Monday, October 31, 2005

"and His heart was filled with pain"

Genesis 6 says God's heart was filled with pain and that He grieved. That is the way God is. He hurts. He cries (Jesus wept). Yet he moves on. The problem that caused the pain does not mean the end of the road. It is part of the view along the way.

What grieved God in Genesis? He saw that evil filled the hearts of people continually all of the time and they mistreated others. Jesus wept when his friends were mourning other their brother's death.

God went on with the plan of His people on earth, despite the broken heart. Jesus went on with the plan of the day.

Lord God, fill me with the heart of Your compassion, not letting the pain of sharing in another's grief steer me off the|

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 1:14 PM | 2 comments

Sunday, October 30, 2005

"to bind up the broken hearted"

"To bind up the broken hearted," are the words that escaped me during the "spin cycle" blog of yesterday, which for me was Saturday morning.

Adolescence is hard. Adolescence is hard. Adolescence is hard. Who wants to go back and do it again?

Life is hard. Life is hard. Life is hard. Who wants to do any of the hard parts again?

I don't think a living person survives this world without a broken heart, even Jesus. Maybe especially Jesus. Because He didn't let anything distract Him from His mission. Our broken hearts distract us from God's mission for us, for me.

I lack faith because I fear being left alone, forgotten about, forsaken. Isn't faith letting go of everything, the "substance of things NOT SEEN?" In hope against hope, Abraham believed. Aren't we, like Paul when we have faith, having nothing but possessing all things?

I want to enourage the broken hearted. I want to pray for their hearts, that the adolescents that I know and love dearly would go to God and He would bind up their broken hearts, that He would proclaim liberty and open the prison, that He would loose the bound, turn ashes to beauty, pour on the oil of joy, lift the spirit of heaviness and put on the garment of praise, that they might be called trees of righteousness, a planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 1:27 PM | 2 comments

Saturday, October 29, 2005

in the spin cycle

Well, I'm not really in the spin cycle, per say, as in washing machine or in bad situation spinning out of control. I am taking a spin class right now though - a bike class at a health club. The room is dark and there is loud dance-like music and let's see -ten participants and an instructor.

I sure do like to eat. Not that I'm there yet at all, but I had to "learn," or maybe a better term would be, to be released from, where my body's yearnings told ME what to do. "I WANT CAKE" "I WANT TO BE FILLED" "I MIGHT GET HUNGRY LATER IF I DON'T EAT NOW." The body dictates in other ways too, like "I DON'T FEEL LIKE EXERCISING" "I DON'T THINK IT IS SAFE IF MY HEART BEAT GETS UP THAT HIGH" "I JUST DON'T ENJOY EXERCISE."

Paul said that "I buffet my body and make it my slave." Who's in charge here anyway? Did you know that our body doesn't exist forever? Do you know that it wants to think it has control - like a toddler that runs the parent around its infantile cravings.

For me it was a spiritual battle to separate my body from my mind and put my mind in charge of what I allowed my body to do. This is why I think people can't overcome some addictions. Their body, or sin housed in their body, has gotten a hold and won't let go without a fight.

Isaiah 61 has been a real joy this week for me to read. Verses 1 & 3 are something like this:

"The Spirit of the LORD God is upon me because He has annointed me to proclaim good tidings to the meek, to (forgot a few words here), to proclaim liberty to the captives and to open the prison to those that were bound....I have appointed those who mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, oil of joy for a spirit of heaviness and a garment of praise for mourning, that they may be called trees of righteouness, a planting of the Lord that He may be glorified." Jesus said, "in this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit." Jesus died to set us free. Eat and drink of Him and never thirst again. Enter in. Taste and see He is good.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 8:02 AM | 2 comments

Monday, October 24, 2005


Well, for the first time in, well, probably months,I am actally typing this on a real computer. I am at a hotel in Minnesota, having gone to a most unusual and sad (I suppose that they all are, however) funeral. I am glad that I had the opportunity to hop on a plane and be here. It was nice to be a part of it. Maybe more on that another time.

