Thursday, April 29, 2004

This is the first love song that Les ever gave me (...and sang in my ear:)

Love Will Keep Us Alive
The Eagles

I was standing
All alone against the world outside
You were searching
For a place to hide

Lost and lonely
Now you've given me the will to survive
When we're will keep us alive

Don't you worry
Sometimes you've just gotta let it ride
The world is changing
Right before your eyes
Now I've found you
There's no more emptiness inside
When we're will keep us alive

I would die for you
Climb the highest mountain
Baby, there's nothing I wouldn't do

Now I've found you, there's no more emptiness in side
When we're hungry, love will keep us alive

(great guitar solo here!)

I would die for you
Climb the highest mountain
Baby, there's nothing I wouldn't do

I was standing
All alone against the world outside
You were searching
For a place to hide
Lost and lonely
Now you've given me the will to survive
When we're will keep us alive
When we're will keep us alive
When we're will keep us alive

...was just picking out some tunes 'cause my love and I are going for a ride. Music is such a BIG thing to me...really speaks to and for my heart...lyrics, in particular!

This song is so much fun and has struck a chord with me from the moment I met my Les:) I think I've looped it as I've listened at least 4 times today...

I Love You
By Martina McBride


The sun is shining everyday.
The clouds never get in the way for you and me.
I've known you just a week or two
But baby I'm so into you, I can hardly breathe

And I'm in so totally wrapped up, emotionally
attracted, so physically,
acting so recklessly
I need you, so desperately sure
as the sky is blue.
Baby, I love you. I love you.

I never knew that I could feel like this.
Can hardly wait till our next kiss, you're so cool.
If I'm dreaming, please, don't wake me up,
'cause baby, I can't get enough of what you do.

And I'm in so electrically charged up, kinetically,
acting, erratically need you, fanatically, you get
to me magically sure as the sky is blue.
Baby I love you, I love you.

I can't believe that this is real, the way I feel.
Baby I'm gone head over heels (head over heels).

And I'm in so totally wrapped up, emotionally
attracted, so physically,
acting so recklessly
I need you, so desperately sure
as the sky is blue.

And I'm in so electrically, charged up kinetically,
acting erratically, need you fanatically, you get
to me magically, sure as the sky is blue.

Baby I love you. Baby I love you.
Do you love me too? Baby I love you.
I was reading my daily dose of Henri Nouwen this morning and came upon this nugget that I wanted to share. Somedays I feel like I don't have anything profound to write, and other days I feel like others may see what I've chosen to write as silly or sentimental. Nouwen's words reminded me to keep telling my stories, and those words rang true as I read some other people's stories today:)

Making Our Lives Available to Others
One of the arguments we often use for not writing is this: "I have nothing original to say. Whatever I might say, someone else has already said it, and better than I will ever be able to." This, however, is not a good argument for not writing. Each human person is unique and original, and nobody has lived what we have lived. Furthermore, what we have lived, we have lived not just for ourselves but for others as well. Writing can be a very creative and invigorating way to make our lives available to ourselves and to others.
We have to trust that our stories deserve to be told. We may discover that the better we tell our stories the better we will want to live them.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

I am sipping on the BEST English Toffee Cappuccino this morning...mmmm... I'm not much of a coffee-girl...I'm much more of a tea-person, but I do like my English Toffee Caps from Tim's . Somehow, just enjoying a cup on my coffee break brightens my day.

On the weekend, my father-in-law forwarded an email about the ill-effects of aspartame (as found in diet coke...POISON Ray calls it!) Some say the email is a hoax, but we have researched it a bit and found that many of the risks appear to be real. A few weeks back I had blogged about a new study on Dr. Diaz's site that showed that aspartame can actually make you gain weight rather than lose. (Sigh) It's not fair. My darling husband loves his diet coke, and I enjoy a glass here and there. I like a diet sprite in the evening and often make parfaits from diet puddings (containing aspartame). Not any more. We've decided that it's not worth the risk. My father-in-law, a diabetic, also decided that it wasn't worth the risk, and that although it would be hard on his life-style he was going to try to give it up (he's now trying out stevia, a natural product). It is amazing how much better he feels in just a few short days...

