Saturday, May 30, 2009

Houston IBLP Seminars


IBLP Houston Seminars - Basic, Advanced, Anger Resolution

Mark your calendars! The IBLP seminars are coming to Houston on July 23-25 at Sagemont Church.

Seminars that will be offered: Basic (available in Spanish), Advanced, and Anger Resolution Seminar
There will also be a Children’s Program offered for children ages 5-12.
Click for Times and More Info

Seminars Overview

Basic Seminar
The Basic Seminar addresses seven Biblical principles that apply to every person, regardless of culture, religion, age, education, or social status. It emphasizes the factors needed to develop and maintain healthy, growing relationships with God, family members, and friends.

Advanced Seminar
Building upon the foundational principles taught at the Basic Seminar, the Advanced Seminar discusses more specific application of Biblical principles to the areas of marriage, family, education, and finances.

Anger Resolution Seminar
The Anger Resolution Seminar equips individuals with the tools necessary for identifying and removing the root causes of anger and shows how God’s truth and power can achieve what our resolve cannot. It also explains how to avoid anger by learning to give verbal blessings.

IBLP Houston

For additional information concerning IBLP Seminars and other resources:
IBLP Headquarters - Oak Brook College of Law - Verity Institute - International ALERT Academy - ALERT Cadet




Tuesday, May 19, 2009

a song in my heart

While I'm on the topic of music I thought I would post a little about the title to my blog. It has multiple meanings of course but the one that stands out right now has a lot to do with my personality. I love music and I think anyone who knows me would know that. I had noticed this about myself before but it has been more obvious this last week than in a long time and made me begin thinking more about it but you can tell a lot about my mood by whether or not I am singing. If there is music on and I know the song it is just inevitable that I will begin humming or singing along.

I remember the Psalty books from when I was young and more specifically a book about his daughter Melody. Something happened in the book and Melody "lost her song". She was only able to sing again when she had confessed whatever it was she had done wrong and asked for forgiveness from her dad. I have found that to be true of myself. When I am in a bad mood whether it be because I'm annoyed with someone or sad or frustrated I have a hard time singing. Normally I won't be able to KEEP myself from singing and I think it would be a very effective method of torture for me if someone were ever to say "I'm going to play this music and you can't sing all day or you will die". I'd probably end up dying within five minutes haha!!

It's been a good check in the past to nudge me that I need to straighten up my attitude but this weekend it was different. I just had a hard time singing and I didn't know why. Since Thursday I felt very burdened about a lot of things and just felt like I surely couldn't go on any longer. on Sunday we had both Sunday School and morning service all about faith in God to do the impossible for us. It was convicting in some ways and encouraging in others. I know I talk about faith a lot and truly believe in it but sometimes if you take your eyes off Jesus just for a split second to look at the water you begin to sink. I told God I can't do anything about my current situation...I've done everything He's shown me to do so far and it seems now that I'm stuck in between a rock and a hard place with a hammer banging away on top. The rest of Sunday I was very drained emotionally but it is true that weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning (Psalm 30:5). Today when I plugged up my ipod I could feel my song coming back. Nothing has changed, no audible voice telling me how to proceed or special instructions arriving in the mail from God...I just felt that my batteries had been recharged and I was able to go again. It feels so much better when I can sing. :)

When God Is Silent

At the first year I attended The Wilds' Music Conference this song was included in one of the free books I received. At the time I remember thinking it was a nice song but didn't really think much more about it. Throughout the last couple of years the words to this song, mostly the chorus, have come to my head multiple times when I feel like I've reached the end of my ropes and God doesn't seem to be answering any of my pleas.

When God Is Silent

When God is silent, and we don't know, the way before us that we ought to go;
When we've attempted to do His will, and yet His silence continues still;

Then it's time to trust. Yes, it's time to remember that the Lord is faithful to His own.
If we hope, we shall yet be praising once again; for His silence never means that we're alone.

When God is silent, and all seems lost, as o'er the waves our boat is tempest tossed;
When answers fail us and doubts arise, but God seems distant, hid from our eyes;

He is in the mountain praying that our faith will never fail, though our souls be sifted through.
O'er the wind and waves we soon shall see Him coming to prevail.
We can trust Him for His promises are true. They are true!

Then it's time to trust. Yes, it's time to remember that the Lord is faithful to His own.
If we hope, we shall yet be praising once again; for His silence never means,
No, His silence never means that we're alone. He will never, ever leave us alone.

