Tag Archives: bible

For the Birds

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A few suggestions from the wee hours of sleepy time:

1)  Keep it down. 

We get it.  You adorable birdies have something to say.  Maybe you’re even trying to have a conversation in the trees.  Or find your feathered friends.  Or tell them how to find you.  But if you could just use your inside voices–even though I realize you are outside–I’d be much obliged.  Just until daylight if you please.

2)  Change it up.

Here’s a thought:  If no one outside my window is responding to what you are saying in a positive way, maybe you could fly for just a few minutes to a different place.  Might I suggest the Pine Ridge neighborhood?  They are ALL early risers. 

3) Say something different.

I’m looking at you Mr. Peek Boo.  Peeeek Boo.  Peeek Boo.  Peeek Boo…………………..Peek Boo.  Newsflash NO ONE WANTS TO PLAY PEEK BOO.  IT’S TOO DARK TO BE SUCCESSFUL.  Let’s play the quiet game shall we?  Until…I don’t know, 6am?

4)  Read your Birdie Bible

I’m pretty sure interrupted sleep for 40 nights is the thing that made Noah snap and throw you all OUT OF THE ARK. 

 

Aside

I tend to start things off with a lot of energy and get excited to pioneer of New Ideas.  It was this tendency which caused me to excitedly sign up for The Romans Challenge in January.  I made little booklets for myself and a friend that contained our weekly verses for the entire year.  There were weeks I fell behind and was reminded that any progress was worth continuing, catching up and celebrating.  There were times when my partner fell behind and I pulled her through with grace.  There were many weeks we didn’t “sign off” on each other’s pages.  What is most amazing to me is how the content of these sequential verses had life and light for me often on the very week that I needed them.  Another surprising development that I could not have anticipated is that I now have a mental calendar of 2013 which is tied to scripture.  I can envision several different places I walked, sat, or sang my verses:  the soccer field in January, an island in SC in April, the beach boardwalk in July, Mount Trashmore in October.  The process has brought me new awarenesses, some giggles, and often perfectly-timed support for myself, my partner, and others which I have been thrilled to pass along.

Now as we close in on the final weeks of 2013, we also prepare to finish memorizing the last verses of The Romans Challenge.  I was really hoping to know all my December verses before Thanksgiving, and admit I have been peeking ahead.

Perhaps the other strange thing that has happened during this process is that I discovered an ability I didn’t think I had.  Because of the tunes and the repetitive nature of this process, I have retained three whole chapters of Romans and can recite them (with or without singing).  I am amazed at the ability of my mostly forgetful mind when I discipline it to focus and do a little bit every day.

I shared some of my tunes here but I’m going to share a few more favorites that make me giggle in my head when I sing them.  I sometimes have to boss around the syllables to make them fit, but it works for my brain.  Enjoy!

Jan 30-Feb 6  Romans 1:9-10

tune:  I Remember You by Skid Row  –the chorus

 

Remember yesterday

God whom I serve in my spirit

walking hand in hand

In preaching the gospel of his son

love letters in the sand

Is my witness how constantly

I remember you

I remember you

through the sleepless nights

In my prayers at all times

and every endless day

And I pray that now at last

 I wanna hear you say

By God’s will the way may be 

I remember you

opened for me to come to you. 

May 22-29  Romans 8:5-6

tune:  I Got My Mind Set on You, George Harrison

I got my mind set on you

 Those who live according to the flesh

I got my mind set on you

Have their minds set on what the flesh desires

I got my mind set on you

But those who live in accordance with the spirit

I got my mind set on you

Have their minds set on what the spirit desires.

But its gonna take money

The mind governed by the flesh

a whole lotta spendin’ money

is de-e-e-e-eath

its gonna take plenty of money

But the mind governed by the spirit

to do it right child

is life & peace (child)

And for the final weeks of the Romans Challenge:

Nov 6-Dec 4  Romans 11-15

(tune:  Hopelessly Devoted To You)

Guess mine is not the first heart broken

 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep

my eyes are not the first to cry

Your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

I’m not the first to know, there’s just no gettin over you

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction

(instrumental)

Faithful in prayer

and oh, I’m just a fool who’s willing

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need

to sit around and wait for you

Practice hospitality

but baby can’t you see

Bless those who persecute you

there’s nothing else for me to do

Bless and do not curse.  Rejoice

I’m hopelessly devoted to you—oo-oo

With those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

Hopefully we can rejoice together!  What are your tricks for remembering things?

