Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Community.....Part Two

We, as members of a community, see with the eyes of the Savior how much torment and grief strikes those around us. We see how a gentle smile, a kind word, and even a stern correction can urge one another on to the hope we have. Through a community we are encouraged to not just do the right thing; we are also enabled to live in peace, with love and patience flanking our sides. We fight the battles together, we rejoice in harmony, and we weep with great heaves.

One of our church elders, Gerald Griffin, recently spoke about this idea of community. He sounded the alert that we, as a church, need to become more involved as to provide even further opportunity to grant one another the benefits of knowing each other more intimately, as brothers and sisters. He resounded that as followers of Christ are called to live in light of this concept, that we are created for communion with God and with others. It was a Sunday morning that moved many people, some to tears, as they realized that their own lives were marked by the isolation and chaos of missing out on the blessing of community. We are praying that Eden continues to grow in community and that each of you are encouraged to grow in your relationship with Christ as you grow in relationship with each other.

Nick’s work is taking our little family to Colorado, in pursuit of provision for the family God has charged Nick and me with. We don’t know how long we’ll be gone, but as Nick and I embark on the next journey in our lives on this earth, we are praying that the Lord blesses us with another kinship that we can join in, unified by the Lord. Our lives have been greatly affected by our “Portland people”…more than a simple article can state. We hope and pray that as we continue on we can be that same blessing to others that God puts in our path, that the Lord would continue to bless Eden Bible Church with community and His other numerous blessings, and that we will become part of another church that is the extension of His grace on earth.


They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47

…we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. Colossians 1:9-12

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Community.....Part One

This post is a display of my heart....I have asked a few key people to look it over for validity, and have been counseled to keep it "as is". I wrote this in September, so a few things are old news...but I hope that it still has the same impact. Part two should be up in a few days. God Bless!

Community. One word, an eternity of meaning. I sat with my husband, Nick, recently and we dove into topics of life. We are in a transition of sorts, and there are many details that need to be mowed over and conclusions spit out the other end. We talked about houses, schooling, wages, locations…and community. Community, as my dear husband sees it, is at the top of the list; as necessary as food and water.

While I’m thinking in my head “All we need is our little family and God…that’s all. He’ll do the rest.” Nick is thinking “Tink goes crazy when she doesn’t have friends around.” Granted we both go a little wacko when we are left to our own devices, but he showed a genuine concern for what he sees as necessity. And it is, as much as many people would like to refuse the need for community…it is absolutely, without a doubt, a vital life force for the church and believers…for people.

As we sat on the couch and continued to spit out the problem/solution equations for our little life I sat on the idea of community. I’m still sitting on it. I put a pin in it. It is hanging on my little bulletin board brain. Now, I have experienced a handful of churches in my tiny existence, and I do believe that my husband is accurate in making this observation regarding community (not that he needs my approval, but it’s nice to be on the same page).

I have been fortunate to have (and still have) a group of people that are an extension of my family. They don’t take the place of family, they add to it. You could think of it as family that the Lord hand-picked for me…and He presented them to me as gifts of community. These people: my honest, hard hitting, gracious, loving comrades, have been the ones who make up my community. They are the ones willing to speak the truth of the gospel, and hit me over the head when I get too much into my own selfish, tyrannical ways. Some make me laugh, others make me cry…many make me do both….but all have been given to me as a blessing. (And I can only hope that I have been a blessing in return!)

There are many people in the world that are moving through life’s commotion muddled by drama and chaos…but when the community gets involved through prayer, counsel, encouragement, and biblical truth…drama melts away and chaos loses its spin. Life becomes a series of fortunate events and blessings that are seen in the light of the gospel and the hope it gives. The life of a follower of Christ, one involved not only in accepting the Call, but also in spreading the Truth, is one lived in community. Not all see the community as such, but I would go as far as to say that if I am following Christ, living according to His word, and listening to the Holy Spirit, then the Truth of His grace, love, peace, and guidance are all blessings to my soul.

I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers because I hear of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ's sake. For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother. Philemon 1:4-7

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

From Oregon to Colorado...

