Saturday, January 31, 2015

Reading for Growth

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

When I read for recreation, I pick up a book and find a spot and read it.  Unless it's really long...I'll usually finish it all in one go.

Case in point:  I decided to re-read The Hobbit last Friday night, so I did.  Pulled it off the book shelf sometime around 7 and finished at 10:30.  Granted, I'm VERY familiar with the story, but I did pay attention as I read and actually verified one point that was mentioned in the 3rd movie that I had not noticed on my previous readings.  So I didn't just skim through.

Anyway.  If I'm reading a book slowly over time, it's because I'm trying to learn something.

Right now, I'm involved in two classes that each have required reading.  One is deliberately taking one chapter at a time, but the other just requires the book to be read before we hit the lesson with the pertinent discussion.  The books are Choosing Forgiveness, by John and Paula Sandford (and Lee Bowman), and Administrative Excellence, by Erin O'Hara Meyer.
Interesting side note on my copy of Administrative Excellence -- I bought it at a discount from one of Amazon's affiliates, and it was brand spanking new...except that it had been autographed by the author, inscribed to  someone named 'Sarah'.  Wondering if the name was misspelled or some such thing, so it had to be relegated to a reseller....

I'm reading that one-chapter-a-month for a professional development group I'm in through work; a group facilitated by the company that provides our data base software.  It's a once-a-month online discussion meeting for church administrative assistants/ data base admins at large churches around the country. It's interesting; I'm the only one in the group that is solely the DBA.  Others are typically admin assistants as well as DBAs...but then, I'm part-time, so it's probably about the same commitment to the DBA position.  It's a challenging group; we are inspecting what we do and how we relate to others in our offices, looking for ways to better interface with others to do what we do.  I am not really comfortable there at all... I am being stretched and having to evaluate my time and the way I relate to others in ways that, well, are showing me that I have LOTS of room to grow and mature.

It's an ouchie sometimes.  A good ouchie, but still an  ouchie.

The book is written for administrative admins in a secular office, so the emphasis is somewhat different than admins working in a church environment.  For instance, Erin lists two different ways to view one's position...either as a job that I do or as a career in which I am investing.   But I believe there is a third ministry in which I am participating.  And that has a WHOLE 'nuther aspect to it.  So I'm rather struggling at times to apply the book to my particular position, although I will say that this month's chapter, 'Progess', has a discussion of fear that has been really good and translates to my life very well.

 Choosing Forgiveness is the required outside reading for my Elijah House class.  If you've been around Beer Lahai Roi very long, you'll know that I really believe forgiveness is the key to Christian living...because I think unforgiveness, in addition to being pretty much the root of most of our relational problems, in some fashion and to some degree, also keeps us from receiving the forgiveness God has for us. So I am mostly nodding and agreeing with what I'm reading.    Nonetheless, I'm being challenged to move beyond forgiveness to blessing...that is a step I had already determined I needed to make in regard to recent hurts, specifically, but it is another level to apply it to old wounds.  Can I really bless those folks whom I believed I have forgiven?  And if I can't bless them....did I really forgive them?

More ouchie.

One way or another, I am coming out of this season different than I went in. ;-)

Monday, January 26, 2015

I am Not Witty Enough to Name this Post

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

I almost feel in over my head.

I have been putting out one fire after another since Christmas in my data base world at work; part of that included handling registration for our leadership conference a week and a half ago.

It was paradigm-shifting and I'm still processing THAT.

(The Saturday sessions have been uploaded to vimeo...session 1 is HERE, session 2 is HERE.  I confess I linked that mostly for my mother, but I have to say that, in all the Promise Keeper messages I've heard Wellington Boone speak, the messages he has brought to our church in the past, the messages I've heard him speak at his women's conference...nothing matches the burden he was speaking this weekend.  It was...well, you just have to watch the video.)


I'm also doing the Elijah House School of Prayer Ministry.   Two of six Saturday sessions are down; it involves reading, listening to CD's , doing homework...attending classes...  I've done similar classes in the past, albeit not at such an intensity.  Not sure how I feel about this one; I'm finding myself bristling over some of the terminology they use.  But I'm trying hard to  let that go by and get what is behind the word choice.

Plus I'm doing a class through work aimed at making me a better better with folks,  be more confident in the role I have, etc.   That's a stretch, too.

 I have been managing to sew a little...while I listed to the Elijah House CD's, lol...and I have given myself a post-DIVE assignment to write one song a month this year.

So... bottom line...I've got nothing leftover for blogging deep insightful posts at the moment.

