Monday, June 27, 2011

God's Handprint

Lord, rescue us from exchanging the truth about You for a lie and worshiping and serving your creation rather than You, Creator God, who is blessed forever! May we forever love You, the Good Giver, abundantly more than your good gifts. But make us awe and wonder at the beauty of Your handprint in our lives and in our hearts, and may it lead us to You. Here is true blessing...

161. "sandy feet & sea-wet hair"
162. kids listening to Adventures in Odyssey...and not asking for a video!
163. time to read during a long car ride
164. a husband who drives long distances for his family
165. desiring a praying life
166. embracing helplessness
167. bike rides on shady paths
168. four enchanting days in "The Burrow"
169. striped beach towels
170. meeting old and new friends at the beach
171. catching ghost crabs at night
172. beautiful beach pavillions
173. protected sea turtle nests
174. writing messages in the sand
175. returning home
176. a weekend alone with my girl
177. 14 years of marriage

Saturday, June 25, 2011

All I Really Need To Know I Learned at Bible Camp

A tribute to OLBC and summer Bible camps everywhere....

All I really need to know I learned at Bible Camp:

1. Warm fuzzies are free...and priceless.
2. See the the need.
3. This is the Great Adventure!
4. We are the body of Christ...each one of you is a part.
5. God calls us to make a "Big Dif" for His kingdom.
6. The Lord liveth and blessed be the rock...
7. Yes, I believe, I agree it is so, Amen, Amen, let the world hear my cry...
8. He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it...
9. With Christ in my vessel, I can smile at the storm...
10. KP (Kitchen Patrol) makes you a better person.
11. QT (Quiet Time) after lunch should be mandatory. Always.
12. The Table Prayer CAN be sung to the tune of the Addams Family.
13. People need the Lord...
14. People are precious and important.
15. Take me Jesus as I am, I can come no other way...
16. Lord, You are more precious than silver...
17. Faith-Fact-Feeling train
18. It's worth it all.
19. Peace, I leave with you, my peace I give to you...John 14:27--PEACE!
20. Sending your child to Bible camp is an investment in their lives...forever.

Did you learn life-impacting lessons at Bible Camp? Do share...

Friday, June 24, 2011

World Help in Honduras

Years ago Doug and I were introduced to the ministry of World Help. World Help was founded in 1991 and is a nonprofit, nondenominational Christian organization that seeks to live out the Great Commission all around the world. They started their great work in Eastern Europe, and today their ministry has spread to over 60 countries. The four pillars of their work are child advocacy, humanitarian aid, Bible distribution, and church planting. This ministry has been changing lives and making a difference all around the world.

For several years now, our family has sponsored a dear young boy from India through World Help. Our monthly donations help to provide him food, clean water, and clothing. His medical and educational needs are met, as well. We receive a letter from him yearly and have watched him grow up across the miles and over the years. Now this young man has a solid foundation to build on through the ministry of World Help.

Currently, World Help is also contributing to the extreme poverty needs of children in Honduras through a program called the Jesus, Friend of Children Center, (Jesus, Amigo de los NiƱos).

World Help is seeking more sponsors for the precious children living in Honduras with extreme physical poverty. Are you willing to consider how you might give up a few lattes or other conveniences each month? Are you willing to be the hands and feet of Jesus to dear children who need a cup of cool, clean water, vitamins, medication, and most importantly need to hear that Jesus see them, knows them, and loves them dearly?

Many years ago as a young college student I was able to spend two weeks in the beautiful country of Honduras doing evangelistic programs and a work project with others from my college. While we were there to make a impact for the Gospel, the greater impact took place in our own lives as we grew to know and love the dear families and children we met. Their smiling faces and warm hugs made an impression on my heart that has lasted until this day. It was there that God grew my desire to care for children of the world and make a difference in the lives of children. The Honduran people are truly precious, and many children there need our help.

Do you want to spend your life for others and for eternity? Do you want your life to be about the work of God caring for people in need all around the world? Do you know that your life can truly make a difference? One way you could do this is through partnering with World Help to sponsor a precious child from Honduras.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Holiday at the Sea

"Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased." C. S. Lewis

Friday, June 17, 2011

Guessing Game

Can you guess where we're going today??

I'll give you a's warm and sandy and salty and wet and a little bit of heaven!

