Mar 3, 2014
Mar 1, 2014
*1 Have you ever been in a situation where someone asks you to compromise your faith to make them more comfortable?
*2 Have you ever been the one asking?
"Actually, I fled. I was fifteen, and she was more of a temptation than I could handle."
*3 Michael knew being near the slave girl offered to him by his father was too much for him to handle. He was aware of his weakness. Take a moment to think about this. Do any of your own weaknesses come to mind? Situations you know would be difficult to navigate due to your weaknesses? What snare might catch you?
Angel touched the smooth pink cheek-and suddenly she saw Duke's enraged face swimming before her eyes.
Then rain started again, and with it came her old ghosts.
*We have no idea what battles people are fighting behind the scenes. In their inner lives. Just a thought.
At every turn, the girl undermined Angel's determination to remain aloof.
*4 Have you ever had a Miriam in your life? If so...describe some of the feelings you felt while she/he/ pursued you.
*5 Have you ever been a Miriam to someone who was trying to run and hide?
Angel was disturbed that hey would go to so much work on her behalf. The less they did, the less she would owe."
Expecting others to work for you and this ^...both rooted in pride. Just a thought.
Right from the first, Duke had bought her a wardrobe full of frilly frocks and white lace pinafores and filled her dresser drawers with satin ribbons and bows. Most of her clothes had been made in Paris.
*6 Isn't that just like the enemy of our souls...to make beautiful things ugly? To distort things. Can you relate? Has something lovely been soiled for you? Do you believe the Lord can renew that? Set it right?
"How could he still look at her with anything but loathing after all she had done? How could he love her?"
*7 Ever felt this way? Ever been the Michael in a situation?
"You know, sometimes you can hurt yourself more by trying to keep yourself from being hurt!"
"She's afraid of being hurt."
"She's hurting herself now."
*8 This is one of the most difficult things to watch. Have you ever lived it?
She wondered now if Michael wasn't the answer to all things for her.
Idols must be torn down. Even when our idols are relationships. Just a thought.
"He asked me to forgive him, and I told him he could rot in hell."
"He shot himself three days later."
Unforgiveness eats us alive. Just a thought.
Michael stood like a soldier going into battle. "I can't have children."
Do you think there is ANYTHING Angel could have said that would have swayed Michael away from her?
Mama had worked to keep Alex Stafford's love alive. She had tried everything to please him and keep his passion alive. Angel wondered now if it hadn't been those very efforts that served to drive him away. Mama had been so hungry for his love. Her entire life had revolved around Alex Stafford's coming to the small cottage. Her happiness depended solely on him. It had been an obsession.
The way I see it...Angel left because she was afraid she would turn out to be just like her mother ...which would eventually... turn Michael into Alex Stafford.
Whatever her motives for leaving...the Lord in His wisdom was using her time away from Michael... working behind the scenes......protecting her from idol worship.
Chapters 23-27 / Friday March 7th
Who covers the heavens with clouds, Who provides rain for the earth, Who makes grass to grow on the mountains. Psalms 147:8
Got these for FREE!
Feb 21, 2014
The boys / Dead Rabbit...were hired to shoot B camera on a reality series.
What I love most about this...
...Mcabe not finding his identity in acting work. He called his agents and said, "Gotta take this job. The pay is good and the experience will be great. I'll call you when I'm back in town."
What I love & hate equally....they will most likely be doing things like going up in helicopters and such.
At least they will be with US army helicopter pilots.
And look who they bumped into at the Charlotte airport...
