About Me

Van Walton

Fun Facts about Van Walton

My favorite smell: The way the earth smells after it rains.

My favorite sound: The first notes of a grand symphony.

My favorite way to relax: Sitting anywhere outside - on my front porch, on my deck, or by the lake, early in the morning with my first cup of coffee.

My favorite birthday dessert: a Peach cobbler baked by my husband. He’s my fave chef!

I will not eat: Avocado. They turn my stomach into a volcano that never erupts.

Technology I couldn't live without and why: My laptop - it takes me anywhere I want to go.

One thing that makes me smile: My sons' faces!

FacebookFriend Van on Facebook

My Resources



My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.


Pound to Palace


My book, Little Halos, is available for $5.99 from Proverbs
31 Ministries.


Little Halos


Proverbs 31 Ministries












Links




Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

JESUS LOVES ME THIS I KNOW

for the Bible tells me so.

Wednesday I posted about waiting. I copied a quote that said if we waited trusting in God and him alone we were most likely to be the ones who would get a glimpse of his visible love.

"So I pray," I wrote. "...while I wait I ask God, 'Show me your love. I can survive knowing you love me.'”

End of discussion --with God.

Meanwhile all around me an issue is brewing. It is my passport. The issue is - I had misplaced it when I used it last November.

I don't plan on traveling any time soon - not that I-will-need-my- passport type of traveling so I have chosen to put my head in the sand and deal with it later. "I will think about it tomorrow."

The little itch - you know the gnawing thought that I SHOULD find that passport keeps surfacing. IT especially surfaced when Benjamin announced he was planning on taking one of those cheap cruises being offered. He and some friends thought a cruise would be a cheap spring break. They are right.

I am off track.

His dad and I reminded him that he might need his passport.

That reminded me that I didn't know where mine is!

So about a week or two ago, after checking a few drawers and files to no avail, I asked God to show me. "Where is that world's most important document that I can't find."

I had experienced a few night terrors of my identity being stolen.

Last night just before I fell asleep a quiet voice suggested I check the console of my car.

I barely remember hearing that voice. Didn't jump out of bed to go check - not last night, not first thing this morning.

But when I got in my car I looked in the console and there! My beloved passport! I am free to skip the country again.

Freeeeeee!!!!!!!!! Free to fly away and free from a silly worldy burden.

Thank you Jesus. You didn't have to do that. But thank you anyway. I am a mere groveling human and I NEED to know, need visible signs that you love me. You must really love me to have pointed out such a minor detail.

I shared this story with a friend and she piped up and said, "Jesus loves me too. Want to hear my story?"

I know Jesus loves you and shows you his love. Wanna' share how Jesus told you He loves you recently?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

WEDNESDAYS ARE FOR WAITING

HE COMES TO STAY

Like I wrote last week I am preparing for a retreat in Santa Fe, New Mexico for next month. The topic is waiting. The ministry team in charge of the retreat chose Wait Management: Surviving Time Trails as the title for our day long study.

Are you in the midst of a “time trial” right now?

As of this moment these are the time trials I know my friends, family, and acquaintances are facing:

Waiting to take an 11 year old son home from Duke Medical Center where he has been treated for a recurrence of leukemia. The family has been in a holding pattern since August. Friends have taken over her dress shop and are running it for her!

Waiting for a potentially devastating diagnosis for a child.

Thousands of our fellow Americans and world citizens are either waiting for the pink slip to show up or are already facing a life of unemployment, waiting and wondering if a new job will come across the wire.

Waiting for just the right time to take a beloved pet to the vet, waiting for the perfect timing to make that final farewell.

Waiting for the adoption to come through.

Waiting for match day – "will a medical residency program want me after four years of hard work and where will that be? "

Waiting for a relationship to heal.

Waiting for the electricity to come back on, facing freezing cold days and nights while the storm passes through.

ENOUGH ALREADY

My life seems to have been defined by many waits. I collect thoughts on waiting.

This one is my most recent fave:

January 24 entry in Streams in the Desert:

(Genesis 8:9-11) The verse describes the dove that flew back and forth in and out of Noah’s open window in the ark. Noah and his family sent the dove out and WAITED. When the dove returned empty beaked, they had to WAIT a while longer because she returned with no visitble sign.

So often we WAIT with no visitbe sign. We despair. We break apart.

