Friday, December 29, 2006

A Christmas surprise!

As many of you know, we have a new home. When we decided to build this house, we were blessed with an opportunity to purchase an unusual lot and build a new floor plan that had never been built before. Our neighborhood is built around a golf course so some of the lots have unusual shapes to them, ours included. Our builder did not have a floor plan that would fit on our lot (until the one we built) so this lot had remained vacant for a couple of years. Because of the irregular shape to the lots, some of the houses are tucked back in and beside other houses. This is where our neighbor’s story begins. When she built her home on one of those lots that is tucked in behind and to the side of our house, it was explained to her that since they did not have a floor plan that would fit on our lot, they had no current plans to build on this lot. When they began breaking ground for our house, she was quite concerned and upset since it was her understanding that they were not going to build a house on this lot. She now has a view of nothing more than the side of our house and our bathroom window! I can understand why she was upset that now they were building on this lot!! Anyway, she has always been very nice to us, but I have hoped and prayed for an opportunity to get to know her better, something to break the ice. We don’t see much of her with our work schedule and the fact that we live in our car on the go more than we seem to live here! Anyway, on Christmas day as my parents were leaving our house, I walked them out and helped them get everything in the car and waved goodbye and came back to the house. The next thing I knew, my dad was back at the door and asked if I had a minute to come outside. I came rushing out afraid something had happened to Mom, only to find our neighbor and her mom at the pick up talking and hugging on my parents! As I approached, she reached out to me and gave me a big bear hug and excitedly said, “I didn’t know they were your parents!” Her mom proceeded to give me a big hug and say, “We just love your parents!” By this time I was up to speed and asked them if they attended Crosstown where my parents go and our neighbor replied, “Oh yes, and your Daddy will always be my elder!” Come to find out our neighbor use to attend Garnett where her husband was an elder until his death a few years ago and she now attends Crosstown where I grew up and my dad served as an elder for 30+ years. Needless to say the ice is now broken and the spring thaw has begun in our relationship! Isn’t God good!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Mrs. Hinky-Dink has arrived!

As you may have noticed, I have a new hairdo. I have also been experimenting with contacts and decided I would wear them too when I went to school the next day with my "new look." I knew I was in shock over the new me, but I hadn’t really anticipated how my 4th graders would react when they saw me the following day. There were various comments and shocked looks and suddenly one of them exclaimed, “Who are you and what have you done with Mrs. Priest?!?” Well, me being somene who is always up for a little fun and secretly always wanted to be an actress (or a preacher) responded, “Didn’t she tell you I would be subbing for her today? I’m her identical twin sister, Mrs. Hinky-Dink!” That kicked off what would be a two hour long practical joke that ended with an awesome God moment. They quizzed me intensely and I was very impressed with the thoroughness of their questioning, but for every question from “How did I know their names already” to “How come my jewelry matched hers identically”, I came back each time with quick and easy logical answers. I created a complete new identity for myself being careful to take notes on where I said I lived, taught school, etc… so I wouldn’t get myself confused! By the time I took them to their computer class and dropped them off, I had several of them so confused they were almost convinced I was my own identical twin sister! They simply could not find a reason to doubt my story even though they knew deep down in their hearts that something just didn’t add up. When I picked them up from the computer class, I had put my glasses back on and said, “Oh, I’m so glad to see you guys! Did you enjoy meeting my twin sister?!?” They were so confused and thinking I was really quite crazy by now! We went back to class and started our Bible lesson. We have been studying Abraham and what it means to have faith. I confessed that I was indeed me and had been the whole morning. We talked about that even though they knew deep down in their hearts that it had to be me, I was able to cause them to doubt when I could answer every question they posed to me with a deceitful answer and be quite convincing too! I told them that sometimes the world will try to convince you that there really isn’t a God. That no one could possibly love you enough to die for you. That heaven and eternity don’t really exist, it’s just something adults make up to try and make kids mind and be good. I told them faith is knowing deep down in your heart that God does really exist, that He does love you so much He died for you so that you can spend all of “happily ever after” with Him in heaven, and believing it no matter what the world says. I told them to never doubt what they know deep down in their hearts to be true and they too would have the faith of Abraham! Thank you God for teachable moments!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