Feb 19, 2014
When we walked into a Russian orphanage we smelled bad things. Things like urine and layers of dirt. We heard bad things. Things like impatient footsteps rushing down long dimly lit hallways and hostile tones and cries. We saw bad things. Things like peeling paint, rust stains, water damage, an industrial kitchen...decayed and unfathomable, grey everything, kids...all with shaved heads, sores and scabs on sallow faces. We saw distended abdomens and children drooling. And children rocking. And a frightened & severely malnourished child performing. Performing for the strangers who came to take her away. From that place. The same kid who had rickets in her bones and parasites in her feces. The one who weighed 28 pounds at the age of four and a half and didn't walk till she was three. The one who carries multiple physical scars from God knows what. The one who decided right on the spot...It's better to run from this hell hole clinging for dear life to this woman and this man who I have never laid eyes upon...the ones who don't speak my language...than to stay and rot.
That's nice, people. Whatever lets you sleep at night.
Feb 15, 2014
He told me he thought I should go. It felt as if I should. So I did.
I arrived at 11:30 a.m. Brad came to wait with me. We waited in line till 6:00 p.m. but I did not make it in. Almost...but not quite. There were maybe 1/2 dozen people ahead of me when all were sent home.
Before I left...I told the security guard he would see me in the morning. He suggested I arrive by 10:00 a.m.
I arrived at 9:30 a.m. Galilee came to wait with me. At 4:30 p.m. I contemplated moving my car again (every 2 hours) but I didn't. At 5:30 I thought to myself..."I most likely have a ticket on my wind shield so there's no point in moving it now." Not wanting to risk being absent if I were ever to get on deck ...I counted the cost of staying (maybe I didn't have a ticket yet) and chose to stand firm. We waited in line till 6:00 p.m. but I did not make it in. Almost...but not quite. Again...there were maybe 1/2 dozen people ahead of me when all were sent home.
I waved farewell to the security guard, Ken. "Till tomorrow. Have a good night."
A $68 ticket was waiting for me.
I arrived at 4:47 a.m.
I was #13 in line.
Brad and Zion arrived with Valentine's flowers for me. We prayed together right before I entered.
I got in at 2:45 p.m. Over the next 15 minutes I said what I came to say to Shia. And then I went home.
"In the middle of the journey of our life, I came to myself in a dark wood. "
1* I am so intrigued by the fact that Dante went from the plural to the singular in this quote. Can't stop thinking about it. Thoughts?
"You can wear them or walk barefoot. Your choice. But you are going with me. "
2* Why do we fight against what's good for us?
As I read the passage where Michael takes Angel to see the sunrise...I was struck by her fear. She had a very real physical reaction to the situation. It made me stop and think about those around me who sometimes have what I feel to be irrational reactions to things. It reminded me to be mindful and sensitive.
"It's got to be my way or not at all."
Michael's response to Angel's fear reminded me that ...whatever is in the way...is the way.
This thought is reiterated by Angel when she says..."No matter how hard you try, you can't escape the truth."
He couldn't seem to hear the still small voice anymore.
3* Think about the perfect picture of a loving earthly father. If we could not hear him anymore...hear his instructions...why would that be?
4* Would those reasons be true about the Lord?
It was going to be open warfare from here on out. Well, so be it. Anything was better than apathy.
My thoughts on this are...apathy is the enemy.
"That way is home. One mile downhill, fire and food and me. But you'd better understand something right now. If you come back, we're picking up where we left off last night, and we're still playing by my rules." He left her standing in the road.
A woman is either a wall or a door, beloved.
5* I've been both. Have you ever repented for being a wall?
"I know what I am. I never pretended to be anything else. Not once. Not ever!"
I love and totally respect Angel's authenticity.
He had to go and get her back. She was his wife. Until death do us part.
6* Yep. When we know obedience will bring pain. When we trust that it is for our good & His glory. Did the Lord meet you there?
The mind is it's own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
So true. And, what we think...we do. We need our minds to be renewed.
Let's read Chapters 18-22 by Friday...the 21st.
Feb 11, 2014
So the kids are admiring the turtles sunning on the branch in the above left shot. They have sticks in their hands...cuz they were walking around the duck pond with with sticks that they gathered along the way.
Two ladies pass by. One makes a point of stopping to instruct the kids not to hit the turtles with the sticks.
