This morning I did something I've been wanting to do for weeks. I got up at 6 am, made myself a cup of coffee, and spent some quiet time with God. While that may not seem like anything earth-shattering for lots of folks, it was huge for me. God has been shaping (re-shaping), forming (re-forming), molding (re-molding) my heart so much lately. At church, we finished a sermon series on Paul's letter to the church at Colossae. I am a new creation. And let me tell you, this creating business is serious stuff.

One of the things I did this morning was pray. I didn't grow up with spontaneous prayer. I grew up with rote, memorized, exactly-as-it-should-be prayer. And that's not all bad. But spontaneous prayer? Not an easy thing for me to do or ask for.

I prayed for Michelle, a friend of ours who was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She had a full hysterectomy, but is facing months of chemotherapy/radiation treatment. She and her husband George were at our wedding, and have two beautiful young children. Michelle wants to dance at her children's weddings.

And for another Michele, this one a newly licensed minister from our church. She has such a heart for Christ, and feels called to work on behalf of disabled people. She is challenged by the devil every day, but that is just a testament to the importance of her work.

And for DaShana, a former student of mine. She just lost her mother. I have no words. My parents are aging, and I dread the day when I have to say good-bye to either of them. My heart just breaks for DaShana.

As always, I prayed for my children. Two of the three are at camp this week, and I prayed for their safety, for God to watch over them. I prayed that they might make good choices, and have a wonderful time. For my littlest, at home without his brothers, I prayed for God's protection over him as well, and that God might guard all of their sweet hearts.

Enthusiastically beginning this Monday...


Wisdom from the Interwebz

God made.
Adam bit.
Noah arked.
Abraham split.
Joseph ruled.
Jacob fooled.
Bush talked.
Moses balked.
Pharaoh plagued.
People walked.
Sea divided.
Tablets guided.
Promise landed.
Saul freaked.
David peeked.
Prophets warned.
Jesus born.
God walked.
Love talked.
Anger crucified.
Hope died.
Love rose.
Spirit flamed.
Word spread.
God remained.


You Are God Alone

Today is a day of remembrance.
Remembering the innocents who lost their lives.

At work.

At play.

In the air.

On the land.

Today is a day of remembrance.
Remembering the heroes who gave their lives.

In the towers.

On the planes.

On the ground.

Today is a day of remembrance.
Remembering our God who was and is with us all.


Music In My Head

This song has been getting a lot of airtime on the Christian stations lately, and with good reason.

It's amazing.

There are several versions out there. The original group, Bluetree, of course. And Chris Tomlin, whom I love, but honestly? I think every other song on the radio is him!

I found this lovely acoustic version by its creator, Aaron Boyd of Bluetree. It's not as polished as the full band version, but there's something true in the rawness of a simple voice accompanied by acoustic guitar.

And how cool is it to hear the story behind the song.

It is a great reminder.


Been Away

Which I'm sure is painfully obvious to any readers left out there! This two-blog business is a bit more than I bargained for, but I absolutely had to share this one. Falls under the "unbelievable" category. As my fellow blogger Mary noted, I too am hoping this is a fluke and not the start of a trend.

From 10News.com out of San Diego, California:

A local pastor and his wife claim they were interrogated by a San Diego County official, who then threatened them with escalating fines if they continued to hold bible studies in their home, 10News reported. Attorney Dean Broyles of The Western Center For Law & Policy was shocked with what happened to the pastor and his wife. Broyles said, "The county asked, 'Do you have a regular meeting in your home?' She said, 'Yes.' 'Do you say amen?' 'Yes.' 'Do you pray?' 'Yes.' 'Do you say praise the Lord?' 'Yes.'"

The county employee notified the couple that the small bible study, with an average of 15 people attending, was in violation of county regulations, according to Broyles. Broyles said a few days later the couple received a written warning that listed "unlawful use of land" and told them to "stop religious assembly or apply for a major use permit" -- a process that could cost tens of thousands of dollars." For churches and religious assemblies there's big parking concerns, there's environmental impact concerns when you have hundreds or thousands of people gathering. But this is a different situation, and we believe that the application of the religious assembly principles to this bible study is certainly misplaced," said Broyles.

News of the case has rapidly spread across Internet blogs and has spurred various reactions. Broyles said his clients have asked to stay anonymous until they give the county a demand letter that states by enforcing this regulation the county is violating their First Amendment right to freely exercise their religion. Broyles also said this case has broader implications. "If the county thinks they can shut down groups of 10 or 15 Christians meeting in a home, what about people who meet regularly at home for poker night? What about people who meet for Tupperware parties? What about people who are meeting to watch baseball games on a regular basis and support the Chargers?" said Broyles.

Broyles and his clients plan to give the county their demand letter this week.If the county refuses to release the pastor and his wife from obtaining the permit, they will consider a lawsuit in federal court.