The only good thing about this news is that I now feel less guilty about enjoying my cappuccino than about drinking diet coke! I imagine that's the way God wants it. I've been trying to deny myself all sorts of things that I enjoy to keep the calories down when several years ago God showed me that it's not the food, it's the amount. It is ok to have a treat now and again. I guess when we take out the sugars/fats and add something artificial we are trying to make the food behave when the New Testament says that no food is unclean. It's not surprising then that the artificial stuff we add is worse for us than the sugars/fats we remove. All things (except diet coke!) in moderation, I guess.... :)

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Happy Sabbath!

I was reading Brennan Manning this morning, and he was talking about what the Sabbath meant throughout the Bible. Yes, originally it was set aside because God rested on the 7th day after creating the world. On through the Old Testament though, it became about worshipping God, acknowledging His sovereignty. By Jesus' time the primary purpose of the Sabbath was to worship and the secondary purpose was to rest from work. Jesus scorned the Pharisees for not getting this...for following the appearance of the law but not the heart of it. The New Testament brings the advent of the Sunday Sabbath.

I don't know how Biblical it is, but I have always been struck by the grace of our Sunday Sabbath. In simple terms what I mean is this - God rested on the 7th day (Saturday) after he had worked. We celebrate a Sunday Sabbath, which means we get to rest on the 1st day (of the week) prior to starting our work again for the week. For me that's always seemed to be a particularly special mercy!

Of course, the irony of where the day falls in our week doesn't quite apply for all...Les (my debonair husband:) is at work right now as I type this (Sunday morning). He works in health care and as such has varied shifts and often works weekends. I think we all can be grateful for those who do jobs such as his. Jesus talked about the acceptability of meeting needs even on the Sabbath. For Les, his Sabbath comes when he worships may be a day off or it maybe a worship service (like the one we attended last night - it was awesome!) or it might be when he plays his guitar. I think the essence of the Sabbath is to worship God (and there a many forms) and to just BE.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

This Mary Engelbreit drawing makes me I thought I'd post it in light of my last post where I was feeling like 'Queen of the Kitchen' (NOT~!) :)
Last night was Greek night at the Brophy house, and it still smells good in here. Earlier in the week we had invited some wonderful friends to join us, but last minute, they all cancelled, so more Greek for Les! (He's took the leftovers to work for lunch today). We grilled chicken marinated in Greek spices, had Greek Village Salad, and I made the very-high-maintenance lemon potatoes (they take an hour and half in the oven at 475 with stirring every few minutes)...not a meal I can just whip up quickly after work...and not a meal I used to be able to make for see, we don't have a bbq, but we do have a small indoor grill, and recently we inherited a second one (exactly the same)! Les and Amanda love Greek food so it's totally worth the effort (even cleaning that grill afterward!) I enjoy cooking for folks, and Les is always so appreciative...makes me feel like 'Queen of the Kitchen'.

After supper, we went outside, and Amanda practiced riding her bike. We now have her pedal down the street with each of us alternating giving her balance and then occasionally let go a bit to see how she does. It's coming along...that is, until she realizes that she's doing it, then she immediately panics, screams and starts to fall! We catch her (she's never fallen, not even once) and start again....

I have a tonne of housework to do this weekend, including a tonne of laundry which I better go and start. Next weekend is Les and my getaway, and I'm so looking forward to a few days where I can't cook (even though I love it) or clean.

Tonight we'll be heading to Church. I hear, from a reliable source, that Kelly Graham is speaking. We both love it when Kelly speaks. I miss the Upper Room days when I used to get taught by him every week. I'm looking forward to tonight!

Friday, April 23, 2004

Winnie THE Pooh & Tea!

Two of my favourite things. I've had a fond spot for Pooh ever since I was little. You know, I met the REAL Winnie THE Pooh when I was about 4 (the REAL one wore a blue sweater...not red)...I have a picture somewhere to prove it. A while back Les & I took the Winnie the Pooh personality test (another one of those silly quizzes). I wanted very much to be Winnie THE Pooh and Les wanted to be Tigger (that's T-I-double 'g'-er!) I turned out to be Kanga and Les turned out to be Winnie THE Pooh! (Well, at least if I couldn't BE Pooh, I married him:)

Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!

