"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


That is the question I am asking myself. It is a question that we wrestled with in a BILD course several years ago. I am just going to make some observations first of what I have seen in church and in bible studies I have been in. I encourage you to start thinking and questioning the church form you have if you are feeling uncomfortable in the culture that your church is presenting.
I saw more than a few of the guys in the course wrestle with the fact that the way they portrayed their church did not match up with what we were learning. It was hard for some, understandably. They were born and raised with a paradigm of how church is supposed to be-the structure, form, worship, leadership, etc. And what they/we were reading in the Bible was not lining up with their paradigm/model. It is a difficult thing to change one’s paradigm, I should know. Mine has changed on many things and it is due to what I have learned through experiences-some good, some not always so fun. And from where I sit, a lot of people are happy to live in ignorance. I admit it is easier but not very productive. And there are others that just insist that things are supposed to/will work out/happen the way they want. This is a very narcissistic view and is a spirit of pride.
My observations: in scripture the church was for the believers of Christ. They gathered together for prayer, study of the Word and fellowship. It was not for evangelism. They did evangelism during the week and when they came together they need to be recharged, to share what was going on in their life (good, bad, ugly) and be encouraged and built up again.
Today we see that we have tried to condense it all into a Sunday morning. Fellowship, evangelism, study of the Word and prayer (if there is time). We want to do our evangelism on a Sunday morning, that way we don’t have to do it the rest of the week. We just want the church to be a welcoming place to everyone. Then the pastor can do the evangelism and we don’t have to. It is a copout plain and simple. And we rarely share the struggles that are going on in our lives. Why? Because we want everyone to think that we are fine-show no weaknesses. So everyone puts on a smile and when asked “How are you?”, the answer is almost always “fine”. How sad that people feel that they have to put on the mask to people they are supposed to be brothers and sisters in Christ with. Do we really think we are fooling the world? We are NOT. They see the hypocrisy and they want nothing to do with it.
You have a lot of people that I will call the “fat and happy” people. Paul addressed these people in his letter to the church in 1 Corinthians. These people just want to be spoon fed. They want to come on a Sunday morning and sit, hear a sermon that makes them feel good. They do not want to be challenged or held accountable. This I dare say is the majority of the church in America today. And they will fall away when persecution comes because they do not understand. They want to think the Christian life is supposed to be a happy, easy; everything works out the way they think it is supposed to life. They will kick Christ to the curb because He did not do what they thought He should. And that is the kind of believers we are growing. God will hold us accountable. People are afraid of speaking the Truth and of letting others speak it either. They are afraid of attendance going down and the budget not being met. Many would just rather love people to hell. How sad that our fear, pride, and self-centeredness now controls us/the church.
Let me challenge you to do a study of the scripture and see for yourself what the church is to be. And I warn you that it just may change your paradigm. If that happens- what are you going to do about it?
There are many that think that there may need to be a revolution in this country to get back to where we need to be and I would suggest that we need a revolution(revival) in the Church (the Bride of Christ) to get back where we belong.

Monday, August 30, 2010

the sin of pride

Pride. Satan’s trump card that he plays often. The sin of pride is so prevalent in the church today it scares me. You see it everywhere. It walks through the door every Sunday morning. You see it in the way people walk and talk. You see it in who people are loyal to, and it is not Christ.
It is a sin that I see becoming more pervasive in our land/churches, more bold. And that makes sense because it is a cancer and it grows and grows if it goes unchecked. And it has gone unchecked for a long time. It is so prevalent in the church today that I wonder if the church (the corporate model) will stand much longer. Satan has not only been invited in to sit and participate but he has been invited into the leadership of the body. How do you combat this sin? Prayer! Corporate prayer and corporate repentance needs to take place before we can ever take back the church from the hand of satan.

That is the question I have been asking myself lately. It may not be dead but I definitely think it is dying. It appears to me that it has gone so far away from the Biblical model that I wonder if it is possible to find its way back or do you have to start over from scratch. Scratch meaning a group of believers gathered together for prayer, study of the word and fellowship/community. Today’s “church” is all about money and power (i.e. Pride). It is not about going after the lost or helping the hurting in and out of the body. It is about control and who has it. It is about hearing what we want to hear (i.e. leaving a Sunday morning fat and happy), having things done my way. It is a consumerism mentality that has taken over the church- “I want it my way- now”. The church is not about you or me or what I can get from it. It is about what I can GIVE to the body. It is to be about worshipping God in prayer, in studying the Word, in song and in fellowship with other believers. Oh how far we have gone from what God intended. We have perverted the Word of God and molested the Bride of Christ to satisfy our own selfish desires. We should live in fear of God’s wrath of what we have done. But instead, we celebrate in our sin.
I have seen pastors and directors cater to the “money people” (or their children) because they know that is what they need to do, to get what they want. It is very sad to watch. Because it undermines the rest of the body. It is a high society social club atmosphere. You have to rub shoulders with the right people and kiss the right butts. What is even sadder is the fact that the money people expect it because they know that they have power and they are drunk on it.
I wonder what Jesus would do if he walked into my church on a Sunday morning. What about yours? Would He walk around and greet people or would He stand back in the shadows and watch. Would He feel welcome or feel He does not quite meet the standard of the type of people that are wanted in the church. Would He fall to His knees and weep over what has become of His Bride. Or would He make a whip and clean out the “money changers”.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Finally doing the Beth Moore Esther study that I never got to in Zambia, for obvious reasons. Anyway, here are some quotes from one of the sessions (2) that struck me:

-you are never so attacked as when God has taken you out-put you on wilderness path to where you are going, but you aren’t there yet.

-the Enemy goes after the defenseless when the strong are weak.
God was upset with the Amalakites who had attacked the Israelites who were in the rear while in the wilderness. God basically said you must not fear me enough to go after my children when they are weary and frazzled, so I am not only going to destroy you, “I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven”. (Ex. 17:14) Haman (from the book of Esther) was a presumed Amalekite, a descendant of Agag, the king whom Saul did not destroy as God told him to in 1 Samuel 15. Mordecai incidentally was a descendant of King Saul. In Ex. 17: 16 it says that “the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation.” I don’t know about you-but to me this says don’t mess with my people, especially when they are already weak!

