Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The One-Computer Blues

Fact: Homework takes precedence over blogging.
Fact: Both kids have homework that must be done on a computer.
Result: There has been precious little blogging going on around here.

I've gone from not worrying about it, to making myself a promise to blog, to realizing that there are seasons for everything and this is just not gonna be my season to be on the computer...for however long it lasts.

I might sneak in a post now and again, and I do have some things I want to blog about, but, well, when I don't sit down at the computer until 10:30 PM, there's not much chance of me writing a coherent post about much of anything.

So, my bloggy friends whom I love with all the gratitude in my heart for sticking with me on this cyber journey, don't despair that I have forgotten you. I haven't...and I'll drop by here when I can.

Meantime, we're still fighting the schoolwork warfare; things have improved greatly but there is still one area of concern.

And we will celebrate when an English essay actually gets turned in on time instead of two days late...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

If My People....

posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi. I was gonna just make this a note on Facebook, but I decided to post it here instead...since I messed up and changed pages before I published it and lost it over there.

How often do we quote that verse without really taking in the context of it? Look at 2 Chron. 7 13:
When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people.... In other words, when the nation is in the midst of judgment, there is a promise:

If my people, who are called by my name...that means He's talking to US...the CHRISTians...

will humble themselves...not 'humble those who are in error' or 'humble those who are against them' or 'humble those who refuse to know Me' or even 'bring correction to those whose doctrine isn't exactly perfect'...

and pray and seek my face... why is it we want to do what Jesus would do (WWJD?) without doing what Jesus did...he spent HOURS, even ENTIRE NIGHTS in prayer, seeking God's face, so he could say what the Father said and do what the Father was doing in every situation. THAT's what Jesus did. And I think my measly little few minutes of prayer here and there is gonna cover me. Ouch....

and turn from their wicked ways... Read that again. THEIR wicked ways. Not turn sinners away from sin, but abandon the wicked ways in our own lives. Things like pride, jealousy, gossiping, lying, rebellion, selfishness...oh, my...

then I will hear from heaven... it's not lack of humility and repentance amongst our government officials or in Hollywood, it's lack of humility and repentance amongst God's people that keeps our prayers from reaching heaven.

and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

It's up to us.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Maybe Road Trip

It's funny how God works things out.

I began trying again to implement Flylady during the Jubilee year; didn't really make it to baby steps but I did get up on my hands and knees rocking. Maybe I'll crawl before long...

Anyway, I just found out that the Flylady crew will be doing a couple of days of exhortation and encouragement in Western Kentucky this Friday and Saturday.

It's three hours away and it's free. I think I've got a couple of friends talked into going with me.

I'll have to leave the house at something like 4:15 AM...but, you know, I bet it's worth it...

Plans are being made.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

SHE: The Battleground Reflections (6)

I've been trying for 2-3 days to get enough time to write about Saturday night's session; Dawn gave us an amazing word on a seldom discussed story from 2 Samuel 20...Sheba's Rebellion.

As she pointed out, we often hear teachings on Absalom's rebellion, but the near-civil war that resulted from the rebellion of Sheba, son of Bicri, is not often a teaching subject.

Which is interesting because even David said, 'Sheba son of Bicri will do us more harm than Absalom did.' (v. 6)

Dawn analyzed the meanings of the names 'Sheba' and 'Bicri' and, putting it with the situation, identified the 'voice of Sheba, son of Bicri' as the voice of 'infinite accusation'. Absalom was subversive; Sheba was openly rebellious, denying the inheritance of David.

But, Joab (who was not a very nice fellow at all by this point either) chased Sheba to the town of Abel, then laid siege to the town so that he could not escape.

Dawn pointed out that it was 'a wise woman' (v. 16) who defended her city to Joab and discovered that the problem wasn't Abel, it was the rebellion that the city harbored...the voice of accusation that had taken refuge there.

This wise woman declared that the head of the accuser would be thrown over the wall, and it was.

We were challenged to look for the voice of Sheba in our own thoughts...that voice that declares God has no inheritance for us, that we should retire to our tents to tend our business ourselves. That voice that continues to discourage us from following the King.

Then, once that source is located, throw his head over the wall.

Graphic, isn't it?

But you know, when I was praying my way through it at the end of the service, I had a mental picture of battling someone who looked very much like the character 'Wormtongue' in The Lord of the Rings movies...the discourager. And I took my sword and yelled as I pressed the attack and lopped off his head.

The first part of our battle (yes, the conference was about doing battle!) is recognizing who the real enemy is...the siege came to Abel in order to deliver Abel, but the inhabitants of that city had to recognize that the enemy wasn't the army of the King, it was the discourager within their own walls.

