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Aug 28, 2013

Miley

I've been praying for the Cyrus family for years.  She's so stinkin super talented and cute.



Same for the Jonas family.  And Katy Perry's family (the Hudsons.) oh....and Justin's too.  The Biebs.

I remember sitting in my Sonoran Desert bedroom one specific evening...and feeling especially led to pray for protection & wisdom for the parents...for the kids themselves...and for the siblings in these families.

I've been around the Hollywood block enough times to know that this town brings with it a certain set of challenges and temptations.  

Growing up in the industry has given me a unique perspective.

Just like growing up in the church culture has given my kids a unique perspective.

I've watched the Miley VMA video a few times now.  The latest viewing was w/Mcabe.

He laughed out loud.  I laughed too...the first time I saw it.  And, the more I watch it...the more I laugh.  Out loud.    The performance was RIDICULOUS.  There is no way anyone should be taking this as anything but.

I seriously think Miley is attempting to make some sort of a comment.

All you people out there who think you know me...who think I'm out of control...let me show you out of control.  It looks an awful lot like what other artists are displaying btw.  And all you people out there btw...you people are buying this stuff.

You know when home-schoolers post youtube videos all decked out in dorkey attire...complete with bandaids holding their eye glasses together and denim smocks & keds...with matching field trip bright yellow umbrellas....and Winnie the Pooh baseball caps...

...or when Christians post youtube videos about our "secret language" and special cultural practices such as side-hugs or evangelistic "t" shirts & tattoos????  ....

I honestly think she's attempting something along those lines.

We do know that sex only sells if someone is buying it.  Right?

From what I understand...the Cyrus family has had a rough go of it over the past few years.  They all identified as Christians at one point...and it's my understanding that some of them still do.

I have church attending home-educating Christian friends who have children who have smoked pot like Miley (ours included)..and those whose kids who have been addicted to heroin.  I have church attending home-educating Christian friends who have children who struggle with pornography...or who are living with their girlfriends or boyfriends.  I have church attending home-educating Christian friends whose children have not lived with their boyfriend or girlfriend but have had "secret sex" prior to marriage.  I have church attending home-educating Christian friends who have kids who are pregnant... out of wedlock.

I also have Christian friends who send their kids to public schools and those who send their kids to Christian schools...who have dealt with or are currently dealing with all of the above issues.

I have Christian friends with children who struggle with homosexuality.  And eating disorders.

I have Christian friends who struggle with homosexuality and eating disorders themselves.  And pornography.  And those who have had affairs.  I have Christian friends who have divorced.  And those who have almost divorced...and only by the grace of God...have stayed together.

I have Christian friends who struggle with addictions.  Prescription pills.  Illegal drugs.  Legal drugs.  Alcohol.  Bradley and I have abused alcohol during seasons.

I have Christian friends who are tempted to worship money and career.  I have Christian friends who have made many poor choices because of these idols.


The other night...Brad and I grabbed some dinner at Zankou Chicken with Zion.  She had NO idea that the guy waiting in line as we ate was Hannah Montana's Dad.

Billy Ray.

He looked worse for the wear.  Tired.  Exhausted in fact.  And forlorn.

He and I shared eye contact.

I wanted to hug him...but I didn't.

I hugged him in my heart though.  According to his very own testimony...he is my brother.

Robin Thicke...he does what he knows.  Hopefully...one day he will know better and then he will do better.


Here's what I do know...without the Lord...we'd all be screwing up in foolish center of attention seeking ways more than we screw up with Him.








   















Staycation

We hooked up with Nana & Papa for a little Arizona staycation.  Of course Cate had a basket of goodies awaiting our arrival...and it appears as if Zion really really really misses cacti.  Who knew????????


Relaxing by the pool with friends and family was wonderful.

And eating out...well, that's part of the "Scottsdale Experience."  SUCH good Happy Hour deals to be taken advantage of!!!!!  Roaring Fork...Sapporos...and Brio...you cannot beat their Happy Hours.







Spending time with loved ones...it was the best part of our getaway.

Aug 16, 2013

Cedars of Lebanon UPDATE




A friend contacted us and said..."I think you need to meet this guy."

100% ready, willing, and able.

We've had two meetings in as many weeks and there seems to be movement.  Today...a lovely partnership was sealed with hugs.

