Friday, December 28, 2007
New Years day is quickly approaching. With it, traditionally, we make New Years' resolutions. Valerie Bertinelli isn't making any related to losing weight, thanks to Jenny Craig, but perhaps you are. Isn't that a common resolution -- eat healthy, exercise, lose weight? 2008 is going to be a year of changes for our family. Josh and I will graduate and I will go to work after 18 years of being at home. The most important thing, however, is that I want to receive God's blessing on my life. What will that look like for me in 2008? In order to find out, I've got to start pouring. To some degree, the blessing will be measured by my expectation... just like the number of jars that were filled were as many as were collected, I've got to be expectant and obedient.
In Luke 2:15 & 16, the shepherds had heard the message that the Savior (delivere, rescuer) had been born in Bethlehem. They had to take the knowledge they had and move from where they were to where God was. "So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger." (Lk. 2:16, NASB)
Moving toward God. Following in obedience. Sharing the Good News of Christ. Being expectant. Pouring out.
Serving the King,
Saturday, December 22, 2007
In our culture we are all about doing. We gotta do this, we gotta take care of that... This time of year we shop and shop, wrap and wrap, go and go... it's a frenzy. Sometimes we just need to stop. Last night was cold, but not too cold. It had been cloudy earlier in the day but around 10:00 pm the sky cleared up. The moon was not quite full, but it was really bright. It lit up the ground around the campsite. The fire crackeled and it was really hot -- it had been burning just about all day. We sat and enjoyed the stillness, the quiet...except for the sound of two boys in the trailer trying to get the dog to howl. Perfect...
It was fun time. All that was missing was my daughter who decided to go to her cousin's house instead of with us. And, Johnny and I rocked at bochie ball so that was icing on the cake!!
Rested and refreshed,
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
The true meaning of Christmas is the salvation story. "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son..." He was born by divine circumstance into a humble situation. Our nativities represent that humble beginning that we celebrate. It's more than just the birth. It's the beginning of the story of how God intentionally reached out to the whole of humanity to offer life. Yet, there are those who have never even heard the name of Jesus. Not just a plane ride away...right down the street, perhaps. Our job is to carry on the mission. More than a celebration of one day, December 25th, Christmas should be a celebration of a way of life. Giving, not just wrapped presents to the ones we love, but of ourselves, our time, our talents, our resources, and our energy.
One week from today is Christmas day. So even though I still have shopping to do, gifts to wrap, menus to plan, groceries to buy, I am desperately trying to stay focused on the purpose.
Jesus is, after all, the reason for the season.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Now, finally, I can concentrate on the CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS!! Ho!Ho!Ho!
Ok, I am a bit giddy but also delirious from lack of sleep. Just one more semester...
Yesterday, I was in class and two of my classmates are graduating this Friday, so my professor was asking what each was doing following graduation. One of the women started at the seminary in 1990 so I commented that I started before her. Then, my professor said she started in 1988 to which I, in amazement, said I started before her as well. So, this young woman sitting next to me (as she did all semester...little did I know she would turn on me) said, "Yeah, but they're both finished!" I was appalled! :) ---ok, I really am laughing. It was a good one and she got me.
I really have nothing left to say. My brain is mush.
Saturday, December 8, 2007
What lessons am I learning from all this? Endurance? Perseverance? Don't procrastinate? Yes, yes, and yes. I've told friends several times that this is self-inflicted torture so I really should not complain.
So, here I am, again...sitting in my office with books spread out all over our new desk. My OT textbook is open and my notes are right in front of me. I don't want to miss the opportunity to learn...not just so I can make a good grade on my test (though I hope I do!) but so I might know more about the Word of God so that I may know God more. Check out Exodus 34 -- Moses was speaking and he said, "Let me know Your ways that I may know You." (v. 13, in part) Although I've pulled this one sentence out of its context, the point is this -- by knowing more about God, His character, His actions toward His people in the past, I can know Him more. Not just a factual knowledge like one would study history, but a experiential knowledge. That's what I want. So, even though the end is in sight, instead of wishing the end here I want to make the most of it.
Serving the King (and studying like crazy),
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
"...And she (Mary) gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn..." Luke 2:7
Linus actually quotes several more verses than that, but when he is done he says to Charlie Brown, "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."
How did our eyes become so unfocused? I like to decorate my house even though I am not much of a decorator. I like to buy gifts and love to see the faces of my family when the gifts are received. I like the parties and being with friends to celebrate. I like the tradition and the food and even the smells associated with Christmas. I like it all but that's not what it is all about...
It's about the Incarnation. It's about the Son putting on the cloak of humanity in order to reveal the Father to mankind. It's about the Holy One leaving His rightful place beside the throne of God to become the Lamb of sacrifice.
The Charlie Brown Christmas show still moves me, after all these years. It's not Charlie's story, though, even though really I like his sad little tree and I always cheer for him to be a winner when I know Lucy is going to pull the ball out every time. It's the story of the Messiah that gets me everytime.
That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown/Jeanette Dickerson/your name
Sunday, November 18, 2007
So, another memory was made. Another day filled with a "last." We're cheering for the Panthers now -- hope they win state....
