in the Cubby room with the regular teacher and her husband. We heard the kids singing a song along with a tape and I took a quick peek and saw that they were playing musical chairs. These are mostly 4-year-0lds, mind you. One by one, as kids were eliminated, you would hear wailing. At first it was a mild wail. And then when the song ended again, the wailing doubled. The teachers & I in the other room were laughing our heads off! Finally, after the wailing quadrupled, the music was turned off and chairs were moved. Ms. Georgia moved on to singing.
I doubt they play musical chairs in Cubby's again anytime soon---I don't think these kids were ready for that kind of rejection!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Not a trap

When I asked the question if you felt you'd been desensitized, I really wasn't trying to trap you and it was no trick question. I had to ask myself that same question this morning when I read Ezekiel 9.
Remember Ezekiel 8 from yesterday? There was idol worship everywhere--some even in a hole in the wall. Secret sins, hidden sins--but some very blatant sins.
Well, Ezekiel 9 starts with the Spirit screaming in Ezekiel's ear to call the executioners forward. One man had writer's ink in his hand and the Spirit instructed him to go out and mark the foreheads of the men who sighed and groaned over all the abominations that were committed in the midst of them. Those men were saved. The rest were executed. (Some other words used in other translations to describe the sighing and groaning: grieved and lamented...who were in anguish over the abominations...to weep...truly upset and sad.)
Do I sigh and groan over sin? Or have I become desensitized to it? We hear about abortions so much that it's lost its shock. And now we don't just hear about homosexuality, we hear about it in the church leadership. Do we grieve? We know there are churches splitting over the least dissension--but are we brokenhearted? We read headlines of a murder and turn and carry on a normal conversation without a second thought. Do we care someone died unnecessarily? That's why I asked.
Can we even work up tears over the fact that we don't groan and sigh?
Would our foreheads be marked...or not?

Desensitized

Do you think you've become desensitized? If so, in what way?

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's all about the gate...

I'm reading Ezekiel right now. I'm in chapter 8 where Ezekiel has a vision and is taken up into the heavens (pulled by a lock of his hair, no less!) and ends up in Jerusalem. At the entrance of the door of the inner court (the north gate), there is an idol of jealousy, which provokes to jealousy. I researched this. What is the north gate? The north gate of Jerusalem is the Damascus gate. (Damascus being where Saul encountered God.) But it's not talking about the gate to the city, but to the inner court of the temple. This is even more significant--because things in the Old Testament are a picture of the New Testament.
The temple in the New Testament is us---our hearts are the temple of God. I was reminded of the verse, "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name." Psalm 100:4. I think that's where it begins and ends. We either enter His gates with thanksgiving and praise---or we erect an idol that provokes to jealousy. We serve a jealous God. If we're not praising Him, who are we praising? Who are we worshiping? The 8th chapter of Ezekiel goes on to talk about progressive sin. The elders were hiding their sins in a hole in the wall---secret sins that involved deeper worship of idols.
God's doing a lot of uncovering in my heart. Am I entering his gates with thanksgiving and praise...or is there an idol provoking to jealousy at the gate? Does it go deeper--are there sins in the hole in the wall? And how did they get there? I think it all started at the gate.

I've earned my pay!

This weekend, I developed a facebook page for Living Water. I've been wanting to do it for awhile, but after the seminar I attended this weekend, I decided it was time. It took most of the day to do it---not that it was hard, but just adding friends, etc. I hope you'll add me as a friend if you have a facebook!
Today, I developed a blogspot for Living Water. We live in a day of technology so I decided it was time to add Living Water where most people live---facebook and blogspot. Through these avenues, I hope to make people aware of the ministry we do here. I'm very passionate about Living Water--mainly because I'm seeing lives being changed. But it's also a great place to volunteer. We're a family. A family with a common vision to help others.
Anway, you probably already know about Living Water and what we do. But if you don't, I hope you'll take a look at our pages and become acquainted.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

1st note of interest

The first note of interest on my "complaining fast" would be this:
I literally had to tell myself to be quiet in my mind tonight at church.
(This had nothing to do with our pastor---just my wandering, complaining mind!) No wonder the Bible says, "that the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart."
It just makes you wonder how much goes through my mind without ever catching myself at it!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Still learning....

Do you remember when I told you about Mr. Vinson? The hard lesson I learned from that favorite teacher was to read instructions. I realized today that I still have a problem with instructions. I created a facebook page for Living Water and couldn't figure out why Lissa could create a facebook page for her business and I was having to fudge to get my business' name on the page. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS, BECKY! There's a facebook just for businesses, in case you ever need to know that. (By the way, go become a fan on Lissa's facebook page---I need that prize she's giving away!)