We wonder how we will survive. But we do – we go on…

‘… those who are the most inclined to trust God without any evidence except HIS WORD always receive the greatest amount of visible evidence of His love.”

So while I wait I ask God, “Show me your love. I can survive knowing you love me.”

"Show the ones I love who are struggling through time trials, show them your love. Give them a glimpse of hope."

Believing Him, if storm clouds gather darkly ‘round,
And even if the heavens seem hushed, without a sound?
He hears each prayer and even notes the sparrow’s fall.

And praising Him, when sorrow grief and pain are near,
And even when we lose the thing that seems most dear?
Our loss is gain. Praise Him, in Him we have our All.

Our hand in His, e’en thought the path seems long and drear
We scarcely are a step ahead, and almost fear?
He guides us right – this way and that, to keep us near.

And satisfied when every path is blocked and bare,
And worldly things are gone and dead which sere so fair?
Believe and rest and trust in Him. He comes to stay.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified…for
the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you

Deuteronomy 31:6

Jesus says, "I am with you always." Matthew 28:20
Monday, January 26, 2009

MOVIN' ON AFTER MOVIN' IN MONDAYS

SETTLING INTO THE SPA IN THE PALACE WITH ESTHER

I remember each one of my moves. I could give you details that would bore you, but they meant everything to me. You see I didn’t want to forget a thing about the home I was leaving behind.

One move, though, was more about where I was going, than what I was leaving. 20 years ago right now I was in the throws of a move – from Kentucky to Illinois, Naperville to be exact-Naperville a Chicago suburb. I was sooooooooo excited. Being the wife of a manufacturer meant we always lived in small towns. It seems manufacturing plants grow up in small place. I felt like the country cousin visiting the city.

There I was a young mom with two little boys – movin’ on up. So much to see, so much to do…

Tomorrow the women in our church begin our winter/spring Bible series. I have signed up to study Beth Moore’s new study on Esther.

Although she didn’t move from one state to another, she was a Jewish girl – some would say a country girl, in a world class city – the capital of the Persian Empire.

She had not moved. Her family, probably her grandparents were the ones who moved, during a forced march after Jerusalem fell to the Assyrians

Esther, a young Jewish girl in a foreign state, a member of a captive race in a strange place, she found herself one day living far away from the ghetto the Hebrews occupied.

The dramatic story of Esther describes life in the palace in Susa. The king gives a party and his wife refuses to attend. I would love to know why she said. “ no.” King Xerxes became so angry he dethroned his wife and began a search for a new queen. That is when Esther shows up. An unlikely choice, she became the king’s favorite and over the course of time saved her nation from total annihilation.

You know, God uses the moves in our lives for His purpose. He knows the plans He has for us. Maybe He is going to move us into a palace of sorts. Maybe we will be able to use our influence to change lives or save people! Imagine that. Is it possible we need to fill a void that has been left empty by another’s removal.

We may not want to go, but for sure if we refuse God’s invitation he will use another. I don’t want to miss that opportunity. I have learned to obey when God calls me to move. The adventures I have already experienced have been too dramatic to miss.

Tomorrow I’m moving to ancient Persia to a palace in Susa. It will be a spiritual journey like none I have taken in a while and I expect that God will use this time to teach me lessons about being open and ready to move when He gives the command.
Saturday, January 24, 2009

JUNKYARD CHAIR

Yesterday, Friday, dawned a sunny and lovely day --the first we’ve had in Charlotte for a long time. The earth felt warm.

So my DH and I went on an adventure. He is a jack-of-all trades. I’d spoken of the junk yard I like to visit with girlfriends and now, suddenly, in the middle of winter, he was looking for a project. Maybe the junkyard would offer up a piece of trash he could turn into treasure.

The junkyard did not disappoint. True to my description this was a real junkyard. He wandered and wandered looking for… I don’t know what. He admitted he didn’t know what he expected to find either.

Meanwhile I contemplated the lessons of the junkyard. It somehow reminded me of the sea of humanity. Here everything that was seemingly worthless came to rest.

Tubs:

Bottles:
Baby carriages:
Chairs:





I thought, “How often do I - maybe you? feel discarded, useless, cast away, ignored, and unwanted?”

Wandering around, taking pictures I saw this image:
"Rescue me!"
Where had the life vest come from? Who had put it there?