 

I Remember You, Romans!

Pinterest Inspirational Version

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My close personal friend Jon Acuff (who is a dude) has invented a Pinterest board entitled PIV.

It has things like this on it:

hatersgonnahate

Yesterday in the Start Experiment, our task was to “ignore the haters.”  I wasn’t sure I had one.

Until I did.  At 7:09 am.

That hater was HARD to ignore.

That hater thought I had done them wrong.

And in that person’s perspective I had.

It was difficult to correct by ignoring, but it was empowering to not be sucked into battle or manipulation.

As the day went on, I spoke to  others who were experts at ignoring their haters…many of whom were in their own families.

By day’s end, I had a thought.  What if I am someone else’s hater?  Intentionally or not?

I made a “joking” comment to someone earlier in the day.  I may be someone’s hater.

I said something that wasn’t uplifting, but pointed out an obvious flaw in a non-constructive way.  I may be someone’s hater.

I got frustrated with the person who was frustrated with me.  I may be someone’s hater.

I don’t want to be anyone’s hater.

So the only antidote I could think of was to encourage.  Sincerely and from the heart.

I thought about what I wished my hater had said to me instead of the yuck.

I listened to what other people’s haters had said to them and had stuck.

And I said the opposite to people.  It was fun.  I could put that energy of “fixing” to use in a completely different direction rather than the downward spiral brought on by the hater.  Like a wind-up toy that just gets picked up and pointed in a different direction.

Maybe “ignoring” can be inspiration to act in a different direction.  How did you ignore YOUR hater?

Manhood Ceremony

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Graduation weekend was jam packed with excitement and flurry.  My sister and her baby flew from KY.  Then the grandparents arrived from NC.  Friends helped me set up the back yard for a gathering of the village it took to raise this child.

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Friends, neighbors and family all mingled together on a sunny June afternoon.  There was plenty of fun and silliness.

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The graduate was especially proud of his bragging wall.

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Just before the completion of the event, his dad called him over to a shady spot and asked him to kneel.

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Dad then asked for the attention of the crowd and invited them to witness a rite of passage:

Manhood Ceremony

There are men in their 20s, 30s, 40s and older who still behave like boys because no one ever told them they were men.  Being a man is more than celebrating 18 birthdays or walking across a stage to shake a hand and get a diploma.  Those are both moments of celebration but they do not make you a man. 

A man is someone who looks out for the interests of others before himself.  A man does what he says he is going to do.  A man doesn’t make excuses but takes responsibility.

 (Mom’s blessing)

Paul Wesley

When I was in high school, I named the apostle Paul as the person I would most like to meet.  He wrote most of the New Testament and made a huge transition in his life, defying all expectations.  As a young teenager in my church, I learned about John Wesley whose heart was “strangely warmed” when he accepted Christ.  When I met your dad, I was happy with his choice of names for his first born son which was already picked out, whether or not I was the mother.  “Paul Wesley.”

You are the person who made us a family.  You made me a mom (took your sweet time with it) and you are still making me into a better mom every day.  You are a natural leader.  People listen to you.  You have integrity.  People trust you.  You are charming.  People want to be around you.

You remind me of your hero Lionel Messi.  With your short statue comes a unique speed and relentless attack on the soccer field.  As Maradona gushed of Messi, “He’s a leader and is offering lessons in beautiful football.  He has something different to any other player in the world.”  Besides the laughs we share together, watching you play is one of my most favorite times to be your Mom.  Although soccer is your passion, I see every area of your life shine—on and off the field.  This excites me the most.

The verse that I want to share with you is one that we have talked about many times.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.

May this verse help you remember that you don’t have to figure out your whole path by yourself.  You can relax knowing God directs your perfect future as you submit to Him and build your relationship with Him.  There is always a place for you at His table and at ours.

Always remember what I believe to be true about who you are:

You are more than your skill.  You are more than your desires or plans.

You are loved, cherished, appreciated, admired, and you have what it takes.

I love you & I am proud of you.

