Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday's Confusion

There's been one thing on my mind all day today.  Saturday's confusion.  Can you imagine the disciples that Saturday after Jesus was killed?  I think they must have been in shock.  Stunned might be a better word. 

"What just happened?  I thought  Jesus came to save us---the Promised Messiah!" 

But he's dead.  Really dead.

Do you think any of them remembered that Jesus had said he'd rise again on the 3rd day?  My guess is that they didn't--even though his enemies remembered--which is why they decided to guard the tomb.  I know how I am when I'm in a panicked mind-set.  I can't remember anything.  I just kind of stand around stunned.  If they did remember, did they believe it now?

And I think they were overwhelmingly sad.  Jesus wasn't just the Messiah to them.  He was their friend, their leader.  And he was gone.

I think it was the worst Saturday of their lives.  And they were very, very confused.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Destruction of Anger

I've found myself angry lately.  I didn't mean to be.  And I didn't even consciously realize where some of it came in.  But I was angry.  It started coming out in ways I didn't expect...and didn't intend.  And then it started coming out more.

That's when God stopped me and began showing me my own heart.  Ugh!!  (Don't you hate when He does that??)  There were so many rotten things in there.  The first step I had to take was to ask God to forgive me.  And then I had to forgive others.  (Just in my heart, of course.  I didn't run and tell them they'd made me angry without even knowing it!)

But I had a shocking realization when my heart was clean again.  I was on a self-propelled mission to create circumstances with a bad ending.  I've watched others self-destruct (isn't it always easier to see things in others??); manipulating their own destruction by their own bad behavior.  It was the first time I saw it in myself.

As I walked and talked with my prayer partner this morning, I was sharing all of this with her and asked her what she thought about it.  Her immediate response was, "It's an Ishmael.  That's how you birth an Ishmael."  Oh. my. goodness!  Do you remember the story?  God promised Sarah a son.  But that baby didn't come and didn't come.  So Sarah was angry with God.  And she took matters into her own hands and gave her maid to her husband and that maid birthed Ishmael.  And there's been trouble ever since between the descendants of the son of promise, Isaac (Jews), and the son of flesh, Ishmael (Arab-Muslims).

Anger leads to unforgiveness.  Unforgiveness leads to bitterness.  You stay on that pathway, you're headed to destruction--by your own hands.  You manipulate your own future by your own mindset (of anger).  I was headed to my own creation of destruction by being angry.  I could even see the outcome if I'd stayed on that course.  I think it was subconsciously in my mind all along and where I wanted my anger to take me.  That's frightening!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


This is Herman Mos--my hero.  In this photo, I'm presenting him with a plaque for serving Living Water so faithfully.  He'd known his and Billie's (his wife) health was failing and made the hard choice to move them to a retirement center.  He had no idea at the time that he'd suffer from Alzheimers soon.  Herman went to be with the Lord last week.  I LOVE this guy!!!  He was one of the original volunteers of Living Water when I came here as director.  In fact, I often told Herman that he reminded me of my dad.  He was a gentle soul who loved people...just like dad.  And he loved to have fun!

My favorite day of the week back then was Wednesday.  On Wednesdays, Herman & Gib would be here doing the work in the food room and about 9:00, they'd take a coffee break and ask me to join them.  And join them I did!  We'd sit and talk about everything.  About a month into these coffee breaks, I realized what an awesome opportunity I had to learn from a couple of guys who loved the Lord and who were older than me.  So I began picking their brains about every subject in the world.

And bottom line?  I learned to love people for who they are, where they are.  I learned to serve in humility.  (Still trying to get these down, mind you!)  I learned that the generation of these guys was concerned for the lack of respect shown God in church.

Most of all, I learned to love these guys.  They really are my heroes.  They've set such an example for me--and one I'll try to emulate.  At Herman's funeral, I was reminded once again that it's not about the grand, great things we do for God in this lifetime.  It's about loving God with all our hearts, loving others and looking like Jesus.

Thanks, Herman!  I love you.  Tell Dad hi, will you?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Rotten fruit juice, anyone?