Thursday, November 15, 2007
This week our lesson is titled, "Persevering Through Unmet Expectations." It's from Genesis 29 but I was looking at a story about John the Baptist in Matthew 11 and Luke 7. (I got this really cool book called Synopsis of the Four Gospels that shows the parallel accounts side-by-side! I can look at one story in every gospel where it is recorded at once!) John the Baptist was in jail. That had to be disappointing. He was, after all, related to the Messiah, the Son of God. The mothers of Jesus and John the Baptist were cousins. (KJV uses the word cousin but the translation I usually read, NASB, uses relative in Luke 1:36) The mothers were pregnant with the boys at the same time. I wonder if they grew up hanging out together. I wonder when Jesus and His family went to Jerusalem to celebrate the feasts if the two of them got together. I wonder if that time when Jesus was 12 and His family was in Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover and Jesus got left behind and His parents found Him in the temple when they returned if John the Baptist was there -- did He know about it? Obviously, these are unanswered questions. But, John the Baptist did baptize Jesus in the Jordan River and he did hear the voice from heaven pronouncing Jesus to be the beloved Son of God. Certainly, John's expectation was not to be sitting in jail. So, John sent some of his followers to find Jesus. He just needed to know for sure -- "Are You The One or should we look for another?" The message Jesus sent back was reassurance, "Go back and tell John what you've seen and heard. The blind, sick, and lame are healed. The good news is preached." (My very loose translation of Matt. 11:2-6 & Lk. 7:18-23)
Life will bring disappointments. There's no avoiding it. Sometimes they sting like crazy. Sometimes it seems like the heavens are silent when I want things to change, when I'm screaming and begging and pleading for a different outcome. That's when I go back to what I know to be true. The blind, sick, and lame are healed. The good news is preached. The promises of God are true and He never breaks a promise. He will never leave or forsake (Josh. 1:9)... His grace is sufficient and power is perfected in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9)...forgiveness is granted when I seek it (1 Jn. 1:9)...there is an inheritance (Eph. 1:14)...
This I know for sure...Jesus saves, Jesus saves...
Serving Him because there is no other,
Monday, November 12, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
Writing and writing and writing....Jeanette
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
So, here I am, sitting at my computer. I have been researching for my exegetical paper and making notes but it's time for me to start writing the paper and putting it together. It's on Mark 4:35-41, also looking at the same story in comparison from Matthew and Luke. Jesus had been teaching, healing, and teaching in parables. They were up at the Sea of Galilee. In Mark 3:9 Jesus told the disciples to have a boat ready because of the crowds. Sometimes He used the boat to teach and sometimes He used it to get away from the crowds. Either way, it was evening and Jesus got into the boat with His disciples to go to the other side of the lake. Jesus was tired, because while He was all God He put on the restrictions of humanity and He needed to rest, so Jesus went to sleep. It must have been a sound sleep because a storm rose up so violent that the disciples feared the boat might sink. When I was in Israel I saw a boat that was preserved that could have been about like a 1st century fishing boat. It wasn't very big and some mighty waves could certainly have begun to fill the boat up with water. The questions of the disciples, "Don't You care?" and then when He had calmed the sea, "Who is this that even the wind and sea obey?" Who is this, maybe they asked, that heals the sick and lame and demon possessed? Who is this that seems to know our needs and answer before we even ask? I am getting away from the text but here's my point: the disciples had already seen Jesus do some pretty amazing things and still they had doubts. They didn't really fully get it until after the resurrection. That comforts me in a crazy sort of way. God has done some pretty amazing things in my life. He definitely knows my need and answers my prayers when I call on His name. Yet, sometimes, I doubt. I don't doubt that He's real or that He's redeemed me or that He spoke and it was or that He is sovereign over all the earth. It's in the little things...that Josh's broken heart will mend, that Jessica's disappointment will be filled with something else, that Jacob will find a way to make a difference in that kid's life, that I will be able to write my paper without Johnny...
So, I better get to it. The paper, that is. Pray for Johnny as you think of it over the next week and a half. Pray for safety and that he will have just the right words of encouragement from the Word to those he will meet.
Serving the King,
Sunday, October 28, 2007
A little study break to share this video...the quality of the video itself check is not that great but chec out what David Crowder is playing!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Johnny leaves for India a week from today. I just realized he won't be here while I am finishing up my reserach/exegectical paper for New Testament. Yikes! He usually proofreads and makes sure I don't put in anything heretical. (LOL) Nine days all alone with three kids at the busiest time of the semester...
I wish I had something deep or spiritual or meaningful to write. All those words must be saved for my 2 remaining research papers and directed study project I am working on. Until then, this is all I've got...
Maybe you should just check back in December.... Just kidding...come back soon!
Serving the King,
Monday, October 22, 2007
Ok, I typed that all out and I don't feel one bit better. I guess I will get back to my research paper which is due tomorrow by the way...
I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I life.
And why does He hear my cries? Not because of anything I have done -- nothing makes me worthy that the Creator of the universe would incline His ear to me. Except that He loved me first.