I also went to a conference for Living Water yesterday put on by the food bank. I went last year, but totally had my mind closed to learning. I didn't want to be there. But with the fasting I'm doing from being critical, etc., I went with a new attitude this year. And I learned. Amazing! Not only did I learn, but I actually got excited about some new things I plan on implementing at Living Water. Facebook pages for our ministries was mentioned last year, but I didn't do it until this year. I think that new attitude had a lot to do with it.

And speaking of learning, did you know that the median age/profile for facebook is a 55-year-old woman? I love it! (I learned that at the conference.)

I'm learning so much more through this fasting experience, but I just can't bring myself to share it yet. Learning isn't always easy....or painless.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Guess what's coming???



MY FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR!


Cooler mornings...

Pumpkins & Jack-O-Lanterns...

Fall leaves...

Turkey-buying time at Living Water...

Cooking my own turkey (pretend photo)...

The first "icing"...

Putting up those lights...
I can't wait!

(Sorry, Marcy---I know it's gonna be cold up north!
And sorry, Amy---I know you have the same ol' boring warm weather!)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My tongue


Ember & I have taken up a challenge. We're fasting from complaining or being critical for 30 days. Well...actually, it's become 37 days. We started (or tried!) a week ago and then Jodina told us about this book, so now we're starting 30 days with Deborah. (Available at Mardel's in Amarillo--also online at CBD or Amazon) So it will be 37 days before it's all said and done. Whew! (I think I can, I think I can...)
We discussed it today. IT'S HARD!!! Do I have a witness out there??? I told Ember that God immediately began showing me what a complainer I really am---how negative my attitude is! If I'd been living in Egypt and left with the Israelites, I'd still be wandering in the wilderness.
For example: Facebook. Why is it that when I read something that hits me funny, that I immediately come up with a sarcastic remark? Just last week, I commented to someone and then wondered if he knew I was kidding. Well? If it's debatable, why say it? I'd rather be remembered as an encourager than someone who has a pithy comback! Right? I think...But then again, I really do like trying to be a wisecracker, or I wouldn't do it.
It feeds my flesh. That's it. My flesh is starved for some more self-absorption, recognition, and company. Why do I complain? Because I'm not satisfied.
Company. It's just not a good gripe session without company!! How can you be satisfied complaining all alone? Doesn't work. But just try and be in a crowd who's complaining...and refrain...and watch what happens. It's an interesting exercise.
Well....we've started this journey. You're welcome to join us...but beware. It's a minefield! In my first week, I've felt a little like a suicide bomber--exploding on everyone around me as I even try to become aware of my words. God, help us all!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Living Water Library


I'm wanting to start a library here at Living Water for our clients. I want to have Christian books for them to take home and learn from. My policy will be that they can have it---or return it for others to use. So...if you have some books or videos or DVD's (fiction, Christian living, history, children's, biography) just sitting around, would you consider donating them to Living Water? Or if they're good, clean secular books or videos or DVD's, we'd like to have those, too!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One month later....

I ran across these photos tonight and thought I should post them. At Living Water, we gave school supplies to 144 kids this year---a record high. Last year, we helped 117 kids and spent $22.00 per child. This year, we spent $27 per child---that's how much things had gone up in one year! As much as was possible, we tried to supply the entire list for the kids.

This is only the supplies for Stinnett, Fritch and Spring Creek schools on the tables. We'd already bagged the Borger kids' supplies before I thought to grab the camera.

It takes lots of crayolas these days.
You can see some of the filled bags (white trash bags) in the background.

There was lots of stuff....

even piled under the tables.

I think teachers are predicting a flu season....