Handshakes are for other people. 

And a $500 contribution to the Film Fund arrived from a brother in AZ.  He is the most AWESOME encourager ever!  It means so much to our hearts to have his unending support not only for this film project...but for us.

He has no idea ...but we are going to feature him in the Bar Mitzvah scene.   Front and center.



Aug 13, 2013

The Dream Center

Although we may not be 100% aligned on theological issues...the work going on over at The Dream Center is beyond inspiring and humbling.



This morning, the girls and I had the privilege of touring the facility with TWIMW.  We started on the Women's Floor where we heard the testimony of a post abortive ex crystal meth/ heroin addict with a changed life.  On the Families Floor we met the mother of five who left her abusive/sex offender husband and is now pursuing a degree in Nutrition while heading up the Center's organic garden.  A third generation gang member...sober now... gave his testimony as well as a recent skid row resident who although raised in the church...turned away from the Lord when drugs came calling.  A young lady from Alabama told us a cautionary tale of leaving a loving family for the wrong man...and winding up an addicted & abused prostitute...fluctuating between captivity & homelessness.  A darling 13 year old girl shared her story of being raped by a family member at the age of 4...abusing  drugs & alcohol...self mutilation...bouts with eating disorders and experimenting with her sexuality.



Got to see the kitchen.  Oh my word...the amount of hot meals served daily is beyond comprehension.  They are expanding their ability to house residents...so that means they will be serving more meals.  Any and all financial donations and or construction material donations/restaurant item sort of stuff donations are welcome.   

The in house recording studio...where musicians find hope through music and professional skills are taught.

The school.  The gym.  The clothing store (no $ accepted.)  The mobile Doctor's Office.  The mobile Dentist Office.



It was an eye opening morning.

___________________________

When I was on the way to The Dream Center, I had no clue what to expect and what would come of it all.  I came to know and further understand that it is an organization to help the poor, the homeless, people of prostitution, alcoholics, drug addicts, people who come out of imprisonment, gangs, the abused, the abandoned, those in sex trafficking, and runaways.  Spending time at The Dream Center was definitely a culture shock for me.  This place is uplifting, but in a way it is depressing, sad, and painful too.  You hear such tragic testimonies and only a few were able to share.  You could see in others their urgency in wanting to share as well.  You could just see the cry of their hearts and their love for God.  The Dream Center offers free help, free food, free rooms, free clothing, free education, free council, free medics, free dental, anything you can think of.  Everything is donated to The Dream Center, so they give freely to others.  This place is big and has tons of floors.  There are multiple buildings all over the area, buses, and mobile units that take help to the streets.  We entered a room greeted by men and women surrounding us with applause because they were just so thrilled that we came to learn about them.  Personally, as I walked down the aisle with loud applause, I felt somewhat of an unsafe presence with these men in the room because in this situation..with men who had troubled pasts...anything could have happened.  My fear was eased a bit when I noticed the men looking at the floor out of respect for us women, for they could have been tempted to be inappropriate.  I think it is truly bittersweet to know of an organization like this exists.  I wish there wasn't a need.   I see the convictions and love of those who want to help those who are in trouble and I see the convictions in the people who were bitter and are now searching for help and trying to change.   After this experience, I am ever so more grateful for what I have.

Galilee






Aug 12, 2013

Galatians 3:30

UPDATE:

Ohhhhhhhh...that sneaky crafty evil enemy.  He whispers lies.  He loves darkness.

The good news is that the Lord is not a liar and He will do exactly as He says.  And He says he will finish every good work that He began.  The Holy Spirit convicts believers of sin and softens hearts...leading to repentance.

Sweetest most precious...most adorable...lovely thing in the ENTIRE WORLD... when a child comes to parents and blurts out a heavy burden they have been carrying for a few miserable weeks.   Sobbing from the very core of their being. Horrified at their offense.   Saying things like..."I felt so alone."  "I felt so far away."  "I hated it." "I HATE secrets!"


So humbling when that child asks for forgiveness.  So wonderful to extend it.

The Lord is amazing!  And ever so kind.

The fruit of repentance.  It's sweet.
_______________________________________________

UPDATE:

I'm processing what's going on over here as the day progresses.  Of course we are in the thick of it.  Recently I posted this about a different kid.  The enemy of our souls...that dog on a leash from the pit of hell... is pissed off to no end and he's prowling around like a roaring lion...looking for someone to tear apart.  

