Dancing in the Light

I John 1:7 "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanses us from all sin."

Location: North Platte, Nebraska, United States

I am a christian wife, mother and grandmother. I am a licensed Social worker and a licensed Christian counselor. I am most proud of the relationships I have with God, my family and friends all over the world. I have been blessed beyond my dreams.

Monday, August 27, 2007

"Statement of Faith"

Having a sleepless night, I got up and sat down at my computer. I was surfing the web, just browsing blogs and church websites. I accidentally stumbled on a website for a congregation in Texas. The website was well designed and catchy. It had tabs for minister, location, staff, youth, contact us and one that said "statement of faith". I clicked my way through each one, impressed with the website's design and thoroughness. However, when I got to the last tab, "statement of faith"---I clicked on it and this is what it said:

Pretty powerful, isn't it? Now to be fair, perhaps they had a glitch in their computer or their website is still under construction. But, it really made me think about the void. I had never heard that term, "statement of faith" before and I started wondering what it was supposed to say. Left to my own, I began to think about my statement of faith. What would I say is my declaration of my faith? Or would I be at a loss and not say anything? I began to wonder if many of us would have to leave that tab blank. What do you think? What is your statement of faith?


Friday, August 24, 2007

Event Planning

This has been a busy past few weeks---every area of my life was just chock full of events! We had grandchildren come and stay, we had good friends come for a few days to visit, we had a birthday party for a three year old, several speaking engagements and a licensing exam. Churchwise, we had VBS, several fellowship meals, singings and a picnic at the lake. At work we had a birthday party for a resident who turned 100 years old, we hosted a red hat rally, several outings to nearby towns, a cake walk and many other events. Everyone I know is tired and ready for some downtime. Personally, I love events! I like the planning and preparing and dreaming about details. (Unfortunately, I tend to be a lot like Clark Griswold in the Vacation movies---usually the event is much more wonderful in my mind than it turns out to be in reality).
It occurred to me that sometimes, many times, very often, we treat Christianity like it is an event. We "pencil" worship in on our calendars so that we don't forget? We figure out what we are going to wear on Saturday and lay out clothes for our children. We plan what we will eat and we remind ourselves to say only good things ---(I mean, there are some things we just don't say when we were are with "church-people"--right?) We write our checks for the offering, we wipe the dust off our Bibles and set them out in the car (that is if we even brought them in from our last "church event"). We plan and prepare and then we attend only to come home tired from our two hour event, relieved that it is over, glad that we are no longer "on", ready to rest. The event is over---oh, it was successful but it is now over! And we begin resting up for the next "event", the next time we are called on to act like church---whether it is going to visit a sick brother or sister, share the gospel with a lost neighbor or just behave like Christ's people should behave.
I really pray that this does not describe most of us. I pray that we all understand that Christianity is not what we do---it is who we are. Ned always says that apple trees don't produce apples to prove they are apple trees, they produce apples because that is what apple trees do! Christians don't worship and behave in a righteous manner to prove they are Christians----that is simply what Christians do! Worship, evangelism, encouragement, righteous living, ministry----these are not events, but rather lifestyles! We don't need to plan to be a Christian---He already worked out all the plans. We don't need to prepare to become a Christian, we just need to do it. Christianity began with an event--the sacrifice of Messiah. That event was planned for all eternity. Now it is up to us to just "be the Church"---all day everyday. every moment, every hour---be the church. Christianity is not an event!


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Prayer Request---Update!

I PASSED ! Thank you all so much for your prayers, your comments and the deluge of emails! I am now officially licensed in the state of Texas! Woohoo! Happy and relieved am I! God is good and just as you prayed, He calmed me and gave me ready remembrance of all that I knew. Thank you all!


I have been out of pocket for the past few days. I am sitting for a four hour licensing exam tomorrow and have been studying. Please pray that God will help me remember what I know and make good guesses on what I do not! :)
I will be back on Friday---thank you all.


