Monday, September 30, 2013

Do You Enjoy God?

Do you enjoy God?  God took me a step further after I wrote my post yesterday.  After thinking on God creating us to enjoy fellowship with us...and then thinking on maybe we should enjoy one another...this thought came up.  Do I enjoy God?

I mean...I revere Him, I serve Him, I honor Him, I speak to Him, I listen to Him, I worship Him, I read about Him, I write about Him, I speak about Him...but do I enjoy Him?  I can say I have on occasion.  We've even enjoyed a laugh together!  But I think I haven't enjoyed Him enough.  If He created me to enjoy fellowship with me, I think he's been losing out on this deal.  I've been getting hung up on my servitude position--a slave doesn't usually enjoy fellowship with his master. I think I've seen myself in that position more than the position of a friend.  John, who happened to be Jesus' closest friend, talks a lot about friendship with God.  Worshiping Him, serving Him, and honoring Him didn't prevent John from being a friend to the Son of God--and enjoying Him.

I want to consciously enjoy God--every day.  I'm not sure how to develop this kind of friendship where we deeply enjoy one another except to go to Him and just say, "God, I want to be Your friend.  I want to enjoy You!"

I can't wait!

Sunday, September 29, 2013


I was listening to Zach Neese in his video series Worship Trainer and in it he said something to the effect that God created us to enjoy fellowship with us.  I've heard that many times, but this time something clicked in my brain!  ENJOY.  If God wants to enjoy our fellowship, then just maybe He wants us to enjoy fellowship with one another.

That sounds so simple! So why do I spend so much time striving and trying to change people?  Why do I want to convince people to be just like me, to think like me?

I can tell you that God has been moving me towards this for a couple of years now.  I'm moving to a new place...a place of enjoyment.  I don't need to (and can't) change anyone.  That's not my job.  Heck!  I can't even change myself--that's the work of the Holy Spirit.

But I can enjoy.  It's changed my whole paradigm.  And I've already put it into practice.  It's a much better way of which I think will lead to a deeper unity.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

An Update on Andy & Becky Dietz: Where are they???

Andy & I were talking last night about how many people were asking what we were up to---and realized we just hadn't kept everyone up-to-date on what's going on in our lives. goes!

Andy resigned from his position as Missions & Evangelism Pastor at First Baptist Church Borger last April (where we'd been and loved the people for 25 years!).  We just knew it was time and Andy clearly heard God tell him to "step out of the box."  We'd gotten way too comfortable!  Almost immediately, we were talking to a Chinese church in Dallas about going there as pastor.  (You know how much we love the Chinese people!!  And this is the church that supports our trips by sending we already had some great friends there.)  We were in that process for 4 months.  We made several trips to Dallas during that time and took full advantage of being with our family.  We also caught up with some friends we hadn't seen in a long time.  But God clearly shut the door to that church and Andy withdrew his name from consideration.  Andy's had his resume' in several churches, he's filled the pulpit of several churches, but we have no clear direction for our future.  God has put a desire to pastor a church in Andy's heart, but there's also a desire to speak in churches, help churches with conflict resolution, and develop a business in China to help our friends there have jobs.  

What God has been doing in our lives in the meantime:
  • Teaching us to rest.  We're terrible at it--and always have been!  Andy had great benefits at FBC including weeks of vacation.  He seldom took them.  We spent more time going on mission trips (which were fun--but lots of work!) than vacations.
  • Refining our hearts. This has been an ongoing process all of our lives, but it seems to have intensified while we've had some quiet time to listen.  There have been some strongholds in our lives He's been digging up.  Ouch!
  • Giving us time with our family.  It's been awesome to spend so much time with our kids and grandkids!!  In fact, if you didn't know, we've been living with our son, David, his wife, Lindsey, and their two kids in the house they bought from us.  So we're still at the same old address in Borger...but just living in the basement.  They have been very gracious hosts and have loved on us through this process.  
  • Teaching us about The Church as we've visited about a dozen churches in the past 5 months.  It's been enlightening!  It's also given us vision for what we'd want a church to look like if Andy should pastor.
  • Waiting.  We're terrible at this, too.  It's hard to know whether we should just pursue other jobs to support ourselves (since we don't have an endless supply of money) or...what.  We're listening closely and we're willing!!
  • We don't want to retire.  Period.
  • Andy's been working on getting his book published.  We hope it will be ready before Christmas!
  • Realizing how much we need the prayers of others.  We even had some friends fasting with us a couple of weeks ago.  So encouraging!
  • And probably the most important thing we've learned is how valuable our friends are.  We've learned that people love us for us...lumps and all.  That's been so encouraging.  And we've learned just how deep some of those friendships run.
We're reminded of the verse, "Then He said to His disciples, The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few. So pray to the Lord of the harvest to force out and thrust laborers into His harvest." in Matthew 9:37-38.  