Hang with me, though.  It'll all change with the spring. ;-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New Beginnings - A Testimony of Provision

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

When My Sweet Babboo got his layoff notice, I immediately heard in my spirit, 'Now you will see what I will do.'  He wasn't the least bit worried...he truly believed it was all going to be ok.  Many folks told me they were praying for us, and assured us that it was all going to be ok.  I believed that myself...but I knew there were two ways it could be ok...either he would get a new job in a miraculous fashion and step right from one to the other, or we would see how God would provide one need at a time. And I didn't know which way it would be.

Well, he had some minor surgery around Thanksgiving, The Actor had his wisdom teeth removed and MSB did the  job of sitting with him, as he had medical leave to burn...but that all boiled down to the fact that he had time to polish up his resume' and cruise the web for opportunities.

And he found several local companies who were hiring...companies that employed one or two individuals he knew from work or the professional society.  He sent his resume' to several folks, and one of his former co-workers who is now working at one of those companies forwarded the resume' to a manager in the company who was looking for a senior engineer.

The next day, MSB got an email from that manager, saying he had the exact skill set the manager was looking for...with a link to the online application.  That particular job posting happened to close that very day, and they were on the brink of offering the job to another person. But they wanted to talk to my hubby.

He interviewed, and got the call from the HR department as we were driving to Indiana for Christmas.  They wanted him ASAP, so he was able to actually accelerate his layoff by about 10 days.  Monday last week was his final day with his former company...and today was his first day of employment with the new folks.

And he will get the severance package...six month's worth of salary...from the former company.

Did I mention his new salary is a couple of percentage points above his previous salary as well?

And...he's working on the same program, albeit a different aspect (one he will enjoy more, actually), that he was working on before?

And the new office is about half the commute from our house as the previous one?

Stepping from one to another.  Just like that.

I shouldn't be amazed.  But...I'm amazed.  God is good.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Verse 2 - Isaiah 43:18 - 19 ...New Beginnings...

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

I knew what verse number two in the Siesta Scritpure Memory Team would be about 8 hours after I posted verse number one.

Now, granted, it was Jan.1, and lotsa folks were posting verses for the New Year on Facebook and blog posts and such, and this verse is definitely an 'it's a new year' kinda verse.

But for me, it jumped off the page every time I encountered it.  Especially since I have heard over and over in my spirit that 2015 is a year of new beginnings.

I think I wrote it down in my spiral on January 2 or 3.  This may actually be The Verse of the Year for me.

Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up, do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.  - Is.43: 18-19 NIV84

I am claiming that verse for 2015...and I can't wait to see what the new thing is...

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Pray Differently

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Several years ago, I attended a Passover demonstration that was done by worship artist Paul Wilbur, who is a Messianic Jew.  It was incredible and paradigm-shifting; I had no idea what the symbolism of the traditional passover meal included.

And I was very impressed by the traditional prayers he recited at various times, which began 'Blessed art Thou, O God of the universe...'  I can't really tell you why...maybe because it was so different from the style I was accustomed to, which usually involved me asking God for blessing instead of pronouncing Him to be blessed.  It touched something deep.

Fast forward.  Late November of last year, a post from Lisa Bevere turned up in my Facebook news feed, challenging folks to 'pray differently today.'

I wrote a lengthy journal post trying to decide what that meant.  Should I pray with more expectation?  Dare to pray for things I don't normally have the nerve to pray for?  Or...maybe things I don't have the faith to pray for?  Get a new perspective?

What did it mean...'pray differently'? 

Two weeks later, another journal entry...and the prayer that came from my pen was this:

Blessed are You, Oh God, who hears our prayers and petitions and turns the hearts of kings to fulfill Your purpose.
Blessed are You, O holy God, for You delight in your children and are not unmoved by their distress.
Blessed are You, Oh God, for You are a strong tower and a safe haven in times of trouble.
Blessed are You, Lord, for you do not leave your people in confusion but always provide direction, whether by cloud or by fire or by the voice which says, 'This is the way, walk in it.'

That, my friend, is praying differently.  I've had several days since in which my prayers have taken that form.

Focusing on God, reminding myself of His Character and His promises.

It feels...powerful.  It is strengthening.  It is challenging.

If you were to 'pray differently' would that work for  you?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Verse 1 - Proverbs 20:15

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Every other year, Beth Moore and Living Proof sponsor a memory verse challenge...memorize 24 verses in 12 months. (24 out of 26 possible...two weeks are grace weeks)

Any 24 verses, chosen on the 1st and 15th of each month.

I did it in 2013 and still carry that little 3x5 card spiral with me and reread it when I'm caught somewhere.  It was a powerful journey through scripture.

So, this being the 'other year'  a new round of the Siesta Scripture Memory Team is kicking off today.

And, while I still have to procure my spiral (the last three stores I visited didn't have them!), I'm going on record with my verse, to remind me to use speech wisely in 2015...

Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel - Prov. 20:15, NIV 84

Here we go!