-there is nothing meaner than a coward

-whenever you have God on your side, you’re a majority

-coming in contact with a mean girl brings out your own mean girl. This unfortunately is also too true! When someone is being mean to you, when you are backed into a corner, all you want to do is lash back at them!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Have you ever felt like one of the prophets of the Old Testament warning the king-who does nothing about it?
Sure as a mom I feel like I do this every day! Be nice to your sister or I will… Don’t take his toy without asking… Don’t hit or else…
But have you ever felt God call you to really speak out-to a particular person, a particular sin, or in a particular situation? Interesting how during the middle of reading the book of Jeremiah this is where my thoughts go.
We had one very large, life altering situation where we were called to do this. We weren’t the first one; this situation had been spoken into by many others. We were just part of the line that God was using to deal with a sin issue. And truthfully, each person that came along and spoke into it said more, invested more…and we were called to take that next step further. We of course weren’t thrown into a well, or put in prison or had to flee death as Jeremiah or any of the O.T. prophets had to. We had our own ostracisms (is that a word?) to deal with.
We feel like we are heading into another situation of life where we need to speak to something. It isn’t really all that exciting, not something we are looking forward to. We don’t want to get ahead of God, put ourselves in when and where we don’t belong…but at the same time we don’t want to hide or shrink back from what God may be asking us to do.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

On Sunday, August 22 Mariah was baptized. This is the testimony she shared with our church body:

I became a Christian when I was around the age of five or six at home. We were doing church at home taht Sunday. But I never really "felt" saved until this year at camp. One of my counselors had gone through what I was going through, wondering if I was saved. She and my other counselor both told me the same thing, "You can never get 'unsaved'. Once you ask, He's there forever." The teacher that at afternoon chapel said the same thing only in pictures rather than words. My parents have always asked me when i was going to be baptized. But I've never really wanted to until now. Partly, I think I've never really understood baptism fully until now and I also wanted to do it in my own timing.

Dead in our sins...

Alive in Christ!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

“Pharaoh let the people go. The shortest road from Goshen to Canaan went through the Philistine country. But God didn’t lead them that way. God said, ‘If they have to go into battle, they might change their minds. They might return to Egypt.’” Exodus 13:17

You could read this and wonder-if? They might? Did God already know what choice they would make, so in essence, didn’t give them the opportunity to make it?

“God left him {Hezekiah} alone only to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.” 2 Chron. 32:31
There are a lot of examples in the O.T. where God did things to test the kings. He tests, they humble themselves/repent, and God forgives. And then the cycle often begins again. There is always sin.
I often wonder how much of the Old Testament we “miss” or just misunderstand. How much is lost in translation from the original languages-Latin, Greek, Arabic, Hebrew, whatever they all are :-) See it says here He wants to see what was in his heart? Doesn’t God already know what’s in our hearts? Was He testing Hezekiah so HEZEKIAH would know what was in his own heart?

Duet. 8:16b says “…to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you.”
Isaiah 38 is one of the accounts of Hezekiah’s illness (2 Kings 20 is another). It says Hezekiah wrote verses nine to twenty. In Verse 17 he says, “Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish.” He then goes on to praise God because of what He did.
This is one of those places where I wish I could just say scholars-tell me what the meaning is! But there may be two or three more interpretations! A Jewish commentary would be especially handy as they bring in the traditions, the language, and the culture. But still, I don’t know that we ever fully grasp what it meant to the Israelites.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Don’t you just hate it when a joke (or a tease) sounds great in your own head…but comes out not so much so? I had been doing a lot of thinking about things in our past. I had just recently read through some words spoken to us. And I thought of all we were going through now. So I jokingly said to Brian, “you know-all this is your fault, don’t you?”
Now, of course it made all the sense in the world to me, but he didn’t have any idea where I was going with that! Some fancy phrases of the tongue and he figured it out, so no harm done. :-) I guess He thought maybe he was related to the former president Bush, since everything that has happened in the economy and in the rest of the world the last several years is his fault.
I was just thinking about God’s sovereignty and His will. And how it is that HIS will always wins out, so to speak. Now Brian will be the first to admit, and has admitted here, in his testimony, that he wasn’t exactly living his life to serve the Lord. And believe me, I was and am no spiritual giant myself, just follow me here. God knew exactly where He wanted us, when He wanted us to be there. And due to our choices in life, we didn’t exactly get there the easy way. We did not exactly choice to obey right away, in all the right ways. So when we did finally start to, we had a lot of catching up to do. I remember planning our transition to ministry program at church, our missions guy would joke that we are “on the fast track.” Then we get to the mission field, and I believe we learned in one year what most missionaries never do, and some hope never to! We got back and had to learn to deal with our hurt in a pretty quick way too-for our own health and our own kids. And why? So we could be where we are at today, doing what we are doing, for a specific purpose that God is just starting to now part the clouds on, if even just a sliver. He seems to put us in places and situations where we can learn the most in the shortest amount of time. All preparation for the next thing-He’s always two steps ahead!
So, really-I don’t know that we can ever thwart God’s will. I don’t think we can-HE is GOD. But we do choose how we will play our part, which God already knows, so He plans accordingly anyway!

Monday, August 23, 2010


Yeah, that pretty much sucks. Has God ever wanted to use you in a way that will leave you feeling broken? Feeling yucky inside or out? Not yucky that I did something wrong, but yucky that this person had to hurt or be confronted or leave a situation or cause a situation to blow up or…
We believe God does ALLOW things to happen and He also CAUSES things to happen, using people. And they are hard on you. And you want to curl up and cry or raise a fist and rage or crawl under a rock and die.
But if GOD is sovereign I have to believe, which I do, that all things have been sifted through His hands and His plans are all over and in it.
And sometimes you get the joy of seeing WHY you were used in that way. There are some “yucky” things going on very near to us, but I can very clearly see how all that we went through in the last three or so years has equipped us to encourage others along as they wade through their own yuck. It really is a gift from God. Because no excuse, no reasons that anyone can give about anything we went through will satisfy. They just won’t. Sure I want some answers, but I know it won’t take away what happened. But how very much different when God shows you some of the whys! He won’t always, and often it may take months, years, decades…but He is in every minute of it!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Just had to post this I decided…I was commenting on Facebook about out how Pastor Mike likes to rile up the kids and then leave and a friend commented that she also heard that he likes to rile up the dog. And I thought of this Hill-Air-Ee-Ass story (really, read it phonetically!) I was actually LOL as I thought of it. So I decided to share it. We kept waiting for it to be a funny story from up front, but who knows? Maybe he as too embarrassed? Yeah-right!

