Tuesday, January 29, 2008

It is a Great Big World...

As I sit here "laptopping" (... a term coined my 4 year old!) my boys are watching a movie on soccer. It is always so funny how when we see someone who excels in their "field" - literal grass covered or otherwise! - we are somehow inspired to do the same! I begin to think... I would like to play soccer that well! or Football is a great sport! Or even hockey... during a Sabres game, I sometimes wonder, would I actually enjoy playing hockey... could it be so? (The ONLY exception- golf. There is nothing that could inspire me! ) It is a phenomena in my house how depending on the "feel good" sports movie of the month so goes our kids favorite sport! "Facing the Giants" = football, "Miracle" = hockey... you know!

Well, I was having these thoughts while checking my "inbox" , and I got an email from a girl friend telling me about a local man who definitely excels in his sport- mountaineering.

He is a former Rochester Democrat and Chronicle news writer, and after the Lord changed his direction, he now is president of a ministry called "Climbing for Christ"- C4C for short. Take a few minutes and browse the site. It is a very impressive ministry. They climb into remote regions of developing countries and bring the Gospel to those who have not heard the Good News. Who knows when those people might otherwise ever hear! Some of these regions are so remote they are untouched by outside influence. They have mission type climbs, and are certainly worthy of support. Prayer support, if not also financial! (In the "testimonies" section, read about a man who spend 6 days in a Saudi jail... definitely in the refiners fire!)

The reason for my friends email to me though, was the following...Chaos in Kenya. To quote a part of the article- "Kenya has long been one of the most stable and economically developed nations in East Africa, but it has descended into chaos since the election."

She wondered how close this was to where we hope to go. It is one (very large!) country separated to the north east. It is incredible how there can be nothing but a political border separating these countries, and the genocide, tribal wars, political corruption and unrest can be so isolated to the regions where they rage. There is no ocean or great river to keep the trouble "up there"... just border guards with machine guns! That makes me feel a little better... just a little! I heard something a while back that gives me great comfort at news such as this. "Safety is not determined by the absence of danger, but by the presence of God!" So true!

So what is the point of all of this?

It is so easy to live in America and create our own little haven of peace and tranquility. It is possible to remain ignorant of the plight of our fellow man, to dismiss the needs of others, to tend our own four walls and feel like it is enough. But... is it right? As Luke said "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required:" And we have been given so much, I know no one who would argue that. We can do something! A little is better than nothing, and do you remember what God did with 5 small loaves and two fishes? I do!

One thing we all are called to do is pray. Intercessory prayer is praying on the behalf of others. At the least we should become aware that we can effectively do that!

And... let the great athletes of the faith be our inspiration! May I expose my children to men and women of God who excelled in their "field"- the mission field! How great would the testimony be of any child that said David Livingstone, Hudson Taylor, David Brainerd or Adoniram Judson were their hero!

Boy, this really should have been written on a Monday! Oh well, remember this for next week!

Monday, January 28, 2008

It is Monday!

Yesterday in church, I was so inspired with many thing on which to post...! I hope you too enjoy the insight the Lord gave to me!

In teens we had a leader give the message instead of the teen pastor, and while the lesson was on lying, a verse in the passage spoke to me more directly than did the overall message.

Ephesians 4:21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:

The point was made in a contrast.

"Hearing about him vs. hearing him and Being taught about him vs. taught by him".

That struck me. I have attended a very good church for so long that is is easy to just glean from the preaching and teaching and feel like I am improving without actually hearing God, or being taught by him. Second hand knowledge. As the passage continues,

22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

The result of actually being taught by and hearing from Jesus is a transformed life, which begins with the renewed spirit of the mind. In a previous post I mentioned the weakened state of the mind in the lives of so many Christians. Perhaps only spoon fed Christians. While they know what they need to do to have spiritual victory, it hasn't been practiced. They have been told from the pulpit (of my church)..."Do not believe what I say- search it out for yourself !" and perhaps have not.

