Friday, July 31, 2009

A Week Without Johnny

It always seems like the weeks are so long when Johnny is gone. I just don't sleep well at all so I'm extra tired. I got up early this morning and thought I would sit in my office with my coffee and study but Jacob got up and was ready to mow before 9 am. He doesn't need my help but I went out to the garage to sweep while he mowed out front. I did have to find some ant killer for the pile of ants he ran over and I also brought the trash cans around from the back so he could empty the grass catcher. Then one chore led to another and I never got back to my office all day. I did have the awesome privilege of hanging out with my kids tonight. Yeah, just me and the three. We went to Freebirds then over to Target to get a few things. Well, Jessica and I went into Target and the boys walked over to Game Stop. When we came out of the store the sky looked scary. We stopped for yogurt and ended up getting caught in the storm. We had to have some milk, however, so I pulled up as close as I could to the door at Kroger so Jacob could run in and get the milk. He almost made it to the door when he WIPED OUT. Man, he went down. He got up, turned around laughing then ran on in the store. I was laughing and feeling guilty all at once. It was his shoes - these awful slip-on shoes that Jessica and I hate that he absolutely insists on wearing. I almost think he wears them just because he knows it irritates us.

Johnny had a great week in Venezuela but is stuck in Miami tonight. His flight was late leaving Caracas and, therefore, he didn't make his connecting flight. He and his 3 traveling companions are at a hotel in Miami until the morning. ugh! When we found out Jacob said, "I guess you won't sleep again tonight." He did offer some advice to help me sleep. Maybe I'll try it but mostly I'll be excited about tomorrow and having my man at home with me!

Serving the King,


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Home to Stay

Finally, there's not another trip on the calendar until I head to India in October. I really like to travel but, more than that, I'm a home-body. I'd rather be home than any place else. Since school has been out I've been to New York, Kentucky, Georgia, and a camping trip last weekend. I even drove down to Waco to see my sick grandmother yesterday. Every time I return home it takes me days to get back in a groove. I haven't been home long enough to get groovy...ok, ok, that's super corny but I couldn't resist. I am most definitely NOT ready for school to start back but I am ready for normalcy and routine.

I am also super unfocused when life seems chaotic. I had big plans for projects that I wanted to do this summer. ha! The most exciting project that I am behind on is a Bible study Johnny and I are writing together. We are actually writing a devotion guide and indepth homework for the study. We've worked some this summer and I've been reading -- yes, by choice not coercion -- sections from some of my textbooks from seminary. I am a geek, I love to read textbooks, I love to study. I've said before that I don't think I am a great teacher but I feel compelled to teach because I love to study and the information seems to need to come from my head and out of my mouth.

I'm behind on the laundry, the house is unorganized, the garage is hideous, and there are weeds growing in my flower beds. I'll get to it -- hopefully soon now that I'm home to stay for a while.

Serving the King,


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Psalm of the Week

It's a partial psalm this week. Trivia question (don't look ahead for the answer): what is the longest and shortest psalms? They are separated by just one psalm. This week I am reading just the first 32 verses of the longest psalm, 119. (the shortest is 117)

Verse 28 caught my attention this morning. I just found out a friend who traveled with me to Burma a couple of years ago lost her young adult son. Her grandson was staying with her so she had to be the one to tell him his dad was dead. That weighs me down - I cannot imagine the depth of sorrow. My friend loves God's Word. I pray that she will find comfort in it and from her heavenly Father over the next days.

Psalm 119 is rich. I hope you'll stop right now and read verses 1 - 32. I love God's Word. I really do believe - I mean, I really, really believe - that God's Word has all the answers for all life's problems and circumstances. I can so relate to the psalmist's words. God did not give us a book of instructions to keep us from having fun or doing the things we wanted to do to be a heavy-handed dictator. He loves His creation and wants the very best for those that belong to Him. He gave us His written Word, His written revelation of Himself, as a guide so that we might have an abundant life. To keep us from those things that might harm us or lead to hurt and heartache. Yes, we'll be hurt and we'll have heartache. Everybody does. But sometimes it's those sinful behaviors that lead us to the road of heartbreak. That's what He wants to protect you from. I've said to my kids a bazillion times, "make good choices." If we follow God's Word it will be our guide so that we can make good choices.

