Friday, October 31, 2014

Season of Praise: Intro

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

When I saw how exactly the weeks line up with words...well, praise is the topic on Fridays here for the rest of the year. ;-)

Now, this is probably not going to be new revelation for most of the folks who stop by.  I know we've had at least two different sermon series at our church on the Seven Hebrew Words for Praise; I rather expect we're not unique in that.

So consider it a review....just because I want to focus on praise for a bit.

I have a Zodhiates Complete Word Study Old Testament that I'm probably going to be using for much of my resourcing...I *think* we have a Strong's concordance around someplace; I'll use that if I'm right and if I can find it...or, if I'm wrong and I can't...I'll probably use an online concordance.

I forget we have the world at our fingertips sometimes.

Anyway, the syllabus as I've laid it out  goes something like this:

Nov. 7  - Yadhah (Strong's 3034)
Nov. 14 - Towdah (Strong's 8426)
Nov. 21 - Zamar (Strong's 2167)
Nov. 28 -  Barak (Strong's 1288)
Dec. 5 -  Shabach (or Shavach, as it is rendered in my Zodhiates; Strong's 7623)
Dec. 12 - Tehillah (Strong's 8416)
Dec. 19 - Halal (Strong's 1984)

I've seen other lists here and there that have other words on them, but I think these are the seven most common; certainly they are the ones that I have encountered the most.

And...that arrangement...we begin with hands, mention knees, and finish with voice.  More or less, anyway. ;-)

Monday, October 27, 2014

A little celebrating, a little looking ahead...

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

I know I've been a bit scarce in these parts...we had kind of a major event over the weekend: My Sweet Babboo hit the big Six-Zero.

I am SO not believing that...just doesn't seem possible... (I freely acknowledge that I make the Worlds Ugliest Cakes, but they taste good...)

But, his parents came to see us, our youngsters joined us for dinner...except for the Flute Player, who is in Mobile with Rock Masters Commission doing a fall outreach...anyway, it's been busy and, while I have been thinking a bit about where I'm going next on the blog, I didn't get much chance to sit down and write anything.

And, truth be told, we've got some things gonna happen on the next two weekends as well...hey, sixty is a pretty major I'm looking at busy still to come.

But I'm thinking.  I'd really like to do a Friday study again...haven't for quite some time.  And, while I'd really like to do something related to the season; I also have got a hankering to do a study on David...the good, the bad, the ugly, the noble.

I'm planning to do the Elijah House School of Prayer Ministry course offered at church in Jan- April; there's a TON of work to do...reading, listening to teaching tapes, answering questions...and I've about decided that if I'm going to do it, this may be my best chance, since I'm not actively teaching at the moment.

So I'm sorta thinking of saving David until after Elijah house, since I don't think I can say everything I'd want to say between now and the first EH class.  Which means I could do some kind of Thanksgiving/Advent something.

Maybe a look at the 7 Hebrew words for 'praise'?  We've covered that quite a bit at church over the years, but I would kind of like to dig into it to refresh my own memory...and 7 weeks would just about finish out the year...


Monday, October 20, 2014

The Other Side

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

3 months ago I believed there was another side...and I believed I would get there.

But I couldn't see it and I couldn't imagine how it would happen.

However...I'm looking around now and I realize that I really am on the other side.

I had a little counseling, I had a lot of friends praying, but mostly I had the grace of God. 

I'm a little surprised that I'm here... because I couldn't imagine it, couldn't picture it even as little as 6 weeks ago. 

I'm pretty sure I'm not quite the same person I was.  I'm not sure I can identify exactly what has changed, but there has definitely been a shift in more than just my perspective. 

So...lots of new stuff to take in, to ponder, to explore.

For those of you who prayed me through...thank you.  Thank you....thank you.

God is faithful, and He is good.

Friday, October 17, 2014

...and it's a week later

posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Like any break in the routine, be it a vacation, a conference, a personal spiritual retreat, whatever... the true test of it is...did it make a difference?  When you come back down from the mountain, be it literal or figurative, what has changed?