(well, I don't know about the 'time out' part...hmmm... :)
Doing vs. Being

Gloria has a good post on her blog today about doing vs. being. Thinking about doing and being always makes me think about Mary & Martha. I've always identified more with Mary and been comforted by Jesus' comment affirming her, "Mary has chosen the better and it will NOT be taken from her." I often feel the pull of the world trying to make me be a Martha, and it would be easy to slip into that role (it's not a bad role after all, but it's not MY role). When I'm feeling pulled, Jesus speaks to MY heart and confirms again, "it will NOT be taken from YOU."

God calls us human 'BE'ings NOT human 'DO'ings. Some folks laugh when I put it that way, but it's true. Our value is in being not in what we is who we are...God's beloved:)

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

This is my favourite print by artist Sue Shanahan. It's called, "There is nothing better than being yourself." Can you see which one is me?! :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

For the most part, life is wonderful! I have the man of my dreams, our precious daughter and most of all the Father of all, my King, Lord and Savior. Still, I'm going through a bit of a struggle within me...I fear that sometimes my best just isn't good enough, and I despair that in my humanness, I do not always give my best. I am blessed to have an amazing husband who affirms the opposite and friends who are there for me. However, at work (not always my 'happy place'), I don't have such affirmation and encouragement. It's a bit of a stressful time there right now, and my personality, under stress, even imagines right now, I'm a bit of my own enemy. Brennan Manning, in his book "Abba's Child" reminded me of the Father's perspective on this all. Here are some quotes that have struck my heart:

"It is much like the story of the harried executive who went to the desert father and complained about his frustration in prayer, his flawed virtue, and his failed relationships. The hermit listened closely to his visitor's rehearsal of the struggle and disappointments in trying to lead a Christian life. He then went into the dark recesses of his cave and came out with a basin and a pitcher of water.

'Now watch the water as I pour it into the basin,' he said. The water splashed on the bottom and against the sides of the container. It was agitated and turbulent. At first the stirred-up water swirled around the inside of the basin; then it gradually began to settle, until finally the small fast ripples evolved into larger swells that oscillated back and forth. Eventually, the surface became so smooth the visitor could see his face reflected in the placid water. 'That is the way it is when you live constantly in the midst of others,' said the hermit. 'You do not see yourself as you really are because of all the confusion and disturbance. You fail to recognize the divine presence in your life and the consciousness of your belovedness slowly fades.'
It take time for the water to settle."

"Conscientiously 'wasting' time with God enables me to speak and act from greater strength, to forgive rather than nurse the latest bruise to my wounded ego, to be capable of magnaminity during the petty moments of life. It empowers me to lose myself, at least temporarily, against a greater background than the tableau of my fears and insecurities, to merely be still and know that God is God."

"God speaks to the deepest strata of our souls, into our self-hatred and shame, our narcisissism, and takes us through the night into the daylight of His truth: 'Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name, you are mine. You are precious in my eyes, because you are honored and I love you...the mountains may depart, the hills be shaken but my love for you will never leave you and my covenant of peace with you will never be shaken.' (Isa 43:1, 4; 54:10)"

"At every moment of our existence God offers us this good news. Sadly, many of us continue to cultivate such an artificial identity that the liberating truth of our belovedness fails to break through. So we become grim, fearful, and legalistic. We hide our pettiness and wallow in guilt. We huff and puff to fix ourselves...From hound-dog disciples and sour-faced saints, spare us, oh Lord!"

"Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion."
Any Advise?

We are trying to teach Amanda how to ride a bike...and it has been quite a if any of you folks have any ideas, suggestions or advise, please let me know.