As life continues to roll along, and we continue our journey...the Lord continues to bless our little family. Here is a photo recap of our last few days:
Friends helped us with our last minute packing...

The covered wagon, if you will...abandoning all of our furniture....we only took boxes...stuffed into the truck and trailer...

We wake early in the morning...get the kids up, and roll em out!

We started our journey in Portland, Oregon...traveling through Eastern Oregon, down through Idaho, and pausing for the night in Twin Falls, Idaho. The next morning we received an email from some friends...who we haven't seen for 6 years...who were traveling from Wisconsin to Arizona on their missionary support tour. Here's the cool thing...that I can't stop praising the Lord for...after a quick phone call, we figured out that we were going to be passing by each other while traveling in opposite directions on highway 80.

After figuring out that there was no city at the halfway point...we decided on mile post 150...at the abandoned gas station...well, we didn't know it was abandoned until we got there. But the Lord totally hooked us up!!! It was freezing, it was windy, it was rad! It was a middle of no where meeting full of warm reunions and crisp smiles. As they continue on their journey to raise their support to go to Papua New Guinea, and we continue on our journey to Colorado, we both stop and say "Thank You" to the Lord...for friends, family, blessings, and support that He provides.

The kids...

We kept on trucking...arriving in Colorado Springs Friday evening. After a good nights rest, we attended the Air Force vs. Army football game on Saturday. Now, if you're not a football fan, you would still love this game! A seven man parachute team, jets flying overhead...cadets filing into the stadium by the hundreds...American to the core! It was radder than rad!

After they announced all the units, they "broke" and flooded into the stands...like a wave of blue...

It was a great start to our new adventure!
After staying in a hotel for a couple nights, our suitcase quest continued on at the home of family friends...complete with elk burgers, our own room, and good conversation. Then the call came..."You're approved to rent the house."

So now we continue our praises to the Lord....and rest (for the night) as we prepare to keep on keeping on...smiling at the goodness of the Lord.

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17

Friday, October 9, 2009

Perfect

It is the late morning on a Tuesday (it was when I started this post). The impending tasks of the day are holding my attention as I attempt to make sense of the current task of teaching my children. There is an alarm going off in my head that belongs to the clock of perfection: “You did that wrong. You should have said something different. Why do you always go overboard! Why can’t you just chill out!”

I know that there are many people that would say all sorts of coddling remarks to make me feel better…but it won’t help. That alarm goes off in my head almost daily. Well, there really is no almost about it….it is daily! It’s like a fungal thought. It feeds off of my flesh. It oozes out of my mouth….and it muddles up my tidy, well laid plans.

Oh that nagging, flesh eating fungus of perfectionism! It is my enemy! I declare war on it! Though, how do I dominate and destroy that which is my most beneficial trait? Rhetoric swirling in my mind….okay let’s clear it out and start again: truth. What is the truth? The truth is that I’m a sinner…again and again. I am a: seek and destroy sinner. I seek that which is unattainable (perfection) and I destroy that which is good (patience). So that’s part of the truth.

The other portion of the truth is that Christ lives in me. All I have to do is deny that which is most attached to my person (self seeking desire) and let Him take over. That’s all. That’s it. Detach and let go….soar above and let Him lead me and guide me. WHAT? Why is it that something that I seemed to have mastered ten years ago (at least according to my memory and circumstance at the time), now is almost impossible for me to do? I would think that all the practice would amount to ease, not dysfunction of faith!

Let go….I can’t control it, I can’t change it, I can only make a mess of it. Let go and let Him do what He does best: comfort me, lead me, change me, guide me, hold me, and clean up after me. Mmmmmm….His good news is so good! I’m starting to smile already.

There, I feel better….after taking four days to post a “perfected” blog.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Home

There's a saying that goes "Home is where the heart is." While I'm sure that is commercially acceptable for most people, I rather prefer to think of home being where my heart is discovered and uncovered, and not just where my heart is. I know, you're thinking "That's just a figure of speech! Why must you complicate it, Tink?" But, let me explain.

