Monday, January 31, 2011

Fighting for eucharisteo

This morning while sipping on coffee I read about eucharisteo. A chapter ends and I lay aside the book and go on with my day. As I go about my chores my thoughts keep going back to those stories... the ones about death, of mothers burying their children, of pain I can't even begin to imagine.

I slid into my car and begin the journey to the friend who will soon be leaving. I try to throw away thoughts on the eucharisteo, I'm not in a thankful mood.... but then I drive by a cemetery. I see the hole freshly dug, and chairs set up for love ones to sit on. And He asks what about my life is so bad? I can no longer resist. I must accept the eucharisteo. I must fight for that joy.

But to be honest... I don't want to. To fight for joy means to no longer dwell in what I don't have, in the dreams have yet to come true.

A song comes on and I sing of how He loves me so. I sing and then I stop. I think about the words that I just sang.... "and all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory"

Is it possible that Ann's words are really true? That suffering really has "the realest possibility to bear down and deliver grace?"

And the words hit me so hard that here I am in a parking lot typing away at a screen, taking a moment to count before meeting that dear friend.


A long drive to contemplate words just read

The beauty of a cloudy day

Signs on the road, there to give us direction

Trees still bare

The strange warmth in the air... telling of a storm that is brewing

A book ready to be given away

A parking lot on the side of the highway... perfect spot for writing on eucharisteo

Thursday, January 27, 2011


A much needed evening of fellowship is spent curled in a big chair with a close friend. The conversation starts with mere ramblings about the week, then slowly it becomes one that nourishes the soul. Lessons from the Great Teacher are shared and encouragement is given.

A text comes in from one whom we had just talked about, and fears are confirmed that all is not well. We talk, discuss... and search for ways to encourage, to uplift, to comfort a friend in need. We know the very best thing we can do is to pray.

A few days go by.... the one hurting is still on the mind... still in the prayers. Texts go back and forth from the close friend about the hurting one... because we are family and the blood that ties us together runs deeper then that which flows in the veins.

An alert flashes on the screen the same moment a text tells me to check my messages.... so I do. The hurting one has tried to put the pain into words.... and as she pours out her heart the tears flow down.I can hear the hurt in every word. I read on and my eyes see the reason for the pain, and my heart can take no more. The tears flow down. My heart hurts for her, for the choice that has been made, and for the pain that is yet to come. My heart hurts because I, selfishly, have dreaded this moment. I knew our time of living close was soon to end but now that it is certain my heart no longer stands firm.

The tears roll, and the heart breaks. I know somewhat of the journey that is ahead for her. I have experienced the loneliness that comes living so far away from the ones you love. I know how dark those nights can be and I start to pray for strength, for hope, for peace. I also know what it is like to be the one left behind and I dread the day I will have to say my goodbye. I dread the lonely days ahead, the days without the dear friend who still pursues me.

I turn on the music and the first song to play is the one that reminds me that He is the Healer, the one that walks us through the fire. And the one that follows reminds me that the God I serve is all always for me, never against me. He never forsakes those He loves, and when I am weak He remains strong.

So I wipe away the tears, finish reading her words and finally pick up a book that just arrived. A book that reminds me that before I dive in I need to count. At first it seems so impossible but as the first one is written I feel the healing begin.


For a grade school friendship that is stronger then ever

For the time we have had together so far

For future memories that will be made

For a Father who is approachable

For friends that lift up hurting ones to the only One who brings Healing

For modern technology which makes the distance seem not so wide

For the growth that this next season of life will bring

For the knowledge that with the hurt comes healing

For tears

And for a Father who counts everyone

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Book Club!!!

I am so excited to be joining with (in)courage for their new online book club! The first book is Ann Voskamp's book: One Thousand gifts.

I just received my copy of her book plus one for a friend. And yesterday I received an e-mail from (in)courage announcing that I had won their recent giveaway.... insert sequels of joy.... I've never won a giveaway before and this one happens to have a signed copy of Ann's book:-) So now I have 2 to giveaway!!!!

If only I could express to you just how happy I am right now!!!! So happy that as I type this at work I really just want to run outside and shout for joy!!!

