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Archive for October, 2007

October 29, 2003, That was the day I got the dreaded words, “You have cancer”. GULP!!  finding out that I had stage 2 breast cancer sent our lives into a tail spin.  I remember taking my daughter to a friend for a Halloween party, and feeling like I needed to comfort my friends.  I think for the first time in my life I had a glimpse of peace that surpasses all understanding.   In my post yesterday I wrote that there were times when I felt God near and this was one of those times.  Don’t get me wrong, I had times when I lost it.  These times were in the night when my family was asleep and my mind had a chance to wonder.  But, most of the time I had this very still peace.  So, today 4 years later I look back and know that God brought us through a very dark time.  He is faithful!!!!  However, one thing that I have questioned.  I really don’t have a right to, but I do.  I had a friend who at the young age died of cancer.  So, I’ve wondered why she died, and I didn’t.  Why does it seem that God choses to heal some, but not others.  I can’t answer that.  When our paster was dying of cancer, Kevin Prosch would sit at his bed side, and he would worship.  One day Kevin broke down and said to Brent “if God doesn’t heal you I don’t think I can continue to pray for the sick”.  Brent responded “it doesn’t matter if God heals me or not, you are commanded to pray for the sick”.  Even on his death bed he had more wisdom than I will ever have in my lifetime.  I don’t have an answer except that we are to pray for the sick, and that He is responsible for their healing.   Some questions won’t be answered in this life, and so I just keep walking , and praying in faith.

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Please pray

Please help us pray for a family in our church.   Their son Isaiah has been fighting leukemia for over a year.  They leave tomorrow for Seattle so Isaiah can be evaluated for a bone marrow transplant.  Pray that God will touch his little body and heal him and that all will go well in Seattle.http://www.overcomeaml.org/

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I was involved in the Vineyard for about 18 years.  The founding pastor of the Desert Vineyard where we attended in California was Brent Rue( www.brentrue.com).  His heart was for people to be naturally supernatural.  We would have bible study on Tuesday night and after, we would have what he called lab.  This was a time for people to practice, in a safe place, hearing God.  People would get words for others( words of knowledge, prophetic words), we prayed for people, and it was all done very normal and with no hype.  Brent was known all over the world and spoke to thousands of people, but he was very low key and normal.  In 1993 he died of cancer.  I was devastated.  I have said over the years that I felt that something in me died as well.  Shortly after he died we moved to Idaho.  I felt an emptiness, but didn’t know what it was.  It has taken me years to figure it out, but what I’ve been missing is the presence of God.  OK, I’m trying to sort through all this, and not sure I can make sense, so bear with me.  I have felt like I have been walking in the dark.  I have had moments of hearing God, for example when we left the church we attended, but for the most part haven’t  felt God near.  Rickard and I have talked about it but, I have been frustrated with no clear answer.  All that to say, I had an epiphany on Friday night. Well, sort of.  I have been trying to process our time at Seabeck.  I don’t really know why, but I feel changed somehow.    We were having dinner with friends on Friday, and it was one of the most spiritual moments I have experienced in a long time (God in the ordinary).  As Rickard and I drove home we were talking about the evening.  Rickard said something about it being very prophetic, and that’s when it hit me.  We had talked to our friends about it, but I was just wrapping my head around it.  My husband just brought me coffee, so maybe I can make some sense.  I told our friends that God has shaken us to the core.  Every thing that we knew and believed has been questioned, so maybe the way God is speaking to us is different as well.   I think that I have missed God’s presence because I was expecting it in a certain way.  I have been working out my salvation, somewhat feeling angry that God has moved, but trying to be faithful and to keep plugging on.  We talked with our friends about times in the desert, and how  a seed has to die before it can live.  I feel that I have been in the desert and that God has been silent, but that my roots have gone deeper.  I also feel I have to listen differently, because God is speaking differently.  As Rickard and I spoke about our time at Seabeck, I told him I didn’t know why, but I feel undone.  God is beckoning me, inviting me to go deeper.  It is in a way that I find foreign.  We have been talking about the ordinary for awhile now, but I think that I REALLY get it now.  If I want to find God I need to look in the ordinary places of my life.  The faces of the sweet babies I take care of at work, the old man who’s house we paint, my children as I watch them learn what it means to be a follower of Christ, as I learn to extend hospitality.  God is speaking to me everyday, but do I speak his language.   Rickard has said that it’s like he has different glasses on.  Things have new meaning to me.  Dwelling in the word, daily office, making dinner for my parents, going to work.  God is in the mundane, in the ordinary, that is where He lives.   I have known this, but now I feel it as well.  Am I making sense???   I love this part of evening prayer:

 Expressions of faith

Lord, You have always given
bread for the coming day;
and though I am poor,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always given
strength for the coming day;
and though I am weak,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always given
peace for the coming day;
and though of anxious heart,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always kept
me safe in trials;
and now, tried as I am,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always marked
the road for the coming day;
and though it may be hidden,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always lightened
this darkness of mine;
and though the night is here,
today I believe.

Lord, You have always spoken
when time was ripe;
and though you be silent now,
today I believe.