...and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. 2 Corinthians 5:15
All I can say, write, is Amen and Amen.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
So, Johnny thinks I am really silly. "It's not like it's leaving the family," he said. Of course, he's right. Johnny gets the gold Suburban. He says it's an upgrade for him. The white truck (which is actually newer than the gold Suburban) is now "Josh's truck." I guess that makes the Ram Jess's truck. She was only 8 when I started driving the gold Suburban and now she will be able to get her driver's permit next month. Next month, I'll be driving the "new car," but I will never look at that gold Suburban with anything but gratitude for a job well done and precious memories of time well spent.
Serving the King,
Sunday, October 7, 2007
"Naked I came from my mother's womb,
And naked I shall return there,
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21
I feel myself on the verge of tears. I know three women about to send their children away -- one to the Air Force, one to Bible school in another country, and one to the mission field. All are worthy causes, noble ambitions. Wouldn't one be so proud to send one's child to any of three mentioned places? Yet, I can't help thinking about the mommas. The joy mixed with sadness, the pride mixed with longing.
We went to a party for the one headed off to the Air Force yesterday. He's one of my son's best friends. Family and long-time friends and relatively new friends gathered in his parents' home and ate some good food, looked at pictures of the young man at all stages of life as they passed on and off the tv screen, and talked about memories and stories. We all asked questions about where he's going, what he'll be doing, what he can take with him when he goes. He's a great kid and I think he'll do well. It's right for him...he knows that.
The biggest dilemma facing these moms...facing me in future years as well. We give birth to these blessings of God, we nuture them, pick them up when they fall, make sure they do their homework and clean their rooms, we teach them life lessons at every opportunity, we pray like crazy, and want the very, very best for them. We expect the best. Then they go. Whether it's to a far off country or off to make their own way, they go. We want it, we expect it, we plan for it, but that doesn't make it one bit easier to let them go. Not one bit, I can imagine. The momma of the son going to Bible college told me this morning, "He's going and we're not talking about it." Not because she's not proud or sure or hopeful, but because it's a huge step. In the Lord's plan for his life, apparently, but not easy, nonetheless.
So, fly sons and daughters, out of the nest, off to the great adventure. Your mommas will be here...always hoping, always praying, always expecting the best. I know you'll make them proud.
Serving the King,
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Too many questions, not near enough answers... oh well, I am gonna be an expert at this whole college thing before the year is over...the next 2 will be a breeze! Maybe I'll write a book...a book what a great idea...I'll just do that in my spare time...
Serving the King,
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
On the other hand, remember a few years ago the case of the cheerleader mom? She thought that murdering the mom of another cheerleader would help her daughter make cheerleader. Cheerleading...nothing like world peace. What about the minister's wife who killed her husband and served just a few months in jail? How will that affect those three little girls who lost their daddy? Or, the mom who allegedly set her 3 children on fire this weekend in North Texas? How about a mom like Brittney Spears? Yeah, I want her ruling the world.
All I can think, really, is what a ridiculous thing to say. If mothers ruled the world there would still be different ideologies and cultures and beliefs. There would still be a quest for power and the corruption that goes along with it. There would still be evil and selfishness and injustice -- even if mothers ruled the world.
Love being a mom -- just not out to rule the world,
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
All the kids are out of the house by 7:00 am these days. Jacob is playing football and practice STARTS at 7 am and high school starts at 7:15. Jacob's 1st game is still a couple of weeks away but Josh's team won their 1st game, 34-6. It was so exciting!! I missed Jessica's first games last week but can't wait to see her in action this week. Our friends at church said she is the best trainer out there!
It's a time for new beginnings at our church as well. We started a new curriculum for Sunday morning Bible study that begins at, well, the beginning. We are starting where it all started for humanity...God spoke and it was. Not a big bang or a chance occurrence, but the God of the universe, in His divine and perfect plan, took the formless and void darkness and said, "Let there be..." and there was. That's it, He spoke and it happened. The God who took nothing and made everything is the Sovereign God of the here and now. The rain that is drizzling down right now was His plan and His action caused it. I have to admit that I have a little apprehension right now in life. I don't know where Josh will be next year. I really don't know what I will be doing this time next year -- I will be a graduate with a master's degree but still don't know what I want to do when I grow up... I've got to stay focused on the present and the One who controls tomorrow...For goodness sakes, the here and now is way busy and full enough without anticipating next year... for real!
Staying focused -- with eyes fixed on Jesus,
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I guess the second issue is how important appearance is to girls and the culture's indoctrination for girls to place such an importance on the way they look. It's a struggle. And, girls can be mean, even vicious, to each other. Guys aren't generally like that. Girls can be so judgmental of each other. Is that already such a reality to an elementary-age girl that she would feel self-conscious coming out of a store with a long, blonde wig on? Interesting...
It is vital for us as moms to teach our daughters not to be influenced by every whim of culture but it's also so important to teach them to not be judgmental of other girls that are not like them. Especially as Christian young women, our daughters are to be lights in a dark world, a reflection of Jesus. I know He would never laugh at someone for what she wore to school one day...
Serving the King,
Friday, August 10, 2007
Perhaps I am over-reacting. It won't be the first time...
