Sunday, December 29, 2013


Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Afflicted with the Cold That Does Not End (day 12 today, and no real improvement...), I watched church online today. 

Pastor had a most excellent message, but something he said about 2014 triggered a thought in my head, and I proceeded to look through the Bible to see what the 20:14 verses were.

Some were encouraging, some were warnings, some were, well, in the middle of something else.  But, just for grins, I'll share 'em:

20:14, all verses ESV

Genesis - Then Abimilech took sheep and oxen, and male servants and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and returned Sarah his wife to him.

Exodus - You shall not commit adultery.

Leviticus - If a man takes a woman and her mother also, it is depravity; he and they shall be burned with fire, that there may be no depravity among you.

 Numbers - Moses sent messages from Kadesh to the King of Edom: "Thus says your brother Israel: You know all the hardship we have met:"

Deuteronomy - but the women and the little ones, the livestock, and everything else in the city, all its spoil, you shall take for yourselves and you shall enjoy the spoil of your enemies.

Judges - Then the people of Benjamin came together out of the cities to Gibeah to go out to battle against the people of Israel.

1 Samuel - If I am still alive, show me the steadfast love of the LORD that I may not die

2 Samuel - And Sheba passed through all the tribes of Israel to Abel of Beth-maacah, and all the Bichrites assembled and followed him in.

 1 Kings - And Ahab said, "By whom?"  He said, "Thus says the LORD, by the servants of the governors of the districts." Then he said, "Who shall begin the battle?"  He answered, "You."

2 Kings - Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and said to him, "What did those men say?  And from where did they come to you?"  And Hezekiah said, "They have come from a far country, from Babylon."

2 Chronicles - And the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel, the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaniah, son of Jeiel, son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly.

Job - Yet the food is turned in his stomach; it is the venom of cobras within him.

Proverbs - "Bad, bad," says the buyer, but when he goes away, then he boasts.

Jeremiah - Cursed be the day on which I was born!  The day when my mother bore me, let it not be blessed!

Ezekiel - 'But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I brought them out.'

Matthew - 'Take what belongs to you and go.  I choose to give to this last worker as I gave to you.'

Luke  - But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, "This is the heir.  Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.'

John  - Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she didn't know that it was Jesus.

Acts - And when he met us at Assos, we took him on board and went to Mitylene.

Revelation - Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire.  This is the second death, the lake of fire.


Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Little Christmas Sharing

Maybe you decorate for Christmas...  and maybe you don't.   Maybe there's an Advent wreath or an Advent Calendar, or a manger scene .

Maybe there's a big tree in the window, or a little tree in a corner...or both.  Maybe there's a decorated tree in every room, a wreath on the door, figures on the lawn and lights outlining the house.
Maybe you have a snow village or toy trains around your tree.
Or, maybe there are Christmas books. ;-)
Maybe Christmas feels stressful, and you don't have time to enjoy the season...or maybe you find yourself with a moment here and there to smile over the memories.  Or maybe the tinsel and trimmings all seem to be a distraction from what we really celebrate at Christmas, and you struggle to find the balance.
 Maybe the lights on the tree are all white, or maybe they're multicolored.  Maybe they blink or bubble.  Maybe one or two bulbs have been pulled so there is a plug in available for an ornament that talks or plays music...or a spinner.
 Maybe the ornaments are special not because of where they came from, but because of who was with you when you got them.
 Maybe the ornaments are quirky...and maybe they're traditional.
Maybe your tree has a theme...either color coordinated or hung with ornaments that all relate. Or maybe  your tree is full of the randomness of Christmas past.
 Maybe you have ornaments that YOU made before you had a tree of your own to hang them on.
 And maybe there are ornaments that you made that you hang on the back of the tree and smile over...because it seemed like a good idea at the time...
And maybe you've made ornaments that you look at now and wonder if you'd ever have the patience to do that again.

 Maybe you have ornaments that have been on your tree since the first tree in your first home after you left home.
Maybe there are commemorative ornaments with special dates.

And maybe you have ornaments that were on other trees before they were on yours.

I can't invite everyone over to my house to share the festive decorations and have a cup of Christmas tea, but I can wish everyone who stops by Beer Lahai Roi a Christmas full of the blessings of friends and family and the peace and goodwill that the angels sang over the shepherds.  However you celebrate the season,  may God's richest blessings be yours.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

SSMT Verse 24...and it totally snuck up on me...

 Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Ok.  So today is December 15.

That's ten days 'til Christmas.