For now, I want to talk about Matt. My husband and I began thinking about adopting an older child in July. (Oh, aren't these changes in font and color fun?) We want to adopt a child named Brent, but his case is on hold, and is not currently available. I noticed Matt on the web site just a few weeks ago - or now I suppose it was a bit longer back. Anyway, I got more information on him and his story and relayed it to the hubby and kids.

My youngest daughter's comments were so adoring. "He likes pets. We could get him a pet. He could help with the dogs." She had many wonderful comments, her nuturing qualities, that have been dripping off her since a babe, flowing with delight. What was especially noteworthy, were her several suggestions that we, as parents and family, do for Matt, that I in fact was wanting to do, but wondering how to "break it" to her, hoping she wouldn't take it as a slight to her.

My little son was just precious. He examined the paper with Matt's picture and story with intensity. He stated, "So far I like this Matt," and after reading a bit more said, "I say yes!" He was equally as accepting to Matt and helpful with appropriate suggestions.

My husband continues to surprise me with his open heart and energy for such a child. All, that is each and every, extended family member that is aware of our undertaking is way supportive.

When I spoke with the adoption place, the first time and then again today, regarding our adopting Matt, they seem pleased and hopeful with the idea of Matt coming into our home. They having chosen a family for Matt yet, and are waiting for our home study report to be completed in November. They referred to us as "a viable family."

My, My, how do I feel? Well, I don't want to get a "thrilled" feeling until this actually, like happens. But even then, I think it will be wise to just, like go with the punches. It's going to be hard. I think the rewards will come in time, not all at one time. Yeah, it is a big present. But one with "some assembly needed," as it is for all kids, biological ones and those adopted.

This would be the reward for me (as far as in this present world is concerned): Matt learning love, not in a flash, not in an hour and not in a day, but one day, when an older man, as he watches me nurture and tenderly care for his child, he looks from across the room, and understands a love and a commitment, a tenderness and a vow, a covenant and a seal of love, that grew up over a long period of time. And that he would know healing, a degree of healing. I guess that's what is in it for me.

But really, as you know, or maybe can guess, I am doing this because I think God is specifically calling me to this very act. If I didn't do it, I would feel that I were sinning because I think this is what He is calling me to do at this time.

Joyce Meyers said, "If you want God to use you, don't be picky how he does it," or something to that extent. I'll keep you posted.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 6:04 PM | 3 comments

Saturday, October 22, 2005

"Not that I have obtained this...but I press on"

Okay. So, I'm not there yet. Will never be as long as I live and breath oxygen, but I press on. Paul says in Phillippians 3, after saying about counting everything apart from Christ as loss for the excellency of knowing Him, "not that I have obtained this or have yet to be made perfect, but I press on." He presses on to do that which God calls him to do, do the things that Christ saved him to do and called him for.

Right now I'm in a bike spin class. I'm writing on this phone thing, pedeling away. Before the class started I checked out my New Testement that is downloaded on to this thing. Yes, thank you very much. I am a fanatic. Some like sports. I like Christ. Anyway, I read about where John the Baptist said, "He must increase and I must decrease."

Not again! Again? Okay, Lord. I must decrease. Then I see it and feel it again - the resistence. And not that of the bije wheel.

My resistence to letting God spin my wheels for Him. But He gently leads me and knows how to gently draw. And so He does. And I repent again.

Oopps I did it again. Gave in to my old nature. I don't actually feel like decreasing today. You see, I'm fit. Obese me on the inside, fit on the outside. Oh, but God did that, didn't He? I'm going to a really fancy dinner tonight wearing nice clothes I could never have wore before with my husband of 22 years who loves me and is making good choices in His life. God again. Following Christ and He did these things for me. Wow. I am blessed. But I can't even claim anything or take pride in it.

