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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saul's End

In 2nd Samuel 1, Saul meets a desperate and terrible end. In the heat of battle, Saul realizes his sons have been killed, so he asks his armor bearer to kill him. The armor bearer refuses to kill God's anointed. Saul commits suicide then by falling onto his own sword. The armor bearer sees what he does and also commits suicide.

There are lots of interesting things about this story, but I had a new thought today. David had at least 2 opportunities to kill Saul. He would have been very justified in self-defense. However, he decided not to. Just for grins, let's play out the scenario differently. Let's pretend like David killed Saul that first time, when Saul was sleeping or even the second time when Saul was using the bathroom in the cave. Saul would have been gone, but his sons would have been in line for the throne. How would David have ever become king? But then again, David's best friend Jonathan might have lived, and they could have shared a life-long friendship. Or perhaps that friendship would have turned to betrayal in a fight for the throne?

Instead, David would not murder the king. He would not murder someone anointed by God. Instead, the king commits suicide. Because of the difference in scenarios, all of the king's sons are dead in battle. David has a clear path to the throne. God handles the situation in such a way that His purpose of establishing David as king are most easily accomplished. However, these purposes are not accomplished without pain. David lost his best friend Jonathan.

I wondered as I contemplated all of this if David ever regretted not killing Saul, if he had any regrets about the way it all played out in the end. If he blamed himself at all for Jonathan's death or not. There's no way of knowing this. And it's probably not even important. I was just curious. My brain works in strange and mysterious ways.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Loved this song

Today was crazy. This morning I went to the kick-off of our ladies' journey group. My friend, Liz, did a superb job leading this Bible study. "Heart Friends" is an accountability study written by Shirley Moses. I am looking forward to getting to know the other women in the group in a deeper and more personal way.

After Bible Study, my teaching friend Marlena and I went down to a sale at a teacher store in Frisco. I spent a few dollars more than my budget for the trip. (Sorry Shawn) Then we crashed at her house all day working on teaching stuff. Can't believe I just have like 3 more weeks of summer before I have to go back to work. Talk about something that makes you feel depressed! I HAVE SO MUCH LEFT TO DO!

When I got home, I jumped right in to finishing up texturing the bathroom walls. They are finished, and I am proud of how they look. Tomorrow evening I may have some time to finish painting. While I was working, I was listening to my Air1 app on my phone. This is by far my favorite Christian radio station. Love the alternative, yet worshipful mix. I heard a new song that I really liked. "The Motions" by Matthew West. The song talks about wanting to live your life sold out for Christ. No more just going through the motions. That's pretty much where I am right now.

Just watched this video. How have I never heard this song? WOW!


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

saying good bye to an old friend

Yep, tonight I said good-bye to an old and dear friend.
About a year ago, I struck out on a road trip with a buddy of mine. We were headed to "Rock the Desert." It is a two day, in the heat, hard rockin', head bangin', Christian concert. We were on our way when I realized I had no sunglasses.

I have always owned brown sunglasses. Invisible, blend in with the crowd.... very me. We stopped at a gas station, and I decided to go ahead and grab a new pair while we were there. Nothing invisible and blendy in with the crowdy kind of thing. The best thing I found was this atrocious pair of white sunglasses. With BLING!!!! I don't do BLING!!! Seriously.

I tolerated them all weekend, and even thought I might keep them after I got home. Well, after searching for my brown sunglasses, which never reappeared, I just kept using the white ones. Reluctantly due to the bling. Until they finally grew on me and became a permanent fixture on my head. Recess Duty? White Sunglasses. Driving to my new job in Anna? White Sunglasses. Block parties meeting new friends? White Sunglasses. Community outreach events? White Sunglasses. Roadtrips with friends? White Sunglasses. Mexico mission trips? White Sunglasses. Easter Egg Drop? White Sunglasses.

These glasses that I hated became a signature piece of my wardrobe. I was horrified tonight when I opened my purse and the side had been totally snapped off, broken beyond repair. I briefly considered duct tape. But am pretty sure Shawn is going to veto that one. I guess I am in the market for a new pair of sunglasses. I am just going to miss all the memories of the best year of my life that the white ones triggered every time I put them on.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I hate wallpaper!

I have spent the last week trying to remodel our small half bath. I have ripped out more than my fair share of wallpaper in my lifetime. If you get lucky, you can pull it right off. Most of the time it requires some effort, but is doable. This wallpaper, however, must have been attached with super glue. I was excited to get chunks off 2 inches square. Most of it peeled off slowly, removing some Sheetrock.

Today I finally figured out the secret. I sprayed it with shout and steamed it with my iron. Then it came off in 6 inch squares. I recruited the entire family, even three year old Abby to help. We finally have it stripped and I have started texturing. The kids have decided they will never buy a house with wallpaper EVER!

However, I had an absolutely beautiful worship experience there in that tiny bathroom. Spraying shout and burning myself with steam from the iron. God uses the strangest things to teach me lessons.

Wallpaper is like sin. Some sin is easy to remove. Give it a yank and it's gone. Some requires a little bit of effort. And some of it is superglued in place. It may take a variety of approaches to deal with that type of sin. Prayer, plans to avoid temptation, memorizing scripture, support from friends, etc. The removal may not be easy. It may hurt. But the end result is beautiful.

I could have just plastered over the wallpaper. It might have worked, or it might have flaked off. Sometimes instead of dealing with our sin we just hide it and hope it stays covered up.

