Friday, November 27, 2009

Keep At It!

I remember the days when I could memorize anything. Not so any more! But this video encourages me to keep at it when it comes to memorizing Scripture. Besides, it just makes me smile!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I've been thinking about how easily we throw around phrases that have so much potential to be powerful in our lives. But because they are so familiar, they lose their impact, and their powerful truth becomes nothing more than a cliche.
First Corinthians 6:19 says, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?" Pretty incredible stuff if we stop to think about what this verse is saying. The Holy Spirit, part of the Trinity, actually resides in me. I really can't grasp all of the implications here. But one thing that I'm coming to understand is that too often we don't treat our bodies that way.
Imagine for a moment walking into a beautifully ornate cathedral with your bags of garbage and dumping their contents up and down the aisles. Or taking a can of spray paint and writing crude sayings all over the walls. It would show total disrespect for a place of holiness, a place where God's presence should be found.
And yet today, as Christians, most of the time we don't seem to have a grasp of what it means for our bodies to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. While we would be horrifed to walk into a church and dump trash all over it, we readily fill our stomachs with garbage and our minds with the same. We make no effort to exercise or get enough rest and so our "temples" become trash bins. Either we don't truly understand and believe that the Holy Spirit resides in us, or we simply don't care.
Personally, I believe that we don't totally grasp the truth that God, in the form of the Holy Spirit, is alive and living in us. Yet, I want to fully understand this! I want to claim the power that comes with that understanding! And here's, the wonderful part...God wants me to have that power!
My prayer is that the choices I make in regard to my body... the food I eat, the exercise that I do, and the things that I watch and read will all serve to nourish this temple. I want it to be a place of beauty for its honored Guest.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Learning the Lingo

When I started blogging, I never imagined that there'd be a whole new lingo to learn. I'm not talking about phrases like HTML/JavaScript or Open ID URL. I still have no clue what all of that means.

What I'm talking about are the cute little "words" that you have to type in when you want to leave a comment on a blog. Those fun "Word Verifications." The other night when I was leaving a comment, my word verification was "pudingle." I don't know why but that one made me laugh right out loud. And it got me thinking about how much fun you could have with these words (I use that term loosely!). So, I collected a few of them.

Here's how "Mary Had A Little Lamb" might read if it was written in Word Verification:

Mary had a little whalla, little whalla, little whalla.
Mary had a little whalla. Its muntee was white as pudingle.

Every where that Mary hotilized, Mary hotilized, Mary hotilized.
Every where that Mary hotilized, the whalla was sure to brava.

Followed her to lidia one day, lidia one day, lidia one day.
Followed her to lidia one day, which was against the partmil.

Made the nonelys rewom and antaro, rewom and antaro, rewom and antaro.
Made the nonelys rewom and antaro, to see a whalla at outesia.

Alrighty then! I may be spending a little too much time blogging! Cluthym!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Walking In the Light

Tuesday night I was walking to my neighbor, Cynthia's house for our Bible study. Now that daylight savings time is over and autumn has a full grip on our days, it is dark when I make this weekly trek.

So, with all my "gear" in my bag, and my umbrella pulled down tight to try to keep everything dry, I was navigating Cynthia's rather long, treelined, gravel driveway with only my little flashlight to light my way.

The beam from my flashlight was sufficient to light the way, if I was careful to keep my eyes focused on just the little patch of ground directly ahead of me. By doing this, I could avoid the bumps or dips in the ground and remain upright...a favorite position of mine since I have already fallen and broken one hip!

But as I made my way up Cynthia's driveway, I was surprised at how hard it was to keep my focus on just that little patch of light rather than looking ahead at the dimly lit ground beyond the flashlight's beam. I kept finding my gaze jumping ahead of the clearly illuminated ground.

I reached Cynthia's brightly lit porch without incident. But that little walk reminded me that this is often how I live my life. I try to run ahead of God's clear direction. That's when I hit the bumps and dips that cause so much unnessary pain in my life. How much simpler and safer it is when I choose to walk in the light that God has promised to show me.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

God in My Life

How aware are you of God's presence in your life? Do you watch for the things that He is doing in the circumstances and relationships of your life? Do you sense His movement in the comings and goings of your day? These have been the thoughts that have recently been challenging me.

In our neighborhood women's Bible study we are going through Henry Blackaby's "Experiencing God." While I did this Bible study over ten years ago, its lessons are speaking to me once again. Dr. Blackaby states over and over again that God is always at work around us. And we need to watch to see where God is already working and to join Him in that work.

Yesterday I was at a Women's Retreat where our guest speaker, Carolyn Arends, shared a personal story that, for me, highlighted this idea of God's activity in my life. Carolyn told how she and her family had been on a vacation in Maui a couple of years ago. Shortly after their arrival at the timeshare where they would be staying, they noticed that they were not alone. Much to their dismay, the family discovered that they were sharing their accomodations with a little gray mouse.

This mouse must have been pretty comfortable with people, because in the evenings, it would make its way right out into the living area. Carolyn shared how her peripheral vision became very attuned to the movements of this little critter. She said that by the time the family headed home, she was constantly aware of the presence of this mouse in their house even when she couldn't actually see it.

Now, I'm in no way comparing God to a mouse, and neither was Carolyn! But the point is, when you take the time to focus your attention on something, you become more aware of its presence even if you don't actually see it all the time. You become attuned to its movements. You know where it is and what it is doing.

I want to be that aware of God in my life. I want to understand and anticipate how He orchestrates the circumstances of my life. I long to recognize His movements, even out of the corner of my eye, and understand how I should join Him.

In that oh-so-familiar verse, Jeremiah 29:11, we are told, "For I know the plans I have you for you," declares the Lord." This is a beautiful verse of assurance from God about our futures. But I believe that part of those plans include Him using me to share His love with the people around me and accomplishing His will and purposes in this shattered and selfish world. How will I ever be able to do that if I am oblivious to His daily presence in my life? Quite simply, I won't.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Ready, Set to Celebrate!

So, here we are, in November. Which of course means that the countdown to the holidays has begun. From now until the first of the year, it will be all about the holidays in one form or another. However, this year, I'll be doing a down-sized version of the holidays for a couple of reasons.

First, Thanksgiving is going to be a one day affair instead of the usual two-day celebration it has been for the past seven years which was when my mother-in-law moved to Washington. We have always had a bursting-at-the seams Thanksgiving at my sister's house. So with the arrival of my mother-in-law, we decided to do Thanksgiving all over again on Friday for her and various friends. By the end of the weekend, I was always exhausted and mainly feeling thankful to be heading back to work. But my mother-in-law moved East last December, so this year, it's a one-shot celebration....which has me celebrating!

I've always loved to decorate for Christmas. But for the past few years, the process has become overwhelming. However, this year, it will just be my husband and I in our home since our daughter is in Russia and won't be here for the holidays. So, I've decided to be very selective with my decorating. I still want my house to have the holiday spirit, but I'm going to simplify! I'm not sure what that will look like. But I'm feeling good about being able to focus on celebrating Christmas rather than stressing over what my house looks like.

So this year, with the arrival of November, I am looking forward to the holidays. I am ready, set to celebrate!