And I declare that, in my own spirit, Sheba, son of Bicri is dead.

And if I did not have any other revelation during the conference, that would have been enough.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I need to buy stock in toothpicks...

...since I'm using so many to prop my eyelids so I can blog this week! It's been late every night before I can get access to the computer; sorely testing my resolve to blog daily!

But I will bow to higher priorities...namely, homework. So, it's been late. And kinda disjointed. (yawns)

I'm not sure which is worse...posting a rambling arrangement of words that doesn't really say anything or not blogging at all.

Anyway, I *do* have one more post to make about the last session of the SHE conference, as soon as I can get enough time at the computer to make it coherent! Maybe tomorrow...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fight the Weariness

The Actor posted the following on his Facebook:
Do not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. - Gal. 6:9

I'm encouraged that he posted that...we are struggling mightily to not become weary in doing good (that would be writing essays for AP classes). We turned a corner on attitude, but it's still a mind-grinding load of work. He gets weary of doing it; I get weary of trying to be the understanding supportive mom and not slip back into the role of being angry when he doesn't do it the way I think he should.

He's got to find his own voice. Even if he turns in the essay late, if he writes a really good one it will pull his average up. Not as much as if it had been turned in on time, but up is up.

The key for him is to not give up until the good essay is written...the key for me is to not give up praying for him and encouraging him to do his best work.

But these late night efforts are making me tired enough that my ears are ringing.

Thank you, Lord, that as he makes the shifts in his mental gears to grasp the form of essay writing they will get easier for him.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

SHE: The Battleground Reflections (5)

I have a son who must get on the computer momentarily to finish homework (essay writing!), so my evening reflections will be brief.

At the end of Saturday morning's general session, in which Susan Dyer spoke of having an encounter with God, all the leadership ladies were called to the front to pray for folks.

But, knowing what was going on in my heart, that I had very recently identified two very large issues that were ongoing battles, I didn't feel competent to pray for anyone. And, the moment the release was given to ask for prayer, I scooted down the line a bit and asked Mama Lela to pray for me.

Oh...if only I could accurately describe Mama Lela. This lady ministers to people in the highest and lowest place in our city and she treats them all exactly the same. She absolutely loves people without condition and without reservation. I probably squalled on her shoulder for a good 10 minutes. And it was ok. She prayed over me, she exhorted me, she encouraged me, and most of all she just gave me a good Mama Lela hug.

And if I hadn't had anyone else ask me if I was ok for the whole weekend, that would have been enough. ;)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

SHE: The Battleground Reflections(4)

One of the major paradigm shifts that hit me over the weekend has to do with The Actor. I'm not going to go into details; let me just say that we have had an ongoing battle w/responsibility as it pertains to schoolwork since grade 4. On Labor Day, I checked the online grade posts and, well, the explosion you heard that day was my reaction to the abysmal numbers I saw there.

But it matters...if he has a grade below 70 on his report card, he gets booted from the magnet program.

So we did the Serious Talks (or, as he calls it, the Series of Lectures) again. PTA open house was last Tuesday; his drama teacher set him down and straight up got in his face with the serious ultimatums: either turn it around, or you'll be pulled from the one act.

After last week's youth group session, he came home and rather sheepishly said that his youth pastor had preached the very things he'd been hearing from all of us regarding his schoolwork for the previous two days. That was encouraging, but I still wasn't sure whether or not anything would change.

"What is wrong? What's the problem? What happened to him?" were questions I was both asking and being asked. The answer was...I don't know. The best explanation he had was that, while he expected this year to be difficult (he has three AP classes), it was much more difficult than he expected and he just wasn't ready for it and dropped the ball.

I was frustrated and angry with him. We have been over it and over it and over it but it wasn't changing.

Then...Saturday afternoon's breakout session. Susan Dyer spoke on Nehemiah and the disgrace of Jerusalem...and how Nehemiah approached the situation. She gave us a worksheet with some specific things to list. She told us to focus on one situation in our lives which needed to 'no longer be a disgrace' (Neh. 2:17) and answer a series of questions about it:

1. Define the problem: - a) What's at stake? b) What needs to be addressed c) What will happen if this need goes unaddressed?
2. Offer a solution: a) Present a clear, compelling solution; b) What goals must be set to accomplish this mission? c) Write a testimony as if the victory were already won.

As I wrote out answers to those questions, with the Actor's situation in mind, I suddenly remembered one of the principles of spiritual warfare: If there is no apparent natural cause, there's a good chance there is a supernatural cause.

This was a spiritual attack; the enemy is going after my son's destiny.

I realized that we'd been approaching it all wrong; he needs to be fighting a spiritual battle.