This is not to absolve me of the same guilt! I am perhaps the best second hand learner! It is very easy to hear some preaching, to be in a spiritual conversation, to passively listen to a radio broadcast and feel that because I heard the information, know the verses, and could actually teach it to someone else it must mean I have been taught it from Jesus himself and it has been applied so as to transform my mind. While I never read those verses with the same frame of mind as yesterday, I am still accountable for what they say. Though my actions can suggest a transformed mind, only through true trials and testing will the fruit be revealed.

Which brings me to the second message of my Sunday... again by another pastor, and not our regular Pastor G.!

The message was about Abraham and Isaac and the request God made of him to sacrifice him.

After a particular point, my mind began thinking about why we as humans do not shy away from opportunities to test our abilities. In the areas of art contests and spelling bees, soccer games and technological breakthroughs, we say "Bring it" or "Just do it". I wondered why are we so quick to enter a sporting event where our ultimate goal is to show our strength over an opponent.

So why is it... I continued to wonder, that we as Christians shy away from the things that would prove our faith? We too have an opponent, do we not?

Is it because we fear pain?

Tell that to the foot ball player with cracked ribs.

Is it because there is too much emotional investment?

Let the little 6th grader that has ulcers from the stress of a spelling bee convince you otherwise.

Is it because we are afraid of what others might think?

The losers of every major competition still glory in the fact they at least they made it to the finals!

So many questions!

So what is it?! What would make me hope the Lord would not try me? Why wouldn't I want to enter that arena? Why would I not want the refiners fire in my life?

Does anyone really look forward to trials? No, not really.

Does anyone enjoy the thrill of knowing Jesus more? Absolutely!

And the pain of the journey to get there must be worth it. It says in Hebrews how Jesus endured the cross, all of it, for the joy that was set before him. Because we know he really knew what that joy was all about, we should trust that it really is worth anything we might have to endure. "Our light affliction" as Paul says!

So the truth is, I do want the trials. And Lord please help me to be faithful through it all. But first teach me, and let me hear from you!

Draw me nearer, through the fire

I trust my Saviour- to greater goals I aspire!

To know you more, I rest in your care

Try me - grow my faith, and all my weakness bear

For only when I am undone- does your strength show in me

Teach me Lord- Speak to me, I wait for thee on bended knee.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

So who will you vote for?!

I took this test, and it told me I should vote for someone I really would never vote for! That fact told me I needed to learn more about some issues, like foreign policy and immigration! I say that because the areas of disagreement were on my "less important" scale, and therefore not something I would consider myself to be well versed on. The things that matter most... Mike is my guy! I know he is a Baptist preacher and professes Salvation, and therefore needs to be lifted in prayer as the wicked one seeks to destroy those that are not his.... and all some of the others, well... he won't need to bug so much!

Thanks, again T. for the great computer link! Fun if not also just a little helpful!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mission Monday on Tuesday

This may be a regular post heading! I had a great weekend at our church's ladies retreat, but with all the fun came very little sleep, and Monday was not kind to me!

But I do have a report!

Through a friend who knows someone who knows a shop teacher at a school 2 hours away we were able to further our knowledge in the field of... drum roll please... Fish Farming!!!!

I know, you all saw that coming so why all the drama, right? HA! I wouldn't have guessed in many lifetimes that I would actively pursue the field of anything related to fish... remember this post?! Well, things change!

My husband is a Mr. Steady straight on and right down the center and I LOVE THAT!!! Mr. P, the man we are preparing to partner with is a Mr. Command and that works very well for him. However... get the two of them together and they both become Mr. Visionaries , and that is a little ... well... enough to make me pray a lot!

So... fish ponds!

This is the whole set up. It is self contained, and uses a sump pump for water circulation. The guys are seeking alternative energy such as solar, wind, and bio-diesel, as the reliability of the electricity sources are at best just OK. (For you more astute readers, you noticed the three other topics of future MM posts... yes you did! )

Here are all the little Tilapia swimming in their pretty blue bucket! It is a 500 gallon tank, and there are about 40 fish just loving life! They are seldom harvested from this classroom, and a few are upwards to 14"! I actually have tried Tilapia... very mild tasting, and full of protein. Something many Zambians are seriously lacking!

