Thursday, June 24, 2010

some truth from a Hallmark card

Each child is a miracle, part of God's special plan,
a gift that He has had in mind since the world began.
He chose the color of her eyes, his smile, her talents too...
And as his parents, you must be so thankful God chose you!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Give Us Clean Hands by Chris Tomlin

Naptime Prayers

Before naptime, I ask John Chase what he would like to pray. His answer is always the same: "For a girl who has clean hands and a pure heart to marry." !!! :-) So we pray that for John Chase & Noah. And we pray that Jilly Bean will marry a man with clean hands and a pure heart also, who will love God and her.

We pray that John Chase & Noah will be best friends ("like Lightning McQueen and Mater the Tow Truck")

We pray for God's will concerning our family size. Although, today John Chase told me that he doesn't think we need any more babies. He likes the babies that we have (Noah & Jillian). In the past, John Chase's opinion on things has proven to be prophetic, so I do not take this statement lightly.

Finally, we pray that the Offields (Krista, Phil & Ezra) will move closer to us.

"Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob." Psalm 24:4-6

Monday, June 7, 2010

Undignified

We will start this morning with a dance party for Jesus! This is the day the Lord has made! We will rejoice and be glad in it!

In this house, that means grab an instrument (like the top to a metal pan and a pen), turn on a Pandora praise station, and dance/twirl/spin/kick/wave your hands in the air and laugh around the kitchen! "Dance to God! Dance to God!"

Now King David was told, "The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God." So David went down and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. David, wearing a linen ephod, DANCED before the Lord with ALL HIS MIGHT, while he and the entire house of Israel brough up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.

As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David LEAPING and DANCING before the LORD, she despised him in her heart.

They brought the ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the Lord. After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord Almighty. Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each person in the whole crowd of Isralites, both men and women. And all the people went to their homes.

When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, "How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, disrobing in the sight of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!"

David said to Michal, "It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord's people Israel - I will CELEBRATE before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes!" 2 Sam 6:12-22

Praise the Lord. Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of the saints. Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King. Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with the tambourine and harp. For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation. Let the saints rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds. May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands... Praise the Lord. Ps 149

Capture the hearts of my children; Make them wholly Yours!

I'm awake because of a dream. I dream a lot these days - and a theme throughout is the safety of my children. Tonight it was a scene of war. My children were on the front lines. I left them there with my sister and I ran [in a dress] back to greet my husband who was arriving on the scene. As Ron and I approached where the children were, we could tell that Krista was distressed over the safety of one of them (I don't know which one).

At this point I wake up and wonder about the future of our home & country. We have many enemies. Will my children grow up knowing America as a peaceful place to live? Will war spill onto our soil, happen in front of our eyes? Should we move away from the city, to the country, with a garden and guns? Where is the 'safest' place to live?

The safest place to live is in the hands of and near the heart of God. Leslie, do not lose sleep tonight worrying about the physical safety of your children. Instead, pray... just like you breathe... that these beautiful children (John Chase, Noah, Jillian) would belong to God! God, please capture the hearts of my children! Make them wholly YOURS! And tomorrow when the sun is up and we begin our day... and throughout our days... help me to hold out before them the excellencies of Christ... so they hear and KNOW of Your beauty and love! Father, please help our family to make our home in Your hands and near Your heart!



You are my hiding place
You always fill my heart with songs of deliverance
Whenever I am afraid I will trust in You.
I will trust in You
Let the weak say I am strong
in the strength of the Lord
I will trust in You
---
Psalm 91

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you make the Most High your dwelling -
even the Lord, who is my refuge -
then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

"Because he loves me," says the Lord,
"I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

Father, please capture the hearts of my children; Make them wholly Yours!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Speaking of marital disputes, there is a sword in our bedroom

One night after the kids were in bed, I asked Ron to please talk with me because of the fear/anxiety that had gripped me as of late. He listened, encouraged me with truth, and prayed with/over me. That night I slept. My husband had battled for me spiritually, emotionally and mentally. So, a week later, the kids and I gave him an early Fathers Day gift: a sword. It has been in our bedroom since then. Each time I've seen it, the sword has reminded me that we are at war: with the flesh, the world, and evil.

A good friend/mentor of mine reminded me the other day that it is beautiful when couples fight for one another. But we must be careful not to draw our swords against one another. Why is it so easy to forget sometimes in marriage that we are on the same side? Allies, ONE flesh... Ron is not my adversary. I should never speak to him (or think about him) as his enemy or his accuser.

Sadly, over the last week, it seems like we've jabbed at one another often. Lord, please give us clarity of vision... so that we draw our swords only to fight for & with (never against) one another.

Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occassions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Eph 6:10-18

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. I Peter 5:8-11

And there was a war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down - that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: 'Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, he has been hurled down.' Rev 12:7-10

Husbands [wives], love your wives [husbands], just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church - for we are members of his body. 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' This is a profound mystery - but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of your also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Eph 5:25-33

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for one another. I John 3:16

Please help end a marital dispute

We don't have a garage. So everytime it rains (or most evenings before bed), I'm running around the yard and driveway grabbing millions of bikes, helmets, toys and sometimes strollers and throwing them into the side & back doors of my minivan (the make-shift garage). Have I mentioned that I LOVE my Honda Odyssey (which I resisited getting for years because I saw myself as an "SUV girl" - scoff.)? Then, the next time we need to go anywhere, all 3 children and I have to CLIMB OVER all of the gear in the van... or unload it all out onto the side of the driveway again.

Onto the marital dispute... I want a shed at/on the end of the driveway to house all of the stuff. Ron likes one. I like another. And both of us are a little concerned that it's hick to put a shed at the end of our driveway. (Ron is more concerned about this than I am because I'm just ready for a solution!)

So, if you see this, would you please vote and/or comment? (And Mitch Copenhaver, I hope you're reading this, because Ron especially values your opinion.) I won't tell you who likes which one (but I bet you'll be able to guess). :-)

shed one (see below):


shed two (see below, painted to match house):

Our house:



Thursday, June 3, 2010

When anxieties multiply within me, I want to eat bad food

My 30th birthday was on April 12. My goal for year 30 is to lose 30 pounds. Ron and I started the South Beach Diet with great ethusiasm and success. On April 15 I started at 175.5. On May 15 (one month later) I weighed 162.4. But, yesterday for breakfast I had cookie cake. Laugh - and most of the second half of May I ate... who knows what?!? Hello, June! :-)

Krista and Phil are starting the South Beach Diet in Tx [yesterday]. I'm going to take this opportunity to start again... this morning. right now. :-) So this morning I weigh 163.6. I've noticed that when I'm eating good [quality] food (like on the South Beach Diet), I feel so much better! ...which is funny because the other stuff [junk] that I was putting into my mouth, we call "comfort food". It feels/tastes good in the moment but not a second beyond that. It's so NOT WORTH IT.

Phase 1 (for the next 2 weeks): lean meat, chicken, turkey, fish, shellfish, vegetables, bottomless salads, eggs, cheese, nuts, water, coffee, tea.
NO: bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, baked goods, fruit (They will return in Phase 2) No candy, cake, cookies, ice cream, sugar, alcohol.

I'm going to scramble some eggs, veggies, and cheese for breakfast.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Jars of Clay - On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand

Walk On

I want to create a perfect little world for my family. I want a bubble that keeps my family safe from & untouched by pain, illness, death, etc. But this is NOT possible. In this world we will have trouble...

The consolations that delight my soul are: 1.) God will hand-pick and use EVERYTHING that our family does go through in this world for His glory and our good. and 2.) I am a sojourner. There IS a city where there will be no trouble. I am already a citizen of that place and I am on my way there.

So stop wimpering around, Leslie, like a scared little puppy with your tail drooped between your legs, trying to keep your behind safe. Rather, put on your armor, be strong IN the Lord and IN HIS mighty power, and walk on (Eph 6). He's overcome this [Genesis 3] world.

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed... We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express... And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose... Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither heigth nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8

"All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country - a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them." Hebrews 11:13-16

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Rev 21:1-4

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you will also appear with him in glory." Colossians 3:1-4

Do not fear

Emerging - Holding onto Truth

I feel like I'm emerging from a 2 week (or longer) bout with fear/anxiety/stress. It started with a sore on Jillian's skin followed by a prescription for antibiotics, sore on my skin, concerns over Noah's speech, a strange encounter with a man at a yard sale, dark dreams, a piece of wood getting stuck in Noah's foot, immunization decisions, etc. I had a haunting in my gut that something bad was about to happen to me or my children. Spiritual warfare? Lack of faith? Stress? I don't know what to attribute it all to, but I'm thankful that I'm starting to breathe again.

Along the way, friends and family have been throwing me ropes of truth. Ron reminded me on multiple occassions that these children belong to the Lord. HE loves them more than we do, and He knows the purposes for which He created them, placed them in our family, etc. Eunhee and my mom shared passages of Scripture with me. Thank you, Lord, for using people to encourage me with Your consolations... that quiet, comfort and delight my soul!

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:4-5

All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16

Samson went down to Timnah and saw there a young Philistine woman. When he returned, he said to his father and mother, 'I have seen a Philistine woman in Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.' His father and mother replied, 'Isn't there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the uncircumcised Philistines to get a wife?' But Samson said to his father, 'Get her for me. She's the right one for me.' * (His parents did not know that his was from the LORD, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel.) Judges 14:1-4

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:28-31

Isaiah 26:3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

Praise the Lord! For He has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. Psalm 28:6-7

It was also brought to my attention that I need an outlet. Hello, blog.