But I can praise Him. God is blessed by my sacrifice of praise. Thank You Lord Jesus that You have chosen the foolish things of this world. You chose ME! You created me and gave me life. You sustain me. I am held accountable to do that You have called me to do, enabled me to do. Enable me to abide under your cover. Ahhhh. Ahhhh. REST.

Gonna bike with the others in this class now. "Proud mary keeps on burning." In this world. Not of it. Bye. Love ya.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 8:27 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, October 20, 2005

"for the excellency of knowing Him"

Phillippians 3 :10 is one of my all-time favorite verses. Don't you just love Paul? He was such a warrior for the gospel. He considered all things loss for the excellency of knowing Christ.

I don't have anything in this world. All of my riches are in Christ. I have become a fool for Him. In Him is hid my life. Yet He has blessed me in this world. I thank Him. A lot. Or at least at this moment I thank Him for those generous outpourings.

I just feel like I was created for His purpose and I want to fulfill that - to live in that, because that is why I even exist. What else am I even here for? He sustains my life.

I am dependent upon Him. I have nothing to go back to. "To where shall we go? You alone have the words of eternal life," His discouraged disciples responded to Jesus one day. I have no where else to turn but to Christ. I have repeatedly severed ties to this world and gladly, with open and empty hands do so now. I am my Lord's and He is mine.

Yeah, He's mine. And I love knowing Him. True, solid, unadulterated joy in the presence of Him. Oh, I want that - the presence of Him. Because He is for me. He is not against me. In Him is no darkness at all. So, I go to His light and ask for grace to do according to all He would have me to do. The power of His resurrection found in living in, lingering in, dwelling in, the emptied state of humility like that of Jesus hanging on a tree for me. He is enough for me. There isn't anything else I need.

Do you see it? Do you see that God is good and He is withholding no good thing from you?

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 2:51 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

So much is happening

If I were to detail the saga of my biological background and relatives' relations, I would run out of space. Suffice it to say, my biological father, as in the words of another daughter, "got around."

I got a call that my bio dad, David, who was also known as Mike, just died. I'm going to the funeral in Minnesota on Monday. He had 6 children from 3 women. 2 kids were abandoned, 1 adopted (me) and 3 raised by he and his 2nd wife, who subsequently abandoned that family, leaving Dave to raise the kids in his drunkened state. David survived his suicide attempt and went on to have 20 years of sobriety, but continued in judgment against God (from my vague perception) and broken relationships.

Regarding the 6 kids today, 1 ran off and currently is unable to be located (I'm praying he can be found in time to attend our reunion-funeral). 2 haven't spoken with 3 others for over 20 years. David did not even know of the existence of 3 grandchildren he had when he died.

Well, the 5 daughters are talking and going to go to the funeral. The 1 son is missing. I hope he's found and goes. I have never met him and he does not even know about me (that I exist and found my biological family several years ago).

Out of these 6, 3 are strong believers and followers of Christ and 3 are offended by one merely being Christian as in sending Christmas cards with a religious message.

Isn't God great? Even in death, His mercies are new every morning and His glory is evident. How great Thou art.

Thank you God for keeping track of my family tree and having mercy upon me. Be in this funeral, be Your own witness. Unto Life everlasting, the Perfect One, the Man of Peace, Amen.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 7:48 AM | 0 comments

Monday, October 17, 2005

"but he shall rule over you."

Wow. I've read that verse from Genesis chapter 3 a lot of times before, but those words really stuck out to me when I read them again recently. It is as certain as childbirth pain.

I've given birth to four babies - two without epidurals. I prayed that God would lessen the pain and I think He completely "ignored" my plea. The pain!!! The Anguish!!! Dreadful. Abhorant.

In the Genesis passage, God promises childbirth pain and that our husband's will rule over us wives. The pain!!! The Anguish!!! And yes I suppose dreadful as well. Abhorant.

Well, if it IS going to happen, as sure and natural as childbirth pain, I mine as well get with the program, after all, going along with God's plan is in my best interests.

