Friday, February 25, 2011

Faithful Friday Faves: Proverbs

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi.

Proverbs is a difficult book to just sit down and read; being a collection of short wise sayings, it is not at all linear. The wisdom that's there, covering so many topics, really needs to be taken in in small doses. Someone long ago noted that there are 31 chapters...pretty much corresponding to a month...and suggested reading the chapter for each day on a cycle. Not a bad idea.

I had decided earlier in the week what passage I would post for Proverbs; it's one of my favorites, but when I sat down to actually write today's post I felt like I should at least skim through and see if there was something else I needed to look at.

As I said, it's not easy to read straight through Proverbs. I hesitated, thinking I could just go with my favorite passage and move on. But I couldn't.

Sure enough, a passage caught my eye and stirred up some questions in my spirit and after I'd finished my scan, I came back to it.

Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you;
rebuke a wise man and he will love you.
Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still;
teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.
- Prov.9:8 - 9, NIV

Suddenly, I wondered: how do I accept rebuke, correction and/or instruction?

It chafes, my friend, it chafes. But as I read that, I realized it was a test of character...accepting the correction is synonymous with wisdom. Refusing it, being offended by it...that's equated with folly.

I don't think the chafing is the problem; of course it's going to chafe. Friction is what sands off the rough edges of a gem; correction sands off the rough selfish edges of character. If I focus on the chafing, I'll miss the point of the correction. I need to let the chafing do its work.

And I saw something else...a wise man still could take instruction. There's no 'arrival' at a place where all one does is teach others. There is always room for learning, always room for 'wiser still'

The hardest thing for someone who teaches to do is sit down and be taught. To be quiet while another teaches. But...for a wise person, to submit to another teacher is even more wisdom.

So...who am I, really? A wise person or a fool? It shows in how I take correction.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

So...more rest...

I really thought I'd be better by now. I mean, I really thought I WAS better. No real symptoms for three or four days; I thought I was ok to go to work for a little bit (so the little bit was 6's not a terribly strenuous job...).

But I woke up this morning to a fresh new sore throat/earache combo and as the day progressed I got more and more puny feeling.

Guess it wasn't gone.

So, I'm finding subs and making alternate plans yet again.

Mono 1, Lisa 0.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Faithful Friday Faves: Psalms

This is where this little idea gets almost laughable...pick one verse from Psalms as a favorite?

I skimmed through, not even sure what criteria I should use. I was nearly despairing of making a decision, when suddenly...I saw it. And knew it was to be today's pick.

The Very First Verse I memorized.

I was four...maybe five...years old, attending Vacation Bible School for the first time. It wasn't in the church I spent my coming-of-age years, but in the little white country Christian church that had been in the community for years upon years. I remember a sort of carpool going on, and, after the first day, Nancy L (who was 3 years older than me) got into the car with a note pinned to her shirt. I didn't understand why *I* didn't get a note from my teacher and specifically asked for one the next day.

So, the next day I went home with a note pinned to my shirt. It was a memory verse for me to say at the program Friday night. I had to learn it and then say it for the parents as I laid a screwdriver down on the front table.

I'm sure there was some context to the whole thing, but all I remember is getting stage fright and forgetting the first word of the verse when I walked up to say it.

It's still with King James...

Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it. Except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. - Ps 127:1

Of course, I had no idea what it meant then. I just remember being mortified that I had to be reminded of the first few words after I'd specifically asked to do it.

Now, I understand -- it's pointless to put trust in human efforts or human strength.

When I am very old, I may forget a lot of things...but I bet I will still be able to quote that verse.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Overdue, Part two...The Butterfly Picture

Have you ever gotten fed up with yourself? Just ready to get over all the stuff and get on with whatever you're called to do?

I've been there for awhile, and during the fast I heard myself praying a prayer that basically gave God, I'd say even asked take me apart and put me back together again however it suits His purpose. It sounds so trite now, but I caught my breath when I heard it come from my heart, could change everything.

Virtually everything.

The next day, I reviewed that resolve and decided that I just had to stick with it.

And suddenly I saw a mental image of a butterfly going through the metamorphosis from caterpillar to winged creature.

Somewhere I read that during that time, the caterpillar pretty much totally disintegrates inside the chrysalis and then reforms. It's pretty nigh miraculous, if you ask me; so wondrous and yet so commonplace.

I remember my kids doing the painted lady butterfly projects at school in about 2nd grade; they'd be all exited about their caterpillars growing and then 'forming the J shape' as they began the process.

And the thing about butterflies is that, unlike moths, butterfly caterpillars don't spin cocoons; they pupate inside the caterpillar skin.

When I asked God how long this would take, what I got as an answer was, 'It depends on how much you fight the process.'

And then I found myself at rest.

But I'm still doing stuff. If I *felt* sick, it'd be different, but I just have a sorta sore throat and achy fatigue. So I have still been trying to keep the work piles at a manageable size...both work work and regular laundry and such. I can't decide if it's a blessing or not that I can access the church data base online and work from home.

And, being home so much, the sewing room is singing its usual siren song.

I told a friend of mine today that I was frustrated that I didn't seem to be getting better. It's probably because I'm only half resting.