Serving the King,


Sunday, July 26, 2009

More Wild Fun in the Wildwood

We returned yesterday evening from our camping trip to the New Braunfels area. We were actually camping at Lockhart State Park. I am a fan of the Texas state parks. My favorite spot to spend Thanksgiving break is Tyler State Park. When we lived in West Texas, we spent several Thanksgivings and Spring Breaks at Abilene State Park, although those were the tent camping days. Tyler SP and Abilene SP have a few things in common with each other that makes Lockhart SP in a class by itself. Let me just put it this way, I will not intentionally be making another trip to Lockhart SP. Camping in July in Texas is risky anyway with our over-100 degree days. You can only get a metal box so cool - even when you have great airconditioning - when it is getting beat down by the afternoon sun because there's not a shade tree to block the sun's rays. I shouldn't complain - I'm sure the people at LSP do not choose to have dead grass covering their fields. A little rain is all they need. All they desperately need.

We spent one day at Schlitterbahn Water Park. I haven't been there since Jessica was born. We had 10 people under the age of 21 with us and, funny, they didn't spend too much of the day with us. I had a ton of fun and was encouraged that I am not, afterall, getting too old to enjoy racing down the waterslide on a foam mat. Another day we hit up the huge outlet mall. The highlight of the trip may have been when I was the victorious one at Mexican Train. Ok, ok, that wasn't the highlight but I had to get that out there.

We were driving home yesterday and I had my feet up on the dash and phone to my ear when I looked over and saw my 2 brothers driving beside us making faces at me. That was crazy. Their wives and kids were following behind them so we pulled over at a shopping center off the highway to chat with them for a bit.

Johnny leaves bright and early in the morning for Venezuela. He'll be meeting with pastors and a church planter down there that our church supports. Me and the kids will be here at home. Since the kids have been out of school I have been on 4 trips and I'm ready to be home for a while. Though, had I a chance I would've been on that airplane to Venezuela in the morning in a heartbeat...

Happy Sunday!


Monday, July 20, 2009

Psalm of the Week

Maybe I should've titled this "Psalm of the Month" since I've been such a delinquent blogger this summer. I think we've been gone as much as we've been home this summer. In case you've forgotten since it's been so long or you're new to the blog, here's what's up. I pick a psalm and write a few thoughts about it. Then, you read the psalm and write some comments. COMMENTS ARE REQUESTED! So, here goes. The Psalm of the Week/Month is Psalm 19.

The first verse reminds me of Romans 1:20, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." (NASB) I am a lover of the outdoors and nature. I am awed when I see and think about all the different colors and shapes of plants and flowers. I went to an aquarium earlier this year and was amazed by the fish. I literally had this thought - you know when kids are told to draw and color a picture of something, like a fish, how many crazy colors and designs they will come up with? That's what it was like looking at the fish. God is the ultimate Artist. God reveals Himself through creation.

God is also revealed through His written Word, the Bible. The psalmist, David, then gives several descriptive words and causes for God's Word. While we can look at nature and be in awe at the Creator God, the Scriptures tell us about a personal, infinite, powerful, instructing, all-knowing God, full of compassion and judgment. His Word was given to us that we might know Him. That we might know about Him so that we might know Him more.

Verses 11-13 are about sin, keeping from it, how following God's Word helps us in that regard. Then the psalmist ended with a familiar verse, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer." Let not only what I say but what's in the secret places of my heart be acceptable to God. In that hidden place that we think nobody knows... My rock and Redeemer. The King James Version uses this phrasing, "my strength and Redeemer."

Ok, here's a question for ya: What does it mean to you that God is your rock and Redeemer?

Anxiously awaiting your reply...

Serving the King,


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Shopping Day and the GPS

My friend, Mary, and I headed up to Frisco today to go to IKEA. Now that is a great store! I bought a set of 17 containers, with lids, for five bucks for our travel trailer. I also got a bright red shag rug for my office along with two red throw pillows. We looked for some curtains (rather, a curtain since I have one, small window over my desk) -- we even stopped by Grapevine Mills Mall on the way back to try to find some -- but didn't find anything.