It was the Christmas program at the satellite campus where The Actor is currently serving as part of his ministry internship.

It's also the date of a high school beau's birthday, but I'm not going there.

It wasn't until I sat down and glanced at the feed burner and saw today's LPM post that I realized what else today is.

It is the due date for the LAST SSMT memory verse of 2013.

Oh, I knew it was coming and had been mulling over what verse I would like to choose for the final verse.

But I was doing it with a 'oh, I've got another week or so' attitude.  I just was NOT paying attention to the calendar.

I was sort of leaning towards an Advent verse...something worth committing to memory that has to do with preparing the way, or expecting the coming Messiah, or some such thing.

But Pastor's sermon today knocked something a little loose...took the shade off of the lamp, so to speak, and I have been pondering one little, teeny,  heard-it-a-thousand-times-and-know-it-but-didn't-really-know-it truth all my verse, which is another one of the 'familiar but never really memorized' varieties again, is actually connected to that epiphany.

I probably won't even begin to do it justice, but, well, I'll give it a shot.

He was talking about distractions, things that can render us deaf to God's voice and God's plan.  Number one on the list was 'Busyness'.

Yeah.  Can I just say that anytime I hear a message on the distraction of Busyness, it hits home?

Anyway, as I pondered what he was saying, I suddenly found myself having a little mental conversation with Jesus that went something like this:

Lord, what do I need to do?  Really?

Spend time with me.

Yeah, I know I need to spend time with You.  But what is the most important thing for me to DO?

Spend time with me.  

The second time, I got it.  I mean, the lightbulb went ON. 

And I wrote down " The number one priority in my life is to spend time with Jesus".

And, yeah, I know, that's a 'D'uh!'

But suddenly my concept of what it meant to 'spend time with Jesus' shifted.

It went from 'Make sure I sit down and read my Bible and pray' to 'He is the number one relationship in my life and I can't do anything unless I'm talking to him and listening to him and hearing his heart and sharing mine and...' 

You know.  Like we were married...or best friends... close and intimate.

That's a tough paradigm to live by.  But I got a glimpse of what it would be like to really make my relationship with Him a priority.  To feel about spending time with him the same way I feel about spending time with the people I love and cherish the most.

And I suddenly realized that, if I did that,  all the 'doing' stuff would somehow fall into place.  Doing stuff for Him will never equal just being with Him.

It was a lightbulb moment.  And I don't know how well I can squelch the tyranny of the urgent to spend time with track record on that isn't good on any level...but, wow, my whole life will be different.

My lover spoke and said to me, "Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with  me." - Song of Songs 2:10 NIV 84

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hodge Podge for Fun...?

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Joyce from This Side of the Pond hosts a weekly random questions party; I saw the questions this week and thought, hey, I have time this week...then I proceeded to depress myself with my answers.  But I put a joke at the can skip to that if you want...

1. Are you doing anything special to mark this season of Advent? If so please share.

Our church really doesn't follow the liturgical calendar; some years I've managed some observance of Advent, as its own season, but this year...couldn't pull it off...

2. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen...and of course you recall, the most famous reindeer of, which reindeer name best describes you this week? 
Um, Donner?  I'm thinking of the scene in 'Miracle on 34th Street', in which Kris Kringle corrects the guy doing the window display, saying no one other than himself would notice that Donner's antlers were wrong.  Unless I'm misremembering and it wasn't even Donner's antlers he mentioned...

3. What's worse-too quiet or too loud? Which have you had more of lately?

I've always thought too loud was worse than too quiet.  Too loud interferes with other folks, annoys other folks, draws negative attention.  And I'm usually being Too Loud.  And I regret it later...with humiliation, sometimes...

4. This question comes to you from Zoanna over at A Penchant for Pens-thanks Zo!

When you are administratively gifted, how often do you find yourself not trusting less gifted people to do what they've committed to do?  If you are not so gifted that way, but are reliable, how do you feel when the stronger person (in that area) goes ahead and covers it before giving you a chance to come through? 

 I tend to expect everyone to do what I would do in a situation...and there have been far too many times when, for whatever reason, the other person didn't follow through and something that I believed was crucial either didn't happen or I found myself doing it under stress, making sacrifices in order to see it done. I felt taken advantage of, disrespected and rather resentful.   But, now and then, there's been the time that I had something under control and was going with it, and the person over that area went ahead and did it or delegated it to someone else and I was superfluous to the whole process.  I felt...incompetent, invisible and unnecessary.