Over a week ago, Les took Amanda to the park and tried the traditional approach of holding the back of the bike and running along side of it. This weekend, we took her into the backyard and tried something different. The backyard has a slight hill to it, so I got on Amanda's bike and lifted my feet up and coasted down, explaining to her how to balance. Then I had her try. I thought that maybe if she could just learn to balance first, the pedalling would come easier. We were out there for a long time on Sunday and toward the end, I thought I saw some progress. So last night, out we went again, but she had a tougher time with it than the night before. We're going to have her go out and work on balance every night this week and see if that doesn't help. I'm having a hard time convincing her right now that it's going to get easier and she's going to have so much fun riding her bike this summer. Help!

Monday, April 19, 2004

A friend of mine shared this quiz with me at coffee break...

I believe you belong in Pride and Prejudice; a
world of satire and true love. A world where
everything is crystal clear to the reader, and
yet where new things seem to be happening all
the time. You belong in a world where your
free-thought puts you above the silly masses,
and where bright eyes and intelligence are
enough to attract the arrogant
millionaire/prejudiced young love of your

Which Classic Novel do You Belong In?
brought to you by Quizilla
This morning I'm doing something novel...I'm going to ask for what I want...what I need really...if you think of me, that is, could you please just say a little prayer feels a little pressured these days and I'm trying not to become stressed...I work well in a supportive and affirming environment, and I try to create that for my staff, but that isn't exactly the way I'm always treated...and I tend to be a bit, well sensitive (shocking?! ...I know:)

Well... 'hi-ho hi-ho, it's off to work I go....'

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Green & Blue

In a seminar the other day, Les did the True Colors Personality Test. It was fun to go over his results when he came home that night. My small group did True Colors a few years ago. My FUN/Orange friend, Tami, had used True Colors before in the workplace, and so she facilitated our group. I always enjoy these sort of things...I like getting to understand other people better. You can find a True Colors quiz here.

Les is GREEN

"I am conceptual. I have an investigative mind, intrigued by questions like, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?" I am an independent thinker, a natural nonconformist, and live life by my own standards.
I like to do things that require vision, problem solving, strategy, ingenuity, design, and change. Once I have perfected an idea, I prefer to move on to a new challenge.
I value knowledge, intelligence, insight, and justice. I enjoy relationships with shared interests. I prefer to let my head rule my heart. I am cool, calm, and collected. I do not express my emotions easily."

I, on the other hand, am BLUE (Tami always says, "You're SO blue!")

"I am compassionate. I am always encouraging and supporting. I am a peacemaker, sensitive to the needs of others. I am a natural romantic.
I like to do things that require caring, counseling, nurturing, and harmonizing. I have a strong desire to contribute and to help others lead more significant lives. I am poetic and often enjoy the arts.
I value integrity and unity in relationships. I am enthusiastic, idealistic, communicative, and sympathetic. I express my feelings easily."

When you do the True Colors test in a group setting, they give you a circle afterward to have you depict your color test results. Les brought home a pie chart which accurately reflected his result. So I pulled out what I had done in my small group to compare. I had drawn a great big blue heart filling up most of the circle, and I filled in smaller bits around it with my other color results. Les couldn't believe it...he thought for sure that as an 'accountant' I would have also done the pie chart....ce la vive!

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

My husband brought me a dozen red roses yesterday! I LOVE roses! (and I LOVE my husband WAY beyond that!) For some reason roses make my heart dance:) ...and they last forever, you know...because I dry every one. What a loving, thoughtful and romantic man I'm married to!

It's interesting the things that make us feel loved. Gary Chapman says there are five main love languages: touch, affirmation, acts of service, time and gifts. I think I like them all, but my main languages are touch and affirmation (and roses!). I have a hard time asking for (and sometimes receiving) what I want/need, so it just makes my heart burst when Les notices on his own and reaches out to me. Today I'm treasuring up in my heart some of the sweetest things he does:

- holding me often and tightly, especially after a long/stressful day (I've had a few of those lately)
- cards and notes...I hold onto them forever...I still remember what he wrote in my first Mother's Day card last year:)
- coming up behind me and hugging me while I'm cooking supper
- holding my hand whenever we sit together, or walk, or drive:)
- telling me 'why' (why he loves me and what he sees in me)
- writing music for me...the 'princess bride' song
- reading and praying through 'The Power of a Praying Husband'
- romantic movies, walks, dates... (even if we don't get the chance as often as we'd like)
- all the 'I love you's' (love to the 10th power!)