Do you feel ordinary, rejected, set aside, thrown away?
There is a Life Saver who longs to lift us up and save us from the vast sea of seemingly insignificance.

To Jesus we are significant, valuable, -- critical and included in the plans He has for every person He created. His hands reached down from heaven and formed YOU and me to make a difference in the world.

It is crucial that we find the Life Saver and stand up for all to take note:

Jesus saves!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009

WEDNESDAYS ARE FOR WAITING

It has been a while since I have blogged on my Wednesdays are for Waiting Blog topic.

Waiting is a BIG topic. I never run out of things to consider when I think about waiting:

Yesterday’s inauguration was all about waiting~

The United States waiting for a new president.

African Americans waiting for Barack Obama, “first black president” to lead the nation.

The First Family waiting to move into the White House.

Sasha and Malia waiting for their long-promised puppy.

I am preparing for a retreat where I will be speaking on waiting – the retreat’s title is

Wait Management
Spiritual Body Building for Those Called to God’s Wait Room

This afternnon as I prepare, I have been re-reading all the verses in the Bible where God’s people are called to wait. It is a HUGE topic.

Have you ever wondered why God doesn’t act right away on our behalf?

Why does he make us wait?

What are we supposed to do while we wait?

Is He punishing us?

Does He even hear?

Is he ignoring us?

What is the purpose behind making us wait?

Want to weigh in on my “waity” topic? Let me know what your experiences have been…
Monday, January 19, 2009

MOVIN' ON AFTER MOVIN' IN MONDAY

Big Time Movin' Going On

As I look on, observing and reading about the moves out of and into the White House, I am happy to stay put in my own house.

If you have ever moved you can truly relate to residents of the White House, both the past residents and the new residents.

Which is hardest?

Leave a home you have lived in for 8 years?

Move back home?

Make a move which has been promised to be an adventure of a life time?

Most of you agree with me - moving is a challenge.

I belive that the Bush's and the Obamas are all very excited today to be movin' on or movin in.

What are your thoughts?
Saturday, January 17, 2009

THE WINNER IS...

... before I announce the winner, I want to address one of the comments left on my blog Wednesday:


Samantha wrote – “i was wondering if you could answer a question. Um, you mentioned people who shine God's light through clouds... how do i do that?”

I have struggled most of my life wondering that very thing, because we are encouraged to rejoice in the lord ALWAYS. Philippians 4:4

Another verse in the first chapter of James says, “ Consider it pure joy… whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete…”

I do not like the idea of having to go through trials in order to become mature and complete. But recently I have come to the conclusion that, “in this life there will be trials.” I might as well face it and accept it.

Because I want the best God has to give me, I have begun to take Him at His word.

If He suggests that we rejoice, He must know what’s best. So with His help, I try.

I’m not always successful, often failing, but I keep trying…

So I have been digging around in God’s Word and this is what I learned:

Back to Samantha’s question, “How do I do that?” Allow God’s light to shine in the midst of clouds.

I believe God shines through our lives, even when we feel like we are being sacrificed. He shines when we

Thank God by offering a sacrifice of thanksgiving (Psa. 116:17).

Praise Him even though we don’t feel like it. (Heb. 13:15; Psa. 50:23).

Use our special abilities and talents to serve Him and others instead of centering on ourselves: (Phil 4:18);

Finally, maybe this is the first step we should take, asking God to forgive, telling Him our actions have broken us: (Psa. 51:17).

I also believe that we put Him and others first, even though we are frantic to protect ourselves: Romans 12:1-2:

So, in a nutshell I have learned to praise Him, thank Him, and serve others to get my mind off myself.

Guess what – IT WORKS! His plan for our lives is a divine design. I am amazed at how He removes my fear, dread, despair, and agony when I sing a song of praise to Him.

Try it and be amazed!

Watch the Son break through your clouds!

Oh and the winner of the drawing for my books is :

Stacey – I drew the ninth entry – 2009, choosing ‘9’ because we are in the year 2009! Cograts Stacey. I left a comment on your blog so you would know how to contact me with your address.
Thursday, January 15, 2009

BARACK OBAMA - PRESIDENT ELECT TO SOME, A DADDY TO OTHERS

Thanks to all of you who left comments on yesterday's blog. Your words encouraged me and reminded me that I do have something to share. When the deceiver's convincing lies threaten to erase my passion for communication, I can return to your comments and send that evil liar to sit on a tack.