Zion's been weepy all day long.  Crying now and she doesn't know why.  She's just "so sad."

Now, she could just be overtired...and I am sure that's part of it...but it's not the whole story.



Praying unceasingly.  

Heightened awareness.
_______________________________________________

Zion had a very hard time last night.

She was tossing and turning...hot...uncomfortable...asking for water...unable to fall asleep.

This went on for hours.

In my sleep fog I ...as I stumbled around attempting to provide comfort...I began to sense that she was in the middle of a spiritual skirmish.

I prayed with her out loud.  "Lord, we are sensing that maybe there is a battle taking place right this very moment.  We don't know what it's about but we ask you to bring peace.  To protect Zion.  To keep the enemy away from her right now this very minute.  We ask that you would bring sleep.  We love you, Lord.  And, thank you, for loving us.  It's in Jesus's name that we ask these things.  Amen."

She held my hand...draped her leg over mine and was able to rest.

I had a dream about her.  I cannot remember anything about the dream except for the fact that it had something to do with Galatians 3:30.

Over and over in my head and heart...I was hearing Galatians 3:30 whispered all this morning.

I ignored it.

Mornings are busy.  You know...gotta eat a yogurt...have a coffee..check e-mails...check fb....

But Galatians 3:30  kept coming back to me.  So I looked it up.

There is no Galatians 3:30.

huh?????????

It stops at vs 29.

Who the heCk knows?????  I had a strange dream...that led to nowhere???????  Happens all the time.

I read her the few verses before what would be vs 30.






"Yeah...that's so weird!!!!!!  I was thinking last night that I want to be baptized,"  she said.

Now we know Biblically speaking...that salvation does not come through baptism but that in obedience...we are to be baptized as an outward indication of our saving faith in Christ.

She went on to tell me that she felt like she was sleeping on a mountain last night.  Like a mountain in Egypt.  Like on a sandy mountain.  "Like a sand dune," I asked?  "Yes...like a sand dune."

She started to cry.  Big tears.  Out of nowhere.  The poor thing was so upset.  What at least some of it  boils down to is that she doesn't want to get married and leave home.  (How precious is this?????)

I know that I know that I know that our 10 year old daughter was wrestling with unseen forces last night.  Like us...she has the Lord to turn to.  He has provided instructions on how to engage in Spiritual Warfare.

Ephesians 6.



Now, what's very interesting to me about all of this.... is an element of the story that Zion has no idea is even taking place.  Behind the scenes...I am engaged in two conversations with two different pastors.  The subject matter is Spiritual Warfare.

The Lord is close.  He is present.  He is intimate.









Aug 6, 2013

BO in Burbank



I sometimes wonder what I would say to President Obama if I were ever to get close enough to deliver a message.

Every time I've ever thought of it...the one thing that comes to mind is ..... "repent."



Brave's Home

After an 8 week long road trip...Braverijah's home...with an alligator foot back scratcher for Zion.

Make me all kinds of weepy that the first thing he asked for was a back scratch from me.  I swear I will be very very upset if he winds up with a girl who doesn't love me to pieces.

Prayers please for a daughter-in-law/s who loves me.


Aug 4, 2013

The Lord's Supper

I was asked by a friend to re-post this post.

That made me think of this.

It wouldn't make sense to do so though without telling you that there has been a change over here in the Gregg home.

So......with heavy hope filled hearts.....

Over time...it has been revealed to us that one of our children does not actually know the Lord in a saving way.

We can say with a high level of confidence that according to what we know from Scripture about changed hearts & changed lives that one in our fold is actually walking dead.  This is in fact acknowledged & confirmed by the one.

It is with great soberness that this is discussed.

We know that salvation is of the Lord.  We also know that this is the verdict:  Light has come into the world...but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.

Prayers for our family as we navigate this road in truth & love.

We take participation in the Lord's Supper very seriously.  It is for this reason that the one is no longer partaking.



Aug 2, 2013

River

It's funny...the way grief hits you.  Out of the blue.

Crazy how it rolls on in ....in waves.

Linked to this today by a fan of Bradley's.



The baby in my arms was Braverijah.  We were pregnant with Mcabe.