The vision is to raise up a mission that is able to train nationals in the Word, but also to give them ways to feed their families/village, generate income, become energy independent, and equipped in more ways than may be available easily to the average African. Thus, the Lord is blessing in so many ways here stateside with people coming to them, and introducing them to people who know this stuff like their own name, and offering to teach them how to do these things! It is a great thing to be part of God's plan! I feel like my hair is blowing behind me with the speed that things happen, but it's all good!

I also had the opportunity to tell the ladies at the retreat about what is going on with my family, how we got to this point,where we are in our trek, and where we feel the Lord is leading. I had no warning I would be given this opportunity, and I was less than all put together and calm! I knew so many of those women, and was still a nervous wreck! The Lord is so good and I think they got the general gist. But... I do think I am going to start keeping with me a 6 bullet point outline complete with Bible verses and a poem for moments such as these! I really enjoy telling others about the faithfulness of God and where he has brought our family... I would just like to do it well! One minute I was putting on chapstick sitting in the back of the room awaiting a nice lunch, and the next minute I was feeling so nervous I couldn't even imagine eating an ice cube! My how life can change on a dime!!! (Thanks Louise for the opportunity... it really was a blessing! )

Well, more to come for sure! Please pray for Dan as he gathers information for these ventures. Pray for people who are willing to teach him for free! Also pray for the finances, as all of this costs money! It will all pay off eventually, but as everyone knows there must be an initial investment!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Well, they are 10 days old and still blind and deaf. Their eyes will open this weekend while I am at a retreat, and that should make things a little more fun! They will then get creative, and learn to get out of their confinement...! This is "Lyssie"... of course none of the names will stay after they are sold. It is just easier for us to track them now!
Here they are all together. Wiggins on the left, then Lyssie, and Shani on the right. Molly posting guard! They are about 12-14 ounces now. Still a bit to grow until they reach their full 6 pounds! Whew!
Hard to believe these little things might generate enough to purchase a ticket to Zambia... God knows!

suPRESSion, oPRESSion, dePRESSion

There are so many things that vie for my attention, and it is always a struggle to choose the best over the bad or even the good for that matter. I have recently seen two movies that I feel were well worth the time spent, One was Life if Beautiful, and the other is Amazing Grace.

In Life is beautiful, the story of a man and his family struggling to survive in Nazi Germany unfolds in a touching and sweet way. The father hides his son in the mens barracks under his mattress, and convinces the boy that it is all a game, and they will win a prize if they follow all the rules. It ends tragically with me crying my eyes out thinking how this is one of millions of stories that could have been told. People oppressed because of their blood heritage.

In Amazing Grace, the life of William Wilberforce, disciple of John Newton, is told. As an opposer of slavery, it shows his life's passionate work to end slave trade in England. It details how his tireless pursuit takes a toll on his health, and how his friendships and alliances are tested through it all. In his lifetime, he meets a former slave, and is told the inhuman cruelty he had endured, and Wilberforce becomes even more impassioned. It was two+ hours of emotional reckoning of what humans can do to other humans... an incomprehensible thing for this 21st century American to digest with any real understanding. I tend to shy away from such things as it makes me feel so powerless. History cannot be changed.

This brings me to the title of the post. Human existence is peppered with peoples who feel superior to others, and if given the power exercise that power, do so to exact pain and suffering. Even now in Rwanda, India, China there are "sub class" humans that are looked on as inhuman by their fellow people. Though they won't acknowledge it, people with the same blood heritage running through their veins.

They are pressed in some way. Into slavery, murdered, left to die without care.

Then I think of America- the land of Paxil and Prozac.

We are a people afforded any freedom we choose, and so many choose bondage. The binds of sin that hold one incapable of escape- or so they think.

What about American Christians? I am shocked at how many, friends of mine!- resort to "medical attention" to help deal with their daily struggles. What is going on?! I feel shame in that I felt inadequate on more than one occasion in confronting these friends. I hear over and over "there are some real needs out there that only medication can help...!" WHAT?!?!? Where is the BLOOD in that?! I get so frustrated in my lack of boldness for fear of the unknown. What if they really do have a medical condition? What if they will write me off as a judgmental "better than you" Christian? Should that really matter? I don't know, that is why the struggle!