This is what happens when your daughter knows your password! Well at least she used a picture of me from when I had hair! I'm afriad to think who my look alikes would be with my new hairdo!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The joy of the struggle

Shane’s current blog really got me thinking – thanks Shane! If you haven't read it yet, make sure you stop by. ( The struggle is part of life. After all, life begins with a struggle; it’s not easy being born! Why are we so ashamed and embarrassed by our struggles? Why do we try so desperately to hide them from others? For Jesus to be fully man, He had to experience the struggle – in the desert with Satan, in the garden with God, His Father, and all those moments in between. Jesus warned us there would be a struggle, “In this world you will have trouble…” (Jn. 16:33a), but He also told us He had armed us for the fight, “the Father will give you the Counselor, ... the Spirit of truth …” (Jn. 14:16-17), and how the battle would end, “Take heart, I have overcome the world!” (Jn. 16:33b) and, “I’m getting home ready for you and I will be back to take you there with me.”(Jn. 14:3). I think we misunderstand the point of the struggle. We should be comforted by the struggle (Jm. 1:2-3) because if we aren’t struggling then one of two things has happened. Either we’ve already been won over by Satan because we just gave up and quit fighting, or we’ve ceased to live this earthly life and the struggle is won! So, here’s to the struggle, may we share our struggles openly, carry each others’ burdens lovingly and willingly, and celebrate each other’s victory when the struggle is won!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Thankful Thanksgiving

We had so much to be thankful for this year! We had all our family together (12) for a huge Thanksgiving feast! It was Ethne's first Thanksgiving and the joyful announcement that she will be a big sister in July made our celebration complete!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Home, Sweet Home!

Well, if you heard the Hallelujah chorus being sung in Owasso last week, it's because we are finally in our new home! It is wonderful! Ethne had no trouble going immediately to the top of the stairs all by herself! Our decorating style right now is cardboard. Lots and lots of cardboard!!!!!!!! We have had a little trouble finding some things, for instance, we have a home phone number, but we can't find our phones! I did finally find the silverware which was good news since we are hosting Thanksgiving dinner at our house! We will have 12 adults and one baby, and probably one puppy here for Thanksgiving. Hopefully, it won't be long before we are organized enough to start welcoming guests into our home. We have a tremendous amount to be thankful for this year!

Friday, November 03, 2006

You Are Cindy Brady

Warm hearted and sweet, you have a childlike innocence that lets you see the good in everyone.
But you're also a bit of a baby. You stick your nose where it doesn't belong... and cry when you get caught!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Who ever thought breathing could result in an injury?!

This is one of those entries that will make you feel better about yourself because you’re at least not as pathetic as me! We all have those moments when we suddenly realize our age, or the shape (in my case, lack there of) that we are in. As a rule, I rarely “feel” my age and it comes as quite a surprise to me that I’m quickly approaching the age of 50. However, this week I was reminded of my age by how pathetically out of shape I am. A generous friend has allowed me to have two of his sessions with his vocal coach because I have really been struggling with my voice ever since having a tube down my throat during surgery. Well, last Monday night was my first session and it really was great! She helped me with so many things, one of which was how I breathe. So in an effort to do it the right way I have been faithfully practicing how to breathe deeply. Here’s where the pathetic part comes in to play. I’m moving muscles I had long forgotten existed and they are rebelling!!!! In my over-exuberance for breathing correctly, I actually strained a muscle in my rib cage. So for several days I couldn’t take a deep breath without feeling like someone was stabbing me in the ribs!!!!!!!!! I actually had to break out the stinky liniment stuff to get it to loosen back up! Feel better about yourself now? If you’re feeling down about yourself sometime just let me know, I’m sure I will have done something else pathetic by then that I can share to make you feel better!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

