Monday, May 11, 2009

Be Careful What You Pray For!

In the past couple of months, I have been increasingly convicted that the amount of TV watched in my home is excessive. Not just my own, but everyone's. My family, however, was not in agreement with me. I confess: I was using their reluctance as an excuse to continue to indulge myself with the shows I wanted to watch (even sometimes at the expense of much needed sleep). I was addicted. No question in my

We don't have cable or satellite and only get 5 or 6 broadcast TV stations, so it is not like there is a lot of choice in what we watch and it is not like what is available is all that good. So there really has been little reason to watch - other than mindless entertainment filled with portrayed lifestyles that are contrary to what we believe and what we consciously condone. But condoning it, we were. In my heart, I have known this and I really have no excuse for why I have continued to watch TV other than "it was there". I have justified keeping the TV around because "what about the news?" or "what about if there is an emergency?" All the while, in my heart, feeling a deepening conviction to get rid of the TV's or at least turn them off. But on I went, falling to sleep with the TV on and the timer set to turn off in 20 minutes, allowing stuff to enter my mind that should not be there.

With the change over to DTV coming, and our living out in the middle of nowhere, there has been concern about what we would actually receive after June 12th. So we decided to buy a Digital antennae. It came last Wednesday and Thursday, we hooked it up. We were all very excited to get 48 new channels! More choices! The rationale for my excitement being - maybe there was something worth watching on one of these new stations.

Friday night, we went to the Prayer Furnace and were challenged about the amount of influence we are allowing TV and the internet to have on our lives in regards to sexual purity. As we were challenged to repent, I found myself on my knees asking God for help in breaking what was obviously an addiction to TV on my part. I confessed using my family as an excuse. I confessed my lack of obedience when I clearly had heard God call me to stop watching TV a while ago. I laid my concern for my family at the feet of Jesus and let go of it.

As we were driving home, we discussed the ideas of turning off the TV for good, limiting viewing, getting rid of the things.... It all became a moot point when we got home and discovered that the pre-amp or signal booster we have had since we moved in, had stopped working. Now, not only did we no longer have the 48 new stations but the 5 or 6 regular stations are not there either. No TV.

I must say that this is NOT what I had in mind when I was praying but certainly God took care of the entire issue. Sure we can get a new booster, but when you get an answer to prayer so immediately... do we really want to replace it at this point?
My vote is to return the new antenna. Certainly, I am thinking a 40 day TV fast is in order. at least we can wait for a while before replacing the signal booster. Really....what will we miss?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Scholar's Library Giveaway!

I read a lot of blogs. Mostly I read ones where I find a kindred spirit... someone who is seeking God with all of their heart. Such a one can be found here.

Anne Jackson has just written a book (Mad Church Disease) and, let's be real here, she wants to draw people to her website to publicize it. Nothing wrong with that at all! The cool thing is that she is giving away a $6100 Scholar's Library from Logos to get that attention! I would like to win this! That is the main reason I am posting this link to her blog.... a secondary reason (and probably, in reality, the better reason) is that she is a great writer, transparent in all that she says and, on a personal note, I am looking forward to reading her new book! Certainly, I have experienced burnout in ministry!

Go check out her book, but don't enter the giveaway drawing, cuz frankly, I really want to win this and the less people who enter, the better my chances are of winning!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Amazing Christmas Conspiracy

Every Christmas or birthday or anniversary, it has been Bruce’s and my custom to find a “special” gift for each other that reflects not only that we love each other but also that we know each other – where we are in this journey in life together and as individuals. Some years have been better than others at accomplishing this and sometimes it is me that gets it just right and sometimes it is Bruce.

This year Bruce totally got it right!

Some background:
A couple of years ago I had the privilege of attending the “Passion for Jesus” Conference IHOP (International House of Prayer) in Kansas City, MO. To make a long story short – it changed my life! I so clearly heard from God during that conference. I guess you could say it was my “burning bush” experience.

Understanding my call to be an intercessor brought with it the desire to connect to others with the same mind and heart. Part of me would love to be an intercessory missionary at IHOP- spending hours in the prayer room, learning from some truly Godly men and women, serving in the community together with others who are passionate in their pursuit of Jesus. But right now, I know that I am where I need to be and I am content with that.

I do, however, spend time “in the prayer room” through web-streaming, watch as much of the conferences as possible, listen to mp3’s of some great teachings and read blogs and follow twitters of some of my favorite IHOP folks. It makes me feel connected to a larger global community.

One of my favorite blogger/ twitterer/teacher/authors is Randy Bohlender. Some of his twitters have caused a lot of laughter in our home and, in a way, we have “adopted” their family into our own. Their family newsletter graces our refrigerator and we pray for them.

So what does all of this have to do with Christmas and Bruce’s amazing present?