...and there are so many more things! Les has such a great heart. He is a strong, creative and faith-filled man. He has a great sense of humour. He is loving and affectionate, and oh so much more! ...and I am...blessed! ...I could not ask for more:)

Lying here with you
Listenin' to the rain
Smilin' just to see
The smile upon your face

These are the moments
I thank God that I'm alive
These are the moments I'll remember all my life
I've found all I've waited for
And I could not ask for more

Looking in your eyes
Seein' all I need
Everything you are
Is everything in me

These are the moments
I know heaven must exist
These are the moments
I know all I need is this
I've found all I've waited for, yeah
And I could not ask for more

I could not ask for more than this time together
Could not ask for more than this time with you
And every prayer has been answered,
Every dream I've had's come true.
Yeah, right here in this moment,
Is right where I'm meant to be,
Here with you, Here with me ... yeah yeah

No I could not ask for more than this love you gave me,
Cause it's all I've waited for,
And I could not ask for more.

No I could not ask for more

(Lyrics by Edwin McCain)

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Oh How You Love Me
written by Rita Springer

Oh how you love me
Oh how you love me
Oh how you love me, Lord

Undeniable, Unconditional
You are to me
Undoubtedly, infinity
And oh so beautiful

Irreplaceable, unforgettable
Unmistakable, all Merciful
And oh so beautiful
Oh how I love you (3x) lord

How wide, How deep, How great is your love for me
How high, how endless, and oh how beautiful
Proverbs 31 Woman

Maybe you fall victim to this too...trying to be all things to all people...impossible, I know. Some days I can read Proverbs 31 and be encouraged and somedays the opposite happens. Lisa Whelchel shared on this very same thing in her own life today and it sure gave me some perspective. Here are some excerpts:

"...I am very intimidated by the Proverbs 31 woman! I’m tempted to skip that whole chapter and jump ahead to the “everything is vanity” theme of Ecclesiastes which is closer to where I actually live.

The other day I was asking the Lord why He would put such an unattainable example in the Bible that only makes women feel like failures in comparison. I felt like He said, “Because that (Prov 31) is how I see her and that is how I see you. I see all of the good things you’ve ever done or will do and all of your sins are covered by my Son’s blood so I don’t see them.”

I suddenly understood that I should read that chapter from a proud and loving Parent’s perspective. For example, if my mother were to write a chapter describing me she would probably write, “My daughter, Lisa, is an amazing woman. She graduated high school as valedictorian, she’s a Grammy-nominated singer, a creative mother, an actress on a hit television series, a loving wife, she’s made millions of dollars, a ballet, tap and jazz dancer, a glider pilot, a talented musician, great cook, teaches multiple grades, keeps a beautiful home, her nails always look gorgeous, she sews her children’s clothes, keeps a record of their lives in scrapbooks, she’s up before dawn having her devotions, she wears designer clothes, and she is a record-setting race car driver.”

Now all of that is true but my mother would have left out quite a few pieces of significant information. For starters, I’ve done all of those things over the course of forty years; I don’t do them all now. She would have also left out many of my secrets that she alone knows that I would be terribly ashamed if anyone else knew. And there is even more to each story she has listed. Here’s a perspective from someone other than my own mother:

“Lisa is an amazing woman. (Some of the time.) She graduated high school as valedictorian, (there were three students in her graduating class,) she’s a Grammy-nominated singer, (who recorded each line of the song multiple times and the engineer pieced together a whole song that was on pitch,) a creative mother, (if you don’t count the yelling,) an actress on a hit television series, (who almost got fired for getting too fat,) a loving wife, (except for years 2-7,) she’s made millions of dollars, (and lost it all,) a ballet, tap and jazz dancer, (she was the worst one in her class,) a glider pilot, (who hasn’t flown since she got her license,) a talented musician, (she can play two songs on the guitar,) great cook, (she cooks two standard “company” meals well, ) teaches multiple grades at the same time, (with only one child in each class,) keeps a beautiful home, (with the help of a once-a-week housekeeper,) her nails always look gorgeous, (they are fake,) she sews her children’s clothes, (the sewing machine hasn’t been touched in years,) keeps a record of their lives in scrapbooks, (she’s three years behind,) she’s up before dawn having her devotions, (there was that week back in 1999 when she was up before dawn for a week straight,) she wears designer clothes, (that a wardrobe person picks out and she only wears while filming, )and she is a record-setting race car driver, (at a Malibu Grand Prix go kart track.)”