It's not like I don't have 5,000 other things I could be and should be doing. They still want me to do their laundry, cook their meals. I am still in the pursuit of that master's degree. I still want to be a great wife to Johnny and be a part of ministry with him. I JUST HATE THAT SOMETHING THAT I HAVE SPENT ALMOST 2 DECADES DOING IS COMING TO AN END!
Ok, glad to have that off my chest...
Have a great weekend!
Serving the King,
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
This morning, however, has been completely quiet in my house. I was able to spend some time on my personal study of the book of Matthew. I have been studying for months and am just on chapter 5. It is such a great book. Matthew's perspective is Jesus as King. In chapter 5, the King sits down on a mountainside surrounded by a crowd of people. Jesus desires to meet us where we are. They followed Him there why? Some were looking for physical healing, some were looking for answers to life's questions, some were curious -- I don't know all the reasons. I imagine He had a very charismatic personality and people were drawn to Him. As He spoke, it was dynamic and people wanted to listen.
"Blessed are those..." What we call the Beatitudes, verses 3 - 12. Blessed means "fully satisfied." It's not happiness dependent on circumstances, but an inner quality given by God alone. It is a result with a relationship with God through His Son Jesus. It is satisfaction found not on things of this world, but the eternal.
Matthew 5:6 - "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."
Not a one-time, acceptance of God's gift of salvation, but a continual search and filling for God, to conformity to His standard. And we will not just be full (satisfied) but overflowing. One meaning of the Greek word here is "to gorge." My mental picture is Thanksgiving when I gorge myself with yummy fried turkey and dressing and other delicious side dishes. The past few years we have been camping with my family so I am full from eating and surrounded by family and the great outdoors. That is satisfaction in my book. When there's not one more thing I could eat (literally) or any place I would rather be. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will need not look for filling in anything else...they will not need one other thing... there's no other place they would rather be...
Despite the hectic pace we will experience in our house in just a few days...back to school shopping, registration and schedule pick-up, football physicals and season ticket purchase...making sure every detail is covered so we can all start back ready to roll, I am fully satisfied. It's been a great summer but more than that I am leaning, am dependent, on what it means to really be fully satisfied...
Serving the King,
Monday, August 6, 2007
We saw the original Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Amazing! There was also a document where notes had been written before the final draft was complete. We went to Arlington Cemetery and walked about 3 miles. We chose not to take the tour trolley and it's one mile from the entrance to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The changing of the guard was impressive. We also walked to the Arlington House, or the Lee House, and found out the history of how the cemetery was started. Fascinating! Did you know that Lee, the Confederate General, was related to George Washington? I don't think I knew that -- Lee married into Washington's family and the Lee House was originally in the Washington family!! Wow!
We took a night tour of all the famous monuments. Imagine...standing at the Lincoln Memorial, looking back at the Washington monument reflecting on the water with an almost full moon in the background. We also went to the holocaust museum but I didn't think it was as good as the one in Jerusalem. It's a reminder, none the less, of what we haven't seemed to learn -- just referring to current world conflict. I was quite impressed with one of the Smithsonian museums and not so much with another.
I'm glad to be home. Really glad...it was great to have the 2 weeks away...great to have the kids all to ourselves (except for the constant texting to friends on the metro and other places) Now, however, there is laundry to be done, tons of it...oh well, life goes on...and on and on and on...
holdin' on to the feeling,
Ok, I just had to add this note to the above blog that I published this morning. This afternoon I was catching up on some blogs that I like to read and was on Vicki Courtney's. She's an author and speaker published by LifeWay. The end of my blog was a very vague reference to a song that all five of us were singing loudly in the car driving through Nashville, TN, Saturday night. Vicki has the YouTube video of the song on her blog...I laughed and laughed...check it out at www.virtuealert.com -- go to her post dated 7/29/07 -- if you can't figure it out!
Monday, July 30, 2007
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Before I left home I read an article about the new Dallas Cowboys stadium that is currently being built in Arlington. Johnny and I had a chance to drive over there a couple of weeks ago. It is impressive. Here's what gets me...Jerry Jones, the article stated, is writing a check for a million dollars everyday...I cannot even fathom writing checks like that. It's beyond my imagination. The end of the article reported that Michael Irvin asked J. Jones to present him whatever he will be presented with when he is inducted into the Hall of Fame. (ok, my details may be a little off, but that's not the point) The article quoted Jerry Jones as saying, in reference to the request, he count on one hand the number of times he has been that happy...on one hand the number of times he has been that happy...
I can barely count on two hands (if two is even enough) the number of times I have been completely and totally filled with joy and happiness since I left home a week ago. Yesterday and today we played football on the beach. It was awesome....I'm not kidding. I am all-time offense because of my skills -- NOT! -- I am all-time offense because that's the only way the teams will be fair. Yesterday we rented a family bike and rode up and down the boardwalk at Virginia Beach. We sat at a little restaurant overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and ate lunch. I waterskiied last Thursday on water that was perfectly still -- like glass. We pulled the kids on skis and tubes and fished for hours catching nothing but little brim that we had to throw back. Today we had church in the Wildwood and I preached!! haha!! shh -- don't tell anyone!!
