Thursday, September 18, 2014

so far away

Quality writing feels so far away right now.  I write when I have time to think and sitting and thinking hasn't been on the agenda for a few days.

It's a season of being caught in the details of creating and producing.  Constantly producing.

Going through my stacks of folders and papers, adding one date after another to my calendar, it dawned on me I also need to add 'deck time' and 'writing time' or I'll watch every single day fill up.  So I added those things too!

 This is my mess from this week.  But the pile of trash at the far end represents an end in site.  Things I'm done with and can throw away.

I need to quit for the night, but, I am praising Him even in the mess - that He walks beside me, and from our mess comes life change, and opportunity for the lost, and hope.

Tonight a full wastebasket and organized folders makes me very happy and thankful and ready to rest for another day!


This writing was nothing deep - but I wanted to just take a moment and thank my Lord in writing for the gift of another week!

Monday, September 15, 2014

my day off


There is no way you can explain to anyone that didn't grow up in Ashland Ohio, why you care about going to the Ashland County Fair.   Multiple times.

I care about going, and today I did!  These were a few of my favorite things!




we ate with great-grandpa at the Veterans Tent

Great-Grandma and Oliver watching the cows



great grandpa treated us to 2 plates of curly fries!

I grew up in a small town, with a loving family, participating in things like 4-H, and county fairs and I LOVE the Ashland County Fair and all the memories it holds for our family.

It was a great day off!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

This is the day...

Psalm 118:24
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

I have no idea why, but, I woke up with this on my heart today.  As I walked outside to sit down, it ran over and over in my mind.

Is it prophetic?   Is something bad going to happen, I wondered?  Is it simply a reminder that 'all good things come from the Lord'?  Am I going to have an opportunity to encourage someone else?

MY schedule doesn't look that difficult today, so I'm not feeling any stress - my house is in order - just mostly re-reading old emails and catching up on the details of coming events to make sure I'm on schedule.

So what is this from the Lord...

It doesn't matter, I rest in Him.

And, I couldn't be more thankful for His never ending love and grace, and for surrounding me with yet another day here on earth - hopefully to make a difference, but, again- content just to be IN Him...

THIS is the day.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

fruitless yet rewarded

fruitless may seem worthless...
In my position I get the privilege of encouraging pastors and others in ministry.  You may say to yourself, "It must be nice to be in a position where you spend your days serving the Lord and others...an important job unlike mine just working for a boss that doesn't appreciate me..."

But the fact is that many times those in ministry toil their entire life never really seeing results - yet continue to serve because they are confident in their call none the less.

I read this recently from John Piper, 'When a young replacement asked a retired pastor of a small church how he had the endurance and strength of soul to keep on in the ministry all those years, he said, “The Lord measures the faithfulness of our labor, not our success. I look always to the Lord and not to man.”

There can be periods of life-quenching discouragement that comes from extended periods of apparent fruitlessness.  Over the past 17 years, I have seen our worship guys go through great discouragement over the lack of enthusiasm from our congregational worship.  We've spent time evaluating what we were doing, trying to make changes to make sure it wasn't us that was holding them back.   And then there would come breakthrough seasons like we are in now, where the worship has never been sweeter - the body seeming anxious to gather and worship together...  All we are required of the Lord to do, is to faithfully serve - never promised that we would even see results!

The prophet Isaiah was sent to minister to a people that God knew would not turn to Him.  Talk about a seemingly 'fruitless' season!  Isaiah said this, "I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity, yet surely my right is with the LORD and my recompense with my God. (Isaiah 49:4)

He knew regardless of their response, his reward rested in the Lord, it was the labor required - not success.

Please be encouraged today to continue the labor God has called you to!   Your reward rests in Him!

And continue to pray for us as we work through the process of choosing Crossroads' next pastor.

My prayer throughout the process has not only been for the man God has chosen for us , but for unity in the process.  A process that builds us stronger and closer to one another and to the Lord!  May our labor at Crossroads be sweet to the Lord!

Monday, September 1, 2014

forgotten

As I recently walked through a high-end thrift store, it struck me how all of the items in there had once been important or used by someone.  And the possibility existed that some of the former owners could be gone by now.


I saw TVs from all different eras - some so old that I could just picture the wide-eyed wonder with which the families' children gathered around their first TV.  These TVs would have been considered a true treasure at one time.  Now they sit and gather dust and are used by no one.

I looked at old rusty rod iron fences that perhaps once surrounded beautifully manicured lawns and maybe even games of croquet.

There were even bowling balls sitting in unique holders the likes of which I had never seen before.

But the item that really caught my eye, and probably surprised me the most, was a still folded casket flag.  A flag that represented the deceased life of a brave soldier.  And I wondered why anyone would ever give a family flag to a thrift store?

Was a family so completely gone that no one knew who this person was?  No one remembered they even had lived?  It made me very sad to consider this - to be that forgotten seems impossible.  Yet when you consider that only 3 generations really know you, it doesn't take long before you become unknown.

It made me wonder if this life had made any difference in the world...any difference in eternity?

I took a hard look at my own life and asked how long it would take for me to be completely forgotten?   I prayed anew that the Lord would draw my attention each day to what is next for Him, what will make a difference in eternity.

It just has to amount to more than a forgotten folded flag in a thrift store.




Friday, August 29, 2014

Listening


 I have always received the most relaxation and most physical grasp of The Lord outside in nature.  But there is one sound and site that fills me up more than any other location or audio - even more than my deck - waves!

I pay very close attention to sound - I love listening to voices often choosing someone for an audio recording just overhearing a conversation some where.  I love electronic music because I'm fascinated by the sounds I hear that I've never heard in my life before.  I love my families' noise - it's mostly the sound of laughing!  But the sound of waves has no comparison in the instant therapy-like affect it has on me!

God's genius is displayed in the waves - the consistency of tides, the rhythm and lapping they produce and the breathtaking life they conceal is simply a stroke of brilliance in it's self-sustaining ability and reproductive capabilities.  

 I'm convinced however, one of the main reasons He created it was for the therapeutic value it processes for us. 

Go somewhere and listen to the waves and you'll offer Him praise and thankfulness!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

islands are for friends and family

Today we went to the beautiful island of Put-in-Bay with our friends!

We were in capable hands with Mark and Ken bringing us back to dock!

Ken giving Mark the ok sign - my mom loved the day!

These 2 are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside.
So proud of my daughter and daughter-in-law

In most situations these two would be questionable (ornery) -
but they were so gracious to us today!


The precious one!

Poor baby was so captive in this vest!

My dad, my son and my hubby - fishing off another boat !


Aunt Joci allowing Oliver to steer the boat
the town of Put-in-Bay filled with family
To have the kind of friends - two boat loads that would take a day off work, take a day away from their own families and come to take us out fishing and site seeing...well, there are no words to describe how blessed we all feel today!

The Lord blesses our lives with a few handfuls of special friends and today we spent the day with Chris, Ken, Mark and Clayton.  Thankful beyond words!