I loved that God showed me a great life lesson today. And I really had several hours of amazing worship listening to my iPod and learning about how God works on renewing my character. I love his tenacity. He never gives up on me. Even when change is slow.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fat is funner than fit

Many of my readers know that I have been working out this summer. I have been overweight and out of shape for about 8 years. Being fat has its perks. I love to eat - especially sweet, fatty foods. I love to lay on the couch and read. I like to sit in my easy chair and blog. But awhile back I felt convicted that my level of fitness could greatly limit how God could use me. If I am exhausted by three in the afternoon, it's quite challenging to complete any ministry tasks. And don't even get me started on the physical labor involved in church planting. Being out of shape is certainly not helping any with that.

So far, I have been very faithful to workout between 4 and 6 days a week, except for the week in Mexico. When I started I could not touch my toes, and struggled to get through a workout video. 4 weeks later, I can touch the floor with both hands, and struggle to find a workout video with significant intensity to be challenging. I recently added more weight on my lifting days, and also some yoga. I am excited about the increased stamina, and higher energy.

It is much slower going on changing my body shape. I am seeing just a few results. My calves and shins are more defined, my shoulders have a little bit of definition. If I tilt my neck over just right you can maybe see where my collar bone is. I can see one rib, and part of a second. My love handles are also shrinking. All of this is great, except that I have not lost any weight, and my clothes are just as tight as they were 4 weeks ago. It is hard for me to be patient when results are this slow.

Today was a big day. Now that I have been working out for four weeks, I finally had the nerve to put on my size 16 bikini (stop laughing, yes they come that large) and make some "before" pictures. It was tough. What many of you may not know is that I struggled with an eating disorder most of my teen and early adult years. I thought I was huge when I was a size 3. God gradually healed me through the years, but some things are still tough. (I'll share more about that journey at a later date) I hate trying on clothes in stores, and I hate really looking at myself in a swimsuit in a mirror. So putting on a bikini, looking at myself in the mirror for a serious evaluation, and making photographs from different angles was extraordinarily challenging. I was so proud that I did it. I made the before pictures without crying or panicking or eating issues flaring up. I felt a little nauseous, but I did it. I am saving them to compare with after pictures. I want to be able to see the changes at the end.

All of these thoughts pointed me to God today. My relationship with God is like this working out adventure. Spending time with God takes commitment, it has to be a priority in my life. (Just like working out). Sometimes I spend a long time seeking God and searching the Word without seeing huge results, instead God changes me just a little at a time. (Just like working out) It is only in looking back to who I used to be that I can see who I have become. (Just like the before/after pictures) When I spend time seeking God, I feel better about life, I am more confident, and have a greater strength. (Seeing a pattern yet?) Working out is hard. It is painful when I am sore afterwards. I have to breathe hard. I sweat. Following Christ is not always easy. But it is often at the end of the hardest journey that I see the best results.

I am looking forward to seeing how God uses exercise to change my life. I want to be physically fit and ready for whatever he needs me to do for the kingdom. I want to have the energy to complete the tasks that He has for me. But more importantly I want to be spiritually fit. I want to see how God can change my character as I hungrily seek after Him every day of my life. That's the journey that I am most excited about.

Tonight - my blog's 1st anniversary

Tonight marks a hallmark event. I posted my very first blog here on blogspot on July 14, 2008. One year of blogging. I have absolutely loved this. I have found that writing clears my head, makes me more focused, and helps me to be honest with people about who I am. It is hard to be fake with anyone after they say, "I saw in your blog...." I have made it a point to be very open here, sometimes to a fault, I guess.

In the last year you have seen us launch into a new church plant, I started a new job, we have made many new friends, I have had great days and super experiences, and some really crummy ones now and then. Many of you have used my blog as an opportunity to pray for my family in our ministry, and for that I thank you. I have gained a new confidence as I have been open and outright about my thoughts, and you guys still love me anyway. I am deeply honored when God uses anything that I saw here to impact other people. I rarely ever write with that intent, I primarily write with the purpose of sharing what God is doing in my life, and how I am struggling along on this journey called life. Then sometimes I just write to be writing.... Things that amuse me, family life, or just nothing much at all. My random thoughts that rarely make sense even to me are all here. A record of my journey.

I do not know what the next year will hold for any of us, but I am looking forward to the adventure. Come along for the ride.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Monday morning update 7.14.09

What an amazing day at the Crossroads. Last night we did a big block party in the creekside neighborhood. We showed "Wizard of Oz" on a big inflatable movie screen.

The cool thing about doing outreach events is that God seems to bless us with great attendance the following day - even though most of the visitors did not come from the event. We had 72 people today. 6 toddlers in the nursery. 21 kids in children's church. Guess who's week it was to do children? I had materials planned for a maximum of fifteen (which is double what we usually have.) However, I pulled it off with the help of a good friend.

Shawn did a question and answer session today in lieu of a sermon. People submitted their questions, and he used the Bible to answer them as best he could. This will be posted later in the week at

Worship was better this week. Our guitar players and drummers were all out. So it was just me and Worship Dude playing the dueling pianos. He played lead this week and I played fill. That seemed to work better than last week. The beautiful backup babes did a super job.

Tonight we baptized four people out at The Collin County Adventure Camp. That was awesome to have our second set of baptisms this year. Then we celebrated at a friend's house. I had a blast just hanging out as a guest. No hostessing required. Very relaxing.

Looking forward to a busy week. Tomorrow Shawn and I are meeting with Tiffany Smith about long term mission strategy. Then we have playdates Tuesday and probably Thursday. I have a teacher peep coming up to work on curriculum on Wednesday. Tuesday night is journey group, Wednesday night is Harry Potter. And somehow I need to workout and finish up my remodel. Love the crazy busy life! I am certainly never bored.