Thursday, August 16, 2007


Not a day goes by that I am not amazed at what an entitled society we are becoming. I watch as celebrities misuse their fame in an effort to get out of trouble, as if their notoriety has somehow earned them the right to function above the legal system. I watch as parents neglect their children, pawning them off on 24 hour a day daycare or sitting them in front of the electronic "babysitter" for hours, as if by giving birth, they have somehow earned some "time" for themselves. I hear of marriages breaking up simply because one or both partners is not happy, as if their "right" to happiness supercedes any promises or vows they made. I have personally observed elders and elders wives who do not "work" for the church but allow the church to serve them, as if their leadership position has somehow made them exempt from christian service. I have worked with staff who, because they have seniority, relegate any and all jobs to the newest employee, while they spend their day in the break room. Newscasters tell us about executives, physicians, politicians, teacher, and ministers who misuse their power and bring suffering on those around them.
It is almost as if we wake up in the morning and look and the mirror ---and deciding we look really good, we begin to rationalize that we deserve to be treated as good as we look. We begin making plans to "take" what we believe we have coming to us! We behave as if everyone should not only notice how great we are, but should also be grateful. They should jump when we say jump. They should understand when we are in a bad mood and become verbally abusive, after all, we have a lot on our minds. They should forgive us when we don't keep our word, understanding just how busy we are. They should smile and agree when we take credit for their works because after all we are a team, aren't we? They should enjoy waiting on us and serving us, we have worked hard all our lives and deserve the honor. When you are as good as we are, you really ought to be given a little slack as far as law and rules go, right?
Y'all, I am so tired of this attitude. It is counter to everything God teaches, counter to the example of our Savior and counter to simple common courtesy and decency. We know the passage in Philippians chapter two---that tells us that even Jesus (who truly deserved better), willingly lowered Himself to love us! That very passage tells us that we should have that same mind. Romans 12:3 says that we should not think more highly of ourselves than we ought but that we should use "sober" judgement in our assessment. Inherent in that sober judgement is the realization that we are all sinners---and our sin separates us from God. Without the blood sacrifice of Jesus, we were lost, as lost as the devil himself. And what were "entitled" to---only a life of eternal torment.
My prayer is that God's people would be people of humility and gratitude, that we would be examples of graciousness and kindness, that we would be true servants, true witnesses of the power of God in our lives. We may be surrounded by an entitled society but do we really have to try so hard to blend in?

Galatians 6:3 "If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Comparative Religion

The other night, we sang a song that carried the line, "and nothing I desire compares with You." It is a beautiful song and is currently very popular in the brotherhood. During our second time through the song, I stopped for a moment and thought about the idea of comparing any of our desires with our desire for Him. I started thinking about all the things I desire most. What IS nearest and dearest to my heart? Is it Jesus? Do thoughts of Him fill my mind? Is it His word and His wishes I meditate on, hope for, dream about? Is being with Him, the thing I crave? Do I long to please Him? Is it God that I worship?
It seems to me that that which we desire most occupies the most space in our hearts, our minds and our thoughts. That which we long for most consumes the most of our time, our thoughts, and our energy. Imagine what our walk with God would be if we truly desired Him more than anything else. It would require us believing that God is what we need and everything else in the world is both optional and expendable. It would require a discipline in our lives---a disciplined life in which one thinks before actions takes place---a life in which one sees the world as temporary and lives for the eternal. Imagine what the church would be like if every Christian longed to please God, craved His presence and His word, desiring Him more than money, more than self and more than entertainment. Imagine just how encouraging, uplifting and spiritual our worship would be. And what would our marriages be like? Imagine if pleasing God made me kinder to my spouse, more patient with my children, and if my children grew up hungry for God and God's things. Imagine if they begged to go to worship because they loved it and desired being with God's people more than they did sleep or play or television. And what would work be like if everyday we completed our tasks as if we were working for God. Don't you think they days would go by faster? Wouldn't we look forward to work? I wonder if our attitude would rub off on others at work and if it could change our entire work environment.
Today, take a moment and think about the way your life would change if God and pleasing Him were that which you desire most. Today, worship God, think about Him, meditate on His word, long to please Him, desire His presence. Because nothing else you desire compares with Him!