Mom  6/15/13

While you remain on your knees, remember…

We don’t know exactly what kind of man you will become.  The choices we have made for you as you grew up we now release to you.  The choices you make from this point forward will continue to create the man you choose to become.  You can always count on us to love you unconditionally, no matter what choices you make.  We are proud of you.

By the authority given to me by God, as your father, (draw sword) you knelt this day, June 15, 2013 a boy, but you stand a man.

After the manhood ceremony, Aunt Laura presented him with his “first laundry.”

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A memory blanket made from his old T-shirts, jackets and jerseys from childhood as well as his varsity letters.

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He was blown away and has slept with it every night since.

“If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values – that all reality hinges on moral foundations.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Between the Rains

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Finishing up a 7 week study of James this week with a peek at rain as an example of  faithfulness.  Usually I think of rain as something to persevere through instead of benefit from or look forward to.  It was very intriguing to consider rain as the blessing, and a sunny, dry, clear sky day as the meantime.

Reading through this lesson, I realize many beloved friends, family and myself are in a type of drought–circumstantial, not spiritual.  Some are financial; some are relational; some are physical;  some are emotional.  We are all, in a sense, between the rains as we remember more pleasant, refreshing times that may have happened long ago and we wonder when and if the next one will ever come.

While we wait for our next rain, we can take a lesson from the plants.  Too much water is just as detrimental as not enough.  In time and in season, the next rain will come.  Every crop is different, every yield is different.  The world keeps turning, and we keep doing our invisible, essential work as we wait patiently for the next rain.  It will come.  It has to.  This is faith.

We can accept not just the process of growth, but the beauty of that process.  It is purposeful and intentional.  Nothing is wasted.  No part of the process can be skipped, minimized or rushed through.  The process itself is beautiful and productive–even before the harvest.

And through it all, God is faithful.

“Be patient, then, brothers and sisters…See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.  You too, be patient and stand firm…” 

raindrops

My One Word

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My girlfriends and I choose a word to carry with us through a calendar year.  2012 was very turbulent for me so I chose the word “PEACE” and clung to it tightly.  It served me well.

Prince of Peace

reign in me

all I need

Prince of Peace

This year I chose the word “FOCUS.”

 

As a creative, spontaneous, impulsive, sanguine personality, I am often confronted with my tendency to lose things, forget important details, and behave in an unintentional way in my desire to connect with others.  I knew I could benefit from some focus.

At first glance, I thought this word would inspire me to become more organized—in thoughts, in my surroundings, in decision-making.  Focusing has immediately helped me to prioritize (vaguely) slow down (somewhat) and be on time (occasionally) but I have had some surprising elements of this word unfold as well.

A few months into 2013, I had a GREAT IDEA!  I had the strong impulse to CALL THE PERSON RIGHT NOW and offload the idea onto his brain and connect the dots, thereby allowing myself to move on.  I realized that this person was unavailable which put me in a quandary.  “What if I forget between now (when I want to share the idea) and when he becomes available to chat (when he can hear the idea)?”  This was such a dilemma that troubled me greatly until I remembered my word.  FOCUS.  Focus on the idea.  Focus on the calendar.  Connect the dots in my own brain between the passion I feel at a new thought and the refinement process of sharing, developing, preparation, and execution.  I knew I needed to write my thoughts down somewhere.  Somewhere that makes sense and somewhere I will easily find it later.  I felt the gentle coaching of the Spirit as I obeyed.  I felt God telling me to not be troubled or fearful that the idea will be gone like a dream, but to be strong and brave and to allow Him to help me practice FOCUS and bring the idea about in the proper time.  As it turns out focus is a lot more than being organized.

“A person’s focusing system, called accommodation, allows a person to see clearly, particularly up close…the ability to quickly shift focus when looking from near to far, such as when looking from the desk to the board is part of this skill.”  ~Children’s Vision Coalition

FOCUS:

*selectively concentrating on one aspect of the environment while ignoring other things

*rendering in clear outline or sharp detail by adjusting one’s vision

*making adjustments to produce a clear, distinct, well-defined image

*directing toward a particular point or purpose

 *A center of interest or activity.

 

So let’s keep focused on that goal,

those of us who want everything God has for us.

If any of you have something else in mind,

something less than total commitment,

God will clear your blurred vision—

you’ll see it yet!

Philippians 3:15 (Message)