Thursday, April 21, 2011

of Judgement....

Life brings judgment. Everyday in every activity we make judgments, receive judgments, process what those judgments mean to our lives. The misconception that life could be free from judgment is so prevalent we forget that all decisions come from judgments. Are we qualified to judge? how do we know?

I am finding that judgment is necessary. What I've found imperative is knowing your attitude. Are you making judgment on something that has no pertinence to you? Are you making your decision based on your compassion? Jesus made regular judgments - The money-changers in the temple were chased out in anger; The woman caught in adultery was not condemned. Do I make judgments based on my own frazzledness? We all do. I do it with my kids all the time. Lord, forgive me. Do you make judgments based on your own filters and understanding?  Yes. You cannot make them any other way. This is why knowing the Lord is so important.

Say you have a best friend whom you know really well. Someone asks you "Will Cherie like this?" Can you answer with confidence? Do you know Cherie well enough to make that judgment?

Likewise in our life as Christians. Do you know the heart of Christ intimately? Can you make judgments that reflect your faith and trust in Him?

This whole idea doesn't mean I think we should beat our opinions into those around us or place value on someone based on initial impressions. I think what I want to say is be cautious in your judgments that they would be thoughtful, compassionate, and focused. I pray that your judgments would not be snap, crass, or uninformed. May the Lord guide you as you are judging the world around you everyday.

Lord Jesus, Help me make my words and choices sweet since tomorrow I may have to eat them! :) In seriousness Lord, help me to be compassionate in my judgments. Help me to follow your example to love each person as you do, regardless of what they have done or how they look.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

An Unusual Place... again

This week past I served on a team ministry at a small church in Ohio. I do these throughAldersgate Renewal Ministries. This church was a neat example of love your neighbor. They genuinely cared for one another. The people wanted more of God. The hunger in this place was palpable. Coming in with the resource team to lead a retreat it was a tremendous blessing to walk into a church covered in prayer. An Unusual Place.

God did lots of things this weekend. The largest impact on me was arriving in a place covered in prayer. These people were intentional about giving the space and time to Father God. So often I try to do things in my own power. I skip the preparation of prayer and spending time with the Lord. My usual place is harried, rushed, and skittering from one task or project to the next. The other end of the spectrum is when I step into that unusual place. I can move calmly, intentionally, and be in a place of blessing others. I cover my day in prayer.  I am calling it the unusual place because I find it so hard to consistently get there amid the demands of life. I love being there in the place of quiet. I love the way I feel Him lifting me up.Yet the urgent tugs me out of the place. Bickering kids, shrilling phone, calling neighbor, they all tug at me.  Do this, go get that, stand up, sit down, write this, cook that... I am overwhelmed. I feel like my brain will implode. When I go to the unusual place, focusing on Father God, His guidance, His word, and His will, I find I can deal so much better with whatever my day throws at me.

When I entered this church for the weekend's ministry, the prayer preparation covered me like a warm blanket. It reminded me of the power of preparation, the power of listening and talking with the Lord. I am reminded of the importance of going to my unusual place.

Go to your place. Make time for Him. Let this place not be unusual but normal. Allow Him to impact your day!

Lord, Bring me to the unusual place, heal my imploding mind, prepare me to follow your guidance throughout my days! Bring me to the unusual place...Again.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Scavenger Hunt

Yesterday we went on a scavenger hunt to find stuff around Grandma and Pap pap's farm. Check out our adventure!

 The Beginning! Complete with funny faces from T.
 #1 "I grow on a tree that is always green!"

Pixie exploring down the hill in the ravine.

#2 Silent and Gray, I am all that is left of animals that lived long ago.
We hunt for fossils on the creek bank.

 Look closely this rock has two fossils.

"We must stand on these rocks and look tough!"

#3 We are red and piled high, shaped like a rectangle and used for building to the sky.

T guessed the answer was a brick and Pixie found the pile!

#4 Gold and Gray, we like to "neigh" to hello and how are you today?

Annie & Shadow happy to see us - so long as we give them dinner

#5 Quiet and fun, where mousies like to run. I store the bales the Horsies like.

HayLoft Fun!

# 6 Many steps have I that lead up high, climb you might touch the sky.

They love walking about on the barn roof - testing their nerve!