Monday, August 13, 2007

Thank You !!!!!

Thank you all for sending birthday greetings my way. Your kind words make getting older much less painful---teehee.
I still have houseguests but they are readying to leave. Tomorrow I will be back with a real post, but today I just wanted to say "thanks".
Love yall

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Guards

I was rereading the story of the crucifixion and the resurrection. As I read, I began thinking about the guards and their role in the salvation story. I thought about how the temple guards came to arrest the Innocent Messenger. I thought about the guards who were responsible for watching the Prophetic Prisoner and I thought about the Roman guards assigned the most impossible of tasks---- make sure the Dead Messiah stayed dead. Each guard was given a job--a very specific job. That assignment was their focus of the day. Theoretically, it was the only thing on their minds. They were not to be thinking about dinner, vacation or the long walk home. They were to focus only on the prisoner and each knew that guarding Him was a matter of life and death.
I also thought about the most famous guards of our time--the guards at Buckingham Palace. Much has been made over the discipline and unwavering single-mindedness of these guards. These guards stand in their crisp, full-dress red uniforms with their red tunics and bearskins. Countless visitors come to see the palace and many make it their goal to distract the palace guards. They try to make them laugh, flinch, move, smile, etc. I would imagine a few are successful. But I have been told that these guards are so focused on the job of guarding the sovereign that it is extremely difficult to distract them. These men are more than ceremonial figureheads, they are true soldiers, known for their bravery and valor and they are charged with but one task, protect the Queen.
We also are assigned the role of guard. Proverbs 4:23 says, "Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life." Our responsibility is just as sobering as that of the guards mentioned above. We are to be single-mindedly focused on protecting our heart. We are to let nothing by us that might be detrimental to our hearts. This would include what television and movies we watch, which cd's and radio stations we listen to, how much gossip we soak up, how much joking and coarse jesting we participate in and how many immoral or ungodly thoughts we entertain. Our task is huge, but it truly is a matter of life and death. The wise king reminds us that our heart is the wellspring of life. If a wellspring is tainted it no longer brings forth life but sickness and death. The New Testament admonishes us that it is our heart that determines our character. We are told that as a man thinketh so is he and that out of our heart our words flow. It does not take but a drop of poison in a gallon of water to make one ill. Likewise, "just a little bit" of sin will contaminate the soul.
We have been given a task, a job, an assignment. We are to be alert, stand watch over, guard and protect our hearts. We must hold unswervingly to our task--guard our hearts. It truly is a matter of life and death!