Jeni, Cate and I are standing there with our kids.
"They aren't hitting the turtles with sticks." I tell the lady.
Even so...she thinks she needs to instruct the kids...our kids... AGAIN not to...cuz turtles are sensitive and they shouldn't be hit with sticks.
"There are no turtles being hit with sticks here...Thank you." I reassure her.
The turtle loving busy body lady walks away reluctantly...and unconvinced. 15 steps later she plops down to FEED THE DUCKS!!!!!!!! Processed bread nevertheless...right next to a sign that tells visitors NOT TO FEED THE DUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I swear to almighty God it took all my strength no to walk over to where she was feeding the ducks and ask her if she was feeding the ducks that aren't supposed to be fed according to the sign that says DON'T FEED THE DUCKS!!!!!!!!!
btw...Zion is a mini me. If I had given her permission...she would have said all of the above to the out of her mind hypocritical turtle loving duck hating lady. She asked if she could.
Feb 3, 2014
Say "hello" to our new shoe storage thingie next time you're over. We keep it by the front door.
Inside the shoe storage thingie were four vases. Two were ordinary flower shop sort of vases...totally functional...but nothing great. These two however...are heavy and quite nice.
As I was surveying a local thrift store with my hawkeye...I noticed a very interesting gallon sized zip lock bag. Inside were all these serving/cooking utensils and all these NEW sets of chopstix. I like high quality wood kitchen things...and we like eating with chopstix...and the whole shabang was marked $2.99 so it was a no brainer!!!!! Ran them through the diswasher and now we are using them.
I've been wanting one of these glass drink dispenser thingies for a while now...especially since infused water is all the rage these days and I like anything that brings more possibilities for hospitality into our home...but I never find myself wanting to go into my wallet to buy one when I see one at Costco...or Target...or wherever.
Last Saturday...I got 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At a neighbor's Yard Sale. She's is elderly and having some health issues. Best $20 I could have spent.
Jehovah - Jireh - The Lord will provide
Jan 30, 2014
* Hope was a dream, and reaching for it turned her life into an unbearable nightmare.
It's as if we can bear what we know... but not what might be...because it also might turn out not to be.
Have you ever been in a place of utter hopelessness? If so...what pulled you out?
Or have you ever ministered to a person who is in that place? Do words suffice/ What words?
* While in her room...begging her to leave with him...Michael asks Angel... "What's keeping you here?"
"I like it." is the reply he gets.
Angel does not like it. We know that she does not.
Why do we stay in situations that are bad for us? That are hurting us? That we hate? Why do we not take the way out that the Lord provides?
*And the next time he prayed for God to send him a woman to share his life, he would be a lot more specific about the kind he wanted.
Think of a time (or 100x) you got what you needed rather than what you asked for.
I'm pretty sure we all have...but can you think of a specific time that you treated God as a genie in a bottle? Like a Buddha...who's belly you rub to get what you want.
Originating in China as Budai, the Laughing Buddha statue depicts a Chinese deity from pre-Buddhist folklore. This deity is referred to as Hotei in Japan, and considered one of the Seven Lucky Gods, Shichi Fukujin, with Hotei being the lucky god of happiness and abundance – thus his fat, smiling appearance.
* She smoothed the flowing red silk of her lounging gown. It did little to conceal the rolls of flesh gathering around her waist. Her cheeks were puffy and she was developing a second chin. A pink ribbon held her graying hair back. She was obscene.
She was obscene brought images of female televangelists to my mind. Then as I went deeper...I wondered if those in terrible situations...maybe the homeless...those in 3rd world countries...those living in slums......foster kids...those in orphanages....ever think of us as obscene. Me as obscene? It's not exactly the same....but is it ever somewhat the same?
* "I don't see what good will come of it, but I'll go back, Lord. I don't like it much, but I'll do what you want." When he finally went back to bed, he slept deeply and without dreaming for the first time in days.