Well, I could go on, but I guess I will get back to the present and check on the laundry... I'll be checking back in with you in a few days. Until then...go have some fun and find happiness in your life and family...
Monday, July 23, 2007
To get here, we left our house a little before 2:00 on Sunday afternoon. We are pulling our travel trailer, the Wildwood, on this great adventure. Some of you may know that I have "the list." The list is all the things that I want to do with my kids before they grow up and leave us. That's why we are on this particular vacation. Our ultimate destination is Washington, DC. Anyway, we did something already that we have never done before. Yep, I added to the list instantaneously and marked it off and, perhaps, will never do it again. Then again, maybe we will do it again. We drove Sunday night until we just couldn't go any longer. We planned to stop at the welcome center at the Georgia state line. There's a place in the back where truckers park to stay overnight. It was full!! Not one spot was left and parking overnight is prohibited in the front part of the welcome center. So, we went to the next exit where there was a truck stop. We pulled our little travel trailer right inbetween the big rigs! Yep, we slept in the Wildwood at a truck stop. My sister-in-law said, "You might be a redneck if..." Well, you get the picture!
So, we're here in Georgia enjoying a few days with my husband's family. The kids are already down at the dock and it's about time to go out on the boat...gotta run!
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
We are leaving Sunday afternoon with the five of us and the Wildwood. We will head for Georgia to visit Johnny's family for a few days and then we'll head up to Virginia Beach. I've never even been to Virginia so I'm pumped about that. We are camping at First Landing State Park...named because it's the site where the settlers first landed! We leave there to go to Jamestown, Virginia. Jessica wanted to visit there because she learned in American History that this is the 400th anniversary of Jamestown. Perhaps you heard that the Queen was over for visit for the occasion. We'll check that out and then we are headed to Washington, DC. We are camping at a private campground in Maryland. Apparently, we will be able to catch a bus at our campground that will take us to the metro transit system for DC. We'll have a few days there and then will head back home.
I've never been to Washington, DC, and neither has Johnny. It's on "the list" of the things we want to do with our kids before they grow up and leave us. I've been reading and preparing but if you have any last minute suggestions of things we don't want to miss while we are there, please leave a comment and tell me what it is!
I think Johnny and I are excited about going new places that we've always wanted to go, but at this point we are looking forward to having our kids all to ourselves. They are so busy with their friends and activities. After dinner last night they all left to hang out with friends. We were cleaning up the kitchen (he's so good to help me!!) and talking about the future when it will be just the two of us...
I guess I better go throw another load of clothes in the laundry!
Gettin' ready for vacation,
Monday, July 16, 2007
My brother finished a 100 mile race this weekend. He ran for 100 miles through the mountains in Colorado. It sounds a little nuts to me, but the race started at 6:00 a.m. on Friday and the racers kept running...I imagine you don't dare stop for too long...until they completed the course. Some dropped and some didn't make the cut-off times at the various aid stations. The race ended at 6:00 a.m. Sunday but my brother finished Saturday evening. His time was just under 38 hours and he finished about 45th. The guy who won ran a record time (for that event) of 26 hours and 8 minutes...100 miles running on his feet over the mountains, through the streams, in the snow... Wow!
"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." (Hebrews 12:1)
We have not all been called to the same race. I certainly am not equipped to run 100 miles just as I am not called to do certain jobs in the church or in ministry. Life requires endurance. Sometimes serving God requires endurance. Whew! Sometimes being a mom requires endurance.
So run, with endurance, persevere through circumstances and keep it up! The reward is great!
Running the race,
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Jessica and I had lunch today with our student pastor's wife. She's awesome! (: She asked us what our plans were for the rest of the day. Until she asked I had not thought about the fact that I really didn't have plans for the rest of the day, except to pick up Jacob after camp and cook dinner so the teenagers could go to a Video Scavenger Hunt at church at 6:00. Then, of course, I had to clean up after dinner, wash towels and swimsuits from the day at camp, and other "motherly" duties. That's pretty much what I do during the summer...take care of "kid" things.
I was reading a blog the other day that a friend of mine wrote. Here's a excerpt:
Five years ago all four of my children lived at home. This fact may explain fully to some of you (at least those of you who are moms) that only the time that I slept was free from fulfilling my duties. (http://michellecanton.blogspot.com)
You'll have to check out Michelle's blog to get the point she was making, but I can really relate to that paragraph! By the time I got home with Jacob (and a friend, of course) at 4:20, it was a rush to get supper ready and everyone sitting down to eat (all 8 of us, because there's always room for one more) before the big kids had to go. Cleaning up and making brownies (by special request of the 2 left at home when the others left) filled the evening. Now, I am sitting at my desk, watching the sun set and waiting for the big son to get home with the ice cream...also by special request of the younger brother...you know, to go with the brownies!
Whether I really had any plans for this day or not, the day had plans for me. Actually, the kids had plans for me and I am soon going to rest...to get ready for whatever they have planned for me for tomorrow!