It's feeling a little like Christmas around here, or maybe birthdayish (after all less then 2 weeks from the actual birthday). My mom's b-day was last week so I ordered her 5 Karen Kingsbury books... which means after she reads them I get too :-) so blessed to have a mom who has great taste. Then there is Ann's book that just arrived. And I finally used my huge gift card that roomie gave me for Christmas, it was to a tack shop and I spent weeks agonizing over what to get.... rough life eh?? And then I win this giveaway and it includes a lovely canvas print, a mug (how did they know I'm addicted to coffee) Ann's book, plus some bookmarks. Oh what a joyous life I have!!!! Plus roomie and I are loading up the horses and going to Hot Springs for a mini vacation/clinic with a friend/trainer:-) Oh how wonderful this week is turning out to be!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It's Saturday evening

The air is cold, and darkness has settled upon the farm. The horses are groomed and tacked, stomping the ground eagerly anticipating their turn to be worked. The weather here has not been conducive for riding for quite some time and I am oh so thankful for the chance to get back in the saddle.

First up is my young wild one. Consistency is the key to taming the young horse, and consistency is the one thing we have not had as of late. I grit my teeth and force myself to ignore his nastiness and focus on quietness. The goal: get him to focus on me, ask a few things, and then get off. Keep it simple, stay focused, and do not get frustrated. Remember that he doesn't understand and be patient.

Next up is the old one, the beloved friend. She is so excited to be the recipient of my attention. I slip in the saddle and just soak in the familiarity of her gait. No goals in mind but to enjoy the time in the saddle.

The last ride of the night is on the resident schoolmaster, the one who teaches me. The goal for the evening is to work on my seat, to remind my body the things it had learned last month when riding was consistent. Fact: it is impossible for one to focus on one's position when horse is in rebellious frame of mind. And so the evening ended on a sore note, a heavily anticipated night turned into complete frustration.

It's Sunday morning, horses are feed, dog let out, and finally I slip into the car. The drive towards that place where it's all about Him. Yet my mind is still on last night. On that frustrating ride with that rebellious horse. I mutter aloud to the One who hears all.... "What went wrong?" O how sweet it is to commune with Him.

Looking back, had I known where He was going I might never have asked.... good thing only He knows where all conversations lead.

I think back through the ride and realize why the ride frustrated me so,the horse was rebellious. He should of been light and soft, accepting the bit with no resistance, thus making his body submissive to my direction. he wasn't. He even went beyond ignoring the instruction. He argued and yanked on my hands, loudly disagreeing with what I asked of him. He even took to racing around at a high rate of speed in order to evade any instruction. And all because he knows what will happen when he listens, he knows that being light and soft will give me all the control. And last night he wanted to remain in control. you realize, my dear one, that you have been acting just like that horse?

You have resisted being soft because you know that it will give Me all the control. Your not like your young one, you know what is expected and you know how be soft. Your like the old schoolmaster who knows how to act, who knows what is expected of him. And last night his attitude was the same as yours has been towards me.

My eyes glisten with tears because I know He is right. I know how to walk close to Him, I know how to be soft. Lately I have resisted. I have yanked on the the hands of the One who knows what is best for me. I have strained to go in the opposite direction and desperately fought to take control. I have not wanted to be submissive to Him.

I bow my head and beg for His forgiveness... after all..... I know better.


Today I am thankful for a God who never gets frustrated with me

For a God who never loses His patience

For His forgiveness that is deeper then the ocean

For grace.... unending grace

For a friend who shares that she too is struggling with a fear

For a book, on its way, that is eagerly anticipated

For a new community of sisters in the form of a book club

That His mercies are new EVERY morning

For His willingness to meet me where I am

For illustrations that reach to the deepest level

For horses and their Creator who uses them to teach me

For that old schoolmaster who has taught me a much needed lesson

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ever struggle with struggling?

Silly thought isn't it?
Or is it? 

I mean really, who likes to struggle? And if when you are struggling, who likes to admit it? I don't.
In fact I'm one of those who quietly tucks it away After all, if I don't admit it is there then I don't have to deal with it. Denial, that is what it is called. And it hurts no one, that is no one but me.

I hear His voice gently whispering, feel the soft tapping on my shoulder... He won't go away, even though I silently wish He would.

I know what He wants from me, I know where it will take me, and I don't want to go there.

I want to stay in my comfortable spot. In this place of no introspective. A place where there is no pain.

And the worst thing about this is that the one word I never thought I'd struggle with is the one word that is the root of all my struggles. And even now as my hands are typing I dare not let it out. Because this word holds my heart in captivity. It is firmly rooted, seeping down to the depth of my soul.