Fighting the process, I suppose.

So I need to put the two things together...'don't fight the process' and 'strengthen that which remains'.

Two very interesting phrases to guide me this year.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


The post I've been trying to type for weeks now...

I went into the fast not really sure what I needed to carry out of it, other than I knew I needed some guidance/direction for the year ahead. What should I focus upon? How should I prioritize?

And I got a Bible verse and a mental picture, which were kind of contradictory. So I'm still pondering them.

The Bible verse came from a repeated 'stumble', over about a week's time. It's Revelation 3:2; not the whole verse, just a phrase that, once I read it, echoed in my heart over and over until I encountered it again a few days later, when it reverberated all over again.

Strengthen that which remains

Now, this was written to the church at Sardis, which received a pretty strong rebuke. But when I read the passage, it wasn't the rebuke that jumped out at me, it was just the little instruction to strengthen that which remains.

And I was encouraged. That's not a dramatic, drastic, revamp-your-life kind of instruction. That's baby steps. I've been beating myself up because I've been so earthly busy I've been no heavenly good, and I feel like I've let a lot of precious moments slip through my fingers. But there is no condemnation, just an exhortation to start where I am, with what I have, and move forward.

I'll save the butterfly picture for tomorrow...or maybe the next day... ;)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Faithful Friday Faves: Job

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Such a lot of wisdom in the book of Job! But as I skimmed through, the verses that grabbed my attention today were in Elihu's monologue, Job 32:18-19:

For I am full of words, and the spirit within me compels me; inside I am like bottled-up wine, like new wineskins ready to burst.

Suddenly, I was reminded of why I began the Beer Lahai Roi blog almost 3 years ago:

Because I had things that were bottled up inside that I felt compelled to share, but I had no outlet to share them.

Since that time, I've taken on teaching two different classes at church ... middle school girls on Wednesdays and high school girls on Sundays, so I have an outlet of sorts for the bottled up words, and I've taken on a part time (pause for hysterical laughter) job, so my time for pondering and studying has been strictly curtailed.

The fizz has settled down on the bottle. If I just let it sit, I CAN just let it sit.

But, oh, my friends, it requires such a little shaking to get it all bubbly and pressurized again!

Maybe I need to be a little more intentional about shaking the bottle.

Postscript: I just remembered that I posted a little fictional piece about Job...or, to be more precise, Job's wife...awhile back; if you're interested it's Here

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Stop and Rest

All last week, I tried to get to the computer to post some insights I'd gained during the fast; however, computer time is still at a premium in our corner of The Rocket City, and I just couldn't get it done.

Then, last Friday, I got results of a blood test and found out that I've got an active mononucleosis infection. Well, that DID explain a lot.

So now I'm trying to figure out how to stop everything and rest. I'm not doing so well; I was at work about 4 hours yesterday and 2 1/2 more today.

I have sub teachers for my Wednesday night class for the next couple of weeks; if I can find someone to cover the Sunday morning class I will stay home all weekend...I've already gotten excused from choir for the rest of the month.

At first, I thought...yeah, rest...I can sit at home with my Bible and my notebooks and just spend the day with Jesus! How wonderful!

But I'm falling asleep when I sit still. My plan (did you catch that? "MY PLAN"? ) to use my resting time productively isn't working so well. At least not yet, because I haven't sat down to rest until I've Hit The Wall.

So...all that reflecting I did during the Jubilee year about rest is now going to come home to roost. Until I've rested, I'm not much good for anything. And if I *don't* rest, it's only going to get worse, not better.

This is an exercise in that the people to whom I have delegated things will carry them out. That's hard for me; I've been let down seriously many times in the past. But now it's not a trust of the PEOPLE...I've got to trust GOD that He'll work through the people. And I've got to learn to let go of the details that, just maybe, aren't as important as I thought they were.

Friends, I've got to completely drop MY AGENDA.

I thought I had gotten rid of my agenda along time ago. But, guess what, I found out I still have one. It's just not the same one it used to be.

So, I will continue to reflect whilst (hopefully) contemplating the back of my eyelids as much as possible in the next couple of weeks, and, once I've rested enough, post something. ;)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Faithful Faves: Esther

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

I've been trying to get a blog post written all week and, because of kids and computer-required homework, I haven't been able to get it done. But that post will have to wait, because it's time to get back into my little tour through scripture... and this week's book is one of my favorites!

But I'm not going with the obvious choice today, maybe because there something of which I seem to be continually in need of being reminded. Today, I'm looking at Esther 2:15 -

When the turn came for Esther (the girl Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king's eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her.

Esther is a marvelous example of living without a personal agenda. God is not mentioned in the book, yet Esther's whole life is a picture of walking in faith.

This verse is that attitude in a nutshell.

With all of the king's treasures to chose from, with the wealth of the kingdom at her command, she gave up her right to choose, deferring to one whose knowledge of the king and what the king preferred was greater than her own. She wanted to make sure she pleased the king; pleasing herself didn't even enter into her plans.

As a result, she gained enough influence to save a nation.

In what areas am I stubbornly seeking to please my own self? What creeps into my thought patterns as 'unfair'? How would those things change if I sought only to please the King?