Before we went to Africa we invited Mike & Dee over for supper. We are all watching out the picture window and see Mike playing with this big yellow lab. We’re like, “whose dog is that? I didn’t think Mike had a dog anymore? Maybe he got a new one and they can’t leave it home alone yet? I guess Brian and Mike are better friends than Brian realizes-Mike just decided to bring his dog over without asking us. Okay, whatever, I guess.”

So Mike comes in with the dog and the dog is LOVING it, running up and down the hall. He’s actually a little wild.
We’re thinking, “Wow, that dog is a little hyper”.
Mike is thinking-“Wow, they don’t control their dog very well.”

Finally Mike asks, “So what’s your dog’s name?”
“Um, he’s not OUR dog.”
“No, really, what’s the dog’s name?”
“Really, he’s not our dog. We thought he was yours! You let a stray dog into our house?!”

We get the dog kicked back outside and he then spends the next twenty minutes sitting on the step looking at the door with those big puppy dog eyes!

It was just sooo funny-really, I laugh out loud every time I tell it!!

(BTW, it was one of the neighbor’s dogs I image, just no idea which one!)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Oh, I could think of SOOOO many captions right now...

And contrary to what he says, Troy really does love to get and give hugs!


I just finished this book. Well, just finished a week or so ago by the time you read this as I am posted out to the end of the week already. I had put a few quotes up a couple weeks ago. I am not a great book-reviewer, so as usual-I am going to give you some quotes and thoughts from the book to think about. His words are so much better than mine.
Again, Gene Edwards doesn’t really answer your questions. Instead, he asks you: “Will you follow a God you do not understand? Will you follow a God who does not live up to your expectations?”

This is a story of John the Baptist. This is John sacrificing and becoming the Voice of the One Crying Out in the Wilderness, “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord”. And this is the story of that same John in the Third Cell of the prison. Wondering if he got it right.
“You recall those long vigils before my face. Did you misunderstand me? Were you mistaken? Perhaps you did not hear my voice at all?” p.70

This is a book about you being that prisoner in the Third Cell. About you wondering why, if, who, what the?? The latter part is Jesus talking as if to John (not in person). Christ is in solitude praying, recounting, as if John were there, talking him through his final days.
“But today you have met a God you do not understand. Such is the mystery of my sovereignty. Such are my ways in every generation. No man has ever understood me, not fully. No man ever will. I will always be something other than what men expect me to be. I will work out my will in ways different from what men foresee.” P. 73

Edwards then addresses you, the reader. “You have now come face to face with a God whom you do not fully understand. You have met a God who has not lived up to your expectations. Every believer must come to grips with a God who did not do things quite the way it was expected.

“You are going to get to know your Lord by faith or you will not know Him at all. Faith in Him, trust that is in Him…not in His ways.” P.77

“The question before the house is this: ‘Will you follow a God you do not understand? Will you follow a God who does not live up to your expectations?’” p.78

"Before this present tragedy entered into your life, it first passed through the sovereign hand of God.” P.81

Friday, August 20, 2010

“The Israelites saw the great power the LORD showed against the Egyptians. So they had respect (fear, awe, reverence) for the LORD. They put their trust in him…” Exodus 14:31

The Lord had just brought the 10 plagues on the Egyptians, followed up by parting the Red Sea for them to walk across. And here, it tells us the result-so they had respect for Him. They trusted Him. How many times, daily even, does God show us His power-often in the little things? Do we respect Him for it? Worship Him? Thank Him? Or do we think it’s just a coincidence, the way it just happened to work?

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Wow. That’s hard to say.

I guess in a way it’s not, ‘cuz really, we DON’T fit in. We’re not big money, we’re not beautiful, we don’t have a company job, we have lots of kids and still would have more, we’ve had a big “failure” in the eyes of many who don’t understand what happened, we’re a little “spirit-led”, we’re just a little too “take-the-Bible-at-it’s-word”- in essence, we’re not part of the “pretty people”. And what’s probably worse-(gasp!)-we are friends with and go out looking for other “not so pretty people.”
It’s hard to come that that point of being tired of trying-for a long time I really wanted to. In a sense I still do-it’s just I’m finding out that the places I am trying to fit into aren’t the places I want to be, and they are not where God even wants me to be.
We’re tired of being uncomfortable. We’d love to set up shop, just sit and coast. We’d love to “fit in” and be included and be part of the lovely ones… We’ve been uncomfortable now for years. In a way, it kinda sucks. On the surface there is the chaos, the confusion, the unsettling. But down deep there is lasting peace, faith, trust, hope. Through all the darkness, there has always been GOD. And truthfully-I am finding that I would much rather be uncomfortable in God’s will then trying to make God’s will conform to my way, to my comfort.

So, I am no longer going to try to fit into what the world and culture wants me to. I am only going to try to “fit myself in” to the processes and pieces that God wants me to. And I am okay with that. Whatever, wherever and however that is going to look like.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Well, we started the process of giving notice to our renters to be out of the house. We are on schedule to have them move on September 15th, but it may be a week or two later depending on how things work.
That means we start our own process of moving back to our house since it has not sold.
It’s not like we didn’t know it would ever happen. We knew if it didn’t sell we would move back this fall because we didn’t want to move in the middle of winter if our renters had to leave for some reason. So in a sense it is better to decide and do it now and move before it snows and gets icky. The house we are living in has not sold yet either, so (at this point) we don’t have to be out by a certain date. We’ll do some cleaning in Kandi and a little remodeling work, then take a little time moving. But really, once you start moving, all you want to be is done!
There are just a lot of questions. We obviously can’t live here forever, so again we knew we’d be moving at some time. The owners of this house have been generous beyond what we could imagine. We were really hoping our house would sell though.
It’s just~there are some things we are thinking and looking at doing, and as I sat around the table the other day praying with our “community”, I thought-how can we ever do this in our house in Kandiyohi?
Brian’s work is steady, for now. But it’s seasonal at this point. Once the snow flies, we don’t know what he will do (good thing God does-looking for a hint any time now…). That fits in with a few things in a sense, but there is still the question of income.
We have two ministry opportunities-one around here, the other not. Both could be a fit, but which one? I question whether we are ready for either. I wonder how our location affects them. I wonder how Brian’s employment affects them. I wonder how other happenings fit into and affect them. I wonder how God can think I can handle all this wondering!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This is a picture of Headwoman Chimunto with one of her grandbabies, Gene. I have no idea whose baby it is-I think she gave birth to 21 kids of her own (17 or 19 were still alive) I can tell that this picture is OLD. Just the look and feel of it, and her face. She looks exactly the same now, just less wrinkles. Zambians LOVE snaps. If a camera comes out beware or you may end up with a few extra unknowns in your photo! They love receiving them and collect and cherish them. Never in our time there did we ever get offered someone else’s snap. I know the Headwoman had to have taken the special time to find this snap and send it to us. It is a very special memento that we will cherish.

