Saturday, December 18, 2010


In Acts 27 Paul shares the most amazing account of ONE of the times he was shipwrecked. Paul was a prisoner on a ship - and there was this terrible storm:

"when neither the sun stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved. After the men had gone a long time without food..." (you really should read it, the details are fascinating!)

Paul stood up before them and said:
"Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said, 'Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.' So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island."

So I'm thinking, that's great that they are spared and all, but why the storm, why did Paul (why do I) have to go through the shipwreck?!! There are so many aspects of this account that fascinate me! For example, Paul was praying for all the people on the ship to be spared, even his captors. Also, it's apparent that enduring captivity, and a long, ferocious, storm wasn't a coincidence or mistake.

Incidentally, this is the kind of thing I think Peter is referring to when he says in 1 Peter 3:14: "But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened. But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord..." In my Bible, I have written next to this passage: PRESS ON!

As a person who hates pain and cold waves, I think to myself things like: How 'bout if we avoid waves altogether? Waves are scary - they are salty, wet giants and usually freezing cold! But it's through the storms we cry out to God. Its in the midst of darkness we seek Him and cling to Him. In waves we see God's glory and power and feel His hugs of reassurance.

I still don't want to be shipwrecked, ever! But when I'm tossed in the waves of the storms of my life, I know I need to set my heart on Christ and PRESS ON!

Friday, December 10, 2010

He sets the lonely in families

Interesting thing about the God I serve. He understands lonely. He gets it. He is purposeful about "being part of the solution" as we like to say. Some would accuse God of causing loneliness, but I firmly believe that every lonely moment is a result of a "relationship problem." Ours, not His.

He created us with this hugely needy heart, that beats best when fully loved. I've noticed that our hearts aren't so choosy, they can beat with even just a little bit of love. The God of the bible is Creator. He created us to need relationship with Him and with each other. We all need connection - even us introverts! The following words were written "for the director of music. Of David. A psalm. A song."

"Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds;
rejoice before him—his name is the LORD.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families,
he leads out the prisoners with singing;
but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land."

I can't speak for God, but at the very least I can say God doesn't tolerate loneliness. Loneliness can feel like wallowing in a place of looking ahead and seeing no chance for change or relief. The ultimate loneliness is being separated from hope. God showed us His intolerance for loneliness by providing a way out of it! Yes, I'm talking about that 'John 14:6 Way' - God's solution, God's cure, God's gift.

Friday, November 26, 2010

When people ask me, "What is God saying to you?" or, "What do you learn in your quiet-time?" I feel redundant, but I have the same answer for the past several years now: To keep my eyes on Him. He is my anchor, my compass, my true north.

I was reading yesterday's My Utmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers, and it pointed me to Psalm 123:
I lift up my eyes to You, to You whose throne is in heaven. As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till He shows us His mercy. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us, for we haven endured much ridicule from the proud, much contempt from the arrogant.

Monday, November 22, 2010

1Peter4:7&8: The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

'Without grumbling' eh? My Pastor, George Powell, shared in a sermon, "Hospitality is making others feel at home...when you wish they were!" So true!

We have so many great examples of hospitable people (who never act like they really wish their guests were 'really at home!')

Ron & Jill Shaddy are always having groups of people over (even when their house was much smaller!) - from a few little kids to huge YWAM groups! They are great at refreshing others.

Pastor Greg Strannigan & beautiful wife Shawn host so many out of town friends of their kids as well as travelling mission & music groups that I overheard one of their friends joke, "Yeah, the Strannigans forgot to spray for rock bands again!" (And we all knew that meant their house would be full of awesome young people for awhile!)

Friday, November 19, 2010

All for One!

Things in this life can be so hard. For me, the most difficult things has to do with "people stuff." At one point this summer I thought, "Church would be so great if it was only about God, and there weren't people involved!" Of course I didn't mean that literally, it was just an expression of frustration over recent events.