So back to the title. PRESS is all caps for a reason. We are called to be pressed! It is the press of God that makes us what he wants us to be! The lump of clay that gets pressed, the olive that is pressed for the oil to separate out from the flesh and be burned in the lamp stands! The more it is pressed, the more oil is removed, and the brighter the light can shine... !!! Do not look to mentally escape the press! Christ himself in the Garden... (Gethsemane means press) didn't look forward to the Cross with glee, but knew that on the other side there is joy unspeakable. We are invited to join him in both. The press, and even better the joy.

In my reading today, I kept thinking about how the Christian life, of all things is filled with joy, hope and strength. We have read and know the end of the story! We win, the bad guys lose, and we get to have peace and praise the Lamb who is worthy for the rest of our lives! Now that is something to be happy about!

This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine!

Please encourage me if you see me pressed. And if you see me begin to crumble under the weight, point me to the Blood, to the Cross, to the One who already has won the victory! I might not like it for a while, but I promise I will love you!

Proverbs 27:5 Open rebuke is better than secret love.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Holding and Letting Go

Mission Monday point #1

As I continue to pray to God for direction and guidance in our trek to the mission field, it is a little of a shock to me each time an old lesson I thought I had learned, needs to be learned again!

"What?" I am sure is the question rambling through the mind of my faithful reader(s?), so let me try to explain.

When we sold our home in June '06 (wow! does that sound so long ago now!) I knew the Lord had carried me through some hard lessons I needed to learn. I wasn't the proverbial pack-rat, as my ability to keep things well organized made it look so nice! But the fact that I was neat about my stuff-obsession didn't change the fact that I needed to learn to let it all go.

Just as the verse that talks about a man cleansed of an evil spirit needs to fill with something good or he will be worse off than at the first, so I have learned that I can easily be worse off in my "stuff acquiring" if I am not careful! Now what do I replace "bad" tangible stuff with, that will benefit me and not overload my house, garage and basement?

Godly wisdom.

Proverbs 4:13 Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.

1Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

In seeking the Bible for how to daily get hold of the truths He wants me to know, I have had much less temptation. And that is what it is! Recognize the vices of the wicked one who seeks to rob and kill and destroy! We are the enemy of all who are against God. Just knowing that not getting caught up in possessions is a step towards Final Victory is enough to compel me on!

Mission Monday point #2

In this life there are all kinds of ways to feel fulfilled, some Godly, others not so much.

One sure fire Godly way for me to truly enjoy my Christian walk is to surround myself with people and friends who encourage and edify me. People who "live out loud" their love of our Saviour, and who inspire me to walk by faith and not by sight. People who have given up worldly gain and possessions to wholly pursue God and his righteousness.

The only problem is, I have learned that not only "stuff", but people fall in the category of my MM point #1.

God is continually asking me to give them up, too.

Not in the same way, of course! Not one of my friends has been dropped off at the local Salvation Army in a box labeled "donate"- I promise you that!

But... I have said good-bye to more people than I would choose to! If tears for those we miss are stored up as well, I have a few gallons in heaven. It is a wonderful thing to have the Godly blessing of heaven-sent friendship, but it is so much more difficult to deal with that separation anxiety than for an old vase, to be sure. I am so thankful for internet, IM, and cell phones. You gotta know technology is a direct blessing from God for those in full time ministry away from family and loved ones!

Not that I look forward to the day that I will be the one leaving, but I cannot wait until we go. (Figure that statement out, and write me a comment on how you did it!) Obedience to God at any cost is the ultimate accomplishment for any Christian. In the midst of it all, though, it feels like the human heart cannot handle all that goes with it. One thing I have learned, am currently learning, and I am sure I will need to learn again...

at the end of the day ...GOD'S GRACE IS SUFFICIENT and in the morning HIS MERCIES ARE NEW AND TENDER AND GREAT!

Praise be to God!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

As Promised!

I am a girl of my word if nothing else.

(Please, if you have an example of me not being as I just stated... keep it to yourself. Or e-mail it to me real private-like, so I can delete it forever, and no one will know!)