 #7 Loops & loops water I spray to wash the dirt away

The hose

#8 With pride I reside on the side of a box where your food stays cold all day

Fridge drawings
#9 Woosh! you go when I am dressed in white.  - The sledding hill next door!

I love these pics!

#10 Some think I am sad as can be, but really I'm a beautiful Tree

The neighbors' Weeping Willow tree

#11 Slides and Firepoles, fun fun fun, Lots of kids have played in me!

Play house 

#12 filled with hay and tractor pulled , I give a good ride - one of many wagons at the farm.

#13  A Prize  on wheels A pink signature makes me special

Grandma's MK Car!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Vacation thoughts

Some vacations are structured. Some are free flow.  We are on day 3 of a no plans vacation. The kids are starting to get a little stir crazy. I don't blame them. The farm is an exciting and wild place to play. But it has rained, and rained, and rained. Sunday night Grandma took the girls to the barn to feed the animals and somehow they all ended up in the creek!

Mud was everywhere. They had so much fun! Amazing what a muddy creek and grandma's sense of adventure will do for boredom. Yesterday, more rain. We stayed inside hanging out, playing Barbies. The girls even talked Pap Pap into watching "Despicable Me". It was a fun family time.


     The plan for this vacation was to veg out as much as possible. Visits to the Great grandmothers must be accomplished before we head home. The Admiral is upgrading Grandma's computer system as well. So today to ward off the boredom monster, we are doing some workbook pages,  having some reading time, and a scavenger hunt. My idea being to give the girls a list of clues like "a large pile of rectangle shaped red building supplies" They have to figure out where this is on the farm and take a picture there. ( answer: the old brick pile ) Then I will make a collage of their pictures. :) They are hyper excited about this adventure! I have 15 places for them to discover. Nothing fancy just fun. Tomorrow I will post the clues and the pics of the hunt!

      I look at them today and realize that too much time without plans is HARD. Hard like constantly planned activities.  I think perhaps this is because we get our selves stuck in a rut of comfortable activities. Then sooner or later they aren't satisfying any more. The challenge is conquered. It is possible that this why the Lord leads us into new areas when we are seeking His will in our lives. Challenge and learning, digging deeper to know Him more! Looking into the future, I am excited about where God is leading. I am nervous too. I haven't walked this road before. Can I really do it? This feels weird. Like a new shoe. God is Leading, I must trust Him. God made me and He believes I can do the tasks He has set before me. So lets go!  A new adventure, plan something, don't float and be a vegetable. Go. Seek. Follow. The adventure will find you.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring is misbehavin'

Today ( April 1st ) is a wonderful 45+ degrees outside. A light springy breeze is blowing. It is lovely. Earlier this week that was NOT the case. It was a COLD wind. Barely 38. Cold, Cold, ugh. It is interesting to me how much more miserable it felt now since we had experienced a few warm spring like days. Wednesday we had to scrape a hard-ish frost from the van windows. As we were driving to school, T says "Mom, why is the weather behaving so much like winter when it has been spring for a whole week?" The exasperation  in her voice nearly making me laugh out loud. We live in NE Indiana. It is still March. Warm, cold, warm, cold is just the way it is.

Yesterday I was sharing the cuteness with my mom. She had snow Tuesday night at her place so I will be thankful it was just cold here. But as we were talking she said something that really made me think. "What if spring wasn't a given?" What if we couldn't count on it getting warmer at a specific time? What if the sun just didn't come up one day? We, as a culture, complain and complain. We cannot change the weather. If we don' like the weather were we are we shouldn't whine about it. We should move. The truth is I love winter. But I dislike being cold. Especially on gray rainy days. I like the more temperate summers. I take spring for granted. People want everything to suit their wants at just the moment they want it. I want to choose to be thankful for the snow and rain that fills up the water table. Thankful for the sun the continues to shine and warm the Earth so flowers might spring forth.

My daughter's memory verse this week fits this idea perfectly. "Be joyful  always. Pray continually. Give thanks in ALL circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  No matter what the weather.... be thankful. Having a horrid day? Be Thankful, count the blessings even if you have to strive to find them. Something good happen? Be Thankful. Do not take His blessings for granted.

The spring is coming. All because our God keeps his promises.