Have you ever taken a big ol' drink of juice---that is rotten?  Oh my goodness---what a shock!  I can remember one time when I was in another country and was offered a really dirty glass of bad-looking juice.  Those times, you have to drink so as not to offend your host.  It was horrible--fermented, nasty juice. 
I'm afraid sometimes when I'm squeezed, that's what I produce.  Instead of the beautiful fruit of the Spirit, something putrid comes out.  And there's even times when I'm doing the squeezing.  I put so much pressure on myself to please those around me, that I'm squeezed beyond what I have to offer.  Then there's not much left to give--and what does come out isn't worth having.

Oh God, control me by Your Spirit!  Let fresh fruit grow in and from me daily.  Let what I offer to others be a sweet nectar.  Get me out of the way so what I offer is You.  And let it satisfy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Jay's Ordination--Part 3

The main reason we went to Florida was to attend the ordination of our son-in-law, Jay Wright.   This has been a long journey for Jay & Amy.   This weekend, I asked Jay what really started him down this pathway.  As a music minister, he said he'd had a desire to add more scripture into the worship service.  He discovered The Book of Common Prayer which led him into more investigation...which led him to the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies...which led to his master's degree...which led to a position as worship leader at New Grace (Anglican) Church...which led to his doctorate...which led to becoming an Anglican priest.  This is just the short version and doesn't describe everything at all.  It's been quite a journey!  And I must say that I've also learned a lot along Jay & Amy's journey. 

I can't even describe the services at New Grace Church.  (You can see their website here--and see lots of Amy's photos on that website!)  But what I can tell you is that everytime I attend their service, all I can do is cry--every time.  And I'm not a cry-er.  It's so moving.  I enjoy the liturgy, the procession involving the cross, candles and banners, but most importantly, the practice of the presence of God.  It's honestly overwhelming.  I guess what I'd also tell you is that the worship isn't entirely different than what you'd find in a contemporary church service--but it's also mixed in with ancient worship.  I find it very appealing.  The first time I attended New Grace was after we'd had the life-size model of the Tabernacle at our own church--which made their service even more meaningful.

I'm so proud of Jay.  He hasn't made this transition lightly, but thoughtfully and prayerfully.  He's been an excellent leader of his family.  I'm just as proud of Amy.  It's not easy being a Baptist minister's daughter...and following.  But she has...quite gracefully, I might add. 

So this night was very special.  And I was very proud.

Florida Videos--Post 2

Happy Birthday Cha-Cha-Cha

Buff & Olivia Shaking Their Cheeks

Whoopie Cushions--the BEST birthday gifts for 6 & 8-year-olds!

Olivia sings Happy Birthday to Isaac & Josiah

"I've never broken my neck."

Josiah playing "Little House" theme song.

Florida Kids!

Andy & I just returned home from Florida.  We got to go see our kids!  We had a great time and below are some of the great things we did while there.

We got to go to the Jungle Trail and see some of the nature around Jacksonville.  The most dangerous thing we saw this day was a caterpillar.

The kids posed with Buff & Daddy for us.

Some sweet lady offered to take our group picture.

And then Buff, Gee and the kids.

The guys were just too cool for the rest of us!

Amy & Olivia at the water.  We looked for manatee, but never saw any.

So instead, the guys practiced skipping rocks. 

No swimming??

Great form for rock skipper!

When we got home, the kids decided to jump on the trampoline.

Who knew there was so much static electricity on the trampoline??

We were able to celebrate Isaac's 8th & Josiah's 6th birthdays (!!) while we were there.  We made gluten-free cupcakes (quite tasty!) and the kids helped me by licking the bowl.

Here is our party decorator.

The boys were pretty impressed with our decorations, pizza, and cupcakes.

I don't know how Daddy got out of wearing a hat...

Present time!!

Isaac opens a nerf gun. 

Josiah opens a new Bible.

Olivia opens a princess dress...even though it wasn't her birthday.

I got a princess dress, ok?