Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Father's Day 2009

Abbie and Paul making Daddy's card.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

JUDGE NOT

this evening we kicked off les's 42nd year of life at the Ranger's
Stadium. Tonight back at home, reflecting on the day, God brought to
light something I'm not proud of. I was not grieved by the least bit
tonight that those sitting around me and those all around the stadium
do not know Jesus. Instead I watched a guy with a cigarette in his
hand yelling down to a friend in the bullpen. I sat there wondering
how many more times he was going to say "for reals" and if he was
going to light that cig up. A few moments later I glanced across the
stands to watch a woman with a beer in her hand try to start the wave.
The comment "what you really need is another beer" not only went
across my mind it came out if my mouth.

The reality is that I'm only a few short steps away from getting
loaded at a game myself. I wasn't the one who rescued myself from a
life of self destruction, Jesus did. I didn't choose to follow whole
heartedly after Christ on my own, God pursued me first.

My heart should break for those around who don't know this Jesus who
saves and redeems. I don't mean this in a prideful, I have all the
answers and you don't kinda way. Some people just scream that they are
lost and searching for something more. You can see the lonliness in
their eyes if you search deep enough. This is what should grieve my
heart. It grieves me now to think my mouth would so readily and easily
open to cast judgement on another brother or sister made in Christ's
image, instead of opening to share the hope there is in Jesus.

Lord may you grow me to be the kind of woman who would bless those
with my words not curse them. My I desire what you desire. May my
knowledge and love of you grow more and more so that my mouth cannot
contain the hope and joy that can be found in only you with others!

Friday, June 05, 2009

ARE WE RAISING THE NEXT GENERATION OF MARTYRS?

tonight as my husband and i were talking, the above question was posed. are we raising up the next generation of martyrs? i hate to even think about the possibility of this. in my granny fantasies i will be surrounded by my seven or more children, numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. we will all gather for family vacations and getaways and family reunions. i'll grow old gracefully, contagiously in love with the Lord and meet Jesus before my husband. this is MY version of the story. i am well aware that most of the time MY version of the story is not the same as HIS version of the story. MY version is a lot less adventurous and rewarding than HIS. my heart longs for HIS version of the story yet my flesh desperately pleads for MINE.

the thought of raising up children that might one day be martyrs is heart wrenching. yet this kind of love for Christ is what i want more than anything for my kids. the question i've been pondering whilst everyone slumbers is am I ready to be a martyr for Jesus? i would love to be able to write that i most certainly am ready to die for the sake and name of Jesus Christ. when i really stop and think about it, i'm not really sure that i am. i would like to think that i am. yet only just yesterday when the stakes were not as high as death i failed to even mention the name of Jesus.

i was sitting at the beloved social security office waiting for my number to be called. the wait was decently long, there were lots of people, and opportunity was there just for the taking. did i take the opportunity to sit next to someone and strike up a friendly conversation? no, i viewed this as prime opportunity for some quality time with me and my iphone. sometimes you don't have to seek out opportunity, sometimes a robert comes and sits down right next to you. robert was a chatty fellow who wanted to tell me all about the details of his bike accident that had happened just moments ago. as robert talked i prayed that God would break in and show me opportunity because obviously this guy needed Jesus. he had just gotten in a motorcycle accident and all he was concerned about was the damage to his bike, a scuffed shoe, and a tiny hole in his shorts. in my head i kept thinking "DUDE! you were in a motorcycle accident!!! be thankful that your brain isn't spread all over the asphalt." very martyr like of me. as he pointed out the new hole in his shorts and i commented about how it gave them character, i was at a loss of what i was supposed to do in this situation. and then God broke in. robert noticed how i couldn't keep my eyes off a new mother and her baby sitting across from us. he asked me if i wanted kids. i told him i already had kids and at that moment the entire row of people in front of us was engaged. nothing was particularly captivating about me having kids but the topic of kids was indeed. one guy even started showing me pictures of his kids on his phone. the moment for me had arrived and yet there was not a single utterance of the name Jesus or even the less offensive word, God.

how do i even know that this was my moment? honestly i didn't until thinking back on it tonight. i get a small first hand glimpse of how God feels about me on a daily basis through my kids. God's love isn't tainted by sin like mine is, yet i get to experience it first hand every day as a mother. did i use this audience captivated by children to express my own experiences of God through my own kids. no. sadly i failed. i kept waiting for the thunderbolt from God to inform me on what to say. what i learned from this experience is that sometimes i'm going to get that thunderbolt from God and other times all God wants me to do is tell the people around me what He has written on my heart. i relate everyday trivial things about God to my kids. i tell how God is moving in my life with my husband and friends. this is the very thing God wants me to do with gasp! people i may not even know. but what if i offend someone who doesn't know me and doesn't know my heart? why should i let that stop me from telling anybody about this wonderful Jesus who has raised my life up from the brink of death? why?

am i the kind of woman who can confidently say i'd die for Jesus? no, but i'm praying that God will continue to grow me to be the woman who is so passionate about Christ that her lips can not be contained from telling everyone about the man who set her free, no matter what the cost might be. you can't raise a child who loves Jesus enough to be a martyr if you are not willing to become that kind of person yourself.