I know my mindset has changed; I've got closure on some things that needed closure.  Even if I'm still a little sore in those spots, it's no longer a raw wound that puts me in an embarrassing emotional state when it's touched.  I may be wistful or a little sad, but I think my sinuses are safe now.

I'm thinking of doing another study on the blog.  I really  haven't done one in a while...I'm not counting the Ephesians study, because that was really for the girls clubs and I just posted my notes here.  But, well, I study better when I'm teaching something. So...anyway, I'm thinking. :-)

But really, I'm using my non-committed time at the moment to do some serious catching up on things that have been languishing on the home front.  And it feels kinda good.

I know that there's more ministry coming, that I've got stuff yet to do, but I'm not going to worry about trying to find it.  I have a feeling that it will be pretty obvious when I get there.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

That Invisibility Thing...

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

In all honesty, one of the biggest revelations I had last week did not come because I was at Dive, specifically, but just because I was pulled away from the normal distractions of everyday life and my listening was dialed in...

I took advantage of the workout room in the hotel, and Wednesday was one of the days I was up early and hitting the treadmill. The only person in the room, I had music on my iPod, but I was more or less talking things over with the Spirit as I walked.

And I was thinking about the girls clubs...the revelation I'd had about it during the fasting day and the difference that had made.

But there was still one aspect of that whole thing that hurt.  It had to do with specific relationships,  and I still wasn't sure how to deal with it.  But as I was holding that up, asking what I needed to do to move through it and resolve it in my spirit, I got a flash of revelation about it.

''s that invisibility thing, isn't it?' I said, suddenly remembering that my whole involvement in the girls clubs was part of what I had been told would be invisible.  And, being invisible, I shouldn't wonder that there would be certain folks who would just not even see that I was walking through a rough spot and could use a little encouragement. I've run into it before, in other areas.

And if HE made me invisible...well, I can't put any blame on PEOPLE.

And the answer I got was, 'Yes.'

But He continued.

'But that season is over, too.  You're done with invisible.'

I almost got dumped off the back of the treadmill.


'You are done with invisible.  The time in those classes wasn't just about you teaching the were learning, too.  And now that season is done.'

Y'all, the world changed right there.  I had the original word about being invisible in 2002....that's 12 years ago.  I don't even know what it's like to be seen.

I changed the wording in my song lyrics slightly, because of that conversation.

Thursday evening, before we left our ice cream party at Rita's, she asked me, 'What are you going back to?'

I couldn't even answer that.  I have no paradigm for not being invisible...for being in the front and not in the back. I have no idea what is coming next.

But I have a feeling I'm about to find out.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Smashing the Pumpkin

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi 

As I mentioned in the first post, Wednesday night we had an impromptu pumpkin-smashing event.

Someone mentioned that it works better with watermelons, because they are so much easier to break, but, well, this country gal thought that would be a colossal waste of watermelon.

But, in October, pumpkins are easier to find anyway.

So, there we all were in Rita's driveway, standing around the tarps, each of us with a small pie pumpkin.

The first couple of folks did not say what the lies were that they were consciously breaking, but once someone mentioned it then the rest followed suit.

I was working hard to remember the three lies I had posted about  back when I was working through the early bits of Rita's Finding Eve study, before she had to pull it since the publisher apparently decided to do one (I meant to ask her what the status on that was, but I never thought about it at the opportune moment).

So I wasn't quick to jump in...I wanted to remember them correctly.

We had some pauses and some time to think in between.  It was kind of a pensive thing, interspersed with moments of violent release.

I could remember two of them... 'You are Flawed' and 'You're a Jinx', but the third one...I could remember what it was, but not the word I used for it.  So I pondered that as two or three others broke their pumpkins.

And I was surprised by nice the pumpkin felt in my hands.  It was a comfortable size for me...not too heavy, but large enough to be substantial.