And with trembling hands I force the letters to form that word. I type it out, then press the back button. The battle within is strong, and as of late I am weary. From past experience weariness is not a bad place to be. After all it is when we reach the end, the point where we can no longer hold up our own head that we finally let go. And we must let go, so that we can let God.

So once again I begin to type the word, and this time I will succeed.... fear.

It is fear that grips my soul. Fear that has me turning my face away from Him. Fear, and maybe a little shame. Because no one would expect such a thing from me. I, who always has control, always willing to follow His lead, always flexible, always...... but afraid???

And I am led back to that book, the one that reminds me that
"It's not about what you've done. It's about what you're going to do now."

Friday, January 14, 2011

'Course He isn't safe

I absolutely love the picture that Mr.& Mrs. Beaver paint of Aslan.

This quote comes from Chapter 8 of The Lion, the Witch, and Wardrobe.

"Who is Aslan?" asked Susan.

"Aslan?" said Mr. Beaver. "Why, don't you know? He's the King. He's the Lord of the whole wood, but not often here, you understand. Never in my time or my father's time. But the word has reached us that He has come back. He is in Narnia at this moment. He'll settle the White Queen all right. It is He, not you, that will save Mr. Tumnus."

"She won't turn Him to stone too?" said Edmund.

"Lord love you, Son of Adam, what a simple thing to say!" answered Mr. Beaver with a great laugh. "Turn Him into stone? If she can stand on her two feet and look Him in the face it'll be the most she can do and more than I expect of her. No, no. He'll put all to rights as it says an old rhyme in these parts:
 Wrong will be right, when Alsan comes in sight,
At the sound of His roar, sorrows will be no more,
When He bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when He shakes His mane, we shall have spring again.
"You'll understand when you see Him."

"But shall we see Him?" asked Susan.

"Why, Daughter of Eve, that's what I brought you here for. I'm to lead you to where you shall meet Him, said Mr. Beaver.

"Is - is He a man?" asked Lucy.

"Aslan a man!" said Mr. Beaver sternly. "Certainly not. I tell you He is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the-sea. Don't you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion - the Lion, the great Lion."

"Ooh!" said Susan, "I'd thought He was a man. Is He - quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion."

"That you will, dearie, and no mistake," said Mrs. Beaver; "if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're wither braver than most or else just silly."

"Then He isn't safe?" said Lucy.

"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver; "don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? 'Course He isn't safe. But He is good. He is the King, I tell you."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Narnia quote #2

This is my favorite moment in Prince Caspian, I was so disappointed that this moment was not captured in the movie. It is such a moving scene and one I can relate to all too well I'm afraid. 

The Lion looked straight into her eyes. 

"Oh, Aslan," said Lucy. "You don't mean it was? How could I - I couldn't have left the others and come up to You alone, how could I? Don't look at me like that...oh well, I suppose I could. Yes, and it wouldn't have been alone, I know, not if I was with You. But what would have been the good?"

Alsan said nothing

"You mean," said Lucy rather faintly, "that it would have turned out all right-somehow? But how? Please, Alsan! Am I not to know?"

"To know what would have happened, child?" said Aslan. "No. Nobody is ever told that."

"Oh dear," said Lucy.

"But anyone can find out what will happen," said Aslan. "If you go back to the others now, and wake them up; tell them what you have seen Me again; and that you must all get up at once and follow Me - what will happen? There is only one way to find out."

"Do You mean that is what You want me to do?" gasped Lucy.

"Yes, little one," said Aslan.

"Will the others see You too?" asked Lucy.

"Certainly not at first," said Aslan. "Later on, it depends."

"But they won't believe me!" said Lucy.

"It doesn't matter," said Aslan.

It doesn't matter..... so many times have I had that very statement whispered to my soul. In a way the statement stings, just a little, and yet in another way it is so reassuring. 

