Monday, April 28, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Romans 8:26-28 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
But, sometimes it helps my soul to pray along with someone else and the Bible says God is there with us as we pray together. Among other things, we prayed for peace, and God met me right there, immediately, with a peace that passes understanding by a long shot! Not only peace, but a filling of the Spirit that prompted a day of endless worship and praise. Quite a difference from the way the day started. Keep in mind the circumstances had not changed.
I also came away with the reminder that God is handling this process. He will get all the glory for the outcome and even more so as we face humanly impossible odds. The timing is his as well. It is definitely not unfolding on the schedule we had originally, or even secondarily, set. In the face of discouragement and wondering "had we miss read God's calling", I was reminded how threatened our enemy must be. We have prayed from day one that God would close the door to Bear Paw if he had other plans. We didn't want to waste time and effort in pursuing the camp if those efforts should be placed somewhere else. Doors have not closed for us. These challenges we are facing are obstacles, and yes they are tough, but the door to this new ministry remains open, so we continue to pursue. Satan will continue to throw obstacles, fears, doubts, and distractions into our path but greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world.
All of us face these times of uncertainty and, quite frankly, those of you who might think you've got things fairly well planned out... you don't. We never really know what tomorrow holds. We do know that God is the same God that created the universe, who knows each of us intimately, loved us enough to die for us, and strengthens us through trials. How do we persevere? Our hope is in God!
Isaiah 40:28-31 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Lord, who do I say you are? Do I believe that? What do my actions, my reactions, my emotions, say about what I believe.
You have opened a door that no man can close. Lord, lead us! I give you my life, my family, my future. They are yours already. Do with them as you please, for your glory. Use our lives. I desire to move beyond a world that revolves around me. I want to tell people about you, God. There are too many lines that have become mushy and gray. I want to stand for the concrete, sink your teeth into it, 100% truth of God. You have a plan for us, a design, for our benefit and blessing and because you love us, not to harm us or hinder.
For those I know and love, that haven't accepted your free gift of grace and salvation. I lift them up to you Lord. May they taste of how good you are and never look back. For the students that I see walk by the house, people I don't know and the next generation. Lord, may I somehow be used as a blessing, as a light, that they would know absolute truth and accept nothing less.
Lord for our nation, one founded on the truth of your word, under God. May we return to our faith in you. Forgive us as a nation for our blatant disregard of you. Hold back the punishment we deserve. Raise up godly leaders within the cities, states, and throughout the nation, that we might be lead by people who are lead by you.
For the people I know who are hurting physically, emotionally, and spiritually, struggling financially or in their marriages, God be close to them. May I be an encouragement, provide the words that will be salve to their hearts or prompt the changes that you desire. May I know when to be bold and when to be quiet.
Thank you for the plan you have for Andrew and I, and our family. May Satan be bound in his efforts to confuse or scare us. I will keep my eyes on you, the author and perfecter of my faith.
This song is my prayer: Take My Life by Passion (you can play it on the playlist, it's the first one).
Take my life and let it be consecrated Lord to thee.
Take my moments and my days let them flow in ceaseless praise
Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of thy love
Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for thee
Take my voice and let me sing always only for my king
Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from thee
Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold
Take my intellect and use every power as you choose
Here am I, all of me, take my life, it's all for thee
Take my will and make it thine it shall be no longer mine
Take my heart it is thine own, it shall be thy royal throne
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at your feet it's treasure store
Take myself and I will be ever only all for thee
Take myself and I will be ever only all for thee
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Genesis 2:18 The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
Suitable, an adjective, meaning such as to suit; appropriate; fitting; becoming. If this is such a fitting relationship, why does it sometimes seem like we are talking to people from a completely different galaxy? I'm sure men feel the same way. We just don't get each other sometimes. Andrew and I have read a couple of books that really hit the nail on the head as far as our communication and quite frankly the way our brains work and specifically our needs.