I began to be reluctant to throw it on the ground.

My mind began spinning with the spiritual implications of that.  Of course the lies are comfortable...we wouldn't hang on to them otherwise.  Of course they're tailored just for us...the enemy makes sure we feel an identification with them.  It becomes part of who we are.

One of the ladies commented as she approached the tarp with her pumpkin.  'This is serious.  Once I break this, I've got to be done with it.'


As I held my nice little pumpkin, something in me got mad...not just at the reluctance to break the pumpkin/break the lies, but at the perfectionist insistence that I get that third lie just right.  So I quit trying to get the specific word and just looked for a word that worked to describe it.

The word I came up with was 'Inadequate' (The actual lie was 'You are Disappointing' -- close enough).

Once I had that third lie labeled, it was time.

The first slam into the ground split it; I picked it up by the stem and hurled it again, breaking it open.

I will NOT believe that I am flawed, that I'm a jinx, that I am disappointing/inadequate.  I am created in His image, to do the works that He ordained for me from the beginning.

And I got an application for that before I came home.

We are doing a book study at church...on Wednesday nights and in small groups.  My Sweet Babboo and I are doing the study in a small group that meets on Sunday mornings, in between 1st and 2nd service worship, so there is no need for me to go to the Wednesday night service.

Except to hang out in the youth group.  Which I had been doing, to kind of facilitate the girls who had been in my class to move into the group.  I'd actually been asked to do that.  But, the last couple of Wednesdays I'd been in there, the girls were moving with the others.  They didn't need me...and I had neither a real purpose nor  a place in the adult leadership.  It was getting increasingly awkward.

So I prayed, 'God, what do you want me to do on Wednesdays?'

And I actually heard the answer, 'I'm not requiring you to go.'

I was surprised. We are ALWAYS at church.  It's...expected...

'No.  You can stay home.  Work on your decluttering.  Do some laundry.  Sew something.'

So, kind of as a statement that I have broken that 'other people's opinion' thing, for the next 4 Wednesdays, while they're doing the study, I'll be home.

Doing some laundry.  Working on the decluttering.  Maybe even sewing something...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Dive is a worship school; we had classes on songwriting...structure, thinking out of the box...guitar and the Nashville Number system...and piano, with a side trip down current recording/electronic music software.

But the big emphasis is songwriting.  We each were to present an original song to a board comprised of worship leaders (all instructors in the school for the week) on Thursday morning.

Now, I knew it was coming before I applied.  As one of my friends who has attended Dive in the past commented, 'You dig down into who you are and get rid of a bunch of junk, then you write a song about it.'

Well, in the weeks leading up to Dive, I decided that would not be my story.  No angsty song about being so beaten down and broken and waiting for Jesus to come and fix it.  I was going to write an up beat declaration.

So, the week before I left, I sat down with my notebook and got a chorus and a bridge in a snappy 4/4 about the Rock that is Higher.  All I needed to write at Dive was two verses and I had a song.

Then Saturday night in the hotel room, I got a wild hair about the widow and the oil in 2 Kings and, before I knew it, I had a page and a half of potential lyrics about being broken and empty and waiting for the oil of the the Spirit to come and fill and heal.  In 6/8.  In spite of myself.

It needed a serious edit, but it was real and honest and, most importantly, it was written while at Dive, which is not a requirement but I took that as a personal challenge.  So I kinda shelved the Rock song and decided to work on the Oil song.

Sunday was a late night after a long and intense day, so I didn't work on the song again until Monday evening.

I cut, I pasted, I moved pieces around, tried different combos and got two verses and a chorus that I was reasonably happy with.  It was going on Midnight when I began to work on the bridge...and when I found that I worked myself into the last line 'Let it flow, let it flow'... I knew it was time to put away and start fresh in the morning.

But...I did do one thing after we shut the lights off.  I prayed for inspiration and good lyrics.