An anniversary of sorts

My husband came home from work today exhausted, on day two of a killer headache, and ready to just collapse in front of the 3rd game of the World Series for a very deserved rest. That's what he should have done, but that's not what he did. You see today is an anniversary of sorts for me. One year ago today I had major surgery that took me out of school for 6 wks of sick leave and really out of most of the rest of life for several months. Having fibromyalgia makes recovery from any illness a challenge, but this was especially hard. It took months to get back any strength or endurance to do anything more than go to school and church. All the while the doctor kept saying, "Just give it one year and you will be amazed at how much better you feel!" Well, it has taken the better part of a year to get there, but today is the day. I'm happy to report that the doctor was right and things are so much better, but that's not what this post is really about. Back to my husband who by all rights had earned and needed a night of peace and quiet. He knew today was a big deal to me which made it a big deal to him too. He's just like that. He came home and said, "Let's go!" First, he took me out to our new house to get a glimpse of the new carpet going in. Then, he did the most perfect thing! Fall is my favorite season, fall colors are my favorite colors, I absolutely LOVE FALL! A few weeks after my surgery, as soon as I could walk as far as the car and sit up for a short while, he took me for a drive on Highway 20 between Owasso and Claremore. It's not a long drive, but there is a short distance where the road winds along a tree lined road that is absolutely beautiful! He knew seeing the colors would make me feel like I was part of the world again last year so to celebrate this major landmark in my life today, he took me back tonight to the same path. As we were driving down the road tonight listening to a Zoe CD, the pasture land was pretty and the trees here and there were pretty too, but as we suddenly came around the bend on each side of the road as high as you can see you are suddenly immersed in color from the trees, tons and tons of trees! The song on the CD was the last chorus of "How Great is Our God!" I was so overwhelmed by the love of a God that would love me so much to create the perfect husband for me and the beauty of the perfect season for me that I wept tears of gratitude for my healing that is now complete. Isn't love an amazing thing! Thank you God for husbands who love us as you meant for wives to be loved, for seasons of unexplainable beauty, and for times of healing for our bodies, minds, and souls.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Taking up the cross

Lately my thoughts have been all around the cross and my relationship to it. The power of the cross intrigues me and holds my attention captive. I find my mind staring at it, trying to comprehend all it means, all it's meant to be. It's like those crazy 3D pictures! If you stare at them long enough supposedly the image emerges from the color scheme. I've never been able to see those pictures, I just have to trust those around me that there really is more there! That's sort of how I see the cross. I see some of what is there, but I long to see more. I believe it holds more beauty, grace, and love than my feeble brain can comprehend. Just like staring at the 3D pictures, I long to see more, to fully understand with my mind what my heart finds so easy to understand.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Every week should start with a hike in the woods and a picnic!

What an incredible weekend! The Zoe conference was amazing, which to those of you who have been, that comes as no big surprise. I was a first timer and I don't ever want to miss it. I told both of my principals first thing this morning that next year I want to go for the whole thing! Our life has been so crazy for the last three years, there hasn't even been time to breathe. This weekend I caught my breath and I'm refreshed, renewed, and ready to keep pressing on. There's nothing like intimate, passionate worship, learning how to be a spiritual friend, Sunday morning at Otter Creek church, bonding over some really great meals and some not-so-great meals (sorry about the chili cheese nachos with onions at a truck stop! What was I thinking?!?!), and a LONG ride home to laugh, sing, and share our hearts, hurts, and dreams to bring you closer to Him and to precious friends. I thought it couldn't get any better than that, then God gave me Monday too. It was the perfect Monday, God was so gracious to continue my heart's flight for me. We took the 4th & 5th grade to Oxley Nature park today. I found myself hiking through the woods enjoying nature and humming "How Great is Our God" for an entire mile. My students would look at me and just smile, not the "what a crazy lady smile", but the smile of understanding and acceptance because they could tell that my heart was light and they were just enjoying riding along as my heart soared. God is so good. Just when you think you can't bear up any longer, He gives you an indescribable weekend with Him and relationships with brothers & sisters that can only grow deeper in Christ, and a great Monday too!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Once a teacher, always a teacher!