When one of our friends from Iowa went to Zambia this summer we sent letters and pictures and a few gifts to our friends in the village. K brought some gifts and letters back for us and we just received them in the mail. I do love seeing their writing and how they spell and say things-just makes me smile. It’s always Mr. Brian (or Brain). Not only do they have a hard time saying the ‘L’ sound, apparently they don’t write it much either! Flowers was frowers, everything is so phonetically spelled, which is kinda neat. And if they can’t say the word quite right, well, it can’t be spelled right either. The writing is also very formal-definitely the British influence coming out. There writing is always peppered with thanksgiving to God for what they have and blessings for us. They are just a grateful, joyful people. They always greet you in the name of the Lord Jesus.
The Headwoman also took the time to have someone write us a letter from her (she doesn’t speak English). She said she is praying for us and that God would bless us with more than we have. God has blessed them with much corn to feed their children this year. The kids (her grandchildren-Lackson’s kids) are well this year and they miss their friends, especially Mariah.
Mariah was always special to Carol and Lackson’s kids, spending much time holding and taking care of Memory and Peoples. Lackson wrote a note on each of the kids and they mention missing Mariah by name. We can totally see her back in Africa someday with a whole orphanage of kids calling her “mom.” Kelly Jo is doing well at 15 months (at the time) and running around. Lackson said he and Carol were moving up near his mom soon and they had a good year of corn and other crops to feed the kids. He told us the problem he had was that his cow died this year. I read that and braced myself for the request to “help” him. Instead he tells us that “I give Jesus Christ all my problem; He is my Saviour” and directs us to Matthew 6:25: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?” and Psalm 37:4-5: “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him…” He didn’t ask us for anything at all, just said he misses us, prays for us and sends greetings to all the kids.
We got a letter from the deputy headman, Alex. He is a Chimunto, but not the Headwoman’s son from what I understand, but not sure anymore. He has beautiful handwriting, I am actually very jealous! Driving down the road to our new home two Octobers ago, we passed him and he stop his cart and came running and pulled Brian out and gave him a huge bear hug. He and Brian had a special relationship.
John Zimba sent a letter. I didn’t know he could write English actually, so I wasn’t expecting one. He delivered a few other letters for us to some of the further out villagers. He included a dried rose that still smelled beautiful. I’m not sure if it was one we gave him and he had at his place or if it came from P & L, but wherever it was, I know he was taking care of it. John’s son Calving is doing better he said, still having seizures, but able to be on some meds that were helping . Brian went with John to pray over him a few years ago. John is still working up at the school taking care of compound one for P & L. He greeted all the kids by name (very interesting spelling there!) and my favorite line—“greeting you in the name of the Lord Jesus, so that (our) relationship never end”. He included John 1:12 for us: “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” In Christ we are all brothers and sisters, and no matter how far away we are, our relationship with them will never end. Thank you Lord Jesus!
Most of the letters were thanking us for remembering them there in Zambia. How in the world could we forget??? They tell us they miss us and that they are praying for us every day. Wow. I have to admit I am not, the cares and the busyness of this side of the world get in my way. That’s one of the things we miss-the simplicity of life there (compared to here). Another thing we always saw in their writing (to us and others that I typed for them) was encouragement. That encouragement usually always came from the Word of God.
P & L sent greetings and said the dogs were doing well and looked good. I sent some pedicure fun stuff for the ladies bible study. They LOVE getting their hair done, so I thought they would enjoy soaking their feet and painting their toe nails fun colors.

These are the memories we cherish-the friendships, the faith, their encouragement to us. They sit around and laugh about the cow incident and make fun of Brian; there is no ill-will towards us, there is love and prayers and encouragement coming our way from halfway around the world. Those are the things we will remember.

Man, do I miss my friends.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Those big beautiful brown eyes on Saturday were Henry’s. It was also Henry’s 2nd birthday on Saturday. No, I didn’t forget. Well, not really-okay a little bit. He wasn’t walking around asking for the past month like the other kids do, so even though I knew it was coming up…well, the night before I wasn’t exactly thinking about it! Birthdays have never really been a super big deal around here with big parties-it’s usually just a cake and maybe a trip to Applebee’s. On Saturday Grandma called and said Henry won the birthday cake on the radio that day so I didn’t even have to make one. When I went to pick it up then didn’t even have the cakes that they normally give out-so we got a bigger one for free!

So anyway-HAPPY BIRTHDAY HENRY! You are the biggest hoot in the world and we love your smile, your giggles, your dances and everything about you!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Actually I have been for a couple of weeks now (going through all the stages). Why? Our/MY pastor resigned today. Mike wasn’t just my pastor; he is one of my best friends. He is a guy I can tell anything and I mean anything to. You know how you hold back stuff from your pastor because he is your pastor-well, I don’t. He taught me by modeling for me what it truly means to be a Sheppard of a flock. You go after your lost, hurt and wounded and you bring them back and you tend to them. He is a guy who loves the unlovable. Where many others would just as soon right off the down-and-outers, he goes after them, loves them right where they are at, and gives them a listening ear. He walks with them through the shit of life. If that does not model Christ, I guess I don’t know what does. Jesus himself told the Pharisees that he came for the sick and the hurting-not the ones that “think” that they are well/perfect. I actually had my former director tell me that my pastor was one of the most ungodly people he had ever talked to, all because he spoke the Truth. He cared more about people (me and my family) than any project. I guess that is why I always had more loyalty to my pastor/church than my agency. Truth is, he was one of just a few at our church who were there for us, advocated/supported us when we got back. We always had a feeling that there are more than a few others who would have gladly just said don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. He resigned for reasons that I will not get into here. All I will say is, it breaks my heart seeing how far the “church” has gone away from what Christ called the church to be.