Obedience brought Michael rest. Think back to a time in your own life when obedience brought immediate relief. Why do you think we forget this? Doesn't it seem so foolish to think that we forget this and yet we do.
* Angel, she never asks for nothing."
Sometimes when we are so disappointed we stop asking for what we long for. Have you ever been at a place with the Lord...where you stopped asking Him for what your heart longed for?
The good news is that He knows our hearts...better than we know them.
* "When you're living out there in your cabin with the climbing roses all around, think about me once in a while, will you? Remember your old friend, Lucky."
I have a thought on this one. It's that hope begets hope. Hope is contagious.
* But she had never had this silence, this quiet that rang in her ears.
In wisdom...Michael allows Angel to be by herself. Quiet. Still. Alone.
Have you ever had an extended period of silence? No conversation. No t.v. No computer. No busyness? No distraction?
Does it sound wonderful or frightening? If it sounds frightening...why does it?
*Why are you tearing up your garden?" Michael glanced up at her tone. Her face was white and drawn. He straightened and brushed his hands on his pants. "I'm pulling up weeds. They're choking everything else. I haven't had time to work out here. One of the things I'll ask of you is tending the garden. When you're ready."
Michael does not know of Angel's history with gardens.
Isn't it exactly like the Lord to bring us to the very thing we are afraid of...and walk us through it? Has he ever made you face a very specific fear and met you there?
*She was so tightly wrapped in herself, her own misery and dark thoughts, that she was blind to everything else.
Been there. Done that. You too, I bet.
What are some ways that we can help others when they are in this very place?
Let's have Chapters 11-17 read by next Friday...Feb 7th.
Jan 29, 2014
Wouldn't you know it...THIS SERMON is preached as I am going through this process with my writing. The Lord.
I'm sure some of you might be tired of hearing me talk about my writing. I know this because I am tired of hearing myself talk about my writing.
Or to put it in more honest terms...my lack of writing.
My false starts.
Here is what I'm thinking. Even when I am not writing I am writing. It's always been that way in my brain. I am constantly writing and sometimes...what I am writing makes it onto paper.
Being back in LA has been so strange. My mindset here is so different than it used to be.
The bottom line is...I used to write cuz I was trying to prove something. To others and to myself. I found my glory in writing. My security. My value. It's one of the places where I found my identity.
We Burn Our Idols
Now...I see all that as so pointless. It's all vanity.
This week...in the news...I see that a man who secretly gave his girlfriend the abortion pill was sentenced to 14 years behind bars. One of the screenplay treatments I burned in that there fire ^ ...written 20 years ago....was titled RU486 and it was pretty much this current events story verbatim.
I'm not really sure what that ^ has to do with me and the Lord and my writing...except for the fact that I think it means something. To me.
The Lord has been so silent for so long in this area of my life. Occasionally...I get little whispers. Like little prompts. Then nothing. Long periods of silence.
This has happened in other areas of my life as well. Relationally. With certain sin areas. Little nudges show up then disappear. Then..it always comes to a crisis moment...where all the little nudges add up to action. And I go forth confidently...in obedience.
Last week I told the Lord that I would be obeying Him and writing things down on paper.
Since then...nothing has come to me. No inspiration. No middle of the night downloads w/ a need for a pen & paper on the nightstand.
It's frustrating. Cuz I want to do what He has for me to do.
Today I woke up with a sense of urgency. Today is the day. Today is the day I write down what is in my head.
There you have it.
Jan 27, 2014
Our girls changed the wish cards into prayer cards.
Zion's was so sweet. I love her.
In our limited understanding...it would be so wonderful if Bradley were blessed with some acting work right about now.
Any work that the Lord sees fit for him to do. He's been sending out resumes like there's no tomorrow.
Prayers for work & encouragement would be greatly appreciated.
These two wishes caught my eye.
I wonder...who it is or what it is that people offer up their wishes to? Who or what grants wishes? And how does who or what decide on which wishes get granted or not?