My heart hurts today because a precious friend received the kind of news that knocks the breath out of you and leaves you gasping. She has cancer - very advanced cancer. She is one of my mentors, role models, and friends. She helped shape me into the teacher that I am today. I learned so much from her. I learned from her that you could be a student's friend and still be an authority figure. I learned that if you respect your students, they will respect you. I learned that humor goes a long way in making learning fun for everyone, including the teacher! I learned how to manage a classroom and still manage to have a family life too! I learned to love teaching! She taught me all that and so much more, and she is teaching me still. When I visited with her yesterday, she said instead of worrying about how many days she had left, she was going to live - really live - and cherish each moment of every day. Instead of us comforting her, she was comforting her family and friends who are struggling to accept her news. That's just like her, a master teacher. Always teaching no matter what the subject or the circumstance - still helping others to see and understand. I love you Cindy!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Coming Attraction!

Well, we are getting closer and closer to that magic closing date of Nov. 13th when we should once again be homeowners! Our life has been pretty crazy since we decided to build a house back in June, but God has been so good in providing a reconnection time for me with my parents that I didn'teven realize was needed. Things progressed more quickly than we had anticipated with the selling of our house and we found ourselves sort of homeless. My parents, being the hospitable people that they are, offered their home to us. So, on July 13th we moved in with Mom and Dad. God knew where I needed to be not only for my sake, but for my parents as well. My mother's health is not very good at all. I hadn't realized just how much she had declined over the past year until we moved in with them. As we were moving our stuff in, my dad turned around at the door and said, "Have you noticed how much your mother has declined?" I shook my head yes and he quickly said, "I'm so glad you're here!" That's how God works - He put me right where I needed to be and it has been a bittersweet and precious time for us to be together. I thank God for the time I have had with my mom and dad. There is no end to what parents will do for their children - even taking in their cat! Cat tales to follow in a later post!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Well, I guess I've been absent from the Blog and Xanga scene for a long time now. Life has been a little crazy since April. God's been very busy in our life recently and it's been quite a ride! Since April I've changed the direction of my career; I moved from teaching high school to teaching 4th & 5th graders! It has been such a culture shock, but I am loving it. I do miss the relationships I had with the high school students; however, I still see them and they are sweet enough to drop in on me in my room and let me know they haven't forgotten me. We also decided to sell our house and move. Life got really crazy then. There is an awesome God story about how we ended up living with my parents while we are having a house built in Owasso, but I will save that for another post. Let me just say, God does move in mysterious ways! I love being His child and being a part of His plan.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

the Bride

Yesterday was a time of awesome discovery of my place in God's Kingdom. If you are part of the PLACE study make sure you do the one-on-one session where all the information you've discovered about yourself becomes real. Not just letters and descriptions, but it all comes together and helps you see why He called you to His kingdom and where you fit in the picture. It was comfortable, easy, and fun. Jason did a great job!

Our Beth Moore study has come to an end and I thought I would be so worn out, but there goes God doing His "God thing" again! I'm so energized and now we get to attend the International Soul Winning Workshop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God is soooooooooooooooooo good!