Recently I got a GPS for my car. It's something that I really needed. Notice, I didn't write that I wanted it but that I needed it. I am directionally challenged. In a big way. Before we went to Georgia I went over to Dallas to have lunch with one of my friends from college and got lost. I became just a little hysterical and called Johnny so he could magically tell me where to go -- from Mansfield, cuz he's supposed to know everything. He was at a lunch meeting but was still able to help me arrive at my destination. Because Johnny is a fixer, he decided to get the GPS to fix all my direction-finding needs.

Here's what the GPS does if one turns or fails to turn in a direction that the GPS wants one to go. The voice announces, "re-calculating" then gives the driver new directions. The assumption is that the GPS is giving the driver the best way to go. When the driver decides to do something other than follow directions then the GPS has to recalculate and decide on a new route. Maybe it's not the best way to go but it will still get the driver to the desired destination. Assuming that the driver follows the subsequent directions.

I wonder how many times I've gotten off the best path God has for me. When my direction has to be recalculated because I've gotten off course. Today the GPS wanted me to make a u-turn. I don't know where I would've gone from there because I thought I knew better so I didn't go that way. Who knows what I've missed when I've simply refused to follow directions...

I want to be a good follower of directions. Really, I do. That means I have to admit that I don't know what's better for me. I don't know the way. I gotta listen and pay attention.

So, yeah, that's my spiritual application for the shopping day and the GPS.

Serving the King,


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day of Champions

Today I had my first experience with Bill Glass Ministries at the Day of Champions. It was the day to go into the juvenile detention facilities here in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. Here's how it works: there was a little training last night and today I went into my assigned facility. We met together then went into the gym where the "residents" were already seated in rows. There was a speaker and following that all the team-members shared the gospel with some of the residents. We had lunch then repeated the whole thing with a new group.

I left both heartbroken and burdened. Each time I talked to 2 girls, all 4 were between 14-16 years of age. I think 3 out of the 4 were not there for the first time; ie, repeat offenders. One of the 4 is pregnant and another of the 4 is already the mother of an 8 month old. All 4 have gone to church at some point in their lives and they have head knowledge of the plan of salvation. They even know right from wrong, but have chosen wrong. One girl sadly said she was glad she was there. If not, she said, she'd probably be dead. Man, that girl knew some Scripture. She quoted several verses, even though some were out of context. There was anger in her voice, however. Yeah, she had a lot of anger.

It's hard for me to imagine what these girls' lives are really like. Obviously, I have no idea, not any whatsoever. I got a little peek today.

Again, today, I am faced with the realization that I have a really great life. I have three really great kids. I have a fabulous husband and a lot of comforts. I have everything I need and a lot of what I want.

And I'm thankful. And humbled. Grateful. Convicted once again that to whom much is given much is required. Oh, that I may be faithful.

Serving the King,


Monday, July 6, 2009

Rockets red glare, bombs bursting in air

We're here in Georgia visiting Johnny's family. Our tradition for the years we are here on our nation's birthday is to drive up to South Carolina and Johnny's uncle funds our personal firework display. Saturday was a really busy day with a big family shindig celebrating our niece's recent marriage so we didn't get up to SC to buy the fireworks until Sunday afternoon. Which, btw, we had a great time Sunday night with our own little firework show. But, since we didn't have our own for the 4th we hopped on the pontoon boat after dark and headed out onto the lake. As soon as we got out of our little cove we saw tons of boats. On one little beach they were shooting off lots and lots of fireworks. We stopped near there but we were literally surrounded by fireworks going off all around the lake. People clapped and cheered and honked their horns to show approval. I could not help but think about how much money was spent on the fireworks. Lots. In a down economy. We're still proud to be American. We still live in the greatest country on the face of the planet. We're still the land of the free and the home of the brave. That was celebrated out on Lake Hartwell, for sure. Saturday night and Sunday night.

Proud to be American,