I also like the part where Aslan says that no one is ever told what would of happen yet anyone can find out what will happen.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Appetites pt 2

A few days ago I wrote appetites part 1. I really liked this sermon and interestingly enough my pastor asked the question "What did you feed your soul this week?" and in my own notes I wrote that down and added, "which appetites did you feed?" I love when what God teaches me during the week lines up with what my pastor teaches on. Proves my "I don't believe in coincidences" statement : ) 

So here I go with part 2 of the appetites topic. If your a recent follower then you are unaware of my love for the story and character of Jacob. You see I am a combination of a Peter and a Jacob; I constantly talk before thinking and my name, like Jacob's should be changed to Israel, which means "he who struggles with God." So when Andy Stanley said to turn to Genesis 25 I got excited. I did not, however, expect for the emphasis to be placed on Esau.
Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!” Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright." “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?” But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.
Genesis 25:29-34
 Here is a little background information about this story. First, Jacob and Esau are twins however Esau is the firstborn. Back in biblical days being the firstborn was definitely an advantage.The firstborn is who received the birthright, which was basically like an inheritances but the firstborn got way more then any of the other siblings. Esau's dad, Issac, was rich, really, really rich. Not only was he rich but God had made a covenant with Esau's granddad, Abraham, that one day the Messiah would come through his family. Esau was set to inherit a lot of wealth plus a covenant from God Himself.

Take a look at the passage, Esau was hungry and wanted some of the stew Jacob had cooked. Jacob was happy to oblige as long as Esau traded him his birthright for a bowl of stew. Doesn't that sound absolutely insane??? What person in their right mind would do that?????

Stanley says you would... I would, after all people do it ALL the time.

Remember point #3 from the last post... the one that says your appetite always whispers NOW, never later. This is what is happening here. Esau is hungry, nothing else but feeding himself is on his mind. He does not stop to think, he just does whatever it takes to settle his appetite. Stanley does an interesting thing at this point and we will see if I can do it justly.

If only at this point in the story could a person appear from the future and have a conversation with Esau, you know like one of those movies such as my fav, The Empires New Grove, when the devil and angel appear on Kronk's shoulders to "help" him make a decision. Esau could of used one of those at this point.

Because if Esau could of looked into the future he would see that Numbers 23:10 could read,  "Who can count the dust of Esau, (not Jacob). And the book of Psalms would be filled with verses that say the God of Esau instead of the God of Jacob. And that one day, hundreds of years later a book called Matthew would list Esau in the genealogy of the Messiah, not Jacob. And that Messiah would, out of His own mouth, call Himself the God of Esau, not the God of Jacob.

But that didn't happen, in fact Obediah 1:18, says this about the brothers,
"Jacob will be a fire and Joseph a flame; 
Esau will be stubble, 
and they will set him on fire and destroy him. 
There will be no survivors from Esau.
The LORD has spoken"
Because of that one moment, that one choice. Esau lost everything.

Psychology uses the term focalism to describe a situation/appetite when our mind is able to focus only on one thing and everything else is blurred out. Another psychology term that Stanley used is impact bias, which takes a simple appetite and magnifies it out of proportion. Basically it tells your brain that whatever the appetite is it will be satisfied, and exaggerates the experience. And all that to say this:
Your focus changes when your appetite is inflamed.
The reason Esau lost, or rather gave away his birthright was because he could not harness an appetite.
Your appetite only knows one word- more.
So do you know what your appetites are? What are the ways you feed them? Do you rule them, or do they rule you?

I, myself do not know the answer to those questions.... but you bet that I am searching to find out. I want to recognize those appetites so that nothing stands in my way of being all that I can be for Christ. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Driving and listening to a favorite band and a line is sung that I can't let out of my mouth without first making sure it is true.
"I love everything about You."
And ask myself if I can truly say this. Yes, I love Him, but do I love everything about Him?

And then this was tucked in my reader this morning and I heard Him ask me whose dreams am I following... His, or mine?

And then that song.... and I hear Him whisper... "Do you love that I have dreams for you? Do you love that those dreams are different then yours?"

I realize that I often ask for Him to fulfill my dreams, and rarely do I ask what His dreams are for me. I fail to realize that not seeking out His dreams hurts only me. It limits what I can do for Him.

I think back on one of the Passion messages, the one that hit the closest to home. It came from the lovely Beth Moore, a woman who seeks after His heart, her messages are full of His love, His voice.

She says that the enemy tries to convince us that we are more free without God, that the dreams... the plans... He has for us will somehow limit us.

It comes down to this... either I am following His dreams, or the enemies. Because my dreams come from my flesh... and my flesh is desperately wicked seeking only its own desires. I think about yesterday's post about appetites and I think on the story I have yet to post about. Am I ruling my appetites or do they rule me? Am I thinking about the eternal or the immediate?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Appetites pt 1

Well I am changing things up a bit for a few weeks... your going to see the seminary student in me break through!! I listened to 3.5 of the Passion sermons. I didn't finish Piper's sermon or Louie's last one. I plan on purchasing the sermons so hopefully I'll get to finish them soon.