So then how do we press on, follow after Christ, live for Him in the midst of all the junk?

Simple (not easy, just simple): Keep our eyes on Him! We are for Him. We are His people, and He is our God! We keep our eyes on the Prize. He is our finish line, and our plumb-line along the way. We must take our eyes off ourselves, definitely off others, and put them back where our focus belongs - HIM only!

All for One! HE is the One!


Saturday, July 31, 2010

the experiment

This morning T.Michael was playing outside - suddenly he ran into the house, sped off to the bathroom, slammed the door & I could hear the sink water running at full blast.

"What are you doing, T.Michael?" I asked in my concerned-Mommy voice.

"Oh nothing, just experimenting!" he answered enthusiastically.

"Be brave," I tell myself as I pressed him for more information.

"Well, you know those orange and red flowers out there (pointing to the front yard, where the top flower of the tiger lillies had just opened up) I was just experimenting to see if you crush those flowers, can you make paint out of it."

It's OK, I tell myself, there are lots of buds waiting to bloom on the stem, so what if the first beautiful flowers got pulled off. It's not like that time when he was in T-ball and knocked all the bulbs off the iris stems.

We had a little chuckle together about the 'ole iris story when suddenly he got quiet and asked, " mean those balls on the stem were more flowers about to bloom?"

Big sigh...

Monday, July 26, 2010

What is God saying?

Every once in awhile people ask me, "What is God saying?"

His Word is right there to look at, everyone can know what He is saying. But I know what they are talking about - they are checking in with me about my personal quiet times, about my personal walk with Him & what He is teaching me right now.

Years ago one of my friends asked me that question, and I could see a hint of disappointment as I shared what 'God is saying to me.' I think it might have been a little too simple for her, too basic. But I answer the same today as I did back then. God is saying to me:

Keep your eyes on Me

Today I read this verse and it confirmed His Word to me once again:

...My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only He will release my feet from the snare. Psalm 25:15

Friday, July 23, 2010

Come on, let's go!

So I have 8 seatbelts in my van, including mine. Who are the 7 others I can go pick up? We have to make this fast to beat the crowd!

Right away my life-long best friend Kelley comes to mind - we met in pre-school. I was 3yrs, she was 4. Kelley has CP among some other conditions that make it hard to get in the van, so she gets the front seat...

Then, of course, I run to pick up Dave's sister LeeAnn, also a front-seater (for the same reasons)...

Let's go on out to Newberg & grab Blake for the day -- he's probably busy leading students on campus, but he's gonna love being part of this...

We need to zip out to Sherwood to pick up Amy, 'cuz my goodness, she's had enough of getting slammed by ailment after ailment!...

We'd better throw in a carseat, so I can pick up little baby Lydia who was recently diagnosed with cancer. I can't forget to bring her new little cap her Aunt knit for her since her soft, new baby hair is about to fall out due to chemo...

Let's squeeze in a Hurley girl (or two) 'cuz I'm gonna need help watching baby Lydia!...

And last but not least, in THIS round anyway (I've already decided I have to go back for more until the gas runs out!) I have to get Gramma Connnie Bubbles! She will love being part of this trip & and we all know she will keep us entertained on the way there!...


You see, I was reading this morning in Matthew 4 about how as soon as Jesus hit the town of Galilee, He was teaching, preaching the good news, and healing "every disease and sickness among the people." As you can imagine, news about Him spread like wildfire and "people brought to Him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed, and He healed them."

I would be all over that! As I pictured who I would load up in my mini-van and take to see Him, immediately this list grew longer than imaginable! Maybe I can't take you to 'see Him' in this same way as I read here, but together we can go get others & take them to see Him now! Come on, let's go!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

set your heart

On Thursday a.m. I was reading in Malachi 2:

And now this admonition is for you, O priests. If you do not listen, and if you do not set your heart to honor my name, says the Lord Almighty, I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not set your heart to honor me.

