Friday, September 16, 2011

[my gifts] in pictures

Amos and Hadassah with one of KitKat's kittens.

My journal, Bible and a lovely cup of coffee (in a mug given to me by one of my bests, Litey)

KitKat's kitten. They make me laugh every day.

My dance-floor ceiling.

Bouquets of oats (from my husband) and my prayer list that I pray over as I wash dishes.

The beautiful sunset that I went running across the field to capture.

Dominic helping me pick a basket of apples.

Four little munchkins that spent this morning at my house.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

[Hidden Things]

Reveal the Hidden Things

I’ve been thinking for weeks now about manna. Yes, the stuff the Israelites ate in the desert for forty years.

It started with a sentence.

Manna today, or I starve. –Ann Voscamp

And for some reason, God began pulling me with those words. What did it mean?

Ann Voscamp explains it as “eating the mystery”, taking whatever it is that God hands you and being thankful for it.

After all, what was it that the Israelites were punished for? Not being grateful. Complaining. Grasping, grabbing for something more- something better. “We want meat!” They whined. So God gave them meat. But while the meat was still between their teeth, before it could be consumed the anger of the Lord burned… and they were struck with a severe plague. Num. 11:33

I began watching for what the Bible says about Manna. Why will we starve without it? What is so important about it that to grasp and grab for something different causes the Lord’s anger to burn? Is it just the character flaw of ungratefulness?

As I watched, the truth began unfolding…

He humbled you… causing you to hunger, then feeding you with Manna--- to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. Exodus 8:3

You did not withhold manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst. Nehemiah 9:20

Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” John 6:32

And the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” John 6:41

And the hidden things began to be revealed.

Why will we starve without it? Because it is Jesus, himself. He is our manna. He is our mystery. We have to eat and drink of him. Our bread is every word that comes from his mouth and our drink is his blood that was poured out… and without his Word our spirits starve and without his Blood we die in our sins.

What is so important about it that to grasp and grab for something different causes the Lord’s anger to burn? Because to grasp and grab for something different- something more- is to turn our backs on God himself. Oh, Lord, forgive me for the times I have reached for something other than you!

It is not just the character flaw of ungratefulness, although that is part, but it is also the lack of trust in God himself. That he knows and he gives and he takes and HE IS GOD.

"Not me. Never me. Never the idols I build in my life. ONLY HIM."

So, I must hold all that I love with open hands. I must place all my dreams at his feet. Knowing that my understanding is so small. So insignificant. I must “eat the mystery” with thankfulness. I must take the Manna today, or I will starve.

Reveal the hidden things I was made to know. Take these mysteries and make them simple. Reveal the hidden things you have for my life. Show me your kingdom, what you’re like. I want to hear the music of heaven. I want to see all your inventions. I want to ask and know the solutions. I want to know. I want to sing the music of heaven. I want to make all your inventions. When I’m asked, I’ll say the solution is to know you.Laura Woodley Osman “Hidden Things”

Tuesday, September 6, 2011



Sunlight streams through my window. Beautiful life-giving light. [In that day] they will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun for the Lord God will give them light. Rev.22:5

My journal is changing as I’m learning and growing. My Bible is once again staying open on my living room couch so that I can drink of the living water through out my day. I feel like I cannot drink enough. And I love this feeling of thirst. Like God is close and I can touch him and feel him and know him and drink to overflowing. My shoes slip off my feet as my toes touch holy ground. My hands raise to feel the love of the Father rushing and flowing…

Deep calls to deep

In the roar of your waterfalls

All your waves and breakers

Have swept over me… Ps. 42:7

Last weeks Sunday School lesson on Proverbs 3 has been rolling through my mind. The verse I knew so well. One of the hundreds memorized. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.

One day it stuck out. Acknowledge Him. Is that not what I have been doing as I fill my journal with lists of blessings? Looking at my life, the good, the bad, the painful, the scary, the beautiful, the glorious… and acknowledging Christ in each part?