One of the thoughts from this week's study that my mind keeps lingering over was when we were looking at the new Jerusalem ... prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. This peaked my interest and I starting reading about the church as the bride of Christ. Weddings have been a big part of our family's life over the past two years. All the preperations, joy, and excitement!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Being the mother of the groom, one of the snapshots in my memory from those wonderful events was the expression on the faces of my sons when they caught their first glimpse of their brides. My gaze was fixed on them to capture that recognition of someone they knew so well, that they had chosen and loved so much, and yet had never seen in this way before. The sparkles of light in their eyes, the joy that erupted across their faces in smiles so massive a face could hardly contain it, and the tears of pure joy and wonder that filled their eyes caught me up in that breathless moment as I saw the bridegroom waiting for his bride. I just love how God gives us those earthly moments to capture little bits of understanding into how He sees us. We, church, are His beautiful bride and He is preparing to receive us with all the joy and excitement of a holy wedding that only the splendor of Heaven could stage. Feel the joy and assurance that He has chosen you to be His bride and that He waits to rejoice over you.

" a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you."

Monday, March 20, 2006

My PLACE in the Kingdom

I'm so excited! This afternoon I'm sitting down with someone whom I have tremendous respect for to continue discovering my PLACE in the Kingdom. This has been such an awesome experience and God's timing just gives me "Godbumps"! I've learned that God created me unique - uniquely different in my personalaity, spiritual gifts, abilities, passions, and life experiences. I've learned that He has a place for me in His Kingdom that has been prepared for me since the dawn of time - THERE"S A PLAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I guess I've always known that; afterall, I have read 1 Cor. 12 about the body and all its many parts, but I guess I never fully understood that the diversity of creation and His Kingdom was His plan. Instead of trying to fit into one puzzle piece in order to accomplish His will for my life, He designed multiple pieces all with their own unique shape and purpose for the specific purpose of His will being done. What a picture of His plan! A beautiful picture that's not complete without each piece doing exactly what it was designed to do! Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm, what a concept! What a God! Diversity of believers was HIS idea!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Quite a year!

It’s been quite a journey for me so far this school year. I have faced so many challenges professionally, personally, physically/emotionally, and spiritually. Yes, it has been a very full year, but God has been there waiting for me to take His hand every step of the way.

New high school teaching assignments (that means all new preps for every class = long hours of preparation)
New curriculum for all my classes (that means out with the old and in with the new = more long hours of preparation)
Reaccreditation year for the school (that means extra work & extra stress = now is the time to be at your best)

Great timing for an off year when you feel far from your professional best! I have always loved being a teacher, but this year has been a challenge for me. One of my greatest joys in life is relationship with my students. My students are wonderful and so easy to love; they have kept me going when the “job” part of teaching seemed way too hard. Yes, the Lord had a message for me. Thank you God for students and relationships.

August: took my baby (Vanessa) to college (a bittersweet moment between a mother & daughter)
October: oldest son (Jon) got married to a wonderful girl
February: middle child (Michael) and his wife made me a grandmother

I always thought when the “empty nest” time came our life would slow down. However, I have discovered that it actually requires more time because now instead of one nest where we all meet together at the end of the day, there are three nests that we spend all our time running between! What a joy and yet another adjustment! In the celebration of all these transitions with our children, tremendous blessings were gained. I am amazed at the incredible people they are. When times have been tough this year, they have always managed to make me feel loved and helped me to laugh. Yes, the Lord had a message for me. Thank you God for my children and the richness and blessings they bring to my life.

Major surgery in October which led to 6 wks. of sick leave from school & life in general

This has made it an especially tough year. Surgery has corrected the problem, but recovery is slow. I get impatient when life is slow. The side effects of the surgery have been harsh and tough to adjust to emotionally, but healing is happening. My health has always been an issue for me and is a place that Satan can use as a source of discouragement. Yes, the Lord had a message for me. Thank you God for bodies and minds that are so well designed and capable of healing. Thank you for Doctors who have dedicated their lives to making our lives better.