-Jeanine Drylie

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Some would gather money
Along the path of life,
Some would gather roses,
And rest from worldly strife.

But I would gather children
From among the thorns of sin;
I would seek a golden curl
And a freckled toothless grin.

For money cannot enter
In that land of endless day,
And the roses that are gathered
Soon will wilt along the way.

But oh! the laughing children!
As I cross the sunset sea,
And the gates swing wide to Heaven,
I can take them in with me!

~Isabel Gray

The Houston CI has a website!

Thanks to several people the Houston IBLP seminars have their own websites now including the Children's Program! You can check it out here. It's pretty spiffy. :-) You might also see some faces you recognize...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Luke's non-virtuousness

Just to set the scene--Mom and Savanna were at Walmart past 9 and we usually start devotions at 8. She asked if Micah could read the Bible and we could start singing until she got home. This is the conversation that ensued.

Micah: Which scripture should I read?
Me: Just read the Psalm of the day. 14
Micah: Maybe I should add 30 or 60 to that?
Me: Do whatever the spirit leads you to do, I trust your godliness and virtuousness
Luke: Your virtuousness is better than rubies or something.
Micah: FAR above rubies. You are NOT virtuous because you can't even quote the verse right.
Luke: I own a bass guitar so I can't be virtuous anyway.
Me: You are definitely not a virtuous woman.
Micah: And your price is not far above rubies!


This is mostly for informational purposes for my family who reads my blog as I try to not bore anyone with too much of my day to day life. :-)

Just like about 90% of the US right now I've been having some financial stresses mostly in the last six months. I was really feeling the strain anyway and just barely keeping my head above water so to speak and I began having a lot of car trouble the last month or two. I found I needed new brake pads, three new tires and my serpentine belt is just about kaput when I started having some strange electrical trouble. My dear brothers took the alternator off and Haley ran it to Autozone for testing but found nothing wrong. I had finally broke down and bought two of the new tires (one kept going flat on me) so having no money and this being the really tight paycheck I was going to grit my teeth and pray my car through another month.

We were very busy (read stressed!) today, Mom had a shift, I had two, the girls worked this morning, Haley was busy all afternoon, we are trying to prepare the house for the exterminator to come on Monday and Micah's birthday is tomorrow so we were needing to do some prep for that. I had just made dinner and was making birthday cake when I got a call from Mom that she had hit something in the road and it made an awful clacking sound so she was on the shoulder. She tried to start it back up again and it wouldn't so I began trying to locate Dad or Haley who had the other functioning vehicles (the van has been out of commission since that fateful trip home from the rodeo in Marc) to meet her. While I was on the phone with Dad I got a voicemail from Mom. Whatever she hit had torn a hole in my gas tank and the entire contents emptied onto the shoulder. I suspect that was $20 worth of gas alone as I had only recently filled it up. :-P To be quite honest I shed a few tears. Having just bought the tires I really don't have the ability to pay for more repairs. Mom said she wasn't the only one who hit the mysterious object and that several people were on the shoulder with flat tires. We were grateful that having discovered it was the gas tank Mom had not been hurt when she tried to restart the car. A wrecker came and towed my poor little car to home up into the driveway alongside the van where it will sit until I have some money. I'm really afraid to find out how much it will cost. :( So I guess God is really teaching me right now what Bro Joe was talking about a few weeks ago--giving everything you've got and then trusting God to take care of the rest since we have no way to get the entire family anywhere (including church I am reminding Him :) ) until either the car or van is running again. It will be interesting to see what He does!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Only at my house

Only at my house could we have some of the crazy problems inadvertently caused by Hurricane Ike. As some friends noticed when they visited us we have had trouble with a family of raccoons who made their home in between the floors/walls of our house after the hurricane. It was VERY annoying because being nocturnal creatures they made all kinds of thumping sounds and talked to each other in the night when we were trying to sleep. We borrowed a trap from a neighbor and caught two or three I think but there were definitely still more. Just a couple of weeks ago the sounds in the bathroom began to sound like babies to me and I thought oh joy they are really here for the long haul now.

When our friend came out and fixed our roof for us he also showed the boys how to seal off a place in the garage where we thought they might be going and coming. While we were happy to have it done we suspected that we had just sealed in some of the raccoons. The ones under the bathroom floor made a lot of racket for about two days before that stopped. Then a couple of days ago the smell began. At first I could only smell it when I first came home from somewhere, it would be one little whiff and then it was gone. A little later I could smell it fairly well if I stood in a certain spot in the school room which is directly under the bathroom. Today the smell was BAD. I had been afraid it would get like this and hated to think about how long we'd live with it like that.