5. What is your most dreaded task relating to the holidays? Your most looked forward to holiday task?

I'm willing to bet I have the same 'most dreaded' task as most everybody  There have been years that I didn't even want to decorate, because I couldn't bear the thought of spending two or three days dismantling it, usually by myself.

I love wrapping presents, though, so long as I have enough time to do it without stress.

6. Facebook has released its list of the 'most talked about' topics of 2013. Pope Francis took the number one spot.  Does that surprise you? He was followed by election, royal baby, typhoon, and Harlem Shake. Your thoughts? What was your most talked about topic in 2013? (Facebook, around the kitchen table, or wherever it is you talk)

Oy.  Probably the data migration project at work.  In some form or other.  It consumed most of the year, anyway.

7. What's something you consider a necessity that others might view as a luxury?

I'm not a very extravagant person;  my necessity is hot water on tap.  In most of the world, that's a luxury...

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Ok, this has been so heavy that I need to put a joke in here.

Guy explains to his doctor, "Doc, when I got up this morning, I put on a pair of white gloves and started calling my wife Minnie. Then on the way to work I couldn't help singing 'Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's off to work I go', and when I got there I started calling everyone Happy, Grumpy, Dopey and so on. What's the matter with me?"

"That's easy," replies the doctor. "You're having Disney spells."

Monday, December 9, 2013

Snapshot 12/9/13

posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Spent the past weekend chaperoning the theater performance/tech theater magnet kids to the state drama festival.

4th time to go to this campus, which is about 3.5 hours away.

The first time was in 2002.

I realized this year that my inner compass was off by 90 degrees once we were there.

I thought South was West.

It was about 2 AM before I got to bed on Sunday morning.

I was at church at 8.

I went to bed last night about 9.

Suddenly I'm very sleepy again.

The Flute Player still has homework to finish.

I found out that I have to use all my vacation by Dec. 31 or I lose it.

Guess who's going to be working short work weeks and taking an extended Christmas break?

Maybe I'll find the bottom of the laundry basket.

Or get the budget caught up.

Or sew something.

Or catch up on the Hebrews study...I'm two chapters behind.

We had our last official coaching  teleconference for the data base migration today.

I guess that means we are officially migrated.

I still have an awfully lot to learn.

I gave in and let them provide a laptop for me.

Which I am scared to take anywhere lest I lose it or break it or have it stolen.

Which I need to spend some serious time with so I can learn to use it for more than just email and data base updates.

Ball and chain.  Nice ball and chain, but still...ball and chain...

It is raining.  Again.  Yet.  Still.

Some are forecasting that it will turn to freezing rain by morning.

Some are saying it will not drop below 33 F, so probably no ice.

Wish I knew who will turn out to be right.  I could sleep in if it's cold enough.

I am enjoying the Christmas tree.  Did the full decoration with the little incandescent lightbulbs, that can be removed and the sockets used for other things.  Like ornament spinners.

The tree is very kinetic...spinning, bubbling, twinkling.

Funny how it feels like it's been up most of the year.

December is going by awfully fast...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

SSMT Verse 23: Be Holy

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

The next-to-last verse ...

I have been pondering holy since the last post...thinking about those things that are reserved, special, set apart.

I thought about it, baking for Thanksgiving, as I completely botched up the pie crusts.  Oh, they tasted alright despite the frustration I had trying to get them into the pie plate, but they were excessively crumby.  Maybe, I thought, pies shouldn't be quite so special.  I obviously need practice making them.

I thought about it as I pulled out the boxes with the good china...the holiday pattern...and wiped down the plates so we could use them for dinner.  In all the years that I've had a slowly increasing collection of festive, rather pricey, plates and cups and saucers and odd serving pieces, I've only used them about 3 times.  I'm kinda afraid of breaking them.

But what good are they in the box in the back of the cabinet?  Set aside for a special purpose...but if the purpose never comes, or they are so difficult to get to that they're just not used for the purpose, they are useless.  After dinner, I made room in the dish cabinet for them and put them on the shelf, where they can be reached.  When I get a minute, I will likely pull out the rest of the pieces and make space on the shelf for them, too.  So they are accessible and ready to use when the occasion merits.

And I had another little revelation.  Being holy, being set apart, being in reserve, doesn't mean doing nothing but hanging out, waiting for the call to come.  It means actively being ready to be used for God's purpose.  Being practiced up, so that I can execute whatever He calls me to do; being on the shelf and accessible, not buried away in storage.

And that's something to ponder...

You are to be holy to me because I, the LORD, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own. - Lev. 20:26 NIV 84