Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Red Sea

I've heard a story a time or two of a people who were in bondage. This people cried out to God and He sent a deliverer for them. This deliverer went to their captor and asked him nicely to release the people. First he said yes, then he said no. God pushed the captors buttons and he changed his mind again. As soon as God left the captor alone again, he changed his mind again. This happened several times when finally, the captor had enough. God killed the captor's firstborn son, and the people were out of there! They traveled quite a ways with God's guidance and suddenly found themselves between a rock and a hard place. Or rather, between their former captor's very angry army and a impassable sea. This people began to grumble and complain to and about their deliverer and told him that they would have been better off if he had left them in captivity. "Who cares what God promised?? Look where we are now!" Yet, in this peoples darkest hour, God stepped in and parted that sea, and the people crossed over dry land into safety. Their former captor's army tried to follow, only to drown in the sea that God was no longer parting.

Yes, that is an old Bible story, but is God any different now? I don't think so. Are you in captivity now, waiting for God to send your deliverance? He's sending it. Or were you in captivity and enjoying your freedom only to find yourself in what feels like your darkest hour? "God, what happened? And things were going so well! Now look!! I'm backed up against this roiling sea and my enemy is coming in fast!" Ah, but God is there. We may not always see it. We may not even always feel it. In the middle of the storm or the fight, there are times we cannot see the end. But God sees. God knows. And He will always fulfill His promises. ALWAYS. I don't care how dark it is. Chin up. Your deliverer is coming.

My Deliverer is coming, my Deliverer is standing by....
My Deliverer is coming, my Deliverer is standing by...
He will never break His promise, He has written it across the sky!
My Deliverer is coming, my Deliverer is standing by...

My Deliverer is coming, my Deliverer is standing by....
My Deliverer is coming, my Deliverer is standing by...
He will never break His promise, though the sun should break faith with
the sky!
My Deliverer is coming, my Deliverer is standing by...


I will never doubt His promise, though I doubt my heart, though I doubt
my mind!
My Deliverer is coming, my Deliverer is standing by!

~ Rich Mullens



"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge" Psalms 18:2

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Change

This afternoon was so beautiful and warm, I was able to hang laundry out on the line for the first time this year. As I repetitively reached in the basket and then turned, stretching out to hang the next garment, I began to think of how I had missed this simple task and about the change in the seasons that was required for me to be able to do it again. I personally love the change from winter to spring, the gradual move into summer, and the gentle cooling back into fall. The only season I don't always greet with absolute joy is winter, but I know there are others that wish there was more of that cold, white season. It's not that I completely dislike it, I just prefer the warmer weather and the sun. My thoughts then turned to the similar lack of enthusiasm I have towards other changes in life and realized that, without changes, we can't enter a new season in our lives. Sometimes we have to face our personal winters, a time for the old things to die off, so that the new things that God wants to grow in us and bring us into can be birthed. We cannot have spring without winter. As I sat down to write this particular post, I glanced at our sidebar and reread our "Words that encourage us" verse and the first half struck me with how pertinent it is to our life right now. When I posted it, the way it spoke to my heart was of a newness in worship. I read it today and was blown away with the significance and appropriateness of the verse to our situation today. Batman and I are facing many changes right now. Some came somewhat easily - with a significant amount of prayer and seeking God's direction. There are others that we are staring in the face and saying, "ok, God, this is what You have placed before us, this is what You have impressed on our hearts, um.... now what? We need you to provide a way...." Sometimes the things of God seem absolutely crazy and absurd, but one thing He has promised is to ALWAYS make a way. He will never ever direct us one way and then leave us stranded. He sees the big picture and His solution is, in all reality, amazingly simple. Maybe not to us, but to God, it is a simple as moving His hand.

God asks: Do you see what I see? (not always) Do you hear what I hear? (I'd like to think so) Do you know what I know? (in part) Do you want what I want? (oh yes!!)

I leave you with our verse that encourages us right now. Perhaps YOU are facing changes in your life. Maybe it is your winter right now, or perhaps your are coming out of that winter season and coming into spring. Whatever God has for you, remember that change is good. Change is what brings about the new growth that God has for you. Will you not be aware of it?

"Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.
The beasts of the field will glorify Me,
The jackals and the ostriches,
Because I have given waters in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert,
To give drink to My chosen people.
The people whom I formed for Myself
Will declare My praise."

Isaiah 43:19-21 NASB


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Test

Have you ever wondered how to pass a test? I have. Or how much hurt and disappointment you can go though before it stops hurting? Or disappointing? Yup, done that, too. How many times can you get cut, or stabbed, or punched before you just stop feeling it? And how many times do you have to keep responding right? That is one lesson I would rather be able to finish with the statement to my children of, "do as I say, not as I do." But that isn't really very good parenting. So how much? How many times do you have to go through the same test? And how on earth does one pass it, because, if it is all the same to everyone else, I would really rather be done going around the mountain now. I'd rather just be done taking the hits rather than wondering when they won't hurt any more. I'd rather just pass and move on to some other test that might have different punches and knives involved. I'd really rather stop bleeding for awhile. Or maybe have no more tears to fall on the open pages of my book or in my cup of vanilla coffee. At least for now.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Reality Check

T: "I can't believe I'm almost nine!"

Mommy: Silence. Look of utter shock and SILENCE.

T: "What?! I WILL be nine in five months!"

Mommy: "I don't know if I'm ready for that yet, honey."

T: "Don't worry, mommy. I'll always be your baby girl."

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I'm Confused

Today IS April 8th, right? It IS the third week of Spring, isn't it? Because, it is really cold outside and my coal stove is still running!!

Oh yeah... Western New York.... THAT'S it. I remember now.... Summer shows up in July. Can you tell I am ready for the warm weather and the sun shine?

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Sweet Success

Batman has been conniving and planning lately, and, while I knew something was up, I chose to leave it alone.... After all, I knew what I had done to him when he turned 30... Maybe he would be nicer. (Please, Jesus!!)

Turns out, he was... Yesterday morning he awoke with "the flu", but braved it out and went to work anyway. An hour or two after he left, he called saying he was throwing up, please would I come get him? He knew full well that I would drop everything and run to his rescue. Less than five minutes after he got in the van, he let his sick fa├žade slip, and mentioned that a steak sub sounded GREAT. Uh huh... The rest of the 26 mile trip home was uneventful, and we pulled into our empty driveway and I walked into our dark house. Then I looked up and saw this:



I walked around the corner into the dining room and saw our friends and his sisters. I felt the pang of the missing brother and sister-in-law and littles and looked up and saw these guys. As soon as I saw that head almost brushing my ceiling, I felt my eyes misting up. First, it had been a little over a year since we've seen them and we love them to pieces, so seeing them is always a pleasure. Second, it was like having a little piece of the missing brother and sister-in-law. No idea why. It just was.

In order to pull this off, Batman had involved the littles and his sisters, and the moment I left the house to go pick him up from work, they all apparently came flying up here to put everything together. Poor things. Rather than getting my normal things done, like the lunch dishes and cleaning the bathroom, I had decided to get ambitious. I tore apart the shampooer and fixed that. I was minutes away from shampooing the carpets when Batman called from work. Good timing.... So the sils and the littles had to put the coffee table back in the living room, hide the shampooer, AND do the dishes. Oops. But they did a great job. It wouldn't have been possible without them.

I love having a nice dinner and enjoying a good glass of wine with it, but I rarely actually go down and buy wine.... Especially not to let it just sit in the rack for when I am ready for it. So, in lieu of more traditional birthday gifts, Batman instructed everyone to bring me a bottle of sweet red wine. Now my rack looks like this:



There were just enough gifts to fill it. No empty spaces, and no bottle left without a home. It was a fun party, and so good to see our friends. Aside from the missing brother and family, there was one friend that was missing, but Batman informed me that one was almost my fault. He told me I never left my phone alone and unattended long enough for him to sneak off with it and find her number. Oops. Sorry, James! :)

Now I am off to contemplate dinner and decide which glass of wine will suit it best.