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Hopefully the name of this blog speaks for itself. I envision it being one of humor, exhortation, random musings, theological discussion, sports, and things that impact my life and could bless yours. Sometimes it might be a verse or a funny story, a sports score that has me up in arms or a profound truth that has hit me. I pray you find your visit here blessing your heart.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hiding Out with a Book

As I have been out of commission regarding internet connection and capabilities, I have been reading more than I normally do.  (Carrie, I know you can hardly comprehend that there would be MORE reading than usual but alas, there has been more.)  I love reading and how it allows to you to visualize for yourself the way stories, timelines, characters, scenes play out.  I think movies have made us somewhat lazy and stolen much of our individual imagination, especially as children.  Reading opens up a whole new world and allows you to move at your own pace, mulling over the nuances that the author infers and the word choices which turn "a flower garden" into "a space tucked away behind a potter's cottage carpeted with jewel tones of jade, amythest and crimson buoyed with fragrances of lilacs, roses, and freesias alerting winter that spring is here.

It can also elaborate on "bad circumstances" as being one characterized by phrases like "eight acrid and overflowing toilets", "lice-bitten skin", "bedding was soiled and rancid", "someone's elbow dug into my back, another women's feet were two inches from my face"... and that is about all I need to hear to get the intensity of the bad circumstances.  

In a previous post about one of my favorite books, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, a friend of mine made a comment on here about her favorite book, The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.  It brought back memories of my mom telling me how she used to just love that book and how she encouraged me to read it from the time I was in elementary school.  I always put her off telling her I didn't want to read about a watchmaker's daughter.  Over the years, she has asked from time to time if I had ever read that book.  Until last week, I had always answered "no."  

Oh, how I wish I had NOT waited until now to read that beautiful book....

The trials and "bad circumstances" Corrie and her sister, Betsie, had to endure during the German occupation of Holland in the 1940's have lived on in the pages of this autobiography to serve as a poignant perspective in the face of suffering.  The courage they demonstrated and the awful, disturbing things they had to endure over a period of several years are both at levels almost incomprehensible to many, especially to me.  

I live a sheltered life.  
They did not.  

I complain.  
They did not.  

I take things for granted.  
They did not.

I forget about Jesus.
They did not.

They lived harmony.
I do not.

They had bravery.
I do not.

They lived with thankfulness in all circumstances.
I do not.

They trusted God at all times, in all things, for all reasons great and small.
I do not.

I am altering my post about far and away my favorite book being Redeeming Love.  This book, The Hiding Place, is every bit as compelling and impactful.  The testimony of God's provision is awe-inspiring.  He is in every detail of every life and our very present Help in time of trouble.  

If you have this book on your shelf and not taken the time to read it... do it.  If you have not taken the time to go out and purchase this book... do it.  If you have never heard of this book and need to find additional references and recommendations... do it.  If you need to see if it is on an audiobook... do it.

I will not request my daughter read this book.  I will insist upon it and hopefully we can read it together as I know I will be looking forward to the time I can re-read this book... over and over again.  

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Marching Onward


The last few weeks have been trying in that I have been dodging bullets in just about every form and fashion.... but really, I guess I expected the onslaught of difficulties to come swiftly and powerfully given what I have committed to full time.  A few things...
- computer hard drive crash
- denial of health insurance due to unfounded (and unbeknownst to me) medical diagnosis
- ministry website elements still remain unfixed after months
- cancelled and/or rescheduled conferences/concerts
   ... and the list goes on....

However, there have been lots of wonderful opportunities presented in this season of serious faith walking...
- Fantastic performance workshop with Tom Jackson where I sang for some Nashville A&R, management companies and consultants... resulted in positive feedback and follow up meetings.
- Offered several great opportunities to sing, speak around lots of different regions in the country, a TV show in Atlanta and radio opportunities in South Carolina, Texas, Kentucky.
- New connections every day in women's ministries across the country - Kay Arthur, Kim Bolton, Kay deKalb Smith, Ginger Moore, Alice Breuer, Jennifer Devlin, Linda Goldfarb, Joyce Oglesby, Patty Mason, Jane Pistole, Erica Lane and so many more...

I am blessed.  Of this, I am sure.

I ask for continued prayer as I am faced everyday with the fact that I am that jar of clay as Paul writes in his letter to the Corinthians but I know that inside is where the good stuff is.  The treasure of God's word and His work in my life serves as an example of what He is able to do... immeasureably more than we can ever hope or imagine.  In the practicalities of life that seem to get in the way of ministry and at times, seem to bog down and even stagnate my heart, we remember that ...
"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." - 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

We are not destroyed but being fashioned into a more hearty and readily available follower of Christ.  I find warfare around every corner.  This ministry thing is not easy nor is it just for "funsies".  It makes me have to be brave and walk straight up the middle of the battlefield.  He is requiring more faith and dependence from me that He WILL get me, bruises, band-aids and all, to the other side of that mountain I am climbing. 

"I believe, Lord please help my unbelief."  I get that guy in Mark's gospel now.  I think the present day translation might be... "I DO believe, but Lord, I'm skeered!!!"  I know this is what I am called to do but even in the confidence of this knowledge, how is it that fear is always right under the surface making me question the words I hear, the calling I know, the choices I make...  Does anyone know what I am talking about? 

And so I walk, one step at a time, slowly ambling the path laid out for me, trying not to lag behind and run ahead of Him and tempted to do both... each step further along my journey and closer to my Lord.  I see joy and tears, highs and lows, life and death, fruit and baggage... it's all there.  And so is He.

I am blessed.  Of this, I am sure.