And every time he picks up his pen..or sits at the computer...with the intent to work diligently with excellence, he fights the battle. When he refuses to listen to the lying thoughts that tell him the work is too hard, he fights the battle. When he chooses to work instead of play, he fights the battle.

I told him all this between the afternoon and evening sessions; he received it well. I prayed over him the testimony I'd written as part of the exercise.

I literally felt something shift in the atmosphere of the house.

Is the war over? No...but at least we are fighting the right enemy now.

And if I had received no other instruction on the warfare in my own life, that would have been enough.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

SHE: The Battleground Reflections (3)

Well, we are computer sharing...two kids needed the computer this evening so I'm propping my eyelids open tonight since I couldn't get to the computer ahead of them.

So I'm not going for deep tonight, but the conference was applicable on so many levels, and I'll just share one of the simple things I carried away. One of the other deaconesses does dance as worship, and she opened the Thursday night session w/ a dance to a song I've never heard before (I'll google it one of these days)...'War Cry', by Michah Stampley.

As I watched it, I realized it would be a fabulous song for the Friends class to use in a human video... and we do 'Battle Stations', a unit on spiritual warfare, in next year's rotation.

So, yeah, there's a lot to glean when women get together to go after God. ;)

Monday, September 14, 2009

SHE: The Battleground Reflections (2)

This is from one of the Friday afternoon breakout sessions:

Dawn talked about a crushing counseling load she had at one time. It was beyond her to be able to deal with the number of folks that were requesting counseling sessions. After some talk w/others in her ministry, they decided to require a bit of time investment from potential counselees.

The requirement was to spend 10 hours seeking God on their own...the suggestion was during lunchtime...before coming in for counseling. Actually, if I remember right, she said she told the folks to spend the 10 hours with God and then call the office about counseling. Not 10 hours reading the Bible...10 hours in prayer, with journaling.

Dawn asked the ladies their to guess how many people out of the dozens on the list actually followed the instructions, then called.

I guessed five. The correct answer

The implication was that people are not willing to invest themselves in their own spiritual future. I don't know if it's possible that some folks *did* spend the time seeking God and then found they actually didn't need the counseling or not; she didn't go into that much detail. I'd like to give people the benefit of the doubt and assume that that was the case, but I really think it's probably just that no one persevered in seeking God.

We all want shortcuts. Someone with 'A Word' to us to take the responsibility of seeking our own direction off of us.

Folks, I got convicted. I see the powerful anointing on the ladies who spoke and our own pastors and I know that did not come cheap or easy or at the word of someone else. It came because they paid the price in time seeking God.

I'm not sure how or when, but I'm going to put a box on the sidebar...'seeking time', I'll call just keep me accountable to you all to do some seeking myself. It's time I quit moaning that I don't have a 'spiritual mentor' and just go for God myself.

And if I were not challenged to do anything else over the weekend, that would have been enough.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

SHE: The Battleground Reflections

This COULD go for pages and pages, you know...

Or maybe I'll just split it up into different posts and make this the Topic of the Week. Yeah, that's it.

Thursday night leaders meeting was a bit of a training session. Since we were to be working the altars during the conference ministering to women, we first ministered to each other. I'm not going to go into details, but I will say that what I heard from the lady who was my 'practice partner', and whom I knew by face and name only, was a tremendous encouragement to me. She spoke to me in terms that applied directly to a dream of mine, one that I was beginning to think was just something I'd wasted time on...indulging my whims rather than following God. There was no way she could've known anything about fact, she rather couched the words in phrases to make them less specific than they were, because they sounded odd to her. But they made sense to me.

Now, to be sure, I don't know anything more about timing or even ultimately if that dream will ever come to any kind of fruition. But I wouldn't have heard the words I heard if God didn't have a purpose for the writing of it.

My heart was encouraged. And if I'd heard nothing else all weekend that moved me, that would have been enough.

Friday, September 11, 2009

More Streaming

It's 11:11...and I'm still processing, so I'm not coherent enough to talk sensibly about what I'm getting from the conference yet.

But I did want to pass along that we were informed that the morning sessions will be on the web as well as the you can hear from Susan Dyer at 10 AM CDT tomorrow as well as Dawn Sweigart at 6:30 PM CDT tomorrow evening.

It's been good...and I've gotten some real encouragement! But I'm headed for a meeting with my pillow and I'm late! ;)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

SHE Revolution: Battleground This Weekend!

There's a meeting for the ladies in leadership tonight to start the conference. I'm really glad that's been scheduled, since often those in leadership are busy doing jobs that mean not fully participating in all the sessions.

