Saturday, June 28, 2014

How 'Bout a look at Ephesians?

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Debating what to do with my girls clubs classes this summer; for various reasons, my usual summer unit won't work...but I don't want to just party for 5 or 6 weeks.

But the girls did their human video presentation in the main service Wednesday night, and while we were waiting for our time slot it was announced that the church would be doing a study in Ephesians for the next 4 - 6 Wednesday nights.

I came home and mulled it over a bit and decided to join the crowd and spend the summer in Ephesians.  It'll probably look different in every class, but, hey, it won't hurt to dig in deep.

Then I looked at the class schedule and realized each of the three classes was meeting a different number of times. Oy.

So, I decided to do a 4 week schedule and hope for the best. ;-)

Week 1: Eph. 1:1 - 2:10
Week 2: Eph 2:11 - 3:21
Week 3: Eph 4:1 - 5:14
Week 4: Eph 5:15 - 6: 24

I'll post my thoughts after I teach the last lesson of the set...and my Sunday night class does not meet tomorrow, since we're having a  special service tomorrow night.  So... I think I'll actually start with the Wednesday night class next week and just work on catch up from the school year with the Sunday morning class tomorrow.  Got a couple of girls that aren't quite finished yet...

Friday, June 13, 2014

Father's Day Thoughts

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Father's day cards are even harder to find than Mother's day.

Unless you're a big fan of the duck call making clan from Louisiana.  There are lots of cards with beards on them.  Not to say I haven't watched an episode or two and laughed right out loud, but, well, beards aren't my idea of good wishes.

Despite the fact that The Artist's beard actually won a competition at a local beard festival.

And he has such a handsome face...

Anyway, I digress.

My dad is a really unique fellow.  He's a Master Farmer (retired), having been honored by the state of Indiana with the title a few years back.

He loves farming.  Loves working in the soil.  Even though he has retired from the business and most of the busy-ness of running the farm (my two brothers having taken over the family business), he still works in the soil, and his gardens are magnificent (yes, he grew the watermelon).

He is a pioneer; he was plowing my grandad's fields with an eye to soil erosion long before there was any promotion of  soil conservation.  He built his own dirt-moving equipment in his shop so he could contour the fields he farmed to minimize erosion.

I was oblivious as a kid.  Didn't everyone's dad buy up scrap metal and weld and hammer it into useful machinery?  Isn't that just what you did if you needed something??

When I was in 5th grade,  Dad bought a farm just a few miles away from the small farm they'd owned since just before I was born and the following fall, Dad, my grandad and a family friend pretty much gutted the farmhouse there and remodeled it completely. We moved in just before I started 7th grade.

Two years after I got married, he put the house on jacks and turned the little dugout cellar into a full walkout basement w/attached garage.

No contractors were involved in any of that.

Dad loves to play games.  He says that he played Pit (the card trading game) during English class in high school...which may explain the grammar in his Facebook posts....

We grew up playing games.  Badminton, croquet, and an odd game involving baseball equipment that we called 'knock out flies' in the summer...Euchre, Pit (of course), Yahtzee, and dominoes in the winter.  Sometime shortly after we moved into the remodeled house, I bought a plastic chess set that  came with a little booklet on how to play the game.  I learned, my sister learned, and then we made the mistake of teaching the game to Dad.   He quickly became better than either of us...and really enjoyed winning.  Let's just say there's an old story in the family dating from when I was 13 that involves a shoe and the frustration of being laughed at for losing that STILL makes the rounds whenever the opportunity arises.

Not that I'm bitter or anything.  My dad spent time with me.

And I spent time with him...or at least, where he was.  Riding on an Allis Chalmers tractor (sitting on a tool box that was attached to the big fender, holding on to the fender, and looking straight down between my knees at the axle, which was the only thing between me and the ground), sitting in the semi truck on our 3rd trip of the night to the grain elevator to deliver corn, hoping that Burger Chef would still be open when we went back through Lebanon (it wasn't),  riding in with him when he took the hogs to market, hoping to get to walk the catwalks at the stockyards to watch the hogs sell, then getting a chili dog from the food truck or stopping by the Kentucky Fried Chicken and taking home a bucket of smell-good that we couldn't open till we were in the kitchen with the table set.