Monday, September 14, 2009

Meet Mandy


This is Mandy. Mandy is one year older than me---she's 54. And she has quite a story. Mandy has done drugs for years. And she's also been married a few times---15 times, to be exact! I wish you could come to Living Water and meet her---you'd love her instantly. Mandy used to come for groceries but now she just comes to hear the Word and to share God's love with others. Mandy was saved about a year ago at Teen Challenge and was also delivered from drugs. She's been clean for 9 months now. She also attends a weekly recovery program at Fellowship Baptist here in Borger. They've helped her alot. And she mainly shares her story with other people who come to Living Water who are also doing drugs. She has a passion to see other lives transformed. Mandy's 15th husband still does drugs--so it's a daily challenge for her to be around the stuff and stay clean. But she puts the rest of us to shame. She's pulling people up out of the pit and telling them about Jesus. This past week, she brought 2 of them to me who needed help. It was so exciting to be able to call Lindsey's mom, Shala, who works at Faith City Ministries and partner with her in getting help for one of these girls. (Please pray for Joyce---she needs to get clean. She already knows Jesus, but sometimes it's a long way out. And pray for Shala as she deals with these women on a day-to-day basis to help them.) Mandy had also brought a young man at the same time who desperately needed help. He was addicted to drugs and had tried to kill himself twice recently. She had found a place where he could go for a year to get off of the drugs. Mandy was telling him about Jesus. She had a little different evangelism technique than most. She asked this guy if he wanted to spend his life in hell! He wasn't sure, so Mandy whipped out her cigarette lighter (still has that little habit) and flicked it open and held the flame up to this guy's arm. She asked him how that felt! Did it burn? Didn't he know that hell was going to be much worse than that??? (LOL!) Before Mandy got him into this rehab place, he jumped out of a window and cut himself all up and is now in the pavillion. But they're working on getting him well enough to send him to the place Mandy had lined out. I'm telling you...Mandy is a preacher. She can't be at Living Water without sharing her praises---and she can't do that without preaching a little at the people present. She just wants everyone to find the same freedom she's found. In the meantime, Mandy is being transformed. She's just a sponge. Everything she learns, she quickly applies to her life. Something you wouldn't know about Mandy if you met her is that she can't read. But that doesn't stop her. She's memorizing the Word at a steady speed. And she doesn't just memorize it, she believes it and takes it to heart. She actually cried when she found out that hell wasn't created for us, but for Satan and his demons. I have to be honest with you....Mandy challenges me. She questions everything I believe and wants to know why I believe it. She forces me to go places I've never gone. And she is a wonderful contender in the kingdom of God---she doesn't believe there's anyone too far gone for God to love and bring back. I just looked up the meaning of Mandy's name. I wasn't surprised to find out that it means, "Worthy of love." I think God loves this girl a lot! I'm wondering if she's not a lot like Rahab. Redeemed.

*I just had to add this since it just happened (again) and refreshed my memory. Mandy has been giving regularly to Living Water since last February. She just wanted to give back since we'd helped her. She also comes by occassionally and loads up her large car with our excess clothes and takes them to her neighborhood and gives them away. Love in action....

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gib preaching

video


I did it!
I videoed Gib preaching at Living Water.
And 8 people were saved that day.
I love this man!
Amazing.

Rachel & Leah

Ember & I just finished a study on Rachel & Leah. It was so exciting to me---I learned things I'd never thought about or heard before. Here are a few highlights from my notes.

1. Tradition teaches that Rachel & Leah may have been twins. Isn't that interesting? It explains why Jacob could have been confused with the great switch-off--they were the same size. Tradition also suggests that Rachel may have clued Jacob in on how deceptive and manipulative her father was. It says that they came up with a code so Jacob would know he was marrying Rachel. But Rachel, knowing her father was determined to marry Leah off first, gave the code to her sister to save her from great public humiliation. And then (get this!), Rachel snuck under the wedding bed so she could answer Jacob--so he wouldn't be surprised by Leah's voice.

2. Rachel was jealous of Leah. Leah was jealous of Rachel. They each wanted what the other had. Rachel wanted children and Leah wanted the love of her husband. You can see that Leah finds her peace in the progression of her children's names. She names her 4th son Judah---giving praise to God. She is the first person in the Bible mentioned who praises or thanks God. I believe that Leah overcame her jealousy and wanted a relationship with her sister and the 2 maids they'd given to Jacob to have children. She names Zilpah's 2nd son, Asher, for she said, "What joy is mine! Now the other women will celebrate with me." It's also interesting that Rachel died in childbirth--the very thing she coveted.

3. The lineage of Christ came through Leah--not Rachel, the beloved wife. Jacob was also buried with Leah, not Rachel. Leah was buried with all of the patriarchs and matriarchs.

4. Rachel died as a result of the curse that Jacob spoke. He cursed whoever stole the idol from Laban. I thought it was so interesting reading what the Rabbis had to say about this issue. I read dozens of Rabbi's websites and there wasn't even a question about this point. They all agreed.

We had so many questions through this study. Did Rachel feel cherished? Or was she so consumed with wanting a child that she never embraced Jacob's love? Did she become less beautiful to him because of her complaining spirit? Did he grow to love Leah? How did Bilhah and Zilpah feel? Used?? Would Rachel's prayers for children have been answered sooner if she had been content? Why did Rachel steal her father's idol? Did it bring security to her? Was she protecting her father from idol worship as some Rabbis suggested? Did it remind her of her mother? Did she do it to spite her father? And did Rachel ditch that idol or continue to hide it? Why did God allow the lineage of Christ to come through Leah?

But Ember & I agreed that the greatest lesson we gained from Rachel and Leah was this: Quit complaining. Learn to be content with what you have. Quit longing for what others have. And look for reasons to give God thanks. In fact, we've agreed to fast from complaining for a month in hopes of starting a new lifestyle. Want to join us?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Quit talking, Becky.