Men are Like Waffles and Women are Like Spaghetti was one we enjoyed. Love and Respect was a life changing series that our Bible study group went through a few years ago. Andrew and I both would highly recommend it. We actually watched the video series and did some worksheets which made it pretty easy. We liked it so much we'd like to start a Love and Respect couples retreat at the camp as soon as possible. It has explained some of the frustration we've felt in our communication and helped us identify when the crazy cycle is starting so we can both turn that ship around before it sails on through to a full blown fight. Anyway, check it out or if you're already familiar with it, post your own review.
The following video is from neither of the above referenced sources. It was something my mom forwarded to me. I don't even know if he is a Christian but his thoughts on the male and female brain are in the same vein as the Waffles and Spaghetti book I mentioned.
Enjoy! It's only about a 5 minute clip.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Here she is perched precariously in that tree, happy as a clam because she did it all by herself. Well, 9 months have passed since last summer's climbing adventures. Now, with just a glimpse of good weather, the kids are back in the apple tree and Sierra is left to figure out how she will join in the adventure. This year is different though, she's bigger and stronger. She's been practicing all winter long in gymnastics and on the railing of our stairs. She's also smarter and has learned the value of a good tool. Hence the decision she made to take her potty chair stool out to the apple tree. Apparently this gave her just the leg up she needed to reach the first hand hold and with some encouragement from her siblings, she made it up in the tree all by herself! For her though, this wasn't enough. She also needed to bring up her babies as well as her babies' "stuff". You know the baby stuff: blanket, bottle, rattle, etc. etc. Josiah had hung the swing that we use on the play structure from the tree and this made the perfect bed for her babies while she climbed. Yes, by the way, I did say we have a play structure with a ladder for climbing, a fort, and swings... it gets very little use. My suggestion, rather than buy a play structure, plant an apple tree.
Here's Sierra in the tree with Mia encouraging her from above. Note the babies in the swing hanging on for dear life. Here's all three kids in the tree, and, yes, the girls are barefoot. I guess it gives them a better grip on the tree.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
On to the Cabela's story! On our way home from the wedding we compromised on some stops to make. I'd get to peruse the outlet mall if Andrew could have some time at Cabela's. I've seen their catalogs and was thinking Cabela's was similar to Sportsman's Warehouse and it is, kind of. But comparing them is like saying that Little League is the same as the Major League's. Both baseball, yes, but very different. You might be surprised to hear me say that this discovery was not a bad thing even in light of our compromise. As we entered the front doors it became immediately evident that this was no ordinary trip to the sporting goods store where I try to entertain the kids by looking at some of the dead animals and trying on hats. There were whole environments of dead animals and even a mini aquarium with sportsman type fish stocked in them: trout on one side and catfish and bass on the other. I've never heard comments like these at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, "Oh look at that... pan size!" "Yum!" You could even buy fish food for a quarter and feed some of the massive trout. We passed. I hate the smell of those pellets. Sierra threw in some bark dust but apparently they know that trick.
There was even an African exhibit with a lion, elephant, rhinoceros, and zebra. Some of the other animals we saw were a huge sea lion, a polar bear, black bear, grizzly bear (I think), coyotes, foxes, deer, elk (is there a difference???), moose, musk ox, antelop-y things, turkey, even some brightly colored smaller birds. There were more but you'll have to just check it out yourself.
They had a restaurant in the facility, kind of like IKEA, only this one served wild game burgers and other manly meals. Hmmm, glad we'd already eaten! They also had a home decor section that had log cabin type furniture, wall hangings, door pulls, light switches, frames, everything to make your home seem woodsy. I heard one lady call out to her husband, "Wouldn't it be great make the RV look more log cabin like!" I assume, given the population, that it was their hunting RV she was referring to. Do you decorate those? I guess if you do, then a natural look would be the best.
