Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ummm.... Hi!

A new friend of mine from church discovered my blog recently (Hi Jenni!) which made me start sort of wondering what she might have stumbled upon and now know about me that she didn't know before! So I got on my blog and started clicking around on some of the labels on the side over here (on the right if you're actually ON my blog and not in a reader of some sort.) And you know what? Reading some of the things I've written in the last few years that I've forgotten about made me laugh - or chuckle - and smile. I read about our trip to Legoland in December 2007 and my almost-insanity there... about Mikaela losing her first tooth... about when I almost swallowed a spider... Really meaningful stuff! It confirmed what I've been suspicious of... that my blog has gotten awfully serious lately. As if all I do in life is study the Hebrew meanings of Biblical text in the Antiguo Testamento or something like that. (HA!)
In case you have perhaps ever started thinking something like that, let me say again HA! : ) It happens to be what I get very excited about and think is amazing and since I have a commitment (in my head at least) to post about my memory verses and not so much of a commitment to rambling about the rest of my life... well, you haven't heard much about the rest of my life lately. I'm NOT going to promise to change that (though I would like to!!!) because I have trouble keeping promises that I make in Bloglandia. But I thought I would offer you this semi-pointless post just in case you needed to know that I can still ramble about nothing with the best of 'em!
For a quick update about my family, I'll tell you this. My husband is still my favorite guy in the world and he's watching some action movie dubbed into Spanish right now. My daughter is the most hospitable 9 year old I've ever seen, Toby is learning Spanish muy rapido and Timothy asked me for permission today to eat his macaroni and cheese. Really! Our dog Brownie needs a bath and we still have 2 chickens that lay eggs for us semi-regularly. I have 3 sisters/in-law who are currently expecting babies... which means I will have... (counting... counting...) TWENTY nieces and nephews by the end of the year!!! : ) While there are still plenty of challenges every day, I'm making progress - with some real honest Divine Intervention - on getting my house in some kind of order and realizing that it's been my head that was out of order more than my house. And I love spring. : ) OH! And I'm wearing a pink John Deere hat that my hubby and boys bought for me at the Farm Show last month. Love it! (I'd take a picture and show you, but I'm lazy. Sorry!) : )
Phew. Do you feel better now? I hope so, because I do...
: ),

Monday, March 15, 2010

Keep Walking... 2010 Memory Passage #6

Um, yeah... I'm a day late. : ) Here's what I'm studying and memorizing:

"I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk your steps will not be hampered. When you run, you will not stumble. Hold on to instruction, do not let it go. Guard it well, for it is your life." Proverbs 4:11-13

Here's what I'm loving/learning about this passage:

"I guide you": implies shooting or throwing... like aiming an arrow or something at a target.

"I guide you... and lead you...": not just that God "will" guide and lead me - as in a future promise - but NOW. Every day. It is what He does. What He has been doing and what He will always keep doing. (I love that!)

"in the way": on the path, road, journey, direction, course of life...

"of wisdom": skill (in war), wisdom (in administration), shrewdness, wisdom (in ethical or religious affairs)

"and lead you": the root of this word is the same word above used for "way" but this seems to imply walking, treading, marching... makes me think He's not only showing us where to march, but He's leading the way by marching along with us.

"along straight": even, upright, level paths. I want my thoughts to be upright - and level!!!

"paths": I expected this word to be the same as "paths" but it actually means "entrenchment or tracks." Interesting! He wants to get me in the right "ruts". : )

"When you walk, your steps": actually means just that.

"will not be hampered": won't be bound up or distressed. Sounds like walking in freedom to me!

"When you run, you will not stumble": reminds me of when a child (or anyone!) starts running and gets going faster than their feet can carry them and stumbles and crashes. Praise God He will (if I listen) keep me from running ahead of myself (and Him) and stumbling and crashing!