A Beth Moore study group on Monday nights

The last thing, I thought, I had time or energy for was another place to be and more studying to do! Yet, over the last few weeks I have found myself with a group of women pouring over God’s word and having new strength, joy, and peace sweep over my heart. I have been blessed with new relationships with sisters, strengthened relationships with other sisters, and been food for my soul. Isn’t that how God works? The very thing I thought had the least time for was the very thing I needed the most. He made that very clear to me tonight. Yes, the Lord had a message for me. Thank you God for Kingdom lessons revealed through the precious gift of sisters in Christ.

His message:
His provision - “My grace is sufficient for you, for MY power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor. 12:9

The secret to contentment – “I can do everything through HIM who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

His power – “To this end I labor, struggling with all HIS energy which so powerfully works in me.” Colossians 1:29
Thank you God for weakness, for struggle, for working through me and yes, sometimes in spite of me. May my life be an opportunity for YOU to be seen and be glorified

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Do You Now Believe?

Today when I flipped over the date on my Oswald Chambers desk calendar (for those of you who are Oswald purest - this is "an updated edition in today's langauge" in other words, an Oswald for Dummies - much more my speed!) this is the message from the Truth waiting for me:

This makes us believe..."You believe at last!" Jesus answered. John 16:30-31

Our soul has gotten out of intimate contact with God by leaning on its own religious understanding. We should get in the habit of continually seeking His counsel on everything, instead of making our own commonsense decisions and then asking Him to bless them.

Wow! That really hit home with me. God, forgive me when I reduce You to my limited understanding of who You are. Please release me to fully know You, beyond human understanding, beyond the confines of my religion, beyond my own commonsense reasoning!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Make Me More Free...

The Beth Moore study is truly incredible. I feel like an edition of Extreme Home Makeover spiritually as God keeps making over my heart and expanding it into areas of Him that I couldn't have even imagined a few years ago. This quote from our study last week has lingered on my heart.
"Christ is making heavenly rooms for us while making earthly room in us."

Sunday morning we sang the song "Make Me More Free". It has been my theme song ever since. I drive home from school with the sun roof open(yes, even when it is cold - gloves are a wonderful thing!) and that song blasting from my speakers, through my heart and straight up to Him. It is the prayer of my heart this week...

Make Me More Free
Dennis Jernigan

Make me more free, free me, more free from my old life,
More free in my new. Make me more free, free me,
more free in loving You.

With wings like an eagle, my heart made to fly
over sin, over sorrow, to new realms of life.
From glory to glory, my gaze fixed so high
that I only see Jesus, the love of my life.

Make me more free, free me, with power over sinning,
more power to love. Make me more free, free me, fill
me with Your power and love.

With wings like an eagle, my heart made to fly
over sin, over sorrow, to new realms of life.
From glory to glory, my gaze fixed so high
that I only see Jesus, the love of my life.

Help me to see, free me to see You and know You,
to know I am known. Help me to see You see me
and know I am Yours alone.

With wings like an eagle, my heart made to fly
over sin, over sorrow, to new realms of life.
From glory to glory, my gaze fixed so high
that I only see Jesus, the love of my life.

Till I only see Jesus, the love of my life.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Being a Grandma is sooooooooooooooooo amazing! When I actually saw my child holding his child it was such an amazing feeling. It was just a little glimpse of what the Father must feel as He looks down on His children learning to give life through Him to others. Such a powerful image that it still takes my breath away!

Our sweet Ethne Jane arrived on Valentine's Day at 10:44 am. She weighed in at 6 lbs. 12 oz. and was 18" long. She is so precious, but of course that is a totally unbiased opinion!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Well, it's getting closer! I'll be a grandma soon and I can hardly wait! My arms already ache to hold our sweet Ethne and tell her how much her Nana loves her! Yes, I'm already hopelessly in love with this sweet baby and we haven't even met yet. I am constantly amazed at how constant God is. In the good times and in the bad, He's always there loving me constantly and consistently. I don't have to do anything to earn His love it's just there for me whether I choose to bask in it or not. "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