I have a tough relationship in my life. (No, it's not Andy or anyone in my immediate family--in case you're trying to guess! ha!) I've tried and tried to love this person...but I seem to always come away feeling rejected. It's wearing. So my human response has been to quit trying. And from that attitude has come complaining about the situation.
So this morning, I was reading in Lamentations and got a whuppin' from the Lord.
"Let him sit alone uncomplaining and keeping silent [in hope], because [God] has laid [the yoke] upon him [for his benefit]." Lamentations 3:28.
It would seem God has an answer for everything! I think I'll go sit in silence and hope...uncomplaining, of course.

Addendum: I had a prayer partner stop by and she made this observation. Our hope is in God--and that He will use this yoke for our benefit. I think that's why I gave up---my hope has always been that God would make this a great relationship. But now my hope is that God will bring great benefit into my life through this yoke--He designed this particular yoking from the beginning, didn't He? No more yoking with my past and the offenses that lie there. I'm yoking for benefit. Ahhhhh.....I'm getting it...and I'll get there.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fasting Facebook and Blogs

"Let us test and examine our ways, and let us return to the Lord!" Lamentations 3:40

This is what I've been doing in my life recently. I found myself addicted to facebook and blogging. I have a personality that I give myself completely to whatever I'm doing. And I couldn't get on facebook without reading every single thing everyone posted. (Well...maybe with the exception of the multitude of tests or games that people do--those kind of drive me nuts!) And let me just say here at the outset that I don't think facebook or blogging are wrong (obviously). I believe they are amoral---it's all about what we do with them. (But I do believe they foster narcissism. Does anyone really care about what I'm doing every minute of the day???) But I found myself spending hours every day on both. The interesting thing is that I also was exhausted during this time. I would come home from work, get on my bed and log on. I would spend no energy that evening perusing facebook or blogs, but would wake up the next morning depleted.

So...I stepped back. I already knew I was spending more time with facebook than God. And I decided I needed to fast from the internet and devote myself completely to God and His Word. I wasn't completely ignoring God...but I had erected idols in my life. So I turned off my computer and opened my Bible. And God began to speak to me. I found out why I was so exhausted. I had "white noise" going on constantly around me. There was no silence in my life....I was never still before God. We live in the busiest time--ever!! It's hard to get still. It's hard to have silence. But I know it's necessary for our spiritual existence. I also found out that I was existing on spiritual junk food. And we all know what a diet of junk food will do to you. I was lethargic and growing fatter every day. I'd get my taste of God and then fill up on facebook and blogs for my steady diet. I was convicted that what I was doing was sin. Anything that comes before God is an idol---and I was worshiping at my high places.

During my fast, God began speaking to me. You know what it's like when you find that place of fellowship with God. It's a safe place for your heart. And what God showed me is that these are dangerous days. And Satan is setting many traps to keep me busy, keep me exhausted and to keep me worshiping anything or anyone but God. We're living in spiritually perilous times. But God wants me FOCUSED. I'm not going to be able to avoid the minefields that Satan has set unless I know where to place my feet. And I'm not going to do that unless I'm hearing God. The white noise has to be shut off. I need to devote myself to God and hear Him to be effective for His kingdom. If I want to be energized, I have to eat spiritual meat. And if I want to produce spiritual fruit, I have to be plugged into the vine---not facebook.

Will I be on facebook or blogging? Yes...I will. It's all about priorities and limitations for me. And it's constantly testing and examining my ways. I encourage you to do the same. It's time to return to the Lord!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Rabbi's Teaching


Last week, I happened to watch two men on GLC. One was an African-American pastor and the other was a Jewish man. (Not a Messianic Jew) The pastor, Keith, wanted to learn Hebrew, so he went to Israel and met this Jewish man, Nehemiah, who was his guide. (A part-time guide, but a serious student of Hebrew.) Long story short, Keith convinced Nehemiah to teach him Hebrew. That was 8 years ago. In the '80's, it was discovered that Matthew was first written in Hebrew. So Nehemiah came to Keith and told him they should study it together. Out of that study, they wrote a book together called A Prayer to Our Father. As they talked about it, the thing that stood out to me was the phrase, "...thy kingdom come, thy will be done..." They said that in the Hebrew, it actually meant, "thy will will be done in thy kingdom!" I got so excited! I ordered the book and can hardly wait for it to get here.

Well, that got me to thinking. If the Hebrew is so different from the English, how much more are we missing in the translation? I'm doing a study on Rachel with a friend. So tonight, I decided to google the Hebrew meaning of Rachel and Leah's names. Somehow, I came across a site that had a little blurb written by a Rabbi. Ding, ding ding!!! I decided to google "Rabbis teaching on Rachel and Leah." I am enthralled! It's like I can't get enough. I know some of the things that are taught come from tradition and not scripture, but it's so interesting. I encourage you to take a look. Isn't technology wonderful---that I can sit at home and learn from Rabbis?