Sunday, April 29, 2012
Uncertainty is Awesome!
It seems like a negative thing, right? But my devo today puts it in perspective. Recently I've gone back to reading Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, and wow, is it just what I need!
"...it has not yet been revealed what we shall be..." 1 John 3:2
"Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life - gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God."
I find myself questioning 'tomorrow' more than I should recently. Since adding school to my seemingly already packed schedule, many days I question whether I'm doing the right thing...and I even question the outcome. But I clearly recall how God presented this opportunity, and it's the fact that He is the source of it all that keeps me going. I don't need to keep wondering what each 'tomorrow' will bring; I need to anticipate with joyful expectation what God is going to reveal as I seek Him above all else.
I already know that my plans will fail. And I know that His plans cannot be thwarted. So as I draw nearer to Him, I can be sure He will work out His plans in me, and all for His glory! As uncertain as I may be about tomorrow, I am completely certain that God is faithful!
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Dreaded Wonderful Words
Saturday, April 21, 2012
And So It Begins...
Would it be wrong to wish she weren't so lovely?!?
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Specially Made for Her!
This girl was in her element ~ the center of attention.
She needed to take the tryke for a stroll so the very.best.therapist.in.the.world and Mommy strapped her in.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
...my youngest son wants to be in the middle of it!
Thursday, April 12, 2012
The kids colored eggs, without incident, mostly.
We did not make it to sunrise service. One day we will. Not yet. But we were in church on time, mostly. And we were so happy that Grandma joined us!
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
The Circle Maker ~ What I Think
In many ways, The Circle Maker follows in a line from two titles you may already have on your bookshelf: Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala and Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick.
The former comparison is appropriate because this is a book about vision birthed in prayer, though unlike the large prayer gatherings described by Cymbala at the Brooklyn Tabernacle, much of the growth at NCC began with Mark quietly walking around sections of Washington, often not fully cognizant of what he was praying for or what the answer would look like when it appeared. It was only when there was a major development in the life of the church that Mark realized that his prayers had become reality in ways he never dreamed.
The latter comparison is apt because this is a book about praying the big prayers, the impossible prayers. Since Furtick’s book is more recent, this might be a good book to read as a sequel to the Charlotte pastor’s challenge to pray “audacious” prayers. All three books are faith-inspiring, and all are written from the perspective of pastors building churches but with connection to your biggest hopes and prayer concerns. Mark Batterson also encourages readers to pray intensely and to pray continually over the long term for the big prayers that can result in big answers. by Paul Wilkinson
As much as it is inspirational, Circle Maker is also controversial. The controversy begins on the first page of chapter one, where Mark Batterson recounts the legend of Honi, a first-century mystic whose power in prayer saves the land from drought. Some have objected to the idea of “prayer circles,” because they smack of paganism and superstition. After reading the book, it seems that Batterson is using “prayer circles” as a metaphor to describe the way someone prayers—prayers of specificity, audacity, and faith. Batterson is an evangelist for relentless, daring prayers.
I have some concerns with the book—a bit of sketchy exegesis here and there, a name-it-claim-it style of intercession, and a blurry line between dreams and prayers. I frankly discussed these concerns with Mark when I interviewed him today, and I appreciate his genuine thoughtful answers to my questions. You’ll have to wait until the broadcast releases to hear the concerns and Mark’s excellent response. By Daniel Threlfall
Yep, it’s controversial. As someone who has a healthy aversion to anything that reeks of ‘name it and claim it’, I was skeptical as well. After the first chapter, telling the story of Jewish legendary circle maker Honi who stood in a circle to pray for rain, I wasn’t convinced this book was Biblical at all. But after reading the whole book, I’ve changed my mind.
You see, author Mark Batterson doesn’t believe in the power of circles, he believed in the power of prayer and above all in the power of God who can do way more than we could ever think or imagine. His book is one big encouragement to dream big, pray hard, think long and then keep circling (= keep praying). At Youth Leaders Academy
Our problem is that “most of us don’t get what we want because we don’t know what we want . . . and secondly, we don’t get what we want because we quit circling.” I, for one, give up too easily instead of “praying through!” Talk about stupidity when we want God to provide more so we need Him less. Spiritual maturity isn’t about self-sufficiency but codependence on God. In Batterson’s own words, “And if we pray hard, our lives will become complicated and we will need to work harder. And that is a blessing from God.” By Dale Lewis
Finally, I found this critical review, but couldn't get it to copy properly so check it out for yourself. It appears this review is based off a 40 second video blurb on the study packet, rather than the critic having read the book. At EBC
There are likely more critical reviews of the book out there; I just had trouble finding them. I just want to point out that when I recommend a book, I never believe or claim that it trumps the Bible.
Very early in the book I had the same concerns about the mystical "Honi" and was afraid the reader would be directed to place our faith in him or his teachings...so I kept reading.
After reading the book, it is clear to me that Batterson believes in the power of prayer to Almighty God, and that Honi's circle of payer for rain is metaphorical to the Israelites marching around the walls of Jericho. Honi prayed to God, not to some idol.
God is not a genie in a bottle who grants our wishes; He answers our prayers in ways that glorify Himself!
I can sum up in one sentence the message I get from the book: We don't receive because we don't ask; if we do ask, it's for selfish desires; and we don't ask because we either don't know or have forgotten how big GOD is.
And that message is biblical ~ James 4:2-3 ~ You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
Bottom line, we can read all the books in the world, but the one we need to ground our faith in is the Bible. I hope I never point you away from God's Word when I share another book with you. I want everything I read to be filtered through the Spirit.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
A Dream in My Heart
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Easter 5 Years Ago ~ Hello, Kambry Hope!
Lord, I praise You for letting me be Mommy to this beautiful little girl.
Within hours she was giggling!
Friday, April 6, 2012
Jesus Paid it All
I'm reminded on this Good Friday how willingly Jesus gave everything for me, and for you. Far too often I complain about having to give something up. Lord, please forgive me for my selfish, ungrateful heart. I know You paid the full price for my sin on the cross. And though for a moment it seemed death was victorious, that was not the end! O death, where is your sting?
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Don't be Jealous :)
We whipped up another batch of homemade laundry soap.
Let sisters fix sister's hair...
Monday, April 2, 2012
Kasidi Joy's First Steps!!!
GOD IS GOOD!!!
We are much too busy around here, getting ready to plant sweet corn, but we always find time for a good old fashioned weenie roast right here on the farm.