We decided the worst smell was in the hallway/bathroom upstairs and in the big boys' room. Mom decided someone should at least investigate the attic to see if any of them were up there because we could remove those. If they were in between the walls and floors though like we suspected that wasn't going to be a fixable situation. Josh apparently volunteered to check it out and went upstairs. A minute later he yelled down to us. "I FOUND ONE!" He had opened the door to the attic and it fell out onto the floor. I was really surprised because I thought for sure we'd been in the attic fairly recently but I guess not. It was a little baby like we'd thought and while I didn't dare look when Dad removed it Mom saw it and I thought she was going to cry. "It's so cute! How HORRIBLE!" she said with a distraught look on her face. "It's just like the baby mice we caught in the trailer..." This was exactly why I didn't want to look because I was already feeling guilty for trapping baby raccoons until they starved/thirsted to death. I kept telling myself that I have nothing against raccoons whatsoever, even the big ones are usually cute (except for the massive dog-sized ones that have been seen in our backyard but I'm fairly certain can't be the ones that lived in the house because there's no way they squeezed their humongous bodies into our walls). But they do NOT belong in my house. Sealing it up so they can't get in had to be done and there was no way to be sure none got stuck inside before we did that.

I waited a good long time after they removed it to go back upstairs again. The scent has GREATLY improved but we can still smell it in the boys' room and a bit in my room. I'm sure there are more as after a quick Google check we discovered typical raccoon litters are 3-5. I'm hoping though that the others are buried in the walls still and won't be as horribly can hope right?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

more on grace

I'm sure everyone I know is about sick to death of hearing viewpoints on grace vs legalism but I just had a few more musings that have been slowly penetrating while I've been reading various ones such as Kristin and Mr. Wychopen and others notes. Before I get into it though I will reiterate again that these are truths God has been showing me personally about incorrect concepts in my own life. I do not seek to tell others where they are wrong but rather share what God has brought me personally to.

Mr. Wychopen posted a little while ago something that has taken only until a few days AFTER he posted that to really sink in. Despite the fact that I have been saying it somehow it was one of those things that took a certain wording before it finally broke through some little imaginary wall in my own head. I can't find at this moment the exact article I was remembering but the idea was basically that there is NOTHING I can do to earn any more favor with God than I already have. It doesn't matter how "good" I am, it does not make me any more special in His sight. By the same token just because I am not as "good" as others it doesn't make me any less to Him. The only thing God sees when He looks at me is Jesus' righteousness and none of me. Now I have said these sorts of things before and fully believed that only Jesus saved me but somehow I still had this little lie in my head that to make God "happy" with me on any given day I should read my Bible, be kind to those around me, do my little list of things for the day etc etc. It was another root of legalism that had somehow worked it's way into my heart.

The article Mr. Wychopen had written kind of hung around in the back of my head for most of a day before it finally occurred to me. Everyone had gone to bed and the house was quiet. I had finished my shift and was thinking over the day's events as I got ready for bed. It literally was a light bulb moment in my head. I was still somehow trying to "earn" God's favor each day. I was still in my head saying "well today went badly but tomorrow I can be better God". There is no way for me to accurately describe how much of my life this lie was touching and perhaps no one close to me would even be able to tell a difference but there is one even if it's only between me and God. I can't tell you that suddenly I have this amazing desire to just spend hours in my Bible but I do have more of a longing now than I've ever had in my Christian life TO read it.

This song has a lot of similarities to the way I felt. There is therefore now no condemnation...

I’ve been searching
Wandering and hurting
Ashamed of the shape I’m in
Afraid you’ll see who I really am

But you invite me in
Doesn’t matter where I’ve been
Your arms are open wide
There’s nothing left to hide

How can this be
A love so unfailing
Reached down and lifted me
From ashes to beauty

And you invite me in
Doesn’t matter where I’ve been
Your arms are open wide
There’s nothing left to hide

You invite me in
Doesn’t matter who I’ve been
Your arms are open wide
Holding me to your side

Now I am walking away from the life I once knew
And running into your grace
It covers my shame again and again
I find my life in you

You invite us in
Doesn’t matter where we’ve been
Your arms are open wide
There’s nothing left to hide

You invite us in
Doesn’t matter who we’ve been
Your arms are open wide
Holding us to your side

Your arms are open wide