Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Self & Money

I woke up at 3:20 this morning and couldn't go back to sleep.  Usually when that happens, I know God is wanting to spend time with me--to either pray for others or to reveal something to my own heart.

One of the first things that came to me as I awakened was my family.  As I lay there, I prayed for them.  More things began to come to my mind and I knew I wasn't going back to sleep and I also knew I was about to start reading Nehemiah (which excites me!), so I got up to pray and read.  I began praying for our nation and the election.  I began praying for those who've been affected by Hurricane Sandy.  And then it came to me--there are so many disasters going on around me!  Things are out of control.

And then I stopped and asked, "What am I missing God?  What am I not seeing?"  And I looked for the common denominator in all these things and you know what I saw?  Self and money.

Begin listening.  As you listen to the final days of the presidential election, notice how often you hear references to how the candidates are thinking about your best interests (self) and will help you prosper (money) in the days ahead.  We've experienced a terrible disaster on the east coast.  Unfortunately, it will be reduced to ugliness over who does or doesn't get help (self)...financially (money).  (We've seen that one before!)  Many churches are in conflict over who is in control (self) especially in the area of finances (money).  And I'm often reduced to the same.  I want control (self).  I want what I want financially and materially (money).

It hit me.  There's no sacrifice left.  There's no serving God and others.  How did we get so off focus?  It's created a disaster in our nation, in our churches, and in our homes.  It all boils down to the two greatest commandments:  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.  Love others as yourself.  Everything is hinged on these 2 commandments.  Everything.

We can either love and serve God and others.  Or we can serve self and money.  And I think we're seeing the disastrous results when we choose self and money over God and others.

The exciting news?  The book of Nehemiah is all about rebuilding the walls which had fallen down in Jerusalem.  We can do some rebuilding of our own by confessing our sin and turning our focus back to loving God and others.  We still have time.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The November Fast

Once again, God showed up at our prayer time this morning...and showed us He wants to change us. As we talked, we realized there was a reoccurring theme in our conversation--offenses.  This led us to examine Matthew 24 where it talks about offenses in the last days.  It actually says (Amplified Bible),

"And then many will be offended and repelled and will begin to distrust and desert [Him Whom they ought to trust and obey] and will stumble and fall away and betray one another and pursue one another with hatred. And many false prophets will rise up and deceive and lead many into error. And the love of the great body of people will grow cold because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity, But he who endures to the end will be saved."

We were kind of stunned after we read it.  We just looked at one another.  This is happening...all around us.  People in the church are being offended in record number and have just quit going to church.  The love is growing cold--including ours.  But we agreed that we want to "endure to the end."  

So....we agreed to fast for 30 days in November from Fear, Anger & Offenses.  We'd like to invite you to join us.  We believe these things start out of fear.  Fear we won't get our way, fear people won't like us, fear others won't see we're "right," fear of losing our position, fear of self not being served.  Fear leads to anger which leads to offenses.  So we decided to start at the root and fast from all of it.

Isaiah 30:15 says, "For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning [to Me] and resting [in Me] you shall be saved; in quietness and in [trusting] confidence shall be your strength." God is going to have to do this through us.  I know I can't do it on my own.  I don't even realize when I start getting angry sometimes--or what I'm fearing!  But I'm trusting the Holy Spirit to quicken my spirit--quickly!  It's only through His power I can fast these things.   God wants to rid me of fear, anger and offenses.  Fear is such an opposite of Who God is!  And He desires more than anything for us to live in unity--not divided over offenses.  Isaiah 30:18 says this, "And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!"  He wants us to have victory in these areas of our lives.

I don't know about you, but I'm weary of offenses--both in taking them up and in offering them.  It's kind of like what the serpent said to Eve, "Has God really said...?"  He offered her fear before he ever offered her fruit.  And he's still doing the same today.  Don't accept the fruit of offense--and don't offer it, either.  Remember:  Eve was drawn away by her emotions and was deceived.

James (1:19) says it best, "Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry."  We three prayer partners tried it out today and we've already found it to be a hard thing.  It's not going to be easy.  But I know a fast from these three things which are tripping us up will only be beneficial.  So we've committed to fasting for 30 days.  And we invite you to join us.  The November Fast--For 30 Days.  We want to start a movement of Endurers!  Spread the word.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

25 Years of Blessings

Andy took the position of Student Minister at First Baptist Borger 25 years ago this month.  Wow!  We've been in Borger, TX 25 years.

