Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Catch and Release Part I

I regret that I did not fill you all in on what a wonderful time we had a week or so ago at the Couple's Simulcast. It was so good and the Lord gave me a few thoughts for the blog that I would like to share. We ARE limiting our usage of the Internet to a few hours a week so part II to this may be a little while coming....just sayin'.

The Lord has been dealing with me regarding forgiveness. I am so "up to my ears" with this word at this point in my daily walk with the Lord that it pains me to even type it, but it must needs be done. If not, I fear a Holy Ghost outburst welling up inside me, triggered the next time a preacher stands behind the pulpit and says, "We need to forgive..." At which point I envision myself jumping to my feet and with arms raised upward frantically yelling......

"ALRIGHT! I GET IT ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Yeah you guessed it. I am also on a diet.

That explains a lot.

a LOT.

Anywho, The Couple's Simulcast dealt a lot with forgiveness. And one of the thoughts represented and that resonated with me was the fact that we need to "release" the person (your mate, a coworker, nursery worker, ex.) who has hurt you in some way. This was a new way of looking at an old problem.

We all have been offended have we not? And we surely cannot go day in and day out without intentionally or unintentionally offending someone.

Jas 3:2 "For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body."

Oh that I had an industrial strength body-bridle...... Ok back to the subject at hand.....

The thought came to me regarding "releasing" someone.

In order to "release" them, we have to "catch" them first.


Think with me. If you live in my neck of the woods we are "catching" a whole lot of miserable around here. The dreaded RSV virus is rearing it's nasty head with many an infant sick. Some of us have colds and flu's we are sharing and getting over and sharing again. We all sigh just thinking of Spring.

(Pardon me as I stop and sigh)

In all of my medical research ( I jest) I have not found any cure for a virus. While Chicken soup may indeed be "good for the soul," sounds good and tastes good, you have heard the old adage:

"Without medicine a cold lasts a week and with medicine it lasts seven days."

A nasty ole' virus just plain needs to run it's course.

I liken bitterness to a nasty virus. And for me, spiritually speaking, it has been a long cold Winter.

Now lest you think you have to "wait out" bitterness and unresolved anger, I will add that you can take the Bible prescription for anger and grab a big bowl of Matthew 18 and set yourself aright again lickety-sizzle.

But most of us just forget where we left the recipe for that good broth, or tell ourselves we can "get over it" on our own, no Spiritual home cookin' necessary.

Such was the case for me.

I am a good person!
I am not in the wrong here!
I am an Assistant Pastor's Wife!
I just learned that Job came first!

So this virus spread to my I's and yet I still refused the Great Physician's diagnosis.

Just as we know that most viruses have to run their course, we also know that they are contagious. As a cough or sneeze infects those around us, so gossip and a harsh spirit affect those we deal with day in and day out. In fact, very harmful viruses require a quarantine from others because the virus is so threatening.

Perhaps some of us should have a time of "quarantine" where we spend time with the Lord pouring over I John 1:9, allowing Him to carry our burdens for us, instead of risking harm to someone else.

Stop looking at me like that. You know.....

If we took as good a care of our spiritual health as we do our physical how wonderful would life be for us?

Before there is a flower there is a seed. This seed is sown in some way, shape or form and when it is sown under the right conditions, and on fertile ground it takes root and from that root comes the fruit from that seed....or in other words what that seed has produced.

In a sense the fertile ground "catches" that seed. It holds on to it and buries it. For a while you wouldn't even know it was there, but under the ground it sits, waiting, and breaking open to sprout a good long root to keep it in that soil. Eventually you see a sprout and if you are like me, what you thought was Johnny Jump ups becomes an ugly weed that you have nourished and patiently waited hand and foot on for several weeks!

Heb 12:15 " Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;"

Such are we. Notice that it says MANY. A comment is made, a promise is broken, a slanderous remark comes our way via a "friend who cares" and a seed begins to fall on the soil of our hearts. We shrug the hurt off, try to "forgive and forget" but in our weak moments we press the seed deep into the soil where for a while it is buried. No one would look at us and even know it is there. Sometimes we ourselves even forget it's precarious placement. But alas! After a few watering's via us recalling the incident in our minds, refreshing the pain once and again, this seed takes root and soon we see the flower of bitterness. We let it alone for a while, I mean even some weeds ARE pretty we tell ourselves, but the roots on this plant crowd out any others and we are left gazing at other's bouquets when we house one.lone.weed. You know you need to get rid of it, and you grab it by the horns and give it one big yank. You brush the dirt off your hand and smile. There you go, you have gotten it! You know the drill, you know that you have to dig deep into those tender tissues of your heart and pinch off any life to that root of bitterness, that now has affected your whole outlook on life.