Some people might focus on the curse, the punishment, but what really stood out to me was the term 'set your heart!'

Immediately I was struck by the question, "On what have I set my heart today?" On work? On a list of tasks? On Facebook? On what's going on at church? On the latest at school? On a problem? On a TV show?

We are all capable of this idea, we do it all the time without thinking about it. Last night I set my alarm and the coffee to go off at 6am. We already set the DVR to record America's Got Talent...about six months ago I set a dentist appointment for 9am this morning -- now that's intentional!

I was reminded that in this walk with Jesus, there are things I must do to keep Him at the center of my life, and one of them is to be intentional about setting my heart to honor Him.

Some might think it presumptuous of me to consider myself a priest. Well, I'm more looking at this whole 'setting your heart' concept of this verse as something that applies to all who call themselves Christ-followers. 1 Peter 2:9 says,

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

That's you and me, baby!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day
Whew! What a day of pressure for some. Being the Mom, I'm off the hook for once! And it's no wonder there's pressure -- how can a person really thank their Mother? As soon you try, it's as if this giant awareness descends on you and you start to realize that thanking and honoring Mom "in the way she deserves" is too big a job for words alone. So, you venture out to get a card and "say it with Hallmark." But even that doesn't seem enough, so you buy Mom a gift or make her breakfast, and suddenly you're hit with this guilt that maybe you should have been doing this sort of thing all along!

It's not easy for us Mom's either! I had a great Instructor at Chemeketa Community College, Linda Craven, who explained to future teachers why they should have patience/compassion for parents: "As a parent you can expect to spend the first three years of your child's life 'in the fog' and then you spend the rest of your life fighting guilt -- you feel tried and convicted!"

So you see how it is, you feel a little guilt over one day. We feel guilt about everything -- clearly us Moms carry the greater burden! All is not lost though, because of the love. Sappy, I know, but love covers all! We can all just chill, and be grateful, and enjoy the day knowing that love is what it's really all about.

Happy Mother's Day

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Someone once said life is like a box of chocolates...I think his name was Forest...but my life reminds me of a lizard -- any guesses why? If you have the right answer you win a prize!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

falling behind

I'm not doing so well at keeping up with technology...which is a shame really because I'm married to the Pastor of Technology! I try, and I try, but I feel like it's an uphill battle! Just when I think I've checked all my phone messages and emails, I realize I've missed an important FaceBook dinner invite (which would have totally been fun!) If I somehow keep up with all that, I realize I haven't blogged for a few weeks. Then, if by some miracle, I actually keep up on all the phone msgs, emails, FaceBook msgs, and blog entries -- I realize I forgot to make the kids dinner!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

How He Loves Us by Kim Walker & Jesus Culture

This is how I first heard this song -- this version of the song greatly affects me! (If you haven't yet, click on the Title:-)

Monday, February 01, 2010

May God bless and help Haiti

Dave is in Haiti with Delta Ministries right now,connecting with Doctors, Pastors, and other community leaders to stratagize the best way to support the people. Please check out their trip blog:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


The Great Wall of China.

I'm told you can even see it from the moon.
(By the way, how cool would that be to actually know that first-hand?!?)

I got to go there once, it was very...impressive.

But as massive and immovable as the Great Wall may seem, there is only one unchangeable thing I know of. That is the one true God.
My God.

Lately I'm drawn to verses about this part of His character.
He is unchanging. Unchangeable.
I find this characteristic fascinating.
Especially in this day and age, this society of ever-changing
"improvements and advances."

What the world finds offensive and threatening about my God,
I find comforting. He is my refuge, my solace, and my strength.

In James 1:17 it says that "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

In another version of the Bible called The Message
(uses casual, modern language) it is worded this way:

There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Phineas & Ferb

The other day T. was explaining to me how he is like Phineas and Ferb put together:

Phineas is a talker, like me;
Ferb is good at constructing stuff, like me;
Ferb is a noticer, like me!