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Sometimes Less is Best

The first week in August is a busy week in New Zealand. This is the time of year that sheep ranchers welcome new baby lambs into their flock. Last week something very strange happened, farmer Dave Callaghan's ewe gave birth to twin lambs! That alone is not so strange, but one of the lambs was born with seven legs. Yes, seven legs. The Methven locals reported Mr. Callaghan as saying that the little deformed lamb seemed very happy, but he fell down a lot. The plan is to euthanize the lamb as his deformity makes a quality life impossible. His four-legged twin, however, is doing well.
I began to think about how we as Americans, as 21st century Christians, seem to have a mindset that more is always better. We work and work and work, to make more money, so we can buy more things. And like the little lamb, we seem happy. Also like the lamb, we fall alot. We fall prey to pride. We look at all our possessions and our chests swell. We feel good about "all that we have done". We stand back and survey our wealth and then we notice that our neighbor has more. And we fall prey to greed and covetousness. In our desire to be the best and have the most, we decide we must have even more. So we take extra shifts, even if they fall during worship times. And we begin to fall---this time, we are falling down before false idols. Our things, our money, our stuff becomes our god and we can focus on nothing else. We reach the point where we are falling so much that we no longer function as God's people.
Sometimes even as the church, we get caught up in the "more is better" attitude. We invite all our friends and all our neighbors to worship with us. We watch proudly as the attendance numbers climb. During worship we look at the big wooden placards up front. We are excited that attendance is climbing as is contribution. We can't wait to get more people in. Unfortunately, our evangelism usually ends at the waters of baptism. Once the commitment is made and we have a new brother or sister, our work is done and we are off to another lost soul. We no longer study with, pray with or work with the new convert. We are happy they are there but we have moved on to other important matters. And so, we raise up generation after generation after generation of wishy-washy Christians, Christians whose faith is a surface faith, whose roots are shallow and who are in danger of falling away. I daresay our pews are filled with such brothers and sisters.
It is sad that this little lamb will lose his life, but he cannot survive in this world. He is an anomaly, a freak of nature. It was not intended he should be born this way. It is even more sad when we become "freaks" and when we begin to live outside the intentions of our Creator. We may seem to be happy but we will fall----all the time. It is sad when we boast large numbers of members ---only to note that few of them bring their bibles to church or read them at home, few of them pray as a part of their daily walk, few of them live God throughout the week, and when the struggles and trials come, the shallow Christian turns somewhere else for comfort.
No, more is not always better. Most of us would be happier and more productive and more godly if we had less. We would have more time to worship God, to work for Him, to become more like Him. And most of our congregations would be better off if we took the time, (however much time it took), to really ground our new converts, if we worked with and prayed with them until their faith was strong and their conviction deep. Even if our numbers only increased slowly, it would be better to have a few strong, convicted Christians than hundreds of shallow ones.
(Now before someone starts jumping on me about judging, please read the message of this post---it is not about deciding who is shallow and who is not, it is about making sure our new converts are fully grounded---please do not read into this what I did not write.) I often think about the children of Israel wandering in the wilderness. They did not have a lot. And yet, they were closer to God than they ever would be in history ---because they had less, they depended on God for everything, for food and water, for guidance and the scripture says even their shoes did not wear out. Less was best for them. Later on in history, they became wealthy and powerful and they began serving idols. We are similar creatures and for most of us, we will need to change our mindset. We will need to accept that sometimes less is best!


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I'm it--I think, I mean I guess, er . . .

VBS is over, the grandchildren are back with their mother, the birthday party is finished and so my blog interruption is officially over. While I have a post in the queue, I have promised I would respond to a tag. I was tagged by three e-friends, Chris, Matt and Corinne. So here are the rules 1) I have to post eight random facts about myself, 2) I have to list these rules and 3) I have to tag eight other people---so here goes.

1. I am with Dee Andrews--I hate being tagged. Call me grumbly if you will, but I hate it! I am responding simply because I like the people who tagged me. (Yall could send homemade cookies instead of tagging me next time, okay?)

2. During the summer, when I was 11, I read every book in the children's section at our public library.

3. I used to deliver newspapers on an old bike with big baskets on the sides.

4. I once ran over (in a car, not on my bike) a fire hydrant--they really do squirt up in the air. :)

5. I have a divit in my leg that is supposedly an alien scoop. Evidently while I was sleeping, aliens came, scooped my leg and took the sample to their planet---for cloning purposes? Who can say! :)

6. I don't like bugs or sweat or dirt--so camping is not my favorite past time.

7. My dad gave me a haircut to start kindergarten. In an effort to even up both sides, I inadvertantly ended up with a mohawk. (I wore a cap for the first six months of school)

8. I remember every phone number I have ever had.

Now, in the spirit of tagging---I tag Lisa (Outnumbered), Monica (MommySmart), Brian (Blog prophet), Paula Harrington, Abiding in Christ, Liz (One Woman' Thoughts), Jel (My Place), and James and Kathy (Preacher's House Parables)

I have been told that if you don't respond, something bad will happen---not sure if I believe that or if it is true---but perhaps, just perhaps if you don't respond, you will wake up one morning having been "scooped by an alien" :)

No tag backs!!!!