I have felt this for a long while now, I haven’t felt God, but I have chosen to believe.  God has awakened my soul, but why now.  Is it that He has been trying for a long time, but that just now I am understanding.  I don’t think I will fully understand what happened at Seabeck for some time, but as my friend Brother Maynard said in one of his post, God is on the move.

 

 

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Practicing Hospitality

OK, so we are trying to get our family ready to go to the Monster mash at our daughter’s school and out of the blue a friend calls and needs us to take her son for the night.  As I looked around my house (which needed a little attention), and thought about the fact that you can’t see the floor in our sons room, I say yes.  These friends are always willing to extend hospitality to us, they take our boys pretty much every time we ask, and I always say “we owe ya one”.  So, as we are frantically cleaning up the boy’s room and are getting behind in getting ready, I look at my husband and he just smiles at me.  OH, I really hate it when he does that.  But, the fact is we have been talking about our house being a place where people can just drop in and feel at home.  The problem, we are slobs.  So, as my dear sweet husband is smiling at me and I’m cursing at him under my breath, I realize that this is the very thing that we are called to.  We are called to extend hospitality.  Hospitality isn’t always the most comfortable for us and yet few things that we are trying to implement in our life are, but the outcome of being disciplined far out ways the discomfort.  God is inviting me to go deeper, and I have the choice of how deep, but the cost of not going all the way is worse than the discomfort of being stretched. 

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What is worship?

Rickard and I have been discussing this for awhile now.(OK, we have been arguing).  I was apart of the Vineyard movement for a long time, and worship (music)is one of thier highest values, and so there was worship at every service you attended.  Now, we are doing other forms of worship.  We do the daily office as well as other liturgies, the practice of silence, sharing a meal together and more.  I love all these forms of worship, I really do, however, I find myself longing for “music” worship as well.  The other morning I left the house very frustrated and pissed off.  I think I was probably cursing as well.  As I drove to work a song came on the radio that brought me to tears.  It brought my vocus to God and really brought me to a place of repentance.  There is something about that form of worship that seems to draw me to the cross.  I can put on certain worship cd’s and really experience a beautiful time.

Now, to the ugly side…  Rickard was one of the worship leaders at the church we use to attend.  He usually waited until Sunday morning to put together a song list, and sometimes it would change during worship.  This frustated the guys doing the slides because they would have to find the slide to go with the song.  One day he recieved an e-mail from the person in charge of the slides saying that he needed to have his song list in by a certain time on Sunday so that “the production of Sunday went smoother” , I’m getting angry all over again.  There were about 4 or 5 bands that rotated and every time one of the bands led worship, they would walk out and critique their “set”.  Or they would critique the response of the church.  I’m sad to say that there are many more stories like this.  My point to Rickard is this, do these stories make this type of worship any less meaningful?  Does God not move through this type of worship because of  people?    I would have to say thay He moves inspite of it.  I agree that worship has become a “production”, but I can’t throw the baby out with the bath water.     

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Dwelling in the word

I still have many thoughts swirling around in my head from our time in Seabeck, but one thing that I keep coming back to is dwelling in Luke 10.  A few months ago Rickard came home from an Allelon thing and told me about it.  He explained that some of the people there had been doing it for 3 years or something like that.  I really didn’t get it.  But, after doing it just a couple of times last week I find myself dwelling on dwelling. The thing that keep coming back to me is:

“But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say,”Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.’I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town“. 

What stands out to me is that whether someone “welcomes” us or not, the Kingdom of God has come to them  none the less.  When I think about evangalism, I shutter.  I think that I have felt a responibility for someones response to the message.  But, WOW, what a thought that we are to proclaim the good news, and the other person is responable for what they do with the message.   Last night our son was reading to us about Noah from his kids Bible.  When he got to part where the flood comes, Rickard said “and they all drowned”.  He is such a cheery guy….  Anyway We started talking about the difference between Niniva(sp) and the people of Noah’s day.  They both recieved the same message, but one chose to repent and other chose not to.  Interesting!!!

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For the sake of the children

In 2001, Rickard started a new job.  He began to work with a friend who asked 3 questions in regards to our life in the church.  those questions threw our life into a tail spin..  We began to question the church and what we were really suppose to be doing.  That started us on this road we are now walking.  When it became painfully clear we needed to make a change, I was reluctent.  For lots of reasons, I hesitated.  There were alot of events that led to the final Exodus, but the final one was something that happened in the kids ministry.  Up until that point, I just couldn’t be convinced that we couldn’t be a voice to bring change.  But, the day we found out that someone in the children’s ministry was teaching really bizzar things, I new we had to go.  It became painfully clear that we had left our kids for someone to teach about God.  Big sigh.  We now are teaching our kids to be the church in every day life.  I remember years ago a friend making the statement that the western culture is one of a few cultures that send our children to “child care” for church.  I was intrusting my precious babies to someone else, hoping they would teach the same things that we believed..  OUCH!  I love the way we have chosen to do church.  Our kids are part of all that we do.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  It isn’t always easy, but we have seen our kids grow to be very spiritual little beings.  Our kids used to cry on the way to church, begging us to please stay home.  Now they cry if we don’t go.  They have taken ownership of this .  They are on this journey along side us, not being dragged along.

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