The next morning, I got up and went early to breakfast and took my notebook with me. With just a wee bit of rearranging of what I had,  and adding a line or two, the bridge fell into place.  I had a song.

One of the other ladies agreed to play piano for me, and we met that evening and she polished up my rough melody and put chords with it.  I whacked off half the bridge...once we put music to it, part of it just didn't seem to fit...and after our work session, realized I was repeating the chorus too much and taking the song too fast.

I got one more quick practice with her the next day, with those changes, and got through it.  It wasn't flashy, it wasn't deep, it was just a simple little statement of need and expectation.  And it was ok.

So, when Thursday came, I'd only sung it with music about twice.  I figured I'd go first or second...I was just waiting for that awkward moment when no one wanted to get up.  But everyone was determined to get up and do it, so I waited and listened and waited and listened...and I became more and more convinced that my Oil song was just kind of lame and cheesy.  But it was what I had.

I actually went 3rd from the end; for whatever reason Rita decided it was my turn and called me up. Now, I'm an alto.  Melody is not generally what I sing.  And I'm just part of the choir.  Alone is something I just DON'T sing.  And we'd only rehearsed twice.  So...I kinda forgot the melody line in a couple of spots, and I miscounted the break between the chorus and the bridge and had to stop and start again there.

But despite my goofs, the panel (Rita, Kallie Hieligenthal and Kristene DiMarco) actually liked the song and said very nice things about it.  I was flabbergasted.

 I don't necessarily take that as a sign that I should quit the day job and start writing songs.  But it was a confirmation that there is more in me than just  keeping the data base clean.

And I have a song to share next time the church songwriter's life group meets.  Actually, I have two...I did get two verses for the Rock song on Wednesday afternoon, while the rest of the group got their practice time w/the piano.

If I can remember the melody lines. :-)

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Fast Day

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Sunday is Fasting Day for Dive least as much as they are reasonably able to do so.

The objective is to work on the ability to hear prophetically.  We were each given a stack of decorative cards, with the numbers 1 - 14 written in a corner, and instructed to go off by ourselves and write something on each might be a Bible verse, or a mental picture, or a phrase.  Then  all the cards would be sorted by number, and names drawn to determine who got stack one, stack two, etc.

I know this could sound weird to folks who do not actively expect the Holy Spirit to work through people in that way, but, wow, it was powerful.  Over and over again, for each of us, the words on the cards were significant and many times incredibly specific.

I was number two; one of the cards I got repeated almost verbatim the message that Rita had written on the note on my welcome bag.  One note card was something that was so apparently about the transition out of Girls Ministry that it totally changed my perspective on what I was to be praying about it and enabled me to release it even more.    Plus, previous Dive students, knowing that we would be fasting and praying, also fasted and prayed and sent in words of exhortation and encouragement.  It was was was intense.

I've read my cards through several times...and, so far, I haven't shared them with anyone.

It's still too precious.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Creative Journal

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

When Rita told us we would be doing 'creative journaling' on Saturday, I envisioned some exercises in writing in the journal that I brought with me.  But I was mistaken.  We were making a creative journal.

This is an exercise that we have done at various girl's events at church...shoot, we did this for the project for the 'Holy Spirit' unit in Friends Club...take an ordinary composition book, cut photos/words/etc from magazines and such, and make a collage to cover the front and back of the composition book to make a unique custom journal.   When we've done it at church, we covered the collage w/clear contact paper; Rita had Modge Podge to use to seal it (confession:  my experience w/ Modge Podge has been that it's ALWAYS sticky, so I carefully packed my journal up and brought it home and covered it w/ clear contact paper).

This is a common first day exercise at the Dive school, to get the creative process cranking. Rita had TONS of magazines, as well as some old Bibles and dictionaries, rubber stamps and ink, stickers, bits of interesting fabric, silk flowers, craft jewels...all KINDS of stuff. It was interesting to see those who made true works of art, with sparklies and stickers and flowers, those who just put things on they liked and then found what they had done revealed something in them they had not paid attention to before they saw it on their journals.