I want to spend a few days addressing some of your comments and announcing who will receive a copy of Air's book on Saturday, but today I want to honor our soon to be new president.

He is just like you and me. He is a parent struggling with the very doubts you and I entertain. He knows he has not spent much time with his girls.

Daddy president elect has a great idea to share with us: write a letter to your children. And guess what? We get to read it. Read on:

In an open letter to his daughters, just days ahead of his inauguration, President-elect Barack Obama acknowledged that he has missed a lot in their lives over the past two years, and explains to them why he ran for the nation's highest office.

"I realized that my own life wouldn't count for much unless I was able to ensure that you had every opportunity for happiness and fulfillment in yours. In the end, girls, that's why I ran for President: because of what I want for you and for every child in this nation," he wrote in the letter.”

Obama gets a bit sentimental at times, saying that becoming a
father changed him. "I soon found that the greatest joy in my life was the joy saw in yours."

He also uses the letter to spell out what he hopes to achieve for all children: good schools and job opportunities; unity along racial gender and religious lines; and a cleaner, safer world.

Obama closes the letter with this: "I love you more than you can ever know. And I am grateful every day for your patience, poise, grace, and humor as we prepare to start our new life together in the White House."

Wow - girl friends, should I put his name in the drawing for a copy of FROM the POUND to the PALACE? After all his daughters have been promised the gift of a doggie when they get settled into the white house.

You know it is every author's dream to get her books into the hands of the great ones. If anyone has any idea how I might get a copy of my book into the white house, please let me know. The book and DVD will be in the mail - yesterday!!
Keep on writing about how much you love your children and PRAY for our president to be, his wife, and their two precious daughters. God has given them to us, to lead us, to govern over us for such a time as this.

God bless America and may we share our blessings with one another and this world we temorarily call home.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009

TODAY'S WEATHER REPORT

Mostly cloudy.
Why do weather reports predicting overcast skies bring on the blues?

I can’t answer that question, but I know that clouds have been given a bum rap and I don’t know why.

I’m here to tell you today about the positive influence of clouds, not the ones we see in the sky but the emotional ones that roll in, uninvited.

The dreary days in my life have been defined by broken relationships, illness, feelings of worthlessness, unemployment, and failed attempts to succeed at many given opportunities.

Unfortunately for me the clouds that appear most often in my life overlap my role as a mother:

Clouds have rolled in over the horizon of my days in the forms of:

my sons’ ~
-broken hearts that I can’t mend
-failure that I can’t fix
-unmet expectations that I can’t change
-grief that I can’t erase
-illness that I can’t heal

my own ~
-frustration that consumes me
-impatience that possesses me
-misunderstandings that grieve me
-disappointment that saddens me
-opportunities that evade me

Whew – that is a dreary forecast.

Thank God clouds serve another purpose. I know because I have experienced overcast days that turned out to be glorious. Had it not been for the “clouds” in my life, I wouldn’t be the growing-more-confident-day-by-day woman that God is allowing me to become.

Let me tell you one of my cloudy-day-turned-glorious stories. I hope it touches your heart like it does mine each time I remember it.


“Oh, God,” I sobbed. “I’m a terrible mother! I’ll never be the perfect parent I dreamed of being.”

I cried these words into the couch cushion early one morning after dropping off my sons at school.

The morning had a bad start. Neither boy wanted to cooperate and, to add challenge to the day, we needed to leave earlier than normal. On snowy days our plans always changed. I drove a different route to school due to dangerous road conditions. Of course this alternate schedule added minutes to travel time.

But, nobody seemed to care about my cautious need to protect, so no one hurried. It seemed I waited patiently forever before they both tumbled into the car dragging their gear behind them.

That’s when I let them have it. I lost all dignity and blasted them. It might have been 10 degrees below outside with snow blowing off roof tops, but the blizzard of scolding words and sharp jabs is what froze my sons’ hearts that day. When I finished, each head hung from drooped shoulders. We drove in silence to school. At the drop-off curb the van’s door slid open and dejected boys slithered away like retreating worms. No hugs, no kisses, no encouraging words to get them through the day. I had given them bottom-of-the-food-chain treatment. Now they were living up to my assessment.

How’s that for a positive way to start the school day? Not very conducive to learning, I have to admit.