When we came,
Andy was 37 years old.
I was 32 years old.
Matt was entering 4th grade.
Amy was entering 3rd grade.
David was 5 years old.
Zach was 2 1/2 years old.

Gary Miller was the pastor who brought us to Borger.  Since then, we've served under Gregg Simmons, Scott Maze and Steve Taylor.  About 14 years into our tenure, Andy changed positions and became Minister of Evangelism & Missions.  He's also served in many capacities when we were without ministers.  He's served as children's minister, worship leader, and senior adult minister.

To gain perspective, Amy is now older than I was when we came.  And Zach has children close to the age he was when we came.

I wish I could expound on everything I've learned in the past 25 years...but maybe that's a post for later.  Instead, I can tell you that we are rich beyond words in friendships and relationships.  God has blessed us indeed.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Dietz Brothers

Andy Dietz on left and his twin brother, Phil Dietz, on right.
Singing at Living Water, Borger, TX

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Amazon & Me

I'm already in the mode.  Amazon already has some of my money and I've already made a trip to Amarillo to hit a couple of places.  Christmas is coming!  I have a grandchild coming this week who I'm sure will give me her wish list so I can either give Amazon more money or make another trip to Amarillo.  I love it.  I put great thought into it.  I have some Pinterest ideas which will appear under the tree.  With an expanding family, I can't do every idea I I'm hoping the ideas I implement hit the bullseye.  I just don't know how I'm going to beat the helicopter idea for the big guys last year.  Now that was success!  How did I do this before Amazon?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Political Politics

Politics have become more and more political.  Not only do politicians spout their expected rhetoric, now they have to follow the political guidelines of posture, tone of voice, turn of their heads, intensity, etc., nauseum.

What do I want?  I just want someone to come out and totally be themselves and share their hearts.  If they shed a tear, that would be acceptable.  I want someone with such honesty that they'd be apt to tell on themselves.  But I want someone who loves God with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength--unashamedly.  I want someone with strong, godly convictions.  I want someone who appreciates how our country was founded and the sacrifices which have been made to maintain our freedoms.  I want someone who wants to hold to the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence.  I want someone who loves and serves others more than themselves.  That pretty much sums it up.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Some people like change. They prove it by doing something as minimal as moving their furniture weekly or by doing something as extravagant as moving to another country.  But most of us have a problem with change.  We begin to feel insecure when things around us change.  It signifies that we're losing control.

I guess what has helped me most is to recognize I never had control.  It's an illusion to think we do.  But the good news is that we have a God who is in control...and He never changes (since all things are consumed in Him).  He never changes, but things around us are changing all the time.  Living things change.  The only changes dead things make is decomposition.

I think one of the hardest places to allow and even embrace change is in the church.  But if the church is the Bride of Christ, we have to expect her to grow, mature and...change.  I'd hate for people to expect me to be the same person I was 37 years ago as a bride.  How restrictive!  I've grown, matured, and changed.  In fact, I don't even feel like the same person I was back then.

It's just easier and more convenient for us if things remain the same.  We don't have to learn anything new nor be stretched.  And it leaves us feeling in control of our lives.

Change can be a scary thing.  But it can also be a great adventure!  I think I'll choose change over decomposition.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dax & Gus

I went to Lubbock last weekend to keep Dax & Gus while their mommy & daddy went out of town.  While I was there, both boys got sick.  But I got some good pics of them before that happened--and even after it happened.  I'd kind of forgotten how hard it is to take care of sick kids.  As a result, Dax got to watch lots of Elmo and Gus got lots of swing time while the other child was being cared for.  I love these boys---they're so dang cute!!

I brought a couple of costumes for the boys.  This is Dax the Spider.  

Gus will probably hate this picture later--him in a gown.  But isn't he sweet?

Dax reminds me so much of his daddy at this age.  He loved to perform and wear crazy things for hats.  So does Dax.

I hadn't noticed the little dimples on Gus' mouth until this photo.  It reminds me of the dimples on his cousin, Josiah.

Dax stopped the swing to help put the pacifier in Gus' mouth.

Sweet Gus
(He's so laid back!)
You can hear Dax singing with Elmo in the background...

Dax dancing with the robot
(Sorry, Dad...I didn't notice him dripping the bottle!)