Cabela's even had lovely restrooms with automatic everything and soap in the dispenser. Someone listened to their wife when designing this place. We all enjoyed ourselves with the only downside being the camera batteries died so I couldn't document this unexpected adventure. Apparently there is a Cabela's only an hour from Bear Paw so I'm sure we'll plan some more trips and, get this, there's no yearly membership fee.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Here he is feeding his daughter Mackenzie, only a couple of months old, on the trail! Though I'm sure he would prefer a more flattering, posed picture for his birthday blog posting, I thought this one really captured who he is: rugged and tender. Happy birthday David!
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Also in 2005, Grandma with Mia, teaching her Scrabble! Mia's wearing Daddy's hat.
A real blast from the past, Christmas 2002!! Grandma with the the grandkids that were born before that time. Josiah is in the red shirt. Mia was "in the oven".
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Finally, the Davis Family shared their blessings of a joyful daughter and wonderful family so, since we can't agree more, to you goes the Shawn McDonald tickets for May 1st. Let us know if you need a babysitter.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
This is Krista Fields, a missionary from Salem, a mother of 3, serving the Lord in Mongolia. Here she is with her adopted Mongolian daughter Eden!
I also leaped to a local outreach for homeless women and actually got to wash and massage their feet. I wonder if I had the privilege of being the first person to treat them in this way. Do they know that Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and told us to serve each other in the same way? Do they know that Jesus died for them? I went into this experience with the idea that I would bless these women; I ended up thoroughly blessed myself.
Pursuing the purchase of Bear Paw Camp has been an obvious leap. There is so much unknown and some risk involved, but even the process has again provided the experience of fully trusting God which has created so much joy and peace. I am in great anticipation of the results of this leap, not because I'm such a great leaper, but because I realize I'm holding the Father's hand and he'll guide to the best place to land at just the right time. Praise the Lord!
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Have you ever wondered "Why me?" when something's gone wrong? I think we all have, but do we think to ask, "Why me?" when we're experiencing great blessing? One "why me" is the door to despair, a complaint, and a proclamation that life is not fair and I didn't get what I deserve. The other type of "why me" is the door to gratitude, a praise, and also a proclamation that life is not fair and I didn't get what I deserve, I got something better! But aren't both doors always present in any given circumstance? There are always things to praise God for (my heart is beating, the sun is out, the car started, my shoes fit, I have a coat) and there are always things I can choose to complain about, usually in comparison to someone else who "has it so much better." The temptation of those "why me's" come so easily that I won't even give you any examples. Well, this morning I had a choice to make about my response to my circumstances. You see, when I picked up the treasured tickets I won from the radio program, the first thing I did was read the dates so I could get them on the calendar. The first one was Anita Renfroe, April 12th. What? That's the day of the out-of-state wedding we're attending. The second one, Shawn McDonald, April 19th. What, what? That's the weekend I'm attending Women of Faith in Spokane. The last one, Newsboys, May 1st. Will we even be living here? I finally win something great and I can't even use one ticket. Why me? Now I'll just have to give them away or maybe I can sell them on Craig's List for a couple of bucks and go buy a latte. But wait a minute... (hear the click of one door closing and the opening of the other) seriously, why me? Why have I, of all people, been given the wonderful opportunity to bless other people with some great concert tickets? What joy!! How blessed I am to have this privilege and all it cost me was a 20 second monologue about Lifesavers! Thank you Lord for the joy I will experience in giving these away and for someone else's joy that I will get to be apart of.
So you may have noticed the title of this blog mentioned a contest. I thought it would be fun to hear from you some of your "Why me?" comments. (Please remember to choose your door carefully, I'm looking for the one of praise). The best "Why me?" commenter will be given the tickets of their choice. I will decide on the winner on Monday, April 7th so there isn't much time. Pass this link along to your friends, perhaps you'll even have the chance to connect them with a blessing. If you live too far away to attend one of the concerts, still give us your best "Why me?" if for no other reason than it will bless me to read about your blessings!
To post a "Why me?" simply click the COMMENT button then make sure you choose to post with your name so I can announce the winner. Better yet, if you are a blogger, post with your blog name so other people can check your site out.