So, as I spoke with my husband today, I saw him through the eyes of this reality. In the past few years I have seen my husband's spiritual eyes opened. I think that even today my husband perceived my efforts to align myself to his plans because I wanted to follow His plan for my life. I know Brad appreciated it.

God is working in ways I can not see, whispering to me in His words of faith. When Sarah followed Abe all the way into Pharoah's camp, calling him her master, God protected her and honored her. I Peter 3 speaks of Sarah as a holy woman of old that trusted God and did what was right, trusting God. She served her husband and trusted God, not actually "trusted" her husband, per say. I want to do the same.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 6:47 PM | 2 comments

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Yesterday I went with my husband to his 30 year high school reunion. Getting old affects us all, doesn't it? For some people, getting old is harder than for other people.

I looked forward to getting older when I was in my twenties. Never minded a birthday until one day someone asked how old I was, and I said that I was 37 years old. We began talking and I realized that I was actually 38 years old and I was having another birthday soon! Anxiety, fear and a touch of horror struck. Soon I would be 40.

I remember looking in the mirror and realizing I could no longer depend upon the gifts of innocent beauty and youth.

My mom loved the way I looked as a youth. She told me that she really wasn't ready to adopt another child when the agency called, but my mother explained that I was described to be very beautiful.

My mom used to try to dress and primp me up like her Shirley Temple doll and I resisted and rebelled like Helen Keller in her first training lessons with Anne Sullivan.

As I looked in the mirror approaching my 40th birthday, it did not lie or distort the truth. I was obese and my face no longer held much beauty, frankly.

I minimized my looks for years - didn't often wear make-up or flaunting clothing. On the other hand, I assumed what my mother said was true. That I was beautiful and I kept that power hidden in my back pocket of my confidence.

In my 30's and 40's, I couldn't lose weight on my own, but I knew God was powerful enough to enable me to lose weight. It was a spiritual battle of months and years, of tears and fearless pursuits. But God was victorious. He showed me the end of myself. The weakness contained in me. The sufficency in Christ.

I have become more beautiful in recent years. I wear make-up and exercise regularly. I have discovered my body is something I manage. It is not who I am.

I am an eternal creation of God, housed in a temporary body that, unfortunately (or not) is wasting away. May God enable that spiritually I be renewed day by day like the rising sun.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 12:03 PM | 3 comments

Friday, October 14, 2005

Four mothers?

On L,L,L site I commented about my mom. Then I said that I actually had two moms, well four. Thought I'd elaborate - despite my hesitation.

Well, my mom is the one who raised me. Her name is a flower that starts with the letter R. She is like a characture of a person. Oh my gosh! She would be the most interesting personality to develop in a book, like for my kids, a geneology/memoir to capture what a wonder she is.

Then there is my biological mother, since as an infant I was adopted. I met her when I could stand it no longer not knowing/meeting her. So I tracked her down about 7 years ago. She wants more of a relationship than R (or I) feel comfortable with, but I'm glad she is in my life.

Then there is J and M. J is my step-mother. She and my father married when I was about 23 years old, soon after my parents divorced. M is my mother-in-law. She is wonderfully non-intrusive.

Then there is Concetta - my 92 year-old precious grandmother (mother of Rose-yes, that is her name-how'd ya guess?). Now, that is a lot of estrogen!

When you have two moms (or four-sort of) there is a part of you that has no mom. That's the part that Jesus has all to Himself.

Now, about my Dads.... let us just say, I have a couple people that may have had that title (adopted and bio, and a father-in-law), but truly God has lifted me up. He is the great I AM and He is my Father. My husband in some ways has been like a father to me. We began dating when I was 18 and he was 24 years old, and I've grown up a lot since then.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 12:52 PM | 2 comments

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

"Dance with me, my love"

That's a lyric from a Keith Green song, the Christian artist who died many years ago, whose songs continue to minister to me. It is a line in which God is pleading to a follower to dance with Him. The song says,"no one hurts, no one aches." That we don't care for our hurting neighbor, yet Jesus died for us and He pleads for us to enter into His concern for our brethren.