A couple of weeks ago Bruce decided to surprise me by getting a book by one of my favorite authors on prayer Bob Sorge, shipping it to Randy to have him write a note in. The logistics he went through to arrange this were amazing! And capping off the effort was a 106 mile round trip excursion on Christmas eve to his office (he was off work) to pick it up because he didn’t want it showing up at home with the return address giving away the surprise.

While I am truly touched and amused by the conspiratorial participation of the Bohlenders in this truly remarkable Christmas gift, especially in the midst of the move to “the Compound” in all the nasty weather…I am more impressed, actually, I am totally speechless when I realize the love that is behind all of Bruce’s efforts.

For our entire marriage,Bruce has been an amazing example of the unconditional love of God. I have learned more about God’s love from his example than from every teacher, preacher and author I have ever read or heard – combined. And what is really remarkable is that he doesn’t realize how much God uses him in my life and in the lives of others.

What an amazing Christmas object lesson!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thoughts weighing on me tonight

Just thinking some stuff:

1 - Discernment's main purpose is to help us know how to pray for one another... I get this but when do you know when that prompting moves from one for prayer to one to take action?

2 - If we (as sheep) know our shepherd's voice (Jesus), why is it so easy to be deceived by other voices, even our own flesh?

3 - Are we as women the main problem with the lack of Godly male leadership in the home in America? Have we emasculated men to the point where they are no longer fit to lead? Have we ignored the gender issues in this country to an extent that we don't realize the damage that has been done? Is this part of the root issue in today's family? If any of the answers to these gender questions are yes, what do we, as women need to do to bring restoration?

4 - Is it EVER right to defend one's self? I mean really... Jesus never did and God says that vengeance is His and that we should rejoice when we are falsely accused and a whole lot of other things like that.... is it ever right?
5 - why is it so hard for me to keep from questioning the very gifts God has given me to use in His service?

Stay tuned... that's at least 4 blogs worth of stuff. These are the questions I am asking God. I'll let you know what I hear and read.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Someone has entirely too much time on thier hands!

This is simply amazing!  I got this in an email and had to repost! Just to think about the engineering that made this possible is totally jazzing the geek in me! :)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I LOVE the fact that we take the time as a nation each year to be thankful, at least for one day.  Even in these uncertain times, there is still so much that we have to be thankful for as a nation.  We still have our freedom to worship God, freedom to assemble, freedom to speak our minds... And even in this economic downturn, we are still economically blessed far beyond the wildest dreams of most of the world. God has blessed America greatly and for that I am grateful! My prayer for the nation is that we will open our eyes and see how blessed we are and turn our hearts towards the One who blesses!

On a personal level, this has been a year of great growth - which means a year of great difficulty.  I am so grateful to God for every struggle, every heartache, every pain, every trial.  It is through these difficulties that I am learning to go deeper and draw closer to Jesus.  If that is what it takes, then I am truly grateful for it all!  I am also grateful for the many blessings God has chosen to give me: for my family, for my church family, for the opportunities He has given me to share the hope that I have in my heart because of Jesus - every day on the air and through worship at church.  I am so amazed by and grateful for the life God has given me.  Saying thanks just doesn't seem to cover it!  How can I respond but to worship God with all that I am?!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Our Assignment for this Week

On Sunday, Pastor Wes asked us to answer a question, well.... actually finish a sentence in Home Groups this week.  In relating the story of Jacob wrestling with God (Genesis 32), Pastor Wes said that one of the steps we needed to take was to name what and who we are; to finish this sentence: I am a(an)________________.  For Jacob, his name meant Deceiver.  When God asked him his name, He was looking for a confession of who Jacob was.  God was looking for Jacob to get real with himself and with God.

As we started into the discussion of this last night in our Home Group, there was a part of me that was struggling with the idea of focussing on the negative.  At least that is what it felt like.  I understand the 4 steps that Pastor Wes was talking about and have lived them on different levels as I have grown in Christ throughout my life.  The four steps being: 1- Admit that the struggle is with God, 2 - Refuse to let go, 3- Admit that you are the problem and 4 - Get a new identity. I so desperately want to be walking by faith in the calling God has placed on me (the new identity) that the idea of looking at the sin that is in me seemed like a step backwards.  The reality is that those thoughts were just another deception to keep me from looking at the sin in my life!

As we started praying about taking these steps, the confessions came. One by one the areas of neglect and rebellion were named and a release came - not just for me but for others as well.

Then I read this blog this morning by John Piper.  I really want to encourage you to check it out. John Piper is one of my favorite bloggers! God is so amazing that He confirms His word to us so faithfully.  To see that God is dealing with the same issues with someone else that I have never met in a different part of the country at the same time is really encouaging to me.

Thank You, Father, for your faithfulness!