Now, both of these perspectives are true, it’s just one of them is being written through the loving eyes of a parent. I believe that is how God looks at us. He sees all the good we’ve ever done and can do in the future. He forgets our mistakes and focuses on our successes. From that perspective maybe we actually can be Proverbs 31 women."

Friday, April 09, 2004

written by Chris Tomlin

All of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough

You are my supply
My breath of life
And still more awesome than I know
You are my reward
worth living for
And still more awesome than I know

All of You is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with Your love
And all I have in You is more than enough

You’re my sacrifice
Of greatest price
And still more awesome than I know
You’re the coming King
You are everything
And still more awesome than I know

More than all I want
More than all I need
You are more than enough for me
More than all I know
More than all I can say
You are more than enough for me

Good Friday, Beloved

We had plans to go to one of Amanda's friend's churches this morning, as our own was not having its traditional Good Friday Service, but when we awoke, Les and I were still both battling our sore throats and runny noses, so we had a change of plans. We stayed home. Les and I read the Gospel of John's account of The Last Supper right through to Good Friday aloud. I love John's Gospel! John writes about the way it 'felt', and I can relate. He also recounts more intimate moments and smaller group experiences. John's account of The Last Supper doesn't tell of communion the way the other Gospels do, rather, John tells of Jesus washing the disciples feet. Shortly after this, Jesus told them, "I am going to prepare a place for you. and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." I love those those days, those were the words a young man would use in proposing to his bride, and then he would go and add on a room to his parent's house for them. John 13-20 has so many jewels that Jesus left behind for us!

After Les and I read, our family had pancakes together for breakfast and then washed each other's feet and rubbed them with lotion. We spent the rest of the morning watching the children's version of the Jesus video. Lots of tears streamed down my face when the scenes that represent Good Friday flashed by. We talked as a family about why Jesus had to die...and then about the hope that is Easter. I don't like that Jesus had to die for the things I do wrong, and I don't feel worthy of this lavish love of His. It has always been hard for me to pause at Good stop reading at chapter 20 and just reflect on this day. I feel so much better when I rush ahead to the resurrection. It's so hard for me to even think of the pain my Savior went through for me. Oh how He loves us!

I was just thinking some more about John, the disciple...whenever he refers to himself in the Gospel, he refers to himself as "the disciple Jesus loved." We refer to ourselves in many ways, often by what we do or have achieved, but John referred to himself as who he really was...the beloved (I think I want to re-read 'The Life of the Beloved' by Nouwen again:) "Who am I?" asked Thomas Merton, and he responded, "I am one loved by Christ."

Brennan Manning writes,

"We give glory to God simply by being ourselves. God created us for union with Himself. This is the original purpose of our lives. And God is defined as love (1John 4:10). Living in awareness of our belovedness is the axis around which the Christian life revolves. Being the beloved is our identity, the core of our existence. It is not merely a lofty thought, an inspiring idea, or one name among many. It is the name by which God knows us and the way He relates to us."

In John 15, Jesus said:

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love... I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: LOVE each other as I have loved you."

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Held in HIS Hand and Held by HIS Hand

The command repeated most often in the Bible is 'fear not'. Some of my favourite verses in the Bible on this are found in Isaiah 41. They speak to me very personally because they talk about being in God's hand and held by God's hand. As I posted a few days ago, the image of being in God's hand has been a big one for me since I was a teen, and I've been thinking about His hands, His palms these last few I can't help but write about the treasure I found in Isaiah 41....verse 10 starts off with...

So this tells me that He holds me in His right hand. Then verses 11-12 talk about how the those who oppose us, the world really, will not win...