Driving home the “I love you” that I never spoke over my children hung in the icy space that surrounded me, devouring all my thoughts, destroying my plans for the day, and deeply disturbing my emotions.

I couldn’t get home fast enough. To curl up and fall asleep became my goal. Exhausted and shivering, I wished myself into my escape world – sleep. Sobbing my confession to the cushion and then to God, I drew in a long breath and sighed. I remember my last words. “God, I am not good enough to parent these boys. I will never be a perfect parent.”

I slept…

The warm sun shining on my face begged me to wake up. Instead, I chose to drift and float in a hammock of warm rays that surrounded my body. A content smile crept up both cheeks as I ignored the gentle call.

In that state I remembered what had put me to sleep so I prayed:

“God? I’ve tried so hard to do all the right things with my children. Today I really failed. I’m not a perfect parent. I am so sorry.” The room stilled; sun rays filled every corner. As I lay there in a sanctuary of sorts, God spoke. I didn’t hear an audible voice, but I can tell you, He spoke compassionate words of forgiveness and acceptance. “I didn’t call you to be a perfect parent. That is not required. You’ve had near perfect parents and look at you. Has it made a difference in your life? ”

“Yes I have near perfect parents, yet I rebelled. I also have a perfect Father and I still disobey!”

Oh, God, You are right. Perfection is not the key to parenting. Thank you for letting me off the hook.”

Then slowly, God taught me how to parent.

He allowed me to see the error of my tactics. Gently, compassionately, quietly he simply reminded me. No blasting words. No scolding or cutting comments.


That was it; it was over. My Father excused me! He put my past behind! He soothed me and encouraged me to take a different course the next time. He taught me lessons I needed to learn.

That afternoon when I had my sons to myself, I reminded them of our morning. I apologized for my behavior and told them I had talked with God.

“I don’t know what you learned in school today, but this morning God used you to teach me how to be a better parent. I believe God gave you to me so I could learn how to be more like Him.”

Thank you Father. Help me to be a parent like You.


Parenting is a real challenge, but it is not so daunting a task that we should despair. We are in this together and at Proverbs 31 Ministries we want to encourage you with many resources for this calling.

My friend, Renee Swope, and fellow speaker invited me to share other stories about parenting. So I sent her a few real life stories about teaching spiritual truths to our children through everyday life moments in the same way God taught me! If you would like to read those ideas go on over and read about them on her Month of Encouragement for Moms blog and find out about a chance to win our joint giveaway, a copy of a DVD she and I, along with her two sons, produced.

Meanwhile, today I am giving away a copy of the book I wrote, From the Pound to the Palace.

Just drop me a little note in the comment box telling me about your children, their names, and how much you love them. I will draw from the comments, my doggie will sign our book for your child, and we will send it to you! FYI I can't contact you if you are an anonymous contributor so I will announce on Saturday who the winner is. Come back and find out!
Sunday, January 11, 2009

MOVIN' ON AFTER MOVIN' IN MONDAY

Ruth settles into a strange culture

Welcome back move-hers (women whose lives have them on the move whether it be a corporate or military transfer, or a mission field reassignment).

The holidays have a way of side tracking us. I look back to the last time I blogged about moving and it was in November. For those of you who have been following the moving saga—remember I began with Adam and Eve in the garden,

the first recorded move in the Bible, -- and have been blogging about all the major characters and how they dealt with their reassignments when God gave them their relocation orders.

I made my first blog entry about moving last February

And have been posting on Mondays, off and on…

I got as far as Naomi and Ruth in November and took a break.

So Ruth followed Naomi and The Message translation of the Bible relates the arrival in Ruth’s new home like this:

“Naomi was back, and Ruth the foreigner with her, back from the country of Moab. They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.” The Book of Ruth

I see two kinds of moves in this one verse.

1- Sometimes we “move back.” Have you ever moved back? I hear it is not always easy to come home or to return to a place you have lived before. I know from experience, when I go back for visits, life has gone on WITHOUT ME! It is hard to get into the groove of things.

2- Most of us feel like “foreigners” when we move into a town. Even moves within the U.S. can be difficult. There are different customs. Strange traditions. Funny sayings…

Last night as I sat around the table at a dinner party with three other ladies – husbands were watching the football playoffs- we discussed the challenges of moving in and fitting into Charlotte when we moved here. Four of us had each moved from California, Wisconsin, Virginia, and Texas.