Mike has always said he does not want his name remembered but Christ’s. Thing is, when I see him-I see Christ. He has been the hands and feet of Jesus to me and my family. I can say that about several others but sadly most are not from my home church.
So what do I do? I grieve. He will be leaving, going wherever the Lord leads. Just look at what he has already done-he came from the WARM South to Minnesota (quite the big deal for him!), and he will go WHEREVER God tells him.
I know it is a part of God’s plan but that does not necessarily mean I have to like it. There is a lot that God does that I don’t necessary like, so it is nothing new.
I have had a hard time writing this post, emotions are a tricky/raw thing. I’m angry, disappointed, my heart aches. Bottom line is I’m here for Mike and he is there for me, that is how it works.
And Shepherd Gibbons, thank you. I love you brother. You have taught and shown me so much-more than you realize. I know that part of the reason God called you here was for me-to be here for me. And I thank Father for that. For knowing me so well that HE knows exactly what and who I need in my life.

Now Mike …aim, exhale, squeeze, repeat...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

For Brian's birthday this year he invited over a few guys and they shot trap for a while and fired off some handguns. Here are just a few pics from the beginning of the night.

Brian and his brother Tim

"Pants on the ground..." that's OLD NEWS.
Now we got SHELLS on the ground.

Troy and Todd letting the pigeons, quails, and rabbits fly. (clay ones, that is)

Myron had his turn pulling-Ready Dad?!
(and you better not say yeah to ANYTHING after that unless you are ready!)

This is Myron and the gun he won at the Youth Trap Shoot. 7 chances to win (7 kids) usually gets the fam at least one prize! We'll need a little work on his stance I think...

He sure is proud!

Can you guess which one I am?

Friday, August 13, 2010

It has been said that it is impossible to forgive a man who deliberately hurts you for the sole purpose of destroying you or lowering you.
If this be true, you have but one hope:
to see this unfair hurt as coming by permission from God
for the purpose of lifting your stature above that place where formerly you stood.

He who takes up the sword perishes by the sword.
He who refuses to take up the sword perishes on the cross.

--Gene Edwards "The Prisoner in the Third Cell" (emphasis mine)

These are just two quotes from the beginning of the book. Written in a similar style as "A Tale of Three Kings", the short chapters have already drawn me in. Gene Edwards is a wonderful story teller.

Under the title, Edwards asks:
"Will you follow a God who does not live up to your expectations?"

Can't wait to get further in. I am sure I will have more thoughts as I finish! (I am stilling reading my adoption attachment book; I just needed a break from that. I have a pile of eight other books I would like to be reading, just gotta finish that one that I SHOULD be reading by the 19th so I can return it to the library.)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I have been reading through the Bible chronically. I don’t think I have ever done that before. I am noticing a few things that I haven’t been before-partly because of the timing of the books, partly because I haven’t read through some of the minor prophets all at once.
So I got to Nahum and read the beginning notes on it-who wrote it, why, when, all that. Now for some of you, this is all “duh” but I haven’t taken the time to think of it before, so here goes.
When we talk about Nineveh, we usually focus on Jonah-he didn’t do what God wanted, ran away, ended up in the whale, spit on ground, did what he should have in the first place, saved Ninevah, got mad.
But we don’t think too much of Ninevah-just know Jonah hated it. Why did Jonah hate it? Well, it wasn’t part of Israel. Now I know that too seems really “duh”. But in the Old Testament there really aren’t too many examples of God going out of His way to save any Gentiles. And basically that is what the book of Jonah is. Well, about a century later comes Nahum. Nineveh repented-yeah! Within a hundred years-back to the same and worse-definitely not-so-yeah! Nahum is written as the oracle of Nineveh’s destruction by Babylon.
What is (one of) the significance(s) of Nahum? That God IS slow to wrath, but that He DOES settle His accounts in full. Assyria was brutal; yes they had repented, but soon returned to their wicked ways. It was a comfort to the surviving kingdom of Judah-that the threat of a further Assyrian invasion would soon be over.
So, since we like to try to get you to think, and since ALL Scripture is profitable for teaching, correct, rebuking, and training in righteousness…how do we apply this to our lives? I can think of a few ways, and they go in many different directions. I am not saying any of them are right or make sense but with the once through quick read I did-here are questions that come to mind.
Why bother with Nineveh when God knew their heart? If God is past, present and future all at once, and He knew they would fall back to their evil ways, why bother? If Nineveh was this harsh to God’s chosen people, again-- why bother? Why warn them of their destruction? He wasn’t warning this time to repent like with Jonah-He was saying this WAS GOING to happen. This was written to the Israelites.
So, if God knows our hearts, what choices we will make-past, present, and future-why does He bother with us? LOVE. His LOVE for us is so strong, so perfect, so…everything, that He is willing to risk it all for us. Risk His own pain seeing His Son suffer on the cross. His own pain as we are paining (as the Zambians say) in this daily struggle of life.
He LOVES us-with divine love, with uncomprehendable love. He puts it all out on the line-for us.
This is what I don’t understand. We say God wants to give us every chance to turn to Him, to accept Christ. But yet—we say He is past, present, future-everywhere, all the time. So doesn’t He know how we will respond to EVERY situation and EVERY question? Is He completely all-knowing? So if He is, how does that work? I mean, He knows our choices, ‘cuz He made us, He knows what we will do. So didn’t He plan everything? How does free will work exactly? We make choices-to follow His lead or to go against His best that He wants for us. Yet…He knows what we will choose, so He plans accordingly.
Questions, Questions-theologians get paid to ask them, why can’t I? :-)
God’s BIG plan-His BIG will is the salvation of souls. That all will come to a saving knowledge of Him through Jesus Christ our Lord and live in a love relationship with him. (But doesn’t He already know who will and who won’t?)
The goal/purpose of our lives is to GLORIFY God in all we do.
So I wonder if all we go through in this life isn’t really for other people. I mean, I am saved, but I am still going through crap, trying to glorify God somehow in the crap I am going through. Do I have to go through some of this crap, so that someone will come to the saving grace of Jesus? And God already has this planned out? I will go through A, B, and C so that John Doe will accept Christ after B but before C?
Is this just too much thinking? A friend just emailed and talked about keeping it simple-which I try to; in my daily living life anyway. But then I read or hear something, and my overly analytical brain (which God created!) goes into hyper drive. I don’t know. Maybe I just like to ask questions.
Yes, I know I am weird. I hope I am not causing undo doubts for others. I guess I figure if I wonder it, someone else somewhere may wonder too. But maybe the bigger issue isn’t necessarily the wondering. It’s having FAITH. Faith that you know what, I am NOT going to get answers to all these things-not answers that will satisfy while I am here on this earth. But I still have FAITH despite the questions and the wonderings. That this huge God of the universe even cares about me, let alone LOVES me, and doesn’t mind all my ramblings, just loves that I want to think and talk about Him.
Brian says it’s like the dog chasing his tail. You can’t convince him that he is never going to catch it-he just keeps chasing it. And he has fun doing it or just gets really annoyed-but he still keeps doing it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Just did something that I dislike when others do it to me. How easily we forget, or at least mentally remove ourselves. We just don’t always think it through.
As always there is way more background to the situation, even more than that other person knows and that I am going to bother to tell you. But basically in the midst of (freshly) grieving over something, instead of just acknowledging the grieving and leaving it there, I suggested looking at the blessings and looking ahead to where God would work and use people.
Now, not really a bad thing, I know. But timing, timing, timing! In my mind, totally appropriately because I am further removed. In theirs, not so much so, because it is closer to the heart still.
Happened to us when we left Africa, just happened when we lost Michael.
So how do you find the balance? And truthfully, it’s not that I know the person very well, but I know the situation. Do I just need to zip the lip? As a part of the body of believers, I have a desire to encourage. Having gone through a similar situation, but now towards the end /removed from it, I want to encourage that REALLY- there REALLY TRULY is GOOD that will come as we follow God’s leading, even through the hard stuff. It’s tough, it’s a learning process, but there is a point that comes and you realize just how God was working-in you, in others, in the body of believers.
Sounds a little silly, but it reminds me of child birth. Ouch! Yet I keep doing it and want to do it again-I’ve pretty much forgotten the extent of the pain of it. So here I am trying to encourage forgetting the pain of being right in the middle.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Oh friendship-it is a fickle thing. So, so many of our friendships are more about what we can “get” than what we can give.