"HOLD ON": Wow. That doesn't do justice to what this word means. First of all, the Hebrew word itself looks like "Shazam!" : ) "CHAZAQ!" (Isn't that great?) And the definition includes these words: to strengthen, prevail, harden, be/become strong, become strong, be courageous, be/grow firm, be resolute, be sore. Wow. To hold on so tightly that I become sore - and strong and courageous. I. WANT. THAT.

"to instruction": Ouch. OK. I am looking up these words (see below for how/where) as I go along here and I'm sort of reconsidering what I just said I wanted... This kind of "instruction" isn't what I thought it was! It's the "discipline, chastening, correction" kind of instruction. Big sigh. But yes, I still want it. Only now I KNOW it's going to make me sore!!!

"Do not let it go": Still talking about the "instruction" and He's not just saying here "don't let it go" but don't slack off! Don't "sink, relax, sink down, let drop, be disheartened." Hmmm... Wow. That is so often what I do when I start something new. I'm enthusiastic at first, for a few days, and then sink, relax, drop out and get disheartened. God is saying that's not okay anymore.

"Guard it well": guard, watch, watch over, keep. Speaks of faithfulness and diligence to me.

"for it is your life": Life. LIFE.

Feels a bit like God is giving me a warning that I need to quit slacking and keep holding onto and pursuing the things He's teaching me to do. He's been opening my eyes and doesn't want me to slow up and go back to my old way of doing things. I don't really want to either. So, yes, Lord, please keep teaching, training, correcting and disciplining me. I need to know how to live so that I can have the LIFE that You want for me. ABUNDANT LIFE. I definitely WANT THAT. : )

(And in case you're wondering where I got all of this information... you can check out . Look at the menu on the left and you'll see a list of Bible translations and some other stuff. Click on "KJV with Strong's" and you'll get an amazing resource! Click on the words that are underlined and you'll go straight to the original Hebrew or Greek words and their definitions. At the top there is a little window where you can type in whatever chapter you want to look at. It's my favorite resource!!!)

What are you memorizing? Are you doing anything for Lent or to prepare your heart in a special way for Easter? I'd love to hear about it!

Monday, March 01, 2010

2010 Memory Verse #5 - Calm vs. the Storm

What I'm memorizing next...

Matthew 8:24-26

"Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, 'Lord, save us! We're going to drown!' He replied, 'You of little faith, why are you so afraid?' Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm."

I'm stepping out in faith in some areas of life right now and can go from feeling completely at peace in the morning to the middle of a storm of insecurity by mid-afternoon. As I came upon this passage last week, it seemed like such a perfect picture of what goes on sometimes in my heart. When I take my eyes off of Jesus start to look for approval from others, "without warning, a furious storm" comes up in my heart. When I start to look at overwhelming circumstances, the waves sweep over my mind. When I look at myself and my strength, I can become like the disciples – sure that I'm going to drown!

And all the while, Jesus is at peace. At rest. Calm. Cool. Collected. J He has not a fear in the world because He knows. He knows everything there is to know about my weaknesses and what He's calling me to. He knows how easy it is to rebuke the wind and waves and bring peace again. He knows who I am, but more importantly, He knows who He is. At our retreat last weekend, we talked about responding to life with faith instead of fear. That's what I want. When the waves start to swell (because they will) and I start to feel afraid (because I will) I want to cry out to Jesus to save me… not out of fear, but out of faith. I want to stand WITH HIM in rebuking the lies and restoring calm – complete calm! – to my heart and mind as I trust Him.

Our youth group is also memorizing scripture, and this is our verse for this week:

Luke 6:45

"Good people do good things because of the good in their hearts. Bad people do bad things because of the evil in their hearts. Your words show what is in your heart." (Contemporary English Version)

I pray that this week (and forever!) when my words show what is in my heart, they are evidence of FAITH growing in my heart as I trust God.

What are you memorizing? May God bless you this week with faith that is growing, even if it's growing because He's stretching it!

J, Melissa