AND--can you guess who won the Seeds of Courage CD? I'll tell you: Kristin! Yippee! You're gonna love it!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Encouragement, Part 2

While God certainly uses people and circumstances in my life to whisper words of refreshment and encouragement, I also know that nothing compares to the sweetness of His words. Words that are sweeter to me each day. Not because I can check off my "Good Christian Girl" to-do list, but because God is making it clearer to me each day how hungry I am for the sweet honey of His Word.

Honey that is sweeter than...manicured toes...compliments...breakfast in bed...admiration...a new pair of unexpected raises...a clean bathroom...raspberry cheesecake...success...obedient night off from cooking...{fill in the blank}.

My appetite is changing. Slowly, I want to taste and see more and more each day that He really is good. I am less and less the dutiful daughter who fears rejection or disappointment. {Oh, sadly there are still many days where I have it all jumbled again.} Delighting in Him, His word brings lasting, life-giving hope. And isn't that what every father longs for, a daughter who comes out of delight rather than duty?

So I am reminded, that while scripture indeed brings us instruction and shows us the path of life, that God's Word ultimately gives me the encouragement I so deeply long for to keep running the race marked out for me. For here I find hope.

Do you need a boost of encouragement to delight in God's word? You can hide His word in your heart by listening to music! I'm picking a winner tomorrow for the Seeds of Courage CD from Seeds Family Worship. Enter to win...

Romans 15:4 "For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Lil' Story

Need some courage? I do daily. Courage and encouragement. I wrote about that recently. While I treasure the encouragement of a friend {or an unexpected gift}, I know that ultimately the courage that God alone gives is what my soul truly needs and hungers for.

But we really do need each other. And speaking of courage and community...

...I'm thrilled to be visiting Dayspring's (in)courage site today as a guest writer! What an honor to be among an amazing community of women who desire to help build up the body of Christ through daily encouragement. Please do visit. I'm sharing a lil' story about my lil' girl who was feeling especially lonely one day. Been there? Me, too.

My lil' disclaimer about her story: She had just seen the movie Ramona and Beezus. I think that's where she got the idea to run. Oh, my.

Leave a comment--it'll be good as gold!

Better yet, for a chance to hide some courage in your heart, enter this great giveaway and share a bit of how God encourages you.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Seeds Family Worship :: Giveaway

Plants amaze me. They bear seeds that sprout life and beauty and health and some even harvest a rainbow of yumminess. And yet that seed can only grow in the right conditions...good soil, warmth, light, and water. Lots of water.

Psalm 1 reminds us of an important truth. We are blessed when our greatest delight is in God's word and when we meditate on it continually. When we soak it in like a tree planted by streams of life-giving water and nourishment. Our roots grow deep when we have water. Lots of water. Only then do we bear fruit.

Are you bearing fruit? Do you need some help soaking in the water of God's word? I certainly do.

Recently, I won a set of Seeds Family Worship CDs. {A millions thanks, to Amanda at Impress Your Kids and to the generous Seeds crew!} Their music is amazing, but the best thing is that each album comes in a two-pack. One for you and one to pass onto a friend. One seed to sow and one to scatter.

SO...I thought it'd be more fun to host some giveaways with my Seeds CDs. This week, I'm giving away CD #2 of my Seeds of Courage album, which is Volume 1 in the series.

Seeds for you to grow good fruit. Living water to drink in deep while you are in the car or making dinner or while you're out for a jog. Grow courage and encourage your heart.

How do you enter?

Easy peasy.

Three ways to win:

1-Add a comment. Share how God encourages you and builds your courage. Go ahead...share a bit of your story.

2-"Like" me on Facebook. Then come back and add your comment that you did.

3-Subscribe and become a follower. Because life is just better when we share our stories and run this race together. {Be sure to add another comment if you did this...more ways to win!}

I'll pick a winner on Friday with the help of I can't wait to see where I'll be scattering these seeds off to...

Disclosure: This is just Volume 1 and you will be receiving only one CD. I am not being paid, bribed, or coaxed into marketing for Seeds, I just love their music and want to pass on the blessing. Let's grow courage together!

P.S. Speaking of courage....stay tuned to tomorrow's post. I can't wait!

Monday, June 13, 2011


"O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the works Thy hand hath made..."

"Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?" {Matthew 6}

Consider the black-eyed susans, the queen anne's lace, the marigolds, and the zinnias...

Consider the peppers and the beans and the berries and the melons...

Consider the oregano and lavender and mint and basil and thyme...

Oh me of little faith...consider...

Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. {John 12:24}

"Let us lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross...Consider Him who that you may not grow weary or fainthearted...For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it..."{Hebrews 12}

"Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee, How great Thou art!"

Counting His goodness, His greatness yet again...

143. kayaks and sailboats and canoes, oh my!

144. sunday afternoon lunch with friends

145. baby peppers

146. picnic parties

147. benches for resting

148. breathtaking beauty among wild weeds

149. back rubs from little hands

150. help from hubby

151. start of summer

152. lounging by pool with a great book

153. new friends, old friends; silver & gold

154. growing courage & hope

155. crying at movies

156. tribute of a grieving friend

157. plush green grass

158. honey for the heart

159. fruit and vegetable stands

160. growing peaceful fruit of righteousness

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Recipe for Peace

{Writing her own Bible verse on the doorposts of our home}

Did you get dressed today?

Or did you forget something?

I get dressed everyday (thankfully), but many days I forget to put on what's most important.

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. {Colossians 3:12-14}

This verse is even written on the doorposts of my home. Literally. Several years ago when we built our home, we chose verses for the rooms and wrote them on the wooden frames all around the house. This was the verse I picked out for the door frame of my closet so I wouldn't forget to put on what was most important. And yet day in and day out, I do forget what is more important than finding the right shoes, the cute shirt, the clean socks...I forget over and over. I forget and forget.

And now I am realizing this is the path to peace. Putting on love, humility, forgiveness, and patience. To remember. This is how peace rules in my heart. Letting the peace of Christ, the very presence of God, have kingdom authority in my heart. Here is my recipe for peace.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Unwrapping the Gift

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing... {Ephesians 1}

Every spiritual blessing.

Every spiritual blessing.

Imagine that. We have all we need. We have been blessed beyond our wildest dreams. We have won the grand prize. Now what does it look like to claim the blessing that is ours in Jesus? It looks like love. It smells like joy. It tastes like peace. Its touch is patient and kind. It sings of goodness, and it shouts faithfulness. If only we have eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart to receive these sweet blessings all around us. If only we unwrap the Gift. If only...

Every spiritual blessing, friend. Imagine!

Gracious God,
Give me eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart to receive all as good. All as gift. Especially when it doesn't feel good and especially when the gift was not on my list. Especially. I do believe....but desperately help my unbelief.
Amen & Amen!

129. Every spiritual blessing
130. Banana Chocolate Chip Scone yumminess
131. All three children playing library together--precious!
132. Bike ride with boy-man
133. Unless a grain of wheat falls and dies...
134. Square foot gardens
135. "In Him" & "In love" & "In all"
136. Mrs. Meyer's all purpose cleaner
137. A sliver of moon
138. Dessert with the ladies
139. Precious little ones
140. Hawaiian melodies
141. He has blessed us in the Beloved
142. Unwrapping the Gift

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I Am Convinced

The ocean is calling my name...

The warm salt water, sugar sand, roaring waves, soaring seabirds, cool breeze and endless rays of warmth and light are the cure to my worn down body, soul, and spirit.

Reminding me once again to taste and see that the Lord is good.

Reminding me to bask in the rays of His light, His glory, His care for all of creation. Yes, even for me.

Reminding me to slow down, rest, trust, and know that He is God.

I drink in the deep, deep love of Jesus.

"Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free! Rolling as a mighty ocean..."

And I remember that the ocean is but a metaphor for how He loves you and me. It goes deeper still. And wider. And greater. Can this be? Do I really experience this?

And do I offer even a cup of the ocean of this glorious love to those around me?

And do I hear the Creator of this ocean perfect paradise whispering my name?

Romans 8:38-39 "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Am I convinced?

I am convinced...nothing can separate me from the endless ocean of God's love in Jesus. Nothing.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Our Home, A Place of Gracie

Once upon a time we opened our home to Grace. She's got a grand life. Sleeping. Snuggling. Pretty much just gracing our life with her presence. Keeping us down to earth. And reminding us that in the end, we all need a heaping dose of grace in our relationships. Our home, a place of Gracie.