Serving the King (and the kids),
Sunday, July 8, 2007
As I've written previously in other blogs, I have been studying the Minor Prophets of the OT to teach my class on Sunday mornings. I have been amazed how much I've learned, how much God has spoken to me, through the Minor Prophets. This week was Haggai. The lesson title was "Commitment." Before I even read one verse of Scripture, I pondered this question: What am I really committed to? It's not my diet -- I really want to lose some weight but the calling of the brownies is much louder than the desire to lose weight. What else have I given up on way to easily?
The people of Judah had been released to return to their homeland following their exile in Babylon. After the Medo-Persians defeated the Babylonians, the Jewish people returned to rebuild their homeland. They were supposed to rebuild the temple and they had started the task, but then they got sidetracked. They wanted to build their own homes and plant their crops -- hey, everyone wants a nice house and food to eat and a successful business... The work was hard, they had opposition, they didn't have all the materials they needed. Wow! Sounds like some excuses I've made..."No, God, surely You don't want me to do that. It's too hard. I don't have the time or talent to accomplish that. I don't know how and I don't have the things I need to do it. What will people say?"
You know what God said to the people through the prophet Haggai? "Get to work!" (my paraphrase, obviously, from Haggai 1:8) Stop making excuses and be obedient. Finish the temple just like I told you.
Here's what really got me -- the people did have crops, but not as much as they could have. They had clothes and money and things, but they were not living under God's blessing because they were not being obedient. They were working hard but not receiving their full reward...
Wow! I can hardly type one more word except wow. It's a heavy wow not one of joy or excitement. Not because I want more things but because I wonder what blessing I might be missing...what did I leave undone that I was supposed to accomplish? Did I give all that I could to that task the Lord called me to? Was I obedient every step of the way?
The people repented and got busy building the temple. It wasn't the magnificent temple like Solomon built, which might have caused some sadness for those that remembered what they used to have, what they lost. Haggai tells the people to consider the past -- learn from your mistakes -- but look forward to the future blessings of the Lord.
The easy road may not always be the most fulfilling.
Serving the King,
Friday, July 6, 2007
So, I went to two movies within the last week. I'm not big on going to the movies so this is huge for me. I would much rather rent a movie and watch it at home. You don't even have to go to the store anymore to rent a movie, for goodness sakes! You just rent right off the cable box...what will they think of next? Anyway, we went to see Live Free or Die Hard and Transformers. I can hardly type or think or say the word transformers without adding "robots in disguise." Both movies were pretty entertaining, but I must say that I really liked Die Hard. I'm not a big die hard fan but Johnny is... a BIG fan...from the beginning all the way until now. Somehow he managed to get all 5 of us at the movie together. That's amazing! It was all 5 and only all 5 -- no extra people either!! The movie started and was action packed -- the kind of movie that when it's over you sit back in your seat and go "whew" because you are just worn out. I recommend it. Really, I do, as odd as I feel typing that.
Well, so much for the movie review...in case you are still reading I will spare you any further boredom by signing off...
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Why, you might be thinking, write a blog about my son's friend's accident and stitches? First of all, I am thankful for friends and fun and summer. There has not been one quiet day yet since school has been out, but there will be lots of quiet when the kids go back. It's a season & a very busy one at that. Second, I am really thankful to have had the privilege to stay at home with my kids all these years. At times, I have longed for a job or a place outside this house to devote my time and energy. One where there's a sense of accomplishment...you know, you can finish the laundry and think the job is accomplished until you walk upstairs and it just starts all over again...it's a never ending, thankless job. Not just the laundry...all of it.
To have the awesome responsibility placed on me and Johnny by the God of the universe, who knows way more than I do & is sovereign over it all, to raise 3 kids...to mold their lives, to take care of their needs, their wants, their hurts, to experience their joys and trials, to be there when decisions have to be made and to hear what's really on their heart...
We've made it all these years without a friend having an accident requiring stitches while at our house...we've made it through a lot, actually. I'm thankful for it all...I really am.
Serving the King,
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Waiting on God. That's hard stuff. Things happening that you just do not like or agree with and God seems to be silent. Even harder. I went to listen to our Student Pastor last Wednesday night and he preached on Mark 3. In verse 5, God's Word says Jesus looked with anger, but he was grieved at the heart condition of the people. Our Student Pastor, Josh, said He was mad/sad. Josh recounted a time when a friend died and he was mad and sad at the same time. I can relate to mad/sad -- something is going on right now and there's no other way to describe it but to say I am mad/sad.
Why do You let things happen and the heavens seem to be silent?
God said, "Hey, Habakkuk, you're answer is coming, but you're not going to believe it." (my paraphrase, obviously, and following...)
Habakkuk responds with words about the holiness and eternalness of God. Then he says, "I know Your people of Judah have been disobedient, but the Chaldeans? The Chaldeans are way worse than we are." You see, God would allow the Chaldeans to conquer the people of Judah. Then Habakkuk says that he will stop, wait and watch until God answers. Sometimes we need to stop talking and be quiet before a Holy God. We can't hear God's answer over the sound of our own voice...
God's perspective is not ours. His timing is not ours. He has the advantage of past, present, and future. He sees all aspects equally well when we can only see our past and present. He sees the big picture.