And we're raising our hands and saying, "Pick us!!  Please!"

Friday, September 20, 2013


Have you ever watched the TV show, Undercover Boss?  I love that show!  A boss of a giant corporation (like Cinnabon) goes "undercover" (in disguise) and works in several of their many stores (with an obvious camera going full-time--they say they're filming for some bogus reason).  They do menial jobs and get to know their employees on a different level and pick their employees brains about what it means to work for their company.  Usually the employees are happy, hard-working employees who give 110%.  Sometimes, the undercover boss finds a disgruntled employee who has a bad attitude and emotionally vomits all over the boss and the company--on national TV.  At the end of the show, the employees are rewarded in some way.  But those disgruntled employees are reprimanded, re-trained or relieved of their services.

I thought of that show this morning as I was thinking on a new video series David showed last night.  About a year ago, David had me read the book, How to Worship a King by Zach Neese.  EXCELLENT BOOK!!  Last night, we watched the first of the video series based on that book by Zach Neese....and my life will never be the same.  Literally.  I hope you'll watch it!!  You can go here to see it.  Just promise me you'll watch the first episode....if you're not hooked, I won't make you watch the rest!!  ;)

In this first episode (and I won't give it all away!), Zach talks about how we are ambassadors for Christ.  He explains it in such a way, that I actually GOT it!  And this morning, it made me think of Undercover Boss.  Those employees are like ambassadors for the company.  They're either a good representative...or not.  They either give 110% or embarrassingly regurgitate all over the company.

Please, please go watch the first video of this series.  Every believer needs to know who they are....and Zach Neese explains it well.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

5 Million Dollar Gift Card

The other day, Addie gave me a $5 million gift card!!  I was overwhelmed.  We played all afternoon, making grandiose purchases.  In fact, my gift card never lost value--even though I bought lots of things.  I wasn't the only person with whom she was so generous--her mom and dad got one, too.  We had lots of fun until Ryan looked at us at dinner and said, "You know they're not real..."

And then today, Jodina showed me this video about some property for sale in New Mexico with 360 acres, 6 houses, a barn, 25 springs, etc., etc.  It's being auctioned today and the beginning bid is $250,000.  I showed it to David & Lindsey and tried to get them to use their gift card to buy it!

It's so much fun imagining what I'd do if I had lots of money.  As Jodina & I walked this morning, we imagined, too.  In fact, we decided if we were ever blessed with millions, we'd need to hold one another accountable to not love money.  She also told me a story about how important it is to pray BIG!  She'd helped a young couple get into a house--when they'd given up hope.  (She's a realtor.)  They later brought her a sign for her home that says, "Pray BIG!"

Thinking on all of these things, I came home and started praying BIG.  At least I thought it was big.  But then I changed my prayer.  This is what I prayed:  "God, please fulfill the desire of Your heart for the purpose for which You created me."

I don't think it gets much bigger than that...even though a $5 million gift card is pretty extravagant!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Made to Last by Melissa Tagg

I enjoyed Melissa Tagg's debut novel, Made to Last.  I thought her story line was clever--that of a single woman who has her own television homebuilding show and is fluctuating between three men; a former fiance, a fake husband and a reporter.
Miranda Woodruff was chosen for the new homebuilding show, From the Ground Up.  Randi developed her love of wood and building from her grandfather who'd helped raise her.  Then she'd spent 3 years in Brazil building for the poor which is also where she met her former fiance, Robbie,
also a builder, who'd abandoned her and left her with only an engagement ring.  When she auditioned for the show, she mentioned building tricks she'd learned from her "husband"--assuming she and Robbie would be married by the time her show aired.  But even though her husband didn't materialize, she kept mentioning him on her show from time to time...and the lies got easier.  Rumor had it that her show might be edged out by a new up-and-coming homebuilding show, so her director thought they needed something to increase their ratings.  He wanted to introduce Randi's "husband" to the public.  So they had to find said husband.
Blaze was a Robbie-look-alike and happened to be working for the caterer on Randi's set and fit the part for the fake husband.  Enter Matthew...the reporter who is shadowing Randi for a serial blog on Today's website.  He not only will shadow her at work, but will stay in a cabin on her property and shadow her at home--with her new fake husband.
This novel is funny and light-hearted, but also deals with spiritual issues and baggage each of the characters is carrying.  I'd say Melissa Tagg hit a homerun with her first novel!
I'd give this book 5 out of 5 stars.
Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Portal Bikes

While I was in Dalhart Sunday, Pastor Terry Stegall introduced a young family who are on their way to Nepal.  They've actually lived there before, but are on their way back to start a "business."  In fact, as Terry introduced Caleb Spear, he told us, "Caleb is a game changer!"  While Caleb & Emily lived in Nepal, they were confronted with the extreme poverty of the people.  And God gave Caleb a vision of how to help.