You have caught yourself a hurt. A deep one at that and you have to get to the "root" of the problem and get your life on the right track.

How can you release yourself from this spiritual virus?

I am glad you asked........

We will pick up there in a few days. In the meantime, get plenty of good food and fluids (Mt 5:6 "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled) and a healthy dose of Vitamin C. "See Matthew 18" that is.

Physician's Orders!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hoodlum Picture Post

This morning I could not resist taking way too many pictures of the three little ones.

Who doesn't love baby feet?

Or baby cheeks???

I could just squeeze her all day long....

And then some more.

Now the three of them together.....

Well now it just may be wrong to have this much excitement in one house.

Real Life ain't for wimps

Today is just about like any other day.

And if you are a Mom of tiny ones, half a dozen to be exact, than you must be careful.

If you do not ward it off, you could find yourself moping around taking this "average" day for granted.

The sun is shining, the kids are yelling (I mean talking...) and you pull your crusted eyelashes apart just in time to behold the largest mound of dishes that for some reason you chose to "block out" of our memory as you slipped into a bed the night before, that you thought for sure was calling your name.

Fighting erupts over syrup, the cat steals part of the littlest one's pancake and you wonder why on earth you have not been smart enough these 10+ years to catch some of these things on tape so you would have some sort of chance of winning America's funniest videos and thus be comforted by this scene knowing you can now have your MAID, you hired with your winnings of course, clean up the mess for you.

The dog growls at you as you enter the living room, apparently not recognizing the latest "Bride of Frankenstein" hairdo you have been sporting this morning. He wakes the baby and you roll your eyes, making you oddly enough look MORE like the Bride of Frankenstein....

The baby is fed, one is clothed...the only little one home who can clothe HIMSELF, because after all, before 10 0'clock, that's the only way you are gettin' clothes on. Do it yourself. You look at this little one and pat him on the back as he shows you his outfit he chose for himself. You veer past the obvious mis-match and pat him on the back thinking to yourself, "Hmmm in a year or so, you will be able to take out the garbage for me..."

You have been up almost 45 minutes yet there seems to have been some force field of some sort keeping you away from the ever present mound of dishes. Normally you wouldn't have minded in the slightest, but Dad made cream of wheat for the older ones before school and well, you know how that stuff literally turns to cement on the bowls and pan the minute you turn your back on it.


You grab a scouring pad and WITH a scour you begin the daily grind of meeting the needs of those around you. You wince at the plaque hanging above the sink because the SON is coming through the window and hitting it smack on Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Yeah in some spiritual fit you nailed that thing up there. You know the power that is at your disposal as a child of God, yet you scrub and wonder if by noon you will be half comatose, rocking yourself back and forth in the blue chair, mumbling the Psalms and holding out hope that your husband will sweep through the door with a brilliant smile, and of course, take-out foods.

If you have not had a day that somewhat mirrors this day then I am sorry but you just cannot relate. You should stop reading and go finish ironing your towels like you were doing....

We don't have a television, but we have Internet which is for Pete's sake just as horrible I think. While going to watch the Olympics recaps on line on NBC I stumbled across an advertisement for one of their drama sitcoms, and well to be honest one thing led to another and BAM, there I was watching this silly episode.

You know the like, Girl with blond hair (who apparently has NEVER carried 6 children) appears. She is a career woman and every male in the building notices her every move, has the compassion of Mother Theresa and everyone works and shares their whole hearts. Girl doesn't need anybody, has it all and a bag of chips, meets the FIRST "Mr. Right" in the episode series and the chemistry is toxic. The music and lighting are exquisite, making each time they exchange a smile remind you of hour long talks in the "serious room" and gifts on your desk "just because" he was thinking of you.

You snap yourself out of this mess, make yourself a smoothie, but the damage has already been done. Your mind is filled with immodesty, and a zillion what if's. What if I was skinnier, what if we were dating again, what if I was smarter, funnier, yada yada yada.

You chug your smoothie and head back to the dishes which now having soaked for a half hour are now in the "jack hammer" stage and the cream of wheat, with enough pressure, will partially chip off. The Holy Spirit comes to you, slowly deliberately reminding you what you have in your hands. It may look like cream of wheat mess, but in reality it is a husband who loves you, who is committed to you even when you act like YOU should BE committed. It is six hoodlums who need you. They need fed, clothed, or at least clothes selected for them, and need you to love God with all of your heart soul and mind because after all, they will be just like you in too few years than you would like.