"All who rage against you
will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
will be as nothing and perish.
Though you search for your enemies,
you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
will be as nothing at all. "

Then verse 13 finishes it off with...

When I reflected on verses 10 and 13 more deeply, I came to realize something BIG. If we are held in God's right hand (as verse 10 says) and He is holding our right hand (as verse 13 says), then we MUST be facing Him, and as the verses in between say, the world cannot touch us. You see God is the filter through which I see anything so long as I rest (and trust) myself in His hand. This is good reason to 'fear not', and I needed that reminder today:)

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

This print from Mary Engelbreit makes me think of a story. Several years ago, during my first experience of Arlington Beach Family Camp, I met a wonderful woman from our Church named Mildred Hindmarsh. Mrs. Hindmarsh is a lively dear soul, probably somewhere in her 80's with the softest hands you'll ever hold.

That year, I was staying with a friend at the lodge out at Arlington during Family Camp, and not being much of a morning person, I would often skip breakfast in the cafeteria to have a more leisurely morning time in our room. It was July and very hot in our upstairs lodge room, so one morning after dressing, I left the room door open a crack to get some fresh air in, and as I finished making my bed, all of a sudden, there was this hand that reached into that crack and pushed open the door. In walked Mrs. Hindmarsh (only I didn't know that was her name then). She walked in and said to me, "Well, aren't you something?!" (apparently she had been asking about who I was at breakfast). She then went on to comment about the fact that I wasn't married at the time. Before I could even answer, she said, "Well what would you need with a man, really? ...Besides, I've been looking around since I got here, and I haven't seen anything that impressed me much!"

I just about broke out in laughter, and a huge smile came over my face as she sat down across from me - to which she responded, "My, you have a lovely smile....are those your own teeth?!"

I still smile thinking about how I met Mrs. Hindmarsh (and yes, these are my own teeth:) She is a dear lady in our Church, and I am so very blessed every time I see her and feel her soft hand in mine...she still has that wit. I believe that the prayers and sacrifices of women such as her are one of the cornerstones of our Church. She really is something! :)

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Happy 'Palm' Sunday

Isaiah 49:15-16 are verses that first touched me at a retreat at my school when I was about 15 years old, and the image of being engraved in the 'palm' of Jesus' hand has remained with me ever since. I was just thinking of that in light of 'Palm' Sunday. I know that they a different kinds of palms (branches and hands), but I can't help but think of Jesus' palms today...which would in one week be pierced for me... Just the thought of it brings my heart to such a place of worship, and isn't that a big part of what 'Palm' Sunday is about?!

"Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me."
Isa 40:15-16
Come out of Hiding

I'm reading Brennan Manning's book, 'Abba's Child' -- amazing! ...and I'm only through the first chapter. I've been having thoughts of what it all means in light of today, Palm Sunday. Pastor Kelly at Church last night, spoke about how Jesus wept over the city as He rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Pastor Kelly spoke about how His heart was likely grieved by all the people who didn't know the truth yet. And I think that is probably true, but this morning, I've also been thinking that some of those tears were for the disciples or people who did know the truth but who had yet to receive the fullness of His love (even though He'd given it)... Here are some thoughts from Brennan Manning:

"One night a friend asked his handicapped son, "Daniel, when you see Jesus looking at you, what do you see in His eyes?"

After a pause, the boy replied, "His eyes are filled with tears, Dad."

"Why, Dan?"

An even longer pause, "Because He is sad."

"And why is He sad?"

Daniel stared at the floor. When at last he looked up, his eyes glistened with tears. "Because I'm afraid."

The sorrow of God lies in our fear of Him, our fear of life and our fear of ourselves....God's sorrow lies in our refusal to approach Him when we have...failed....

It is one thing to feel loved by God when our life is together and all our support systems are in place. Then self-acceptance is relatively easy...But what happens when life falls through the cracks? ...What happens when we come face-to-face with the human condition?...

Whether you understand it or not, God loves you, is present in you, lives in you, dwells in you, calls you, saves you and offers you an understanding and compassion which are like nothing you have ever found... God calls us to stop hiding and come openly to Him. God is the father who ran to His prodigal son when he came limping home. God weeps over us when shame and self-hatred immobilize us... God loves who we really are --whether we like it or not."