Oh, we had our differences...and I never realized how incredibly savvy Dad was regarding running the farm business, or how innovative he was in his practices.  But I loved growing up on a farm, and the reason I could love it and look back on being so doggone happy as a kid is because Dad knew how to work hard when there was work to do, which gave me security, and how to put the work down and play and rest a bit when the work was done for the day or for the season, which gave me fun. do you find a Father's Day card to reflect on all of that? 

Happy Father's Day, Dad.  I love you very much.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Posted by Lisa Laree at Beer Lahai Roi

This is not a perfectly new revelation, but for various reasons I picked up my Bible during my 30 minutes in the sanctuary today and went back and did a little review.

Moses is really one of the most amazing characters in the Bible.  He was put in charge of a whole bunch of folks who thought he was great when things were going good and then thought everything was his fault when things weren't...even when the problems were the clear results of their own rebellion.

If anyone had justification to get angry at folks and tell them a thing or two, it was Moses.  On more than one occasion, he was misjudged, criticized, accused, threatened...and, with one notable exception, he did not retaliate at all.

Not at all.  Even when those closest to him complained about him.

Do you know what he did?

In Numbers 12, Aaron and Miriam complain against their brother and fall under judgement...and Moses cried to God on Miriam's behalf; with no hint of bitterness or retaliation.

In Numbers 14, when the people were so dismayed at the report of the spies from Canaan that they revolted and wanted to select a new leader and go back to Egypt, '...Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before the assembly...' (v. 5; all verses today NKJV)

In Numbers 16,  Korah and his posse confronted Moses over, of all things, tassels on their garments, saying, 'You have gone too far...why do you exalt yourself?' and we find in verse 4, 'So when Moses heard it, he fell on his face.'

When it was time to deal with those folks,  several of them basically told Moses they were not going to come and talk to him because he had failed to do what they had left Egypt expecting.  Moses got angry, but he did not reply to them or defend himself...he took his case to God for God to deal with it (vs. 15).

Over and over again, as I have studied Moses in the past, I have been amazed at how he handled some pretty malicious dealings.  He did not try to defend or explain himself.  He let God be his vindication.

That's really hard, you know.  When there is conflict, when there is misunderstanding or misjudgement or even just a sharp difference of opinion, our human nature is to defend, to explain, to put the other person in their place, to make them acknowledge  or validate our position or viewpoint or reasoning.

But that's the way the world does things.

Do not be conformed to this world...  (Rom 12:2a). 

Pretty much -- if it's the way the world, the old nature would handle it, that's the wrong way.

 But the verse I ended up on is the one that gave me instructions:

 Exodus14:14 -- The LORD will fight for you and you shall hold your peace.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

And the dust moves on...

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Life goes on, dresses get made, kids graduate, road trips are taken, there's a frantic rush to get the Girl's Ministry requirements in before the deadline...busy, busy, busy.

Sometimes busy is good; it doesn't allow much time for thinking.

And there's a lot of thinking that I'm trying not to do.

The swirling and shifting has begun to show signs of settling and, to all appearances, when the dust settles and everything has changed, I'm going to be right where I was...while all the rest has gone elsewhere.

Can you tell I'm writing very carefully here?  I can't discuss it much.

And I really am pushing it to say that much.  Just before we left for the expo, as I was trying to find my footing in the shifting, I got two very clear directives.

The first was to do a 40 day fast.  Oh, not an extreme fast...just the 'no choice foods' type fast....and spend my lunch hour with my journal and Bible in the sanctuary (one of the benefits of working at the church) looking for peace and direction and, oh, a number of things all connected in some way.

The second was to not talk about The Shift until after the fast is over.

That way I won't say anything that could cause trouble. 

So that's where I am at the moment.   And I will say that there is a plus to shifting like pushes me to push into God in ways I never have before.  And I CAN most definitely talk to HIM about it.

You know, that's an amazing place to be.  But it is worth noting that the fast will end the day before my birthday.

God has pretty cool timing.