We have business friends that we hope will help us climb the corporate ladder.

We have casual friends that we hope will connect us to the “right” people.

We have acquaintances that we keep, that we allow to be near us, as long as they give when needed and don’t bother us too much.

We have REAL friends that are all about community, about sharing life together, about growing in the Lord together, about ministering to the hurting.

Sadly-these are just our friendships at CHURCH. And out of the four, that last one is the one most often missed, the seemingly lest important.

Once you start thinking about what this looks like, how do you shut that out on a Sunday morning and worship GOD? Do you keep your blinders on and not think about what the guy next to you or over in the other section said about you or someone else? How do you make worship about GOD when His own body (the church) is hurting each other all around you? What is the point of a church anyway?
In Beth Moore’s ESTHER bible study she says, “I’m not sure we’re ever in a more uncomfortable predicament than when we discern evil in someone who other people esteem. At no time should we be more prayerful or careful to search our own sin-driven souls.” P.60 (Evil sounds big and scary-but I am thinking more just of things like pride, malice, gossip, etc., some of those “little white sins” we don’t take as seriously as we should.)
The early (New Testament) church was a group of believers getting together to meet, learn more about Jesus, encourage each other (often in their sufferings), pray together, and worship the Lord together. But really-take a look at Paul’s letters to the churches…they had some of the same problems we have today.

Is it our friendships that are so fickle-or just people? If it is people, then why does God ask us to be involved with them?

He does want us to be involved with them-but our faith does not depend on them.

We’re supposed to be the hands and feet of our Lord, living out the mercy and grace He has shown us, comforting those with the comfort by which we ourselves have been comforted. Instead, we don’t want to associate with those who have labels-drug addict, alcoholic, child molester, pornographer, poor, Hispanic, Black, (any color but our own), the down-and-outters… We want our churches to be of people who are at least good enough to make it look to the outside world that they have it all together. That way, more people will come, more people will give, more buildings can be built, more numbers (may) will come…
Christ said it is not those who are well that need a physician. The Pharisees thought they were the ones who were well-but Jesus examines the heart.

What are your reasons for coming to church? To be with others like you? To find opportunities to serve those who need it, who maybe aren’t as “whatever” as you?

There is a struggle because of the fact that a church is essentially for the believer to be encouraged with other believers and to worship God. What does that encouragement look like? I need to be encouraged during my tough times, not a pat on the back when it looks like I am doing well. But there are non-believers in our churches as well. Do we really think that the perfection we TRY to present is what makes them want to attend, want to get to know us?
I remember a previous pastor looking up at a worship choir saying wow-I know what some of those people are going through. And to see them up here worshiping God publicly-amazing. Why are we so afraid to not be perfect?
I am not perfect. I am not comfortable. I am not a safe friend to have. I would much rather be worshiping together with 10 other people who will admit that than 1000 who are trying their best to not let anyone else in the world know it. They aren’t fooling anyone. And they definitely aren’t fooling God.
And so we struggle. We struggle with how God is so amazing and sovereign that HE can use different models, at different times, for different people. And fit it altogether. And how do we fit anymore? Do we? What purposes does God have for us in our home, at our bible study group, at our church?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Here are just a dozen or so pictures from where Brian works. These are mainly the common ground areas of the estate where there are literally THOUSANDS of plants (Brian just put in another 500 or so). There are two residences he does too-one he mainly mows and some other general clean up. The other one has probably another 10,000 perennial flowers and plants that he takes care of. We didn't want to get close shots of the houses themselves so there aren't too many of those. But let me tell you-it is BEA-U-TI-FUL up there.

