Archive for July, 2008

Pruning

July 16, 2008

I’ve been thinking about pruning lately.  We have a grape vine on our fence.  It belongs to the neighbors.  At first, I thought it might be dead.  Turns out, it is a late growing plant.

Have you ever felt like a late growing plant?

Then, once it gets growing, it grows amazingly fast… but if you just let it grow, it won’t produce hardly any fruit.  It will just be this beautiful, fruitless plant.  Okay, there is a bit of fruit, but it isn’t good, and it isn’t plentiful.  So, in mid-July, just when it really get to growing, we have to trim it back to practically stubs again so that it can grow to have good, plentiful fruit.

Where are you feeling pruned to stubs?

Fun

July 16, 2008

Just want to share this fun picture of my son – he and some others thought they’d dump a garbage can of water on the youth pastor – not taking into account the fact that they are all just over 4′ and the youth pastor is way over 6′ tall and the garbage can was about 2.5′ tall.  The end result was that the youth pastor took the garbage can and dumped it… on my son.  Ha!  My photography was a bit late, but speaking of counting the cost… <grin>

Let me give you a hug mom!

Let me give you a hug mom!

Changing God’s Mind

July 15, 2008

Amos was listening to God.  Two different times God said (my paraphrase) “I’m going to rain down all this destruction on the people”.  Amos said “That’s too much!  They won’t survive!”  and scripture says “and so the Lord relented” (see Amos 7).

I think that sometimes we feel that things are written in stone.  I’ve heard so many people say ‘well God will do what He wants.’  Amos intervened and God relented.  I think there’s more to being a prayer warrior than just standing against darkness.  We need to also be listening to God and talking to Him.

After all, He is after relationship, and relationship requires a two-way conversation.

What are you and God talking about today?

Lost…

July 14, 2008

“Lost is a place too.”  What a powerful thought!  Thanks to Brian Jones (and apparently Christina Crawford) for my thought of the day!

In the Edges

July 14, 2008

Have you ever noticed that God shows us pictures of what it means to serve Him in all parts of our lives?

I learn lessons from every day things all the time.  Here are my observations from yesterday: As I was mowing the lawn, I could get most of the weeds (my lawn is mostly weeds, the grass doesn’t grow nearly as fast) with my big lawn mower, but then I had to come back with the trimmer to get the edges.  And the weeds didn’t stay on the lawn, they grew up into the rocks, into the flowerbeds…  The flowers on the other hand, bloomed right where they were planted.

Mowing the lawn is much like vacuuming the house.  Years ago, (in the land of toddlers) I learned that when I vacuum my house, it never looks clean unless I vacuum the edges – that the dirt seems to gravitate to the edges, the cracks where the vacuum can’t get to it with out the attachment.

Taking a look at the edges today, and looking for flowers I might have missed.

Creativity and Learning

July 12, 2008

I’ve been learning about photography lately. A week ago, I thought I was a pretty good photographer. Now I realize I don’t even know enough to tell one lens from the next except in zoom factor. The cool thing is that I get to learn.

I really enjoy taking pictures. I also enjoy playing with pictures on the computer. Here are some great sites where you can find good photos for use in your publications:

Imagestate

Getty Images

Corbis

I’ve used other sites for some time, but Corbis and Imagestate are new to me. For fun, I tried three common things I put photos on: women’s tea, men’s breakfast and missions. Corbis had the best pics for the first two, but hands down, Getty had the best fun pics for missions.

I’ll still use Istockphoto, as that’s where I have my account, and buzz flickr occasionally, and use live photos when possible, but it is fun to have new options.

Also, if you need help learning Photoshop, you can pick up almost any photography magazine right now and get a pretty good education.

Have an adventurous weekend – and if you know anything about camera lenses, send the info my way.

Going on Safari – Engaging Others

July 10, 2008

Recently, when I wrote about engaging the youth in the park who were smoking weed, some people might not understand what I meant.

People who don’t know Jesus have spiritual questions, but instead of answers, we often give them rhetoric. What if instead, we became trail guides?

God made us all to be explorers. He wants us to discover the relationship we are designed to have with Him. Maybe the first step to being a good witness is being a good explorer. Have you discovered anything new about God recently? If you have, then questions about God might not seem heretical, they might seem adventurous. You could be just the person God can trust to take on safari as He reveals Himself to someone and shows them who He is.

People who are on a journey to discover God need people of faith who know God well enough to let them explore and point out the signs along the trail. They need a trail guide. Trail guides are strong people. They are well grounded in theology and the person of God and they are relational.

I hope you have an adventurous day of exploration.

Summer

July 10, 2008

Summer is here and we are really enjoying the chance to bask in the sun – to rejuvenate and ‘fill our tanks’ after a long winter.  Outdoor restaurants are full, the beaches are packed, and everyone is soaking up as much outdoor time as they can.

Why can’t it be wonderful like this all the time?

I lived in Southern California for a while.  It is sunny there a lot – and smoggy.  You don’t enjoy the sun as much, but you REALLY enjoy the rain.  I remember the day it rained and I put on my hat and levi jacket and basked, well, more like frolicked,  in the rain.  Hmmmm.

So let’s translate this into the rest of life.  Ever wanted ‘sunshine’ all the time?  I know I have.  In fact I get kind of frustrated at the ‘rain clouds’ some days.

The joy is in the journey.  God gave us variety – even in trials and times of joy because we are people of adventure.

I hope you enjoy the adventure today.

Singing Loudly

July 7, 2008

On the Fourth of July I had a great day at Gasworks Park with about 5000 other people. After the fireworks, a youth group was singing near us. I was annoyed, in awe, and worshipful.

Being annoyed freaked me out. I thought ‘What is wrong with you?’

Then the picture came into focus. Intuitively, I’d picked up on something. First, the smell. Hmmm. Definitely weed. Just south of the youth group was another ‘youth group’. This one was sitting in a circle toking weed.

I felt physical pain at this sight. Is this the church I wondered? Singing our hearts out and ignoring people who are trying to numb their pain. What would happen if they engaged the kids next to them? How could they have been God’s hand extended? Wouldn’t that have been a form of praise to God?

I’m not knocking the singing youth. They had guts, they were being the family of God – and they were praising God in a public place on the Fourth of July. My heart just longs to see those other kids engaged.

I think we are sometimes blind to the hurt right in front of us.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.