Well, I don't know how I got off on that, actually. I intended to state that my husband, Brad, and I met with the social worker from the adoption agency today and it went very well. We have the next meeting for two hours with our children also on 11/4 and that should be our final meeting.

When I asked my prayer partner and friend about her view of all this she seemed in awe of what God is doing and said that Brad and I seemed "like one." Well, that IS saying something, isn't it? Like M.C. said, "Isn't God great?" (or words to that effect in the comments section of my last entry).

I guess I thought of the line,"dance with me, my love" because I thought about this adoption thing feels like a dance with my husband with God in our midst, so I want to keep dancing, even though I may feel afraid sometimes. I just want to trust. Like Abe, called in faith to walk where he didn't know where he was going. I choose to choose God, and trust that He will not let me respond to the voice of another Shepherd. "Lord, take me to Your lost sheep and let's bring 'em home." Yes, M.C., our God is great.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 9:11 PM | 2 comments

"Any kingdom divided against itself will fall" Luke 11:17

Jesus said those words. Actually, I was looking in my Bible this morning to quote from Luke 9 and 10 when Jesus sent out the 12 and then the 70. He told them to go out and preach the gospel, cure diseases and not to take any provision with them on their trip-no extra coat,purse, money or food. God told Abraham similarly. He left his hometown and didn't know to where he was going. Then when he got there, there was a famine, so he lost heart and went to Egypt.

Today, in a way, I feel like I am going where God is leading, and He isn't wanting me to take any provision for my trip. No self-dependence, no extra money in the bank, no guarantee for tomorrow. Just listening to His voice and trusting Him, even when there seems a famine in the land. Abe saw a famine. God saw a mighty and faithful father of many nations. I can't take provisions because they are not provisions at all but distractions that cause me to look somewhere other than to God alone. God is building Himself an eternal kingdom in His Son. What I do in Him will last. "Lord, establish Your way in me that I am not divided but sound and secure in You. You are our faithful and reliable refuge."

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 7:39 AM | 1 comments

Sunday, October 09, 2005

"In what specific ways do you love the world more than God?"

That's my Bible syudy question before me. 1 John 2:15: "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

A couple days ago when I was meditating on the verse cited in my last post, I was struck by my reluctance and ambivilence (forgive me - I am such a bad speller!). I was praying, "God forbid that I should glory in anything, save the cross...." and in my mind I felt the fleeting away of hopes and dreams. My own hopes. My OWN, VERY OWN and nobody elses dreams and hopes. Not even God's. Just MINE. To make it on my own. To be smart on my own. Have healthy realtionships on my own. To be respected and honored and glorified because I made myself great. Poof. Gone. All my dreams.

But Satan and his evil army are pleased, yes - even dedicated to offer the same deal anytime. Like porn always available on the internet, or a cigarette always available anytime you want to start up again.

Here's my answer to the Bible study question: "I want to be smart enough to be a doctor without God's help. I want to be honored by others as though I were special all on my own. I want to be an extra good person on my own, an extra good Christian instead of the pathetic sinner stained in the mire of gross, smelly, ugly sin."

Thank You for Your grace. Help me to share it. God bless Your readers.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 8:09 PM | 3 comments

Friday, October 07, 2005

Last night I went clothes shopping with my youngest daughter. On the way there I read a bit of Galations, between stop lights and freeway signs, off my phone/palm pilot thingy that has the New Testement downloaded onto it (way cool). My daughter asked, "Why are you talking to yourself?" I said, "I'm trying to memorize this verse." She seemed relieved that I wasn't, well, actually talking to myself.

"God forbid that I glory in anything, save the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me and I to the world."

At the clothes place, I meditated between viewing my daughter in various selections of children's size 14-16 clothes, mostly jeans.