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Sunday, August 8, 2010


Today is my boyfriend's 37th birthday.
He has always treated me like I am the Queen.
I sooo don't deserve this man that God has given me. But I am so grateful He did.
I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams.
Unfortunately I don't tell him this often enough. So here it is again babe--



Brian and John building the house in Zambia

In Colorado at DAR

Daddy again with Henry and Myron

Gosh, somewhere in summer of 2006 I think

At the airport when we got J in November of 2006

This is our "Mary Poppins" photo from Christmas 2008

Showing His sweet heart in thanks to our friends

My lover

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Our community just had a potluck to reconnect from the summer and send off a couple to Colorado for seminary. One of the reasons she told us that they were able to take this step was because we were willing to take a step of obedience. We are thankful that our process helped someone else in their process.
The husband knew Brian from way back in high school and we connected a few years back at church-just a God thing. We got to hear their story and have some fellowship and prayer times with them during our old Tuesday night prayer group. But it’s been awhile. Obviously we were gone a year, and in the 9 months or so that we have been back, we’ve really only visited at church a couple of times. Yet as we got together to pray and send them off, he made mentioned of those times in prayer. He appreciated the prayer time and the family that we were. I was just struck by how awesome God is-how cool the family of God can be. Such a few times together-yet the bond of prayer and sharing life in that short, HONEST time with each other-we’re family still, months and years later, with even such a small amount of contact. There is sooo much power in prayer, in community, in fellowship with the body of believers when we are free to be who we are. No trying to be perfect, no trying to put on a happy face. REAL people living their REAL lives, together, as fellow believers in Christ. I believe it is what God intended church to be (it was what it was originally). We are the ones who created the traditions to isolate and divide us. Can you imagine what church would be like if prayer was the tradition? One thing is it would probably be a lot less people, but a lot more people focused on being obedient to Christ.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

We have two TVs that we would like to sell.
They both work just fine-we are just going to not have space for them when we move. (more on that later another time!)

This is a Mitsubishi HDTV.
It is 54 inches (corner to corner).
We do not have a remote for it (you can get a universal one).
The VCR is not included (it doesn't work).

This is a Hitachi Ultravision Digital.
It is 64 inches (corner to corner).
There is a remote for this one.

Please send us an email if you are interested and have more questions. I don't know what you want to know :-). We would be willing to sell either one or both at any time. We are in Willmar, remember, so you'd obviously have to come and get it. Our email is: calltoobedience@gmail.com.

Mariah was trying to get Shera to look at the camera.
Apparently she didn't want to!

Henry is all his adorableness. I know, I know-lots of pics of Henry. He's just so cute! I didn't take this one, Cybil did. Just picture him saying, "I like to move it, move it" and shaking his little booty.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


What is an established church? It is a church in which the people know God’s Word and they understand it and live it out. Not just one aspect of the Gospel of Jesus Christ but every aspect. Sounds like a pretty tall order does it not? It is what we as followers of Christ are commanded to do. No excuses!
That is has been our focus in the men’s Bible study I have been apart of for the last 25 weeks. We have gone through ACTS and now the Pauline Epistles using the BILD material. It is a very in-depth study and discussion. Our times together typically last hours and it is often hard to bring it to a close. Often we end up with more questions than answers, which I don’t think is a bad thing. For some though, not coming up with a definite conclusion can be hard to swallow. One main focus has been to determine what the normative guide lines for the church are. What we have found out is that there are not very many. We have created a lot more just like the Pharisees had back in Jesus’ day.
What I have noticed in observing discussions is people want a step by step plan on how to establish a church. What I see is you can have a step by step plan for people to gain knowledge-but not understanding. We have a fair amount of knowledge in our churches but we have little understanding. How can I say that? If we have understanding we would see application taking place. Instead what we see in our churches is just more of the world (its selfishness, entertainment, programs, shallowness, desirer for anything but GOD).

You want a step by step plan for establishing the church?
Step one: PRAY.
Step two: WAIT.
Step three: PRAY.
Step four: WAIT.
You get the idea. And as you are doing this, you READ AND STUDY THE WORD.

The focus is seeking the Lord and what HE desires. Is it easy? NO. We are get it done kind of people, so praying and waiting goes against our culture and our nature. GOD does not want us to do something just to do it- HE wants us to do what HE wants. If you do not ask HIM, how do you know what that is? There are some things laid out in Scripture i.e. take care of widows, orphans, the poor- just people in need.
I think another word could be used in place of established and that is surrendered. For the individual I am not talking about salvation. I am talking about Lordship. Surrendering your very life to anything and everything God has called you to- no matter what. That is becoming established and it has nothing to do with a degree or what you know. And for a church, are they surrendering to the Lordship of Christ? Are they devoted to prayer corporately? Are the answers to questions and problems and the direction of the church being derived from time in prayer? If not, how do you know where these answers came from? How do you know if this program or that procedure put in place is from GOD or just personal agendas?
If you want an established church, prayer has to be a MAJOR part of the church. And I am talking about actual prayer, not 95% singing and 5% praying. More like the other way around is what is needed. You want to have a relationship with someone? You need to talk and you need to listen. I love music and it adds to worship. But music and singing is not worship. If you think it is you are missing out on so much more! It is only one small part of worship. Worship is communion with the FATHER, SON, and HOLY SPIRIT. To exclude anyone of them would be wrong.
You can probably tell I have a tendency to get a little fired up about prayer. The reason is because I see it lacking in every church I see, including my own. And it makes me angry! JESUS said “My FATHER’S house is to be a house of prayer”. Most of the time it is anything but. We say we want more of GOD but we don’t seek HIM.
I some times feel the HOLY SPIRIT is crying out wanting to be set free to move in our churches and in our lives but we will not let HIM. Why? Because of fear. And that fear comes from satan. The last thing he wants is to see GOD at work. When and how do you see God at work? Through prayer! People asked us how do you know God called you to Africa? Answer: because HE told me. I asked HIM for confirmations and answers and HE gave them. I ask my FATHER and HE answers. Some wonder, so GOD talks to you? Answer: yes! HE is my FATHER and HE loves me, conversations go two ways. The HOLY SPIRIT lives inside of me! That is the very SPIRIT of GOD/CHRIST inside of me. I would sure hope to hear HIS voice, HIM being that close and all. If HE is talking and I don’t hear, I must really be trying hard to ignore HIM.

Well now I have gone and gotten off what I had planned on writing about and gotten on my soap box.

So to establish an individual and a church:
1). Learn about the FATHER, SON, & HOLY SPIRIT. (All 3)
2). Spend a lot of time in prayer!
3).allow the HOLY SPIRIT to do what HE wants.
4).Listen and OBEY!

Sound simple? Yes it does, but is it that easy? NO, it’s not. It requires time and work and desire. The cool thing-you can ask HIM for that too!