I am not starting in any particular order... each speaker spoke on a different topic although all relate to each other perfectly. I am starting with Andy Stanley's message. It was fantastic and has left my head spinning. So much truth to what he says. I think that my previous post from the Chronicles of Narnia was perfectly placed before this as a preface to these next few posts.

Stanley chose to talk on appetites. The one quote that stood out to me was, "Control your appetites, or they will control you."

He introduced this topic as something that is talked about very little, if at all. But, that our appetite has the ability to control our direct and the quality of our life... every part of our life.

This caught my attention and I immediately tuned in. I had never heard a message on appetite and wonder where this would lead. I was not at all prepared for the journey he would take me on.

The main thing to realize about your appetites... and we all have many, is that you can never get rid of them. They will, until the glorious day we meet our Maker, forever play a part in our life, in our decisions.

Their are lots of appetites... the obvious two, he stated, are food and sex. But there is the appetite for power, for wealth, for recognition, for stuff..... and so on.

Stanley stated 3 things that we need to know about our appetites.

The first is that appetites were created by God and are essentially good. It is sin that broke them, that distorted them.

The second is that an appetite will never be fully and finally satisfied. Never!! So many times I think... if only I could just have/get/be ______ then I would be happy. And how often do I buy/receive/go only to find out either that wasn't what I wanted or something else comes along that looks better.

And the third thing, the one I thought most thought-provoking, was that your appetite always whispers NOW, never LATER.
It is your response to your appetite that determines whether or not you fulfill God's potential for you.
My next post will be about the great story Stanley used to illustrate the above point.

So what are your appetites? Do you rule them, or do they rule you?

Thursday, January 6, 2011


In my reader this morning I visited Sweet Water Blue Sky and her post for today was a quote from C.S. Lewis' book The Silver Chair. I have not read this book yet, nor have I read The Last Battle, the only two I have yet to read. I loved it so much I thought I should share it here and over the next week I will share a few of my other favorite quotes from the books I have read.

“Are you not thirsty?” said the Lion.

“I'm dying of thirst,” said Jill.

“Then drink,” said the Lion.

“May I - could I - would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill.

The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl. And as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience. The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic.

“Will you promise not to - do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill.

“I make no promise,” said the Lion.

Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.

“Do you eat girls?” she said.

“I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion. It didn't say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it.

"I daren't come and drink," said Jill.

"Then you will die of thirst," said the Lion.

"Oh dear!" said Jill, coming another step nearer. "I suppose I must go and look for another stream then."

"There is no other stream," said the Lion.

Isn't that an amazing picture?? Let us never forget that there is only One who can truly satisfy our thirst.

Oh and by the way one of the Passion sermons I listened to focused on this subject, can't wait to sit and write about it!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A new year, a strange beginning

The year begins in a strange way... at home.

For the past few years I have been here, worshiping our Savior with thousandslistening and learning from those who seek after Him, praying with brothers and sisters I had never met, and changing the world.

I will never forget my second time at Passion. It was the beginning of a year that would forever change my life.... a year of hardships, a year of new birth (my nephew), and a year when I finally started to grasp what it means to truly seek after Him... to truly pursue loving Him.

I remember that week like it was yesterday... the fun memories made on the road trip with friends, the speaker who introduced me to a crazy love, those late nights crying and struggling with how to handle a family situation, and His voice reassuring.... strengthening my faith.

Yesterday the alarm failed and so did my internal clock so church was missed. Instead of worshiping with my family I turned on the computer and watched a replay of Saturday's evening session. I sat there on my bed, hands raised, singing to Our God, the One who stands for me and fights for me. I listened to Louie speak to a crowd well over 20,000 strong encouraging them to live for Him. I sat and listened, sad to not be there alongside my brothers and sisters yet thankful for the technology to still here the messages.

I am looking forward to sharing with you some of the great things that I have heard so far and the ones that are still yet to come. To hear the words for yourself go here... but hurry the sessions are only there for a day or two.

Passion is something I hold dear to my heart. The ministry of 268 generation that puts on the conferences each year is doing great things to further His kingdom.... their name... their motto, comes from Isaiah 26:8, look familiar?? It should... it's where this humble space I call home gets it's name from.