The book of Habakkuk ends with Habakkuk's praise. God told him what he was coming and now he had to wait and watch for it to happen. It scared him. However, when it's all said and done, no matter what happens, when everything is falling apart, when there's danger of ruin or hunger or devastation...no matter what..."Yet, I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation." (Hab. 3:18,NASB) I will praise Him despite my circumstances, in the midst of my circumstances. He alone is my strength...even when I am mad/sad, when I don't understand, when I ache inside because of a circumstance I have no control over...when there's injustice and hurt and evil seems to triumph over good, when the innocent are hurt as a biproduct of other people's actions...
Yet, I will praise the God Most High and I will wait and watch for His answer in His time.
Because He's God and I'm not, I will praise Him.
In humble service to the King,
Thursday, June 21, 2007
The more the merrier....Jeanette
Thursday, June 14, 2007
I have to say (or write) that it was fun to spend the day with Jacob. I feel sure he would have rather been in Florida at camp with his brother and sister, though. Next year they all will go to camp together...
As for the SBC -- I didn't get to very much of it. I did get to see a live address by President Bush via satellite (or however they do it -- he wasn't there in person, but he obviously could see a video feed of us as we could of him). He spoke of all the good things we are doing as So. Baptists. It's something to be proud of, actually. We are involved in so many great endeavors to help people in practical and physical ways. I read some information about Mother Teresa recently. Her mission to help the poor, sick, dying, and outcast of society began in Calcutta, India, but her name is known worldwide because of her selfless life of giving. Unfortunately, I don't think that's what So. Baptists are known for but we are accomplishing so much in the name of Jesus. In truth, we can do more when we are working together than each individual or church could do separately, even though there are individuals and churches doing great things. That's the beauty of our convention...our cooperative works together.
Well, I am procrastinating on a project that I must finish today so I guess that's it for now...
Proud to be a Southern Baptist,
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Whew, with that off my chest, let me just add that Josh & Jess will be off to Centrifuge at Panama City Beach tonight. Johnny and I met while working Centrifuge exactly 20 years ago this summer. I attended Centrifuge as a student, as a chaperone, and as an employee. The summer I went as a chaperone, God got a hold of me and completely altered the course of my life. As an employee, I met Johnny and my life was changed again. I am praying for God to do something awesome in the life of Josh and Jess this week as well.
Serving the King,
Thursday, June 7, 2007
In part one of the book, Barna gives a sort of checklist of parents just like me. A few of the items listed are: provide basic needs, successful in school, good home life, involved in church & church activities, not doing drugs or alcohol, not promiscuous, and without criminal activity. (Barna, 5) That would describe our situation. Here's the kicker -- those are fine standards, but they are as measured by the world's standards. As compared to the world those are really great standards, but they are not God's standards. Our job, as Christian parents, is not to raise our children to "be all they can be" by the world's standards, but to aspire to godly and biblical standards.
Barna goes on to write that we are to raise "spiritual champions." We don't do that by neglecting physical or intellectual or emotional needs, however. Those aspects are vital to the development of our children, but how often do we place those areas above the spiritual aspect? Guilty! Sending our children to church and activities and Christian camps (one of mine went last week & two will go next week) is simply not enough. It's our job, our job primarily, as Christian parents to be the spiritual nurturer of our children.
I'm moving on to part 2 of the book which is the research section. If you are at all familiar with George Barna, you know that's what he does. He researches all sorts of topics as related to ministry and Christianity and then evaluates. I'll be back with more later...
*Barna, George. Revolutionary Parenting. BarnaBooks & Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2007.
Monday, June 4, 2007
We have daughters the same age so there's a whole lotta conversations just about that. Swimsuit shopping, for instance. Our student pastor says our daughters need to have one-piece swimsuits for camp. I agree with him, in theory. However, have you been swimsuit shopping with a teen girl lately? It is practically impossible to find a suitable one-piece swimsuit for a teen girl that she will actually wear some other time besides camp that doesn't cost too much. A company could make a lot of money just making "camp appropriate" swimwear for girls that was reasonable in price and appearance -- if that's even possible.
Weight gain -- now there's another popular topic among women. A depressing one, however. I just can't go there right now...I've already talked too much about that topic for one day. Next subject...
Reading. My friend is not a big reader, but I love to read. When I'm in school I get to read lots and lots. This summer, however, I am reading Revolutionary Parenting by George Barna for an independent study I am doing for my degree. I've just read the introduction so far but I think it will be a really good book. The main theme of the book, I think, is that parents are really the #1 influencer of their children and, therefore, should be the #1 discipler of their children. Sometimes parents want to shift the responsibility of molding and teaching their children to some professional or institution. Perhaps I will give an update or book review when I actually finish the book. Look for that later... in the meantime, I need a good book to read on vacation so I am open to suggestions if you've read a fabulous book lately!