To Heather, Heidi, and Marcy, you were greatly missed last night. Our hearts weren't complete without you there! Hope to see you next week. Love ya!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Have you ever felt that far off feeling from Jesus your Lord?
Peter did, he understood what it felt like to have really
blown it big time. How could he ever prove his love for the
Lord again after denying Him not just once, but three times.
After insisting emphatically that he would never deny his
Lord even if everyone else did (Mk. 14:27-31), he did
exactly what he said he wouldn't do. Sound familiar?
We constantly mean to do the right thing, but sometimes
all we seem to do is the wrong thing. So now what do I
do? How do I find my way back to Jesus when I've
wandered so far away? I do exactly what Peter did. I
profess my love for Him. Peter did not try go back into
his past and fix things that he regretted, or wished he could
have done differently. He did not allow his past mistakes
to hold him hostage and keep him from moving on with his
role in the kingdom. He simply responded to Jesus right
then and there in spite of all that he wasn't, but because of
ALL JESUS IS. Peter said it this way, "Lord, you know
all things; you know that I love you." (Jn. 21:17). That is
how you find your way back to Him. You profess your love
for Him, you accept that He knows and sees your heart,
and in spite of the past you allow it to be the past and
you move on in step with Him. Don't forget His parting
words of comfort and encouragement, "... I am with you
always to the very end of the age." (Mt. 28:29).

Monday, January 30, 2006

Wow! Having sisters in Christ is an amazing blessing. Thank you for loving me. My daughter created a xanga for me back in November when I was home on sick leave recovering from major surgery so I could stay in touch with my students. Now she has moved me into the world of blogging. I thought I would just share my xanga entries from where I was studying in Nov.-Dec. It's amazing how God weaves our life and experiences together. I found myself in study of this passage again tonight.

If you haven't read John 21:15-25 do that before continuing. Can you imagine how emotionally
charged this moment must have been? Hollywood can't even create this kind of intensity.
Make sure you see this scene in your mind. You have Peter, precious sweet, bumbling Peter, standing there possibly even dripping wetfrom his most recent "man overboard" moment (read vs. 7-11.) Jesus looks him in the eye and straight through to his heart and asks the question, "Do you truly love me?..." And even more than that (as if that weren't powerful enough) "Do
you truly love me more than these?" Do you think Peter even heard the whole question? Who do you mean, "...more than these"? Do youremember who told Peter it was the Lord who was speaking to them (vs. 7)? Oh yes, John "the disciple whom Jesus loved". He is one of the "these" that Jesus is referring to when He said, "more than these". Wait, isn't this the bobbing for Jesus Peter (Mt. 14:29-30), the "give me a bath" Peter (Jn 13:6-9). The "I'll stick like glue! Peter (Jn.13: 36-37), the slice 'em and dice'em Peter (Jn 18: 10-11), and even the "Who me? Never knew him!" Peter (Jn 18:15 ff). Yes, all of them. That's the Peter Jesus asked, "Do you truly love me more than these?". The reply was simple and yet so profound. Almost instant, without hesitation or reserve (after all this is Peter we're talking about!) Peter didn't make excuses, he didn't try to justify his failures and place blame anywhere. He didn't try to "measure up" to the others, or cut anyone else down to size. Just as he was and with all that he wasn't, and maybe was finally beginning to understand all that he would never be just on his own but only through the power of Jesus. He simply just focused on Jesus, his Savior and Lord,and said, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." I don't think the question was for Jesus's information.Yes,
He did know. The question was for Peter. Yes, Lord. Yes, yes, yes! I love you! Just like
Peter, may we never stop proclaiming it!

Saturday, January 28, 2006

I am constantly amazed at the goodness of God. His design of life in the family of God is such a blessing. I'm currently reading the 21st chapter of John, verses 15-25 when Jesus reinstates Peter. I have found myself drawn this passage over and over lately. Take some time to read it and let the power of His word sweep over you. That's all for now.