“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Thursday, March 24, 2011

As of Late - March 24th, 2011

Lately, I encouraged my son to wear mouse ears.


Lately, I behaved like a little girl.

Lately, my son thought it would be funny to hug me 
after he got drenched on the Grizzly River Run.

Lately, I got to experience the magical world of Disneyland.

Lately, I felt the sun on my face...
with the love of my life.

Monday, March 21, 2011

She Speaks. She Writes. She Survives.

I tell you the truth, 
unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, 
it remains only a single seed. 
But if it dies, it produces many seeds.  
John 12:24

I don't mean to put her on a pedestal. 
She wouldn't want me to.

I'm not saying she has it all together. 
But she tries. 

And when she falls,
she reaches her hand to the Lord to lift her up, again. 

She is humbled by my acclamation. 
But she doesn't reject it.  

She lets me look to her with her faults and all... trusting me that I will see Jesus in her. 
And I do.

She wants to be a faithful steward of what she has been given.
The good... and the bad.

She wants to plant the seed she has been given.
The death of the seed which will bring life to many.

She wants to go to the She Speaks Conference.
And I want her to go.

I have started a scholarship fund for Elaine to attend the conference.  The cost is $595 if paid by April 15th.  If 100 of us chip in $6... or 10 of us chip in $60... or whatever amount you would consider.  For more information you can contact me by e-mail using the button on my side bar.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

As Far As It Depends On You...

“If it is possible, 

as far as it depends on you, 

live at peace with everyone.” 

Romans 12:18 NIV

Siesta Scripture Memory Team Verse # 6

Monday, March 14, 2011

Seasoned With Salt...

 My pastor was teaching about salt yesterday.

“You are the salt of the earth. 
But if the salt loses its saltiness, 
how can it be made salty again? 
It is no longer good for anything, 
except to be thrown out and trampled by men."  
Matthew 5:13

And I was drawn to this post from April 5th, 2010.  
Praying that my nickname would become "sister sheri salty"...

photography by Anthony Kaetzel

In the host of words shared between women friends, especially amid colliding hormones, sometimes something gets said that leaves the other pondering the old familiar question:  
"What in the world was that supposed to mean?"  

Insecurity will rob us of some of the richest woman-to-woman relationships of our lives.

~excerpts from the book So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore

"Just kidding."

That's what I said to her.  As if it would make up for the words I had just said.  As if "just kidding" would be enough for her to not truly ponder whether or not I really was.  Because isn't it true that there is always a little truth in our teasing?

I hadn't seen her or spoken to her in about a week or two.  So, I teasingly said, "Did I do something wrong?  I haven't heard from you."  The look on her face said it all... she started wondering to herself if not only I had done something wrong... but had she done something wrong that would cause me to question her.

And as if to make it all better... I said "just kidding" but it was too late... I had handed her a one-way ticket to insecurity.  And I knew it.

God was so gracious to bring our paths alongside each other yesterday at church.  And we even had a moment to speak just between the two of us.  And thankfully, we know each other well enough that I could say, "I'm sorry I said that." And she admitted that she had at first mulled over whether or not she had done something wrong... but also reasoned that I had not contacted her during the same time.  Which was so very true.

One of the questions for the So Long, Insecurity discussion group this week is:
Name a couple of ways pertinent to your sphere of life and influence that you could look out for your own gender in our battle with insecurities. In other words, how can you (not others but you in particular) start becoming part of the solution in your female relationships rather than default into part of the problem. No condemnation here. Goodness knows, we’ve all been both. Our challenge is to learn to be deliberate. How are you prepared to do that?
And I realized that in my insecurity of "jokingly" asking my dear sister why she hadn't contacted me... I defaulted into part of the problem.  I not-so-graciously allowed my insecurity to become contagious... and it was viral!

And in apologizing to my friend, I thanked the Lord that He had very clearly given me an example of how dealing with my insecurities can enable someone else's.  And that with a little forethought I might have reasoned that we had both been busy through the week of Spring Break... and that I shared in the responsibility of the communication... or lack thereof.

And so in my desire to be part of the solution... learning to be deliberate in making my security contagious... I have decided to ban "just kidding" from my vocabulary.  No excuses.  I love you all too much to be pushing your head under water... when you are already drowning.

But please realize... if I am quiet around you... and appear to be struggling with words... it is because I am making a conscious decision to not just fill the emptiness with words... words that could end up... even unintentionally... being hurtful.

Let your conversation be always full of grace, 
seasoned with salt, 
so that you may know how to answer everyone.  
Colossians 4:6

So, when you are waiting for me to share my words of wisdom... I may just be swishing a little salt around in my mouth... and praying that my words bring encouragement.  It may take a while for me to get there... but hey, you are worth it!

Friday, March 4, 2011

You Need Only To Be Still.

Sunset over Ethiopia
photography by Anthony Kaetzel

From the book The Red Sea Rules

Red Sea Rule 5  
Stay calm and confident, 
and give God time to work.

Moses answered the people, 
Do not be afraid. 

Stand firm 
and you will see 
the deliverance 
the LORD will bring you today. 

The Egyptians you see today 
you will never see again. 

The LORD will fight for you; 
you need only to be still. 

Exodus 14:13-14

...This is what the LORD says to you: 
‘Do not be afraid or discouraged 
because of this vast army. 

For the battle is not yours, 
but God’s. 

Tomorrow march down against them...
You will not have to fight this battle. 

Take up your positions; 
stand firm 
and see the deliverance 
the LORD will give you, 
O Judah and Jerusalem. 

Do not be afraid; 
do not be discouraged. 

Go out to face them tomorrow, 
and the LORD will be with you.’

2 Chronicles 20:15-17

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Water Falls.

Water falls into the Pacific Ocean
photography by Anthony Kaetzel

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  
 1 Peter 5:7

Sometimes it feels like a waterfall.
Pouring out.  So fast.  Uncontrollable.

It falls.  And keeps falling.
And then it collects.  Like water in a hidden cove.
It tosses and turns.  Waves of worry.  Getting bigger.

And I feel hidden.
And I feel like I am alone.
And all I can see are waves and boulders.  And no way out.

Beyond my view.
There is an ocean.  That I cannot see.
And it is big enough to take care of every fear.  Every concern.  Every thing.

Siesta Scripture Memory Team Verse # 5