I have this thing in my list of personality traits, you could call it O.C.D., I call it character. It causes me to see things how I want them to be, and I do my darnedest to make things turn out to my liking. Now, that throws a stick in the wheel of life as it goes round and round.... because when I'm starting to get comfortable, complete with appropriate anecdotes, I realize that I am living in light of what I hope to be reality, seeing that the reality of life is catching up to my ever wandering heart. And even as I sit and write this, I realize that I can't just make things what I want them to be...I must apply truth to the reality, usurping the deep waters of my tainted heart and revealing the truth of the gospel.

As my perceived world becomes dim, and the tangible, disheartening world comes into focus, I see that home is not built on the hope of what I should want...and that's good news 'cuz I'm an O.C.D perfectionist sinner! Rather, home is what it is meant to be as I follow Christ... all from choice and action and affect of those that are intimately involved in it, and most importantly how the promises of God take hold... or how I take hold of God's promises.

Home, as I am coming to know it, is where my heart is revealed, changed, bathed in truth, grace, and love. I can only assume that as you read this there may be blank spots, questions and misunderstood meanings. So, here is my attempt at further validating my observation.

There have been many places of which I have laid my head to rest, and of those places, I can truly say that only a handful of them have been home. And those places that were home, was where my heart was exposed. Where I felt safe enough to reveal my heart and the desires in it...along with the fears and dreams...

Home is where I discovered who I was, what I liked about myself, what I hated about myself, and what I wanted to do about it. Home is where I was able to see the truth, and it set me free. Home is where reality met hope, and a path was carved out. A path that I was able to walk down because I knew...after experiencing home and the revelation that comes from it...I could walk down it.

Home has been where my broken heart was mended, where my dreams have been formed, where my hope has been restored. Home is where I share my heart with my children, as well as the heart of God with my children, so that they, too, have that safe place to open up and be cared for.

I have to shout a grand "Thank You" to those of you in my life who have given me that home, that safe place to make mistakes, be loved, guided, corrected, restored and refreshed. As well as praise God for His gracious guidance as I navigated through the mazes of "home". His truth, and the promise that goes with it, has proved to cleans my heart, and make home a place of refuge, strength, and hope... in Him.

Now, as I finish the thought, I must say...I desire to continue to make here or there or anywhere...home for my family (and anybody else that God our Father desires to bless our family with). Home is where a heart is revealed, broken, made new, restored, and filled.

Many plans are in a man's heart, but the counsel of the Lord will stand. Proverbs 19:21

Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than he who is perverse in speach and is a fool. Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, and he who hurries his footsteps errs. Proverbs 19:1,2

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27

Your adornment must not be merely external--braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses. But let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. I Peter 3:3,4

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Late Night Ramblings

It's almost midnight...and as this day passes and a new day begins, I am thankful for what the Lord does (and is doing) in the lives of those that follow Him.
It's not just that He takes care of us at every turn....food, shelter, health....it's that He is taking us down a road which we have never traveled before.

As I write that I am thinking that it is a strange thought...to think that we may go down a road that we have traveled before. Do we really think that we would travel the same road over and over...back and forth...as if pacing through life, until we wear a deep and stale road that becomes a pit?

I would be foolish to think that He would do anything other than show us a new road to travel....or to think that I would want to follow Him in order to have a life of repetition...
on the contrary...this life of surrender, following, and obedience, has proved to be full of adventure. Lovely, heart wrenching, gut busting, adventure. That's not even a sufficient word! I just can't think of a better one...it's late.

I am so thankful. That He has His hand on mine, and that He is leading and guiding my steps....to know that I am not blind or deaf or lame (okay, I can be lame sometimes...I'm a sinner)...but when I am totally devoted and meditating on His truth and His promise and His desire for my life (thank you that you're not done, Lord!)...I am thankful.

As I prepare myself for rest this evening, I know that tomorrow has a whole other story that will unfold...and I am excitedly waiting with expectation the joy that will come from it...trials and all. It's so beautiful!!!

The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You support my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.
Psalm 16: 5-6

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Summer Break

Now is the time in which I open up and share my deepest thoughts...happy thoughts....with those whom I cherish.

Alas, I cannot. I cannot open up and spew my words across the page, as if I did it would cause such a violent wave of emotional disfigurement that it would render my person unrecognizable. Those of you who know me would only see the fleshy rotteness I am able to keep covered...I shall refrain, only exposing it to the one whom I know will heal it and mend it and make it new again.