(written spring of 2008-still true today!)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

the changing/returning face of missions and ministry

When we went to MTI I was worried that I would be the only one without a Bible college education or Seminary degree. What I found was I was in the majority. Actually only a few had the plaque on the wall. I found it interesting and at the time wondered why it was that way? I’m beginning to see some possibilities as to why the Lord is calling those who are not already involved in occupational ministry. Look at the Gospels, who did Jesus call? Fishermen, zealots, laborers. None of the first He called where involved in occupational ministry, actually some of these guys were pretty rough characters. Not the most sophisticated or educated. Why didn’t He first call any of the Pharisees, or Sadducees or any of the other religious leaders? Later there was Saul, a religious leader that killed believers. They had the knowledge but they did not have the heart. It was all about them, not about GOD. It is no different today. In dealing with people and other organizations/agencies, the ones that are often the most helpful (not always) are the ones that have not been in the “business” most of there life. What I am seeing is that a lot of people are more dedicated to their mission agency or denomination than they are to Christ. Our experience with missionaries in the field has been very positive so far. They are caring, friendly, and helpful no matter what organization they are a part of. But that is the difference between there and here. (There have been some on this side that have been helpful.) They understand what it takes to make it in the field and what it costs (personally). The people here that have not done it don’t get it and don’t understand. They think they do but the fact is they view everything through the lens of this culture. You can not do that there. (You cannot do it here really either, look around we are a multi-cultural society.) If you do you are in for a world of frustration. Often what comes out of the agencies in the states is not necessarily what is happening and working on the ground where they are.
I also see that we have done a pretty good job of transplanting our form of church or should I say, denominational, divide. For some reason we all seem to think we each need to cover every aspect of ministry instead of working together to better enhance our effort and be effective. I think we are often doing exactly what satan wants: wasting time, resources, energy- doing something that our neighbor is doing and doing effectively. Instead of partnering and working together as the body of Christ should. Why can we not do that? Simple: the sin of pride in our churches and mission agencies, and in ourselves. We want to be the end all and be all, not for GOD’s glory but for our own-whether church, denomination, mission agency, or personally. It is all the same sin- pride.
So what is the answer? To humble ourselves and work together, to believe and live out Scripture that we are one body and we serve the same Christ.
(this was written just after we returned from our SPLICE training in MTI-sometime near the beginning of 2008)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Just who is GOD? What can HE do? What can’t HE do? What does HE allow? What does HE cause?

Who am I to even think about the answers to that?

Now, I know this is getting into some “deep” theological stuff.
The other night as we were continuing to read in Exodus, we got to GOD telling Moses HE was going to cause Pharaoh’s heart to be stubborn/be hardened. HE, GOD, was going to cause it. I just looked at Bri and said, right here-it says GOD is going to cause something that is going to cause pain and death. If GOD can cause something like that then, why in the world would people say HE won’t do that now? Later in the Old Testament, GOD wipes out people for Israel, lets Israel be defeated, and lets Israel defeat others. You have the whole book of Job and all the “discussions” that brings with what GOD allows and causes. We can go into the New Testament and all the persecutions of the early church and apostles.

I mean, I don’t expect an answer in a way, because who am I to say what GOD can and can’t do?
Because as our pastor said the other morning, once we say God is not sovereign in one thing, He is not sovereign in ANYTHING. He didn’t just wake up and say oh crap-look what those people did last night! Every little, teeny, tiny thing-God is in control.
There are many lines of thoughts like-
“GOD won’t do (this whatever) because it is against HIS nature”. But who defined HIS nature? (Meaning, I read a lot of things in the Bible that I don’t always understand. I can look it up and get 3 to 5 opinions on any one thing!)
“GOD can’t stop this because it is our free choice/free will”. Is that completely true though? Is there anything GOD really can’t do?? (meaning, if God could harden Pharaoh’s heart, did he have a free will there? Can my free will choice offset your free will choice so yours doesn’t happen?)
GOD has HIS wrath and HE has decided whom HE will use it against, but what we say of HIS character makes us ask why would HE use it at all? Why wouldn’t HE? Can I ever understand HIS plans?
You would think that even the 10 commandments would be easy to follow-
Do not murder. But then we say that murder is okay because we think this (what about the eye for an eye passage…).
Do no steal. Well, but its okay in this situation because you have to survive…

How and why do we make it so difficult??
It all seems as clear as mud.

I am also reading in Isaiah, and in chapter 45 God speaks to Cyrus (who is still a 150 years away) and says I am going to use you even though you don’t know me. God will use both those who know Him personally and those who don’t. Doesn’t that seem to be against the nature of GOD too?
In Isaiah 48:11 God says, “For my own sake, for My own sake, I will act; for how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another.”

It seems I don’t know much-the more I think I know, the less I do! How are we supposed to know or understand anything about GOD with all the different theologies out there, the theories, the misconceptions, the… And everyone is so convinced THEY are right.
But yet, we can’t go around just believing whatever we want to believe. There are people that study God’s word for a living-both those who believe and those who don’t, I would add. There is a part of me that just says they must know more than I do because that’s all they do do-study the Word of God.
There’s another line of thought that says whatever Jesus said is what God meant about everything, because Jesus only spoke and taught and knew what God said. BUT…WE take what Jesus said and say He meant this when He said that, or that is just dealing with this one situation or culture, or that was just for that time or…

Seems like there is about a zillion reasons to just throw God and the whole Bible out. What is it that keeps those who believe, believing? It is almost like this blind faith-I don’t know it all, I can’t know it all, I just know what I believe and what God is saying to me. But what if what He says to me isn’t what He says to you (we could take off on just one subject alone here i.e. baptism and go in how many different directions?)? I understand that humans are human, and yes, I believe we really do need some type of boundaries so we don’t go off and blasphemy God, steal His glory, or any of the other things He commands us to do/not do in the Bible. I haven’t looked into it all, but isn’t that what the early church was seeing and so that’s why the “Church” was formalized in the early couple hundreds AD? Isn’t that also why God gave all the rules to the Israelites in the wilderness?

Just how does all this work? Do I need to know? Do I need to understand it all? Is it a cop-out to say, well I don’t know exactly, I just believe this… Paul says to be always be prepared to have an answer… what if I don’t have an answer? It’s like sometimes I can just totally see why a non-believer doesn’t want to bother with God, how easy it would be to just say, that’s just crazy. It definitely DOES take more faith to believe in God than not to believe in Him!

There are a lot of things that I want to believe that God WON’T do…but I never want to say HE CAN’T do anything.


Who am I compared to that?

(Sometimes I think I am pretty dumb for asking these questions out loud...)