Thursday, August 02, 2007

VBS---Our Mission--and Random Rambling

VBS is finished! The church in Spearman, though exhausted is still on a spiritual high. We had a great turn out! Kids, kids, kids everywhere. Our them this year was "Sonforce kids" and all of the lessons centered around having a mission. We talked about Moses and Daniel and Joshua.
This is a picture of our puppet stage. Isn't it cool? One of our sisters MADE this! Really, she designed it and made it. The picture does not do it justice but it is three dimensional, there are knobs that stick out, colored windows, etc. It is very cool and my friend, Linda is very talented! She is endeared to my heart, not because she has this (and many other) talents but because she uses her talent for the Lord's work. She does not complain, does not play the martyr. There is no sighing or whining or detailing exactly how many hours, days, or weeks she puts into these projects, she just works for the Lord. And y'all, she smiles while she does it!!!!! Even during all the busyness, she makes time to call and check on others, she makes time to love on her grandkids and show her appreciation for the workers behind the scenes. I know that she is exhausted today, I know that she will rest. But, I am just as confident that when the next challenge arrives, she will smile and be ready to work for God again. Every congregation needs more Lindas!
On the sidelines---after work today, I am going to get my grandchildren---three of them, age 5, almost 3 (on Saturday) and the newborn. They will be staying with me for several days. (Mr. Neva is very nervous) James and Kathy are coming tomorrow and on Saturday we are having a birthday party for Kyle. Y'all are invited but if you can't come, please remember us in your prayers. (Ned has never had children and I--well I am an old woman and it has been a long time since I had a baby in the house)
Thanks guys, I love you all

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Guilty As Charged?

Ever so often, when doing my daily Bible reading, I find myself "stuck" on a particular passage. It isn't that I don't understand it but that it sticks in my mind and I can't seem to stop thinking about it. That happened a few years ago with a particular text in Acts 24. The Apostle Paul is imprisoned and brought before the governor, Felix. Felix listens as the Jews make their accusations. The apostle, then makes his defense. He tells the governor that while he is innocent of the charges brought against him, he is indeed a guilty man. What he is guilty of? Well, Paul informs the court that he worships the God and is a follower of the Way. He says he also believes everything that agrees with the Law and is written in the Prophets. Likewise he believes there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked . . . and he strives to always keep his conscience clear before God and man. Paul tells Felix that all of this guilt can be easily verified!
I am amazed at this passage. (First I think it is very cool that God "outlined" the sermon right there--should any preacher want to preach it. --wink, wink) But secondly, I am impressed that Paul is so confident in his behavior, in his faith and in his reputation that he will stand before a court of law and say courageously that he is guilty and he can prove it.
It is sad that we live in a world that is rife with rumors and gossip. Even in the church, we hear about so and so and what they have or have not done. We read about preachers who have strayed and elders who have abused their powers. The news tells of preacher's wives who take the law into their own hands. We hear of "big names" in the brotherhood being smeared by others. Unfortunately, not one of us who are working for the Lord, I mean truly working for Him, are exempt from the wagging tongues of those who are threatened by our ministry, who are uncomfortable with our mission and who are convicted by our message and choose to turn away. There will always be rumors, always be gossip, always be people anxious to cast dispersions on others.
I pray that we live lives that are exemplary, lives that are reflections of Christ and glorify the Father. I pray that we have reputations that make it difficult for anyone who knows us to believe the rumors. And I pray that we try to live "innocent" lives.
However, I also pray that like the Apostle, we are guilty. We are people who worship God and are followers of the Way. We are people who believe everything in the Law and written in the prophets. We are people who believe in the resurrection. And so, we live in a manner that provides for us a clear conscience before God and man. Of these things, we all should be guilty! And not only should we be guilty---but it should be easy to verify! So the question is "Are you guilty?" and "Can you prove it?"