Mentoring. We talked about Titus 2 today. Older women are to mentor younger women. Older can mean in age or in spiritual maturity. I read an article recently that suggested that we, as believers, should always be looking for someone older to be mentored by, someone our age to walk beside us, and someone younger that we actually mentor. It's all about relationships. I guess that's the whole point of this blog today. Relationships are important. God never meant for us to live this Christian life on our own. In fact, sometimes it can be stinkin' hard and we really can't make it on our own. It's good to bounce ideas off one another, to talk about crazy parenting things, and what God is doing in our own lives.
So, thanks, friend, for a jog in the park...I'll see you tomorrow!
Serving the King,
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
Sweet Chicken Bacon Wraps
1 1/4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 lb. bacon cut into thirds
2/3 c. brown sugar mixed together with 2 tablespoons chili powder
Once you have the chicken cubed & the bacon cut, wrap a piece of bacon around each cube of chicken & secure each with a wooden pick. Roll the chicken/bacon in the brown sugar & chili powder mixture. (it sounded like an odd mixture to me, but it's really good!) Coat a broiler pan with non-stick cooking spray & put the chicken on it, then pop it into the oven at 350 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp.
Giddy with anticipation,
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
The Bible study lesson we had at our church last Sunday was from Philippians 2. Paul wrote that, as believers & followers of Christ, we are to be humble, looking out for others as more important than ourselves, and keeping our focus on unity and our common task. And our common task is what? Bringing others to know Jesus and helping them to be better disciples. That is completely hard to do sometimes because we can really get focused on wanting our own way or letting petty personality differences get us off track.
So, why am I writing this? No, I am not in a disagreement with anyone -- well, not that I know of anyway. I was just thinking about how fickle teenagers can be. Fickleness (I thought I made up that word, but when I did spell check it didn't find it as a misspelled word!) is not limited to teenagers, however. I used to love Diet Coke and now I cannot stand it. Then I started drinking Dr. Pepper, but now I would just prefer to have sweet tea or limeade. Or, coffee of course! I'm fickle, I admit it. Relationships change...it happens. But, from the standpoint of Christ, I am not allowed the luxury of being hurtful towards people that I am in disagreement with and it is not my place to stand in judgment of them. What a relief, actually. Love people, love people, love people. Love God, love people. Love God, love God, love God. Love people. The greatest commandment and the second just like it. Love God, love people. That's it.
Serving the King,
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Monday, May 7, 2007
It all started when I was going through a particularly rough spot. I used to jog in my neighborhood and I always thought I heard owls whoing. (you know, "who, who") I heard them but I could never see them. I started asking God to let me just see an owl. Then, my friend told me that the sound was not owls but another kind of bird. I was disappointed and stopped looking for the owls. I am very much a creature of habit and will always do things the same way. I rarely make changes, but one day I ran my usual route in the opposite direction. Guess what I saw...an owl! Ok, it was one of those fake owls that people put out to scare smaller birds away, but it was an owl. I laughed and laughed all the way down the street...I got the answer to my prayer.
Pretty soon after that I started jogging around the above mentioned track. After a little while, I noticed that the burrowing owls moved in at UTPB. I always thought of them as a little thing between me and God...like the owls were there just for me. I miss that...that special place -- man, the conversations I had out there with God. Perhaps it's not the place I miss so much but the uniqueness of what it meant to me...I long to find that place again.
O come, let us sing for joy to the Lord, let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods,
In whose hand are the depths of the earth, the peaks of the mountains are His also.
The sea is His, for it was He who made it, and His hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
In humble adoration of the King,
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
People all over the world just want to be free. In America, we take our freedom for granted. I know I do. I've been to places in the world where people are not free. They live under oppressive governments that allow horrible things to happen to their subjects. Did you happen to see the movie Hotel Rwanda? It was hard for me to watch. It's the story of the Rwandan genocide of 1994. The Tutsis were killed by the hundreds of thousands by the Hutus. The movie is about one man's attempt to save as many as possible. If you saw the movie, you may recall that the people in the hotel thought and hoped that someone, the UN or another military presence, would see the suffering and come in a rescue them, to help them. Remember the part when they found out no one was coming...
That's what's happening in Darfur right now. The people are waiting for international action. There was a recent article about the horrible things that the children in Darfur are experiencing. Horrible is not even a strong enough word to describe it...I am sure my mind cannot comprehend the terror of their lives. They are tortured, raped, killed...
I hear lots of people crying out for there to be something done about the genocide in Darfur. I am absolutely in favor or rescuing as many as possible. This is what I don't get, however. There was a wretched ruler in Iraq who did horrible things to his subjects. They were tortured, raped, and killed. They were oppressed and lived in poverty while he lived a very lavish lifestyle. Do you suppose any of the people that were killed by the madman cried out, "Freedom!" as they were led to their death? Do you not think that the people desired to be out from under the oppressive rule? Do you think any of them were watching and waiting to see if someone, anyone, would come to their rescue? The world watched and we went in. If we leave now, there might possibly be genocide from warring factions just like in Africa. Maybe not in Iraq, but some places in the world see the prosperity of America and wonder why we don't send help. They covet what we have. To those that are given much, much is required.
When the world seems to be going nuts, I know where to find peace and freedom True freedom is found in Christ alone and He is the Author of peace.
In humble gratitude to be born an American and in service to the King Eternal,