You have life. That breathing in and out thing. The very thing your body was fighting for just 8 months ago. You have an eternal home in heaven where "moth and rust" do not corrupt, Hallelujah for that. You have a Father who can bless you and wants to use you when you deny that old man of yours and allow yourself to be filled with the Spirit of the living God. When you look at life through His vantage point and know that His will is far better than ANYTHING the world could even hope to can take His Word on it.

With so much entertainment out there, or IN HERE I should say, we can despise the very things that God means to bring us the most satisfaction and meaning to our lives. Goodbye Hollywood, Hello home sweet home. After all, this wonderful life thing is NOT all about YOU.

You grab your Bible, settle into the blue chair and begin in I Timothy 6. You allow the washing of water by the Word of God to cleanse your mind of the fairytale you have fallen privy to and let the verses fall like water on dry, parched ground.

vs 6- "But godliness with contentment is great gain."

vs. 8- "And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."


vs. 12- "FIGHT the good fight of faith..."

THIS is real life.

THIS is a fight for godliness.

and it ain't for wimps.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Sweet Surprise Party

Sweet Mary T and I threw a fun surprise party for Tammy last night and I wanted you all to see some of the fun we had! Thank you to all who were vital in us all enjoying way too much amazing food and sooo many great stories!

Ain't it fine when things are going
Topsy-turvy and askew
To discover someone showing
Good old-fashioned faith in you?

Ain't it good when life seems dreary
And your hopes about to end,
Just to feel the handclasp cherry
Of a fine old loyal friend?

Gosh! one fellow to another
Means a lot from day to day,
Seems we're living for each other
In a friendly sort of way.

When a smile or cheerful greetin'
Means so much to fellows sore,
Seems we ought to keep repeatin'
Smiles an' praises more an' more.
~ Edgar A. Guest

I must experience that cheesecake again before the Lord's return....and what is affectionately known as "Amy's Dip," is heavenly, simple as that. We learned a some very important lessons last night:

1. Chickens CAN survive not being fed and watered for TWO DAYS...
2. Two women with black shirts on CAN IN NO WAY, SHAPE OR FORM stand beside each other to take a friendly picture.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha........

What a wonderful time we had together. Old friends ARE the BEST FRIENDS.
Love to you all!

Upon Tam's Birthday

I have told you here and there about my friend Tam. Today she is a teency bit older than she was yesterday and to mark this occasion I thought it behooves me to brag on her a bit. Tam and I have been friends since 9th grade for me and 10th for her. It was love at first sight....well actually we both had thick glasses so I am not so sure how much of each other we actually SAW that first meeting! Anyway, Tam is a forever friend who has stepped in when the world stepped out. I was a bus/van kid nobody, and she helped make me a somebody, full of vision, love and wild imagination.

Grab a kleenex Tam, here are 34 reasons why I love you to pieces:

1. Yellow notepads.
2. Dune perfume.
3. For all your hand-me-downs that I soo needed in college.
4. For ALWAYS remembering my birthday even when I forgot yours.
5. "I Shall NOT Be Moved"
6. "The Sands of Time"
7. For helping me make maternity clothes.
8. Alphabet verses. (I think we should revive this, don't you??)
9. Tasty Taco Pie. (Man I love you soo much more than that pie with the stomach flu!)
10. The zillions of covers on your bed up in the loft.
11. For NEVER laughing at any of my hair-brained ideas. Ever. Even if you wanted to.
12. Waistbands. Frankly I still like 'em.
13. Brandywine Falls secrets.
14. For "bailing me out" of my own claw foot tub the night before my wedding.
15. For laughing at all of my jokes.
16. For roses and roses and more roses sent to me on YOUR birthday, the day we came home from Mongolia.
17. "The Good Ship Friendship."
18. For introducing me to Laura Ashley, thus all things pastel, flowery and dainty.
19. For hugs that say, "I will still be here 10 years from now."
20. For hiding in Patty's car with me from "the mob."
21. Iced tea with way too much lemon for my taste.
22. Talking with me until we both fell asleep the night before my wedding.
23. Watching everyone else live "Happily ever after," and never begrudging them while you patiently waited for your own Prince Charming.
24. "Hellen, Hellen, Hellen." (I am humming and tapping my foot right now too...)
25. The hushed way you talk when you are serious...REALLY serious about something, only to end up cracking up over the seriousness of it!!
26. Your "River rock" movin' faith.
27. The way you get tickled when I really "give it to someone" and then watch me fix my messes.
28. 30's music.
29. Your cleaning outfit.
30. Your handwriting and writing style that I adore.
31. For sending me Fall leaves in Mongolia, and glue to hold my water pipes together.
32. Your falling out french braid.
33. For finally forgiving me for the dime I still owe you from high school.
34. For loving me almost as much as I love you.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TAMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your Chum,