Here are some pictures of my new little "charges". I use the term tongue in cheek, because hopefully the revenue they generate will enable me not to! (Charge that is!)

Here they are!!
These are two of the three. "Wiggins" is on top, and "Shani" is under.

All three with Mommy. She is such a good momma!

There they are at about 3 hours old.

They are not the cutest yet, but believe me they get too adorable! They are Havanese-Poodle, or "Hava-Poos". I live "PooVanese" better, but they are not as widely recognized by that name, as most people not living in Cuba have never even heard of a Havanese!

They will grow up to be little 6 pound puff balls of silky black hair with a good wave to it. All three have a little white crest of their chest (just like momma), and some white on the paws. Little #3 girl has no name yet... we cannot agree on one that won't cause us to love her just too much and decide not to sell her! She has three very white paws, and the fourth is black. So cute!

Do any of you have a suggestion for her name? I realize this post is not about Kevin, but people can comment anyhow. Really!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Reverend Missionary Kevin Pestke!

I apologize for the lack of video quality, but if you weren't there last night, I thought you might like to have a little update. It was an amazing time, and the evening flew by. Let us honor him as he honors Christ! Giving all of the Glory to the Saviour of his soul!

This is the actual presentation of the Ordination certificate, done just after the men of our church laid hands on him.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

It is long but worth the read!

I received this from a friend in my e-mail, and I am sure many of you may have read it, but it really struck me. I am not a scientist, nor a theologian, so I cannot accurately defend the science in the story... but it sure made me think! I will have to google a few things now!

If you are one that tends to like only a brief read... scroll down to the bold print!

The first day of class started, and the atheist professor wanted to make his first point, and let his students know where he stood. "Let me explain the problem science has with Jesus Christ." The professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.

"You're a Christian, aren't you, son?"

"Yes sir," the student says.

"So you believe in God?"


"Is God good?"

"Sure! God's good."

"Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?"


"Are you good or evil?"

"The Bible says I'm evil."

The professor grins knowingly. "Ahhh, The Bible! He considers for a moment....

"Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?"

"Yes sir, I would."

"So you're good!"

"I wouldn't say that."

"But why not say that? You'd helped a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't."

The student does not answer, so the professor continues. "He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?"

The student remains silent.

"No you can't, can you?" The professor takes a a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.

"Let's start again, young fellow. Is God good?"

"Er...yes," the student says.

"Is Satan good?"

The student doesn't hesitate on this one. "No."

"Then where does Satan come from?"

The student: "From...God...."

"That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in the world?"

"Yes sir.""Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?"


"So who created evil?" The professor continued, "If God created everything, then God created evil. Since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil."

Without allowing the student to answer, the professor continues: "Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in the world?"

The student: "Yes."

"So who created them?"

The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats the question. "Who created them?"

There is still no answer. Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerized.

The professor goes to another student.

"Tell me, do you believe in Jesus Christ?"

The student's voice in confident. "Yes, professor, I do."

The old man stops pacing. "science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you; seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, and smelling. Have you seen Jesus?"

"No sir, I have never seen Him."

"Have you ever actually felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus, or smelled your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?"

"No sir, I'm afraid I haven't."

"Yet you still believe in him?"


"According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?"

"Nothing," the student replies, "I only have my faith."

"Ahh yes, 'faith'", the professor repeats. "And that's the problem science has with God: There is no evidence, only faith."

The student stands silently for a moment, before asking a question of his own. "Professor, is there such a thing as heat?"

"yes," the professor replies. "There's heat."

"And is there such a thing as cold?"

"Yes, son, there is cold as well."

"No sir, there isn't."

The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet. The student begins to explain:

"You can have lots of heat, even more heat, super heat, mega-heat, unlimited heat, white heat, little or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees. Every body or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, 'cold' is just a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We can not measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it."

The room, and the professor, remain silent.

"What about darkness, professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?"

"Yes," the professor replies without hesitation. "What is night if it isn't darkness?"

"You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it's the ansence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing, and it's called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to to define the word. In reality, darkness isn't. If it were you'd be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?"