Later in the chapter, Manning goes on to say:

"It used to be that I never felt safe with myself unless I was performing flawlessly. My desire to be perfect had transcended by desire for God...Unwittingly I had projected onto God my feelings about myself. I felt safe with Him only when I saw myself as noble, generous, and loving, without scars, fears or tears. Perfect!

But on that radiant morning...I came out of hiding. Jesus removed the shroud of perfectionist performance and now, forgiven and free, I ran home. For I knew that I knew Someone was there for me...I finally felt all the words I have written and spoken about (His) stubborn, unrelenting Love. That morning, I understood that the words are but straw compared to the Reality. I leaped from simply being the teacher of God's love to becoming Abba's delight."

Out in the Open
by Amy Grant

They were the sweetest words I'd ever heard
My heart could barely take it in
Like water offered to the lips
Of a tired and thirsty man

Cuz it's a tangled web I've woven
I don't know all the reasons
But it amazes me to wake up
To your mercy every morning

So I'm standing here spinning around
In the fields of freedom
And I'm still alive and reaching out
And I can feel the healing

Cuz you say
Come on out come on out
Come on out come on out
Out in the open
Come on out come on out
Come on out come onout
Into the light
There is no jury
There is no judge
Ready and waiting
Are the steady arms of love

For the sake of never making waves I
Kept my secrets to myself
And no one ever really knew the
Darker shadows of my heart

But I will be a witness
That there's nothing in me dark enough
The power of forgiveness
Cannot rescue from the deep

So I'm standing here spinning around
In the fields of freedom
And I'm still alive and reaching out
And I can feel the healing

And you say
Come on out come out
Come on out come out
Out in the open
Come on out come on out
Come on out come on out
Into the light
There is no jury
There is no judge
Ready and waiting
Are a steady arms of love

Saturday, April 03, 2004


Today, I took a Meyers Brigg's personality test again. I'm an ENFJ (or Teacher, they say:)... I took classes in Meyers Briggs a number of years ago and found it fascinating, particularly in terms of helping me understand other people, I guess I'm trying to understand me a bit better...

I've taken the Meyers Briggs test about 4 times in my life, and I have always come out an ENFJ...well, except for just before my wedding, when I tested as an introvert (imagine, me, an introvert?!)...actually that's not too far off as I'm never a very strong extrovert, and even in today's test, my score on that scale was pretty low...I scored exactly '1' on the extroverted scale. However, the opposite is true on the feeling scale...I get full marks in that area...I'm a BIG feeler...

Here's the 'short' description for ENFJ's:

For ENFJs, maintaining harmony in relationships is an important goal and a natural skill. They are warm, compassionate, and friendly people who are tuned into other's needs and good at helping others solve problems in creative ways. Articulate and enthusiastic, ENFJs are good public speakers who are good at making personal connections, one-on-one or in a group. ENFJs are tactful and diplomatic and pride themselves on making others feel good. They tend to be overly sensitive and take things personally, so they have difficulty in making logic-based decisions. ENFJs also usually idealize relationships and end up being let down. They have a high energy level that is increased by social involvement. ENFJs like to have plans and can work with others to realize their goals.

ENFJs are energetic, friendly, talkative, and articulate, with the best communication skills of all the types. They are comfortable in all social situations and are able to instantly respond to the emotional climate of any group. ENFJs are extremely sensitive to criticism and may withdraw from a group instead of showing hurt feelings. They try to avoid confrontation, but are quick to apologize for their mistakes and forgive others theirs.

ENFJs are very conscious of their appearance and how others judge them. They dress appropriately for all situations and are well coordinated. ENFJs make good teachers and are attracted to all 'helping' careers. They can also be good writers or editors. ENFJs have difficulty saying 'no', and often confuse other's thoughts and feelings with their own.

According to, King David (the Psalmist) was an ENFJ...hmmm, interesting...maybe I should go write a Psalm...

What personality type are you?'s a very quick test...(although the longer version tends to be more thorough).