Now,  as I said, I've done this a couple of times before and normally I've been late to the party, looking for significant things in magazines that have already been culled once or twice.

But Saturday, I got a brand spanking new 'In Style' magazine.  I laughed, wondering what of spiritual significance I could find in a fashion magazine.

Y'know, if you pull stuff in a fashion mag out of that can be...well, interesting.  I just started at the front and pulled out anything that caught my eye.  This is something that needs to be done from the gut...not over thought (overthinking was a common snare throughout the whole week for many of's hard to just let go and trust that God will use the creative process).

I ended up with a lot of pictures of gems and jewelry...and words that went with them, so I decided to put them on the front cover.  Then I found that no one had yet cut out the definitions of 'jewel' and 'gem' from the dictionary, so I helped myself to those and added those...and the definition of 'gem' included something prized for its beauty or worth, while the definition of 'jewel' included a thing or person of great worth or excellence. 

I'm not sure just exactly how I chose the things that went on the back, other than they were the things that seemed most significant of the rest of my 'cut outs'.  I put the cat on just for fun, 'cause you know I love me some kitties, but after it was all finished I found that the cat really did have something to say to me.

One of the things I wanted to work through at Dive was my tendency to worry over much (overthink?) how what I said and did would appear to other folks.  What would they think?  How would that affect their opinion of me?

Cats don't care about that.

I also thought it was interesting that the words on the front were almost totally adjectives, while the words on the back were, by and large, instructions. 

'BE' then 'DO' that order.

And I did not set out to instruct myself....but I got instructed just the same.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

What a difference a week makes....

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

I'm going to be processing for a while, I'm sure, and there's no way I can begin to sum up the week in a single blog post.

So I thought I'd just share some images from the week...there will be more later, I'm sure, but for now, here's a glimpse of  a week that has changed my life.

The first hint of what was to come was waiting in the hotel room.  I honestly nearly cried when I walked in and saw the gift bag with my name on it.   I know that our church does gift bags when we have special guests come in for the women's conference or other events...but for such a bag to be prepared for me nearly undid me.

It was a few hours later when I began to wonder how I would get the books and other goodies that were in that bag packed into my already crammed suitcase for the trip thankful for that extra 2" I got from unzipping that little fold. ;-)

Rita has a really cute reception space on her front porch; you wouldn't think I'd be surprised to see my name there,  but I did have a moment when I saw that I was listed along with all the others.  The icing on the cake is that royal blue is my favorite color in the whole world.

Being as how there were 14 of us at this event, we were a perfect van load.  Driving it around the Dallas area is NOT something I'd ever want to do; so grateful for Janelle, who not only drove us everywhere but made sure we had food delivered, picked up ice cream, prayed over us all name it.  She was a huge part of the success of the week.

One of the most powerful moments  happened on Wednesday night; Rita had special guests Kristene DiMarco and Kalley Heiligenthal come in and share on Wednesday.  In the course of the day, a story came out about Kristene smashing a pumpkin as she was making declarations of things that needed to be broken in her life.  Someone mentioned that perhaps we should go get pumpkins and all smash them as we declared that we would not carry those lies back home with us.

Before the night was over, there were pumpkins procured and each one of us declared what we would see broken...what we were done we smashed a pumpkin (yeah, that's a whole blog post by itself...). 

It was amazing to watch how everyone developed, changed, broke free, opened up as the week progressed.  I knew what to expect from Rita...she's been to our church several times to minister and I knew that she would not let anyone retreat into what was safe or stay where she was comfortable.  But what surprised me was that all the other ladies were so awesome.  Such talent, such depth, such promise on all of them.  I kinda think in 5 years, there will be 13 ladies that I will be able to point out and say, 'Hey, you know, she was in my Dive class.'

Thanks to Rita Springer for investing so much in so many.  Love, love her!

If you're curious about the DIVE's more info.