The team that is coming this year is the same group of ladies that came to the first RFWC women's conference I attended back in 2001; they returned three more years but haven't been here as a team in 5 years. I know one of the ladies, Dawn Sweigart, has an amazing testimony of healing that has happened since we last heard from her; Teri Furr has gotten married and is now a mom and Rita Springer adopted a little boy...they've all had significant life changes. It's going to be really good to hear what God has given them.

But...the good news is that the Friday and Saturday evening services will be broadcast live on the church website (Click 'Live on the Web' under Central Campus or click on the SHE Rev promo when it comes up on the scroll) . We start at 6:30 Central time w/worship...if you're interested and have time, give a listen!

I'll *try* to blog my responses...if I'm awake enough when I get home. ;)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Puddles IN the car?

According to our online hourly forecast, today was supposed to vary from sunny to partly cloudy, with only a 10% chance of rain.

I left the windows on the momvan cracked about 1 1/2" , put the sunshade up and went into my windowless office. Without the umbrella, I might add.

10 minutes before time for me to leave, we had a bone fide severe thunderstorm, complete w/National Weather Service warning, dump a boatload of rain and a bit of hail on the center of the Rocket City...right where I was. Of course, I'd completely forgotten about the cracked windows.

When I finally was able to exit the building without drowning, I was shocked to find water in the car. The doors were dripping, the dashboard was dripping, the sunshade was dripping. There was a puddle in the cell phone tray in the cupholder; the umbrella lying on the floor had water standing in it also. I couldn't figure out what happened. Then I noticed the gap at the top of the windows. Oh, yeah...

My backside was rather damp by the time I got home, too.

Maybe I should find a new weather info source....

Monday, September 7, 2009

History Repeats...

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

During the fast last week, I spent some time reading the book of Jeremiah (actually, I'm reading through the Bible w/my Friends club class, and Jeremiah happens to be where I am at the moment). I read chapters 37 - 49, which covers the days before, during, and after the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians. I've read this before...taught it before (there's an interesting character study of Zedekiah in those chapters), but this time it struck me very differently and I found myself almost weeping over the folks of that time and the loss of their city and their sovereignty.

Jeremiah 37:2 jumped out at me and grieved me, and I think that stayed with me as I read the following chapters:

Neither [Zedekiah] nor his attendants nor the people of the land paid any attention to the words the LORD had spoken through Jeremiah the prophet.

From that point on, the book is a litany of the sad things the people experienced and losses they endured because they would not pay attention to the words God spoke through Jeremiah.

They all considered Jeremiah, at best, a crackpot and, at worst, a traitor. His words did not match what the political, religious and social leaders of the day believed. So they paid no attention.

At one point, Jeremiah even told them, 'You made a fatal mistake when you sent me to the LORD your God and said, "...tell us everything He says and we will do it."' He knew the people had already made up their minds as to what they would do, and, again, they paid no attention to what he said and followed their own course of action. They said, "You're lying! The LORD our God has not sent you to say [that]! But Baruch son of Neriah is inciting you against us to hand us over to the Babylonians, so they may kill us or carry us into exile to Babylon." (43:2b-3). So they went to Egypt anyway.

None of the folks that went to Egypt against Jeremiah's instruction returned. No child of theirs returned. Jeremiah told them the truth. Only no one was left to acknowledge it.

I see many people who are honest servants of God being considered, at best, crackpots and, at worst, hatemongers and traitors. If I'm honest, I wasn't just grieving for the fallen of ancient Judah...I was grieving for my own people, who cannot allow themselves to consider that maybe, just maybe, what those servants of God are proclaiming to them may be the truth.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Peace in the Storm

I finally got to try my hand at painting...something I've never really done before.
During our 'night of worship' services, we frequently have a group of folks doing artwork over to the side, as part of an expression of worship. Some of the paintings produced have been quite powerful...they're always amazing.

'Course, the folks who do that actually have some artistic talent. Me, not so much. But I thought it looked like it would be a fun thing to do. And, today we had a 'mother daughter pre-SHE paint party' after church...with worship music playing and paint and canvases available for moms and junior high girls to experiment with letting the Spirit flow with creativity and painting.

This started out to be a picture of flowers. But, when I was painting the background, I saw stormclouds in the brushstrokes...and flipped the painting 180 degrees and started working with that idea. Then I had a rock in the sea...waves crashing against it...and finally, a bird sitting on a nest on the rock.

Peaceful in the midst of the storm's fury.

'Course, not everyone saw least, not right off the bat.

I attempted a second painting, but, well, I was not competent enough to express what I was reaching for and that mess will probably go in the trash can.

It was interesting...and surprisingly difficult. Painting is not my gift.

But I'm glad I did it.