Caleb created Portal Bikes.  Please go to his website here because he can explain it much better than I can.  But basically, if he can get a bicycle into each family, he can increase their potential for a better life.  The vision God gave Caleb was to create a stand to make the bicycle become stationary and then a power machine.  There are attachments for the bicycle (corn sheller, electric generators, washing machines, water pumps, etc.) which can be powered up as someone rides the bicycle and creates energy!!  AMAZING!!!

One man can change the way an entire country functions.  He can change the livelihood of thousands of families!  All it takes is to get a bicycle into each family.  He's set it up so people can invest in a bike and the attachments for a family.  You invest one time (or many times!) and a family makes payments for the bike.  Once the bike is paid off, your money is reinvested for another bike for another family.  I think it's genius!!

I hope you'll take a look and prayerfully consider investing.  You can be a game changer by helping people in a third-world country!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Yoke

I attended New Life Church in Dalhart, TX this past Sunday which is where my son, Zach, leads worship and is youth minister.  The pastor there is Terry Stegall.  It was an exciting service.  (God is doing some amazing things there!!)  In fact, I have a whole other blog to write about a ministry which was highlighted that day.  But for today, I want to share what Pastor Terry said in his sermon.  It was a completely new thought for me and I wanted to share it since it may be useful to anyone reading this.

One of the scriptures Terry used Sunday morning was Matthew 11:29-30, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Terry explained how in that day (and probably some now, too), a man crafted a yoke specifically for his oxen.  He measured the neck, the shoulder, the head and made a perfect fit to yoke 2 of his oxen together.  And the yoke was easy because it was a FIT!  It fit that oxen perfectly.

The same is true for us.  We are yoked to Jesus and he has created a yoke (a calling) specifically for us.   What he's asked us to do is something created just for us.  And when it's a FIT, it's easy to do!  Think about what you love to do.  Isn't it easy, a joy?   That's your yoke. He's created a yoke (a calling) just for you which is easy and carrying that burden will be light.

I love it.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

What Once Was Lost by Kim Vogel Sawyer

Christina Willems was running the Brambleville Asylum for the Poor in 1890 in Kansas.  She'd assumed this responsibility after the death of her parents--who had ministered to the poor for years.  Christina provided a home sponsored by the mission board to several children (including Tommy, a blind boy), a young unmarried pregnant woman, an older couple, some widows and a young simple-minded man.  But a fire breaks out in the kitchen area of the asylum leaving everyone homeless.  Christina spends many hours finding a home for everyone...everyone except Tommy.  No one wants the responsibility of a blind boy.  Finally, Christina approaches the mill owner, a young man named  Levi Johnson, who is carrying scars of his own.  Levi reluctantly takes on Tommy's care but confronts Christina with her molly-coddling of the boy and threatens that he will make 10-year-old Tommy take care of himself.  Through caring for Tommy, Levi faces his past.

The mission board relieves Christina of her duties because it is unseemly for a woman to run an institution like the asylum.  They'd only given her grace because of the recent death of her father.  They are intent on placing the children in orphanages and Christina fights to keep them herself.  But one by one, each of her tenants are finding places of their own and Christina is left to examine her own heart.  Is she doing this for God or herself?  

I'd give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Thank you to WATERBROOK PRESS for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Seasons of Life

To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted,
A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up,
A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
A time to get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away,
A time to rend and a time to sew, a time to keep silence and a time to speak,
A time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace. 
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
I'm finally learning to embrace the seasons of my life.  When I was younger, I didn't really recognize there were seasons to my life.  Or if I did, I was struggling to get to the other side.  I mean, when you have 2 babies in diapers, it's hard to see there will be a life after diapers!  
I'm in the "time to break down" season.  God has quietly drawn me near Him and slowly begun breaking me down.  He's shown me things about myself that have always been there that shouldn't be there.  He's revealing me to me.  Thankfully, He does that through His mercy and grace.
Although this isn't a fun season, I'm coming in agreement with Him, submitting to His good plan for my life.  The stuff I see, I want gone!  And I'm sure there's more to come.  And I remind myself:  it's just a season.
I eagerly await the "building up" season.