23. baby calves that look like deer fawns

28. canned peaches filling shelves

33. fresh apples picked and eaten in fields

39. little boy smiles from the seat of a tractor

51. tiny barn boots lined up by the front door

59. my husband’s name on my caller ID

62. nights of no sleep/ for they remind me

of my weaknesses and my need for His strength

67. beautiful brides

69. twinkle lights in evening shadows

70. rainbows at weddings

82. soft rain that soaks the earth

83. community.

God in and around and through. I sing for joy at the work of your hands. Ps. 92:4

My mind fills with the stories from Sunday. The baby with three holes in her heart. The little girl with a blood disease. The husband with a possibility of prostrate cancer. The mother mourning her buried son. The wife facing another season of chemotherapy.

And then me. With all my own fears and hurts and sorrows. The fact that it was one year ago that I was pregnant. And in a month it will be one year since I miscarried.

Acknowledge Him. Even in pain. That God is the one who created the little girl with holes in her heart. God is the one who understands the complicated diagnoses of blood disease. It is God who has power over cancer and the outcome is His will. God who took that little boy home before he had really even lived. And it is God who knew that I would never carry that baby for more than a month. And He is okay with it. In fact, He has plans and purposes in it.

And my job is not to understand it (lean not on your own understanding) but to acknowledge Him in it.

To recognize that He is God. Not me. Never me. Never the idols that I create in life. Only Him. The one who says:

I have loved you with an everlasting love… Jer. 31:3

For I am the Lord…who takes hold of your right hand

And says to you, Do not fear, I will help you…Is. 41:13

For I will pour water on the thirsty… Is. 44:3

I long to redeem them…Hosea 7:13

Behold, I am making all things new…Rev. 21:5

Acknowledge that this world is just a moment. A breath. A blink. And pain may last for the night. But the living truth is that joy comes in the morning.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

[Dry as Rain] book review

Dry as Rain

Gina Holmes

Dry as Rain is the story of a marriage that has split in the face of the ultimate betrayal and is suddenly given a second chance to revive.

Eric still loves his wife, even though he has hurt her in the worst of ways. Kyra is done with trying. But then an accident takes away the memory of his betrayal and she is looking at him with love once again. Can he manage to win her heart back? Will he be able to keep it once the truth comes out?

I love the title. Just saying.

This book is decently written. An interesting story line.

I wish that God had a more directly position in the story. But I’m like that.

I got a bit frustrated with the couple and how they interacted. But the truth is that I get frustrated with most couples who mention their marriage problems to me. J So, I take that to mean that this book shows a fairly accurate picture of marriage.

The ending is rewarding. Not forced. Lovely.

I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.

[The Canary List] book review

The Canary List

By Sigmund Brower

Jamie Piper is a twelve-year-old foster child who is running from something dark. Crockett Grey is a teacher with his own painful past to deal with. But when Jamie comes to him for help, she sets into motion a set of events that could potentially ruin them both. The only hope for them is for Crockett to unravel the mystery of Jamie’s past…before it is too late.

What I didn’t realize when I started this book was that it should be in the category of Speculative Fiction.

Here’s the truth: It’s a well written book. Excellent, actually.

Here’s the other truth: It is dark. Dark. Dark.

This book looks directly at the Catholic church and some of the gory details inside one of the richest most powerful organizations on earth. And it focuses on the presence of Satanism inside the church.

Since the novel took some of its facts from actual historical documents there is a level of fascination. However, the reader is left with feelings of darkness that overpower everything else.

I don’t mind things that address the presence of demons. But I do mind when a “Christian” book looks directly at them but does not show just as clearly the other side of spiritual beings. Satan has power, yes. But there was a cross at Calvary and blood poured out that keeps his power in check. And this novel doesn’t show that. In fact, it leaves one feeling quite helpless in the face of demonic leadership.

There is a quote by C.S. Lewis at the beginning of the book that I wish the author would have taken a bit more seriously.

“There are equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils.

One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe and to feel an

excessive and unhealthy interest in them…”

This book was sent to me by Multnomah in exchange for my honest review.