If you were able to see the things of which I allude to, you would gasp at the putrid stench of carnal remains that hold hostage my pain and sorrow and grief.

The hunger that is growing in me is not for the living water...but for revenge and disaster on those who cause this havoc to be reaped.

As my husband reads to me, I realized that it is there in the words of David...hope for my anger...for the pain...for the torment of a heart broken and bleeding...

Be gracious to me, O God, for man has trampled upon me;
Fighting all day long he oppresses me.
My foes have trampled upon me all day long,
For they are many who fight proudly against me.
When I am afraid,
I will put my trust in You.
In God, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust;
I shall not be afraid.
What can mere man do to me?
All day long they distort my words;
All their thoughts are against me for evil.
They attack, they lurk,
They watch my steps,
As they have waited to take my life.
Because of wickedness, cast them forth,
In anger put down the people, O God!

You have taken account of my wanderings'
Put my tears in Your bottle.
Are they not in Your book?
Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call'
This I know, that God is for me.
In God, whose word I praise,
In the Lord, whose word I praise,
In God I have put my trust, I shatll not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
Your vows are binging upon me, O God'
I will render thank offerings to You.
For You have delivered my soul from death.
Indeed my feet from stumbling,
So that I may walk before God
In the light of the living.
Psalm 56

Thursday, April 2, 2009

word.

not technically a blog. but i'm not one for technicalities. (such as capitalization)


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Kid Story Time

It was bedtime for our two pumpkins, and lately we've been trying out the "get yourself ready for bed" routine, complete with cuddle time before, go get 'set' for bed, give a round of hugs and kisses, then lights out, music on, nightie night. It's been legitimately working for the most part, as long as Mom and Dad give enough attention to the squirming questions before the commencement of said routine.

Apparently something was out of whack this particular night, and the first sign of disturbance was our daughter's gentle whimper. It soon turned into a full blown temper tantrum lacking words, truth or sense of reality. Angry growls overflowed from our precious princess' mouth. A fountain of muddy noise.

As my husband and I looked at each other we knew we needed to address the issue (which we could only assume was displeasure with having to go to bed), but we didn't know how to exactly handle it. We teamed up and stormed the gates! Upon arrival in the shared room were one little five year old boy grimacing between the thoughts 'Am I in trouble?' and 'That was hilarious!', and a seven year old girl with her toddler tantrum face on, tear streaked and all.

We had our answer without any questions: Boy pesters girl, girl gets angry, boy laughs, girl gets more angry...and it had continued. Now, as the awesome parents we are, we gently questioned both parties, weeding through the muck of pointed fingers, tired whining, and hurt feelings. Both parties were found guilty, disciplined, then...then....you can only guess.

Did they stay angry? Did they keep teasing? Praise the Lord they did not! After seeing the hurt and anger of each other, and the tears that fell from one another's eyes, they both wept more. Little man crumpled into a pile of sorrow, tearfully apologizing to his big sister, crying more than he did after his discipline! And big sister...oh, this is good...and big sister saw the tears that fell on little brother's face, and reached out to wipe them with her tissue! Adding to it, 'I'm sorry's' and 'I love you's'! The moment rocked!

With all the junk I do wrong...."Love covers a multitude of sins." And my kids even know that! My husband and I looked at each other and smiled a 'Good job, babe' smile, along with a 'Isn't that rad!' look. Tell you what, I wouldn't trade that moment for a million trips to Disneyworld! Amen? Amen!

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

Monday, March 9, 2009

Work

Just when I thought I was done for it....I found three minutes at work.
Here I am with three minutes to spare, and so I choose to write and eat at the same time. Oh how good it is to have some time. Well, that's how I choose to see it at least.
I have a job, an edearing husband, two rad kids, a sister who likes to kick it with me, a bed to sleep in, food for my belly, and a Father in heaven who directs my steps every day. I also have this handy computer on which to blog and communicate! Oh how the day is beautiful!
So, that's my three minutes to share, and to glorify the Lord and his blessings. More soon, I hope!