The professor begins to smile. This will be a good semester. "So what point are you making, young man?"

"My point is, professor, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed."

The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time. "Flawed? Can you explain how?"

"You are working off the premise of duality," the student explains. "You argue that there is life and then there is death; a good God, and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never been seen, much less fully understood with either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it. Now tell me, professor, do you teach your students that we evolved from a monkey?"

"If you are referring to the natural evolutuionary process, yes, of couse I do."

Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?"

The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realizes where the argument is going. A very good semester indeed!

Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist, but a preacher?"

The class is in an uproar, and the student waits until the commotion has subsided.

To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean."

The student looks around the room. "Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?" The room breaks out in laughter.

"Is there anyone here who as ever heard the professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, touched or smelled the professor's brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstable protocol, with all due respect, sir, science says that you have no brain. So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures?"

The room is silent. The professor stares at the student, his face unreadable. Finally he says, "I guess they'll have to take them on faith."

"Now," says the student, "you accept that there is faith, and in fact, that faith exists in life. Is there a thing called evil?"

Now uncertain, the professor responds, "Of course there is evil. We see it everyday. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man. It is in the the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil."

To this the student replies, "Evil does not exist, sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness or cold, a word developed to describe the absence of God.

God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat, or the darkness that comes when there is no light."

The professor sat down.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Ultimate Battle Ground

I have been a little busy lately, so pardon the lapse in this regularly stimulating and well maintained blog. Aside from the holidays, nothing new on the north-eastern front except we also had a birthday and a party to go with it, and our normally little puppy is so huge ready to drop her pups any minute! (More to come on that, to be sure!)

For those of you who really want to know though...

I have been re-inspired in my book reading lately. I love to read, but the fluff stuff I have been forced to choose successful at finishing got a little, well, lame. "Why the fluff?" you may ask? Did I mention we have 5 kids? And do you know how impossibly frustrating and draining challenging it is to continue a single thought let alone a plot line in a book or spiritual principle for more than a moment without complete distraction or interrupttion?! Well, as they are getting older I feel less guilty about explaining to them the necessity of mommy having a little "away from YOU!" time. They have seen the benefits as well, and have of late even suggested it. "Mom... you NEED to read... RIGHT?!?!" Should I be happy or a little worried at their consideration of my quiet time? Hmmmmm?

One of the books I am reading is "The Veritas Project". A pastor's wife on our church staff had cleaned off the book shelves due to the recent move of our church, and this was a rejected selection. That gave me pause, but then I thought if it was in her possession the first place it couldn't be terrible. I am so glad I kept it! If any of you have read Peretti books and liked them, this is right up the same alley. It brings to forefront the spiritual battle we are living in all day, every day, and challenges me to recognize that fact.

My hubby and I were talking about how we are mixed up and think that the spiritual world exists because of the physical, and we get so wrapped up in what we see. The fact is this whole flesh and bone and concrete and dirt are the temporal! If that truth would become part of the every day fabric of my thinking, what I would do differently! God in his amazing power and wisdom and might made me the way he did, and I do not always understand why! It is my flesh, my emotions and feelings, that bungle me up! If I could be a non-emotional, (well, more than I am! Ha!) "intellectual only" being that was ruled completely be logic, my name would be Spock I would follow the Bible and God so much better. It just makes sense to wholly devote ones time, energy and resources into that which is eternal. But... would that be what God wants? A creation that obeys with intellect devoid of any emotion or heart behind it? Obviously not, because I have emotion. (really I do! Please believe me!) Because of emotion I can love, and that really is the meat of the matter. I do what I do- good or bad- because I love. The whole "good dog-bad dog" story. I will feed, nurture, spend time and resources on that which I love.

How did all of this come from reading a book on spiritual warfare? Because I realize much too clearly that I do not love God enough to earnestly pray as I should. My lack of passionate devotion for Christ causes me to be less than faithful in daily Bible reading. I do not take seriously enough the battle for the mind... MY MIND!, that I am engaged in, whether I want to be or not! We have all been spiritually drafted into the "War of the Ages", and we will and are fighting for one side or the other!!!

Let that reality sink in for a while.