Saturday, April 30, 2011

Not What I Was Expecting

This weekend, I led worship for The Healing Place Ladies' Encounter. The Healing Place is an awesome church in Shreveport, Louisiana. I went expecting to minister and pour out as a willing vessel. I began preparing and praying for this event a couple months ago. God was showing me so much about Himself, and what He was wanting to do through the worship this weekend.

The Piano's Been Drinkingphoto © 2008 Todd | more info (via: Wylio)

The night before I was to leave, Pastor Scott called me from THP and asked me to come expecting to receive at the retreat, not just pour out to the ladies. He wanted me to not worry about distancing myself to prepare before the sessions, but to be involved with the breakout sessions, to plan on receiving during the small group time.

When I go somewhere to lead, I always give out, sing what God has given me, willing to let the Holy Spirit move through me and not think about what I'm getting. That's pretty much what I think God has always expected of me when I go somewhere to lead worship.

But not this time. I had an amazing experience. I received way more than I poured out, I can tell you. It was not at all what I was expecting. These women were not the norm. They came ready to receive, but everyone was ready to pour out to each other. They took every opportunity to pray together, and build each other up in their faith. It was a privilege to be part of their ministry, their friendship, their lives. I came back ready to pour out some more!!

I also got a different perspective of how God sees me, and how I view Him and my relationship to Him. Change is taking place. It's wonderful.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Talk

This was our Ellie, when she was three.

Free spirit. Extraordinary. Rare.

Tomboy. Princess. Make-up artist.

Animal caretaker. Defender of frogs.

Compassionate giver. Lover of justice.

Hater of cake. Night owl. Excessive reader.

Tickle me until I can't breathe, put me on your shoulders, Daddy, I want to see everything on top of the world.

We are going to have "The Talk" with her very soon. She's old enough. I just can't believe it.

Biker Man told me they conducted a study that said ninety-nine point nine percent of all girls would rather have their dad give them "The Talk".
In a related study, ninety-nine point nine percent of all dads said they would rather have their arm chewed off.
This will be a momentous event.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


So, to continue from my last post, change does not always include new surroundings or circumstances.

Sometimes, when God begins stirring my heart that something new is on the horizon, it means He is getting ready to reveal Himself to me in a new way.

branches' mesh mashed up by interfering sunlight — perspective of a dragonfly hovering over a bayouphoto © 2010 Karl-Ludwig Poggemann | more info (via: Wylio)

It may happen that I have begun to get so consumed in the work He has set before me, that my focus has shifted from the big picture to the smaller details.

God has to alter my perspective a bit from time to time, to remind me of what's truly important. To see if my desires are lining up with His desires, or if I have settled for earthly best, rather than wait on His perfect will.

Is my worship somehow overtaken by works for my Father?

Faith without works is dead, it's true, but where would my faith be without communion with my King?

E.M. Bounds had a great point on this:

Activity is not strength. Work is not zeal. Moving about is not devotion. Activity often is the unrecognized symptom of spiritual weakness. It may be hurtful to piety when made the substitute for real devotion in worship. The colt is much more active than its mother, but she is the wheel-horse of the team, pulling the load without noise or bluster or show. The child is more active than the father, who may be bearing the rule and burdens of an empire on his heart and shoulders. Enthusiasm is more active than faith, though enthusiasm cannot remove mountains nor call into action any of the omnipotent forces which faith can command.
Activity is often at the expense of more solid, useful elements, and generally to the total neglect of prayer. To be too busy with God's work to commune with God, to be busy with doing church work without taking time to talk to God about His work, is the highway to backsliding, and many people have walked therein to the hurt of their immortal souls.

Here I am, Lord, ready to listen. Ready to learn. Teachable.

Hit me with Your perspective. Transform my mind.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


"...but I know (oh-oh-oh-eeww-oooohhh) a chaaaange's gonna come."

When I feel God stirring in my heart, and an increasing discomfort in my soul, I know He's preparing me for a change.

I'm not sure what this change will entail, I just know a change is in the air.

A change of sceneryphoto © 2007 Kevin Dooley | more info (via: Wylio)

alter, make/become different, adjust, adapt, amend, modify, revise, refine; reshape, refashion, redesign, restyle, revamp, rework, remodel, reorganize, reorder; vary, transform, transfigure, transmute, metamorphose, evolve; informal tweak, doctor, rejig;

I especially love the definition of METAMORPHOSIS. TRANSFORMATION.

God makes everything new.

"Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." ~Isaiah 43:10

More on this later. But let me add that sometimes God doesn't change our surroundings or our circumstances.

He changes our perspective.

Friday, April 15, 2011

What Is In Your Heart?

What is in your heart to do?

What is it God has called you to?

Is it something easy?

Or will it call for sacrifice?

Look at the end result.

Will it be worth the price?

The harvest is ripe.

The laborers few.

With time so short, what do you really have to lose?

What are you waiting on? Motivation? A captivating story?

Emotion to move you, music to soothe you, the promise of glory?

At the hands of men, God's Word is stripped down.

Made over, remixed, a stump in the ground.

But the roots of Truth will rise like His Son

Stronger than the limelight, our works are undone.

Pulsating brightness, all things are new.

Pick up your sword, Sleeper, no time to snooze.

You were created to soar in the blue.

Cut the strings restraining

The wings that are straining

To break forth and cut through the darkness with His glory.

Man's opinion has no place in your story.

Angels can't even sing the song you were given.

You're motivated by Love.

The song of the forgiven.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Short Story

Ellie writes short stories in her school journal.

I find and read these stories. I don't grade them.

I just enjoy getting inside my daughter's imagination.


I know what you're thinking.

"Does her brain ever stop?"

Oh. No. It. Does. NOT.

I love, love, absolutely love this girl.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Stop And Look

It's a busy season at our house. And at our church.

It's only natural that I would be running around like a crazy person trying to finish last minute errands so I can get on to the next project.

And in the process, give my kids a mite less than my full attention on any given day this week.

We are hosting a crawfish boil for the worship team tomorrow afternoon.

We don't have to provide anything but water, a hose, and our yard/house to fit everyone. What a blessing.

But sometime in the last two weeks, I realized my yard was not ready to have some sixty people staring at it, most likely in amazement that humans actually live here. (The yard is an extension of my home, I understand we don't dwell in the yard.)

Thus began my industrious task of making my patch of grass (that has very little else) presentable.

I have re-potted plants, dug up various weeds, one of which caused a lizard to run out of hiding, to Ellie's delight.

Today we have been in the home stretch, cleaning our actual house, and rearranging cushions, candles, and hanging pictures which the good Lord knows should have been hung at least 2 years ago. (My gracious, where does the time go?)

Although I have been a whirling dervish, Ellie and Drummer Boy have had time to smell and pick flowers. I was carrying laundry to be folded through the kitchen when this stopped me mid-stride:

And I took a breath, thanked my children, and sat down to fully appreciate the beauty I had been given in the middle of a hectic week.