God don't allow. Put Your hand out in stopping. That I only glorify in the cross. In that cross where its glory and victory is separating the world from me. Me separate from the world. World here. Me there. Glory in that. In that spot of the cross. On Jesus's cross with Him. United with Him in death. In life. In total victory. Consumed and lost in the face and life of Jesus Christ where my purpose is found. In Christ. Yeah. Lost in Him. Found in perfect peace. Peace, not as the world gives. Yeah. Meet ya there. In eternal life. Yeah. Way cool.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 5:41 PM | 2 comments

Thursday, October 06, 2005

as opportunity allows

I'm a mom to four kids, teens and tweens. They haven't been that easy to raise. I suppose no child is, but I suspect some are more tempermental than others. I was a homeschool mom for five years. The kids are all excelling in their private, Christian schools and I love being their mom.

My husband has become an increasingly great dad. It's been lots of fun to see God work in him these past few years.

Our family feels very secure. My husband and I thought we could help an older child, and came to the surprising conclusion that we could adopt a boy around age 12 - 13. So in July we began the cumbersome process.

It has been emotionally difficult because, imagine seeing your kid's face on a milk carton, if you will, under heading MISSING. We're looking to adopt a child whose picture is on the internet, listed as a special needs child, and he's out there - missing.

There's been one boy, named Brent, that I have been so enthralled with, but the whole adoption process is so difficult because we are still doing our home study stuff on our end, and are disconnected from the kid's end, except for the picture and little story on the web site, along with number of web site hits the kid's had.

Anyway, on the web site, I noticed another kid that seemed perfect for our family, named Matt. It sounds dumb, but I want to try about adopting both of them, at the same time. I haven't had the nerve yet to bring up that idea with my husband, but I think he'd go for it. Next Wednesday is our next meeting with our social worker. Pray for God's divine control in this all.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 1:02 PM | 2 comments

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

opportunities abounding

Since I posted over the weekend, and was encouraged that my last post was not completely off the wall, as per L,L,L entry, I have thought a lot about what was said. Today and yesterday I did some things I wouldn't normally feel like doing, in regards to helping my husband. (He in turn has done a number of things to help me, but I don't think they strained him, or that he minded.) I figure that since God runs the world, it behooves me to keep on the little path paved for me, and everything will turn out for MY benefit, which is, after all, the bottom line! Well, seriously, if I stay on that little path God marked out for me, everything will turn out for the Famous One, the one and only God who created all things and for whom they were created, and actually for me too. So, fitting within my husband's plans is best. I need to learn that when I depend upon him, I am trusting God. When I let him love me, I am being beautiful and feminine and I am letting God love me. Okay now God, please let everything work out! I feel like I'm falling! (Don't mind me, I've only had 20 plus years practice, give me a few more decades and I may start pulling this wife stuff off - but I don't think it will ever come natural). Does God have a sense of humor and adventure or what? Look what He has called and has enabled ME to do!

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 6:25 PM | 2 comments

Saturday, October 01, 2005

God's calling

I noticed in Genesis that when God created Adam, He gave him a job and a command. He showed him that his primary human relationship was to be with his wife, from whom he would receive companionship and help. The Father seems to have simply placed the wife under the husband's supervision and she was to help him. Somewhere along the line it seems that Adam told her about God's command. God didn't give her a job to tend the garden, per say or to name the animals. So is it therefore reasonable to assume that any work I do is in the context of how it helps the household? Even more specifically, how it helps my husband complete his mission? God gave him a job and I am to help him. He certainly issues to me specific ways I am to help. So, for me, it encourages me to let some pressure bear upon my husband, and seek how I may help him in his fulfilling of his duties. I am not to assume that role myself. Lord, I want to be a housewife again. Provide for our family financially as I work less. Continue to bless me at my great job. Help me to be a helpmeet to my husband. I can see how You are changing him into a man that lurks inside him. Help him to be bold and let him feel the deep support of his wife. Help me to yeild. Bless us in great and evident ways! Confirm to me that I'm on the path You've chosen for me. Provide for our financial needs.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 6:31 PM | 3 comments