California said she was not a football lover and felt out of place in Charlotte because she didn’t much care for sports.

Wisconsin didn’t have any real issues with Charlotte, she just missed the genuine and warm hearts of the Midwesterners she had left behind.

Virginia is a straight to the point kind of gal and she felt she had been misunderstood at times when all she was doing was being was honest, you know "telling it like it is!"

Texas fit right in because Texan women like Charlottean women have a high sense of fashion and love to wear it out on the town. "BUT" she added, "If I hear one more waitress or clerk adrress me as 'sweetheart' or 'honey' I promise I am going to blow!"

I know I am being kind of general here, but I hope you get the point. Moving takes us out of our comfort zone. When we look around and see life being lived differently from what we have been used to, we feel like foreigners.

Ruth was definitely a foreigner. If she was going to fit into life in Bethlehem, she would have to learn and practice new customs, traditions, and religious rites or she and her mother-in-law might not survive.

What about you? Have you moved back or have you felt like a foreigner in your new surroundings? Did you buck the system or did you humbly adjust to a new way in order to survive?

I would love to hear your story and I am sure others would too.
Friday, January 9, 2009

MY SON MAY BE OFF AT COLLEGE, BUT HE'S LIVING IN THE JUNGLE

For Christmas – last year I gave everyone in my family these special microwaveable pots. I bought them from a Pampered Chef distributor.
I thought I was doing such a good deed. You see I am afraid that all the plastic we use to warm our food in microwaves may be detrimental to the health of my family – especially my children. I am a mother and I want them safe.

So I gave practical gifts. Everyone left with their pots. A year passed. I supposed they were using the gift I had given them.

The other day, just before Benjamin returned to the JUNGLE – college where he lives in a house with four other boys, in a tiny little neighborhood consisting of 3 houses full of boys and their dogs – he fessed up. I have to brace myself when he starts in on his stories:

He pulled himself up on the countertop in the kitchen, his long legs dandling over the cabinets --- I love when my boys join me in the kitchen to talk.
Look at that empty space!
It needs a boy talking to me.

I digress- he didn’t know whether to confess the truth about last year’s Christmas gift:

“Mom? I don’t have that – he pointed to my Pampered Chef pot, the one I was using to warm up his snack – pot any more.”

“Oh?” I replied trying to hide the hairs on my back that were bristling.

“One of my neighbors dropped in to borrow a pot to heat up his supper.”

Excuse me. I have heard of borrowing sugar and an egg or two – but a pot????

Oh well.

“Anyway, Mom. The next thing I heard was a yell from the kitchen.

His surprised face rounded the door frame and he looked at me…”

“Hey dude,” he said. “What’s with this pot? It’s melting all over the stove! I mean the food and everything - it has all become one!”

“Weird pot.”

NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!



Oh well.

Moral of the story: Don’t send your kids into the jungle with ANYTHING of value!

They WILL destroy it!

As Paul Harvey says, “Good day.”
Wednesday, January 7, 2009

WHAT'S IN YOUR WALLET?

Ben Stein’s most recent commentary caused me to refocus, making me realize a truth. And in light of the world’s woes, I wished for everyone-that we could all believe and take to heart his wise words. If you like to can watch him make his commentary – I highly recommend that you do. He spoke less than two minutes and said so much~


This is what I took away:


We must remember during these tough times, when we seem to be losing it all-
*we are not the houses we live in



*we are not the cars we drive


*we are not the clothes we wear


*we are not the jobs we perform


*we are human beings with a soul



*we are not the prestigious schools where we enroll our children



WE ARE THE CONTENT OF OUR CHARACTER


Now for my thoughts:


So I think of the Cap One commercial. “What’s in your wallet?”


I ask myself, “What’s in your character vault?”


I have no idea what 2009 will bring to my doorstep, but I know one thing that can’t be taken away from me – my relationship with Jesus!


So I continue on my journey of getting to know HIM.

All I Once Held Dear by Graham Kendrick


All I once held dear, built my life upon,

all this world reveres and wars to own,

all I once thought gain I have counted loss,

spent and worthless now compared to this.


Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You.

There is no greater thing.

You're my all, You're the best,

You're my joy,my righteousness;

and I love You, Lord.


Now my heart's desire is to know You more,

to be found in You and known as Yours,

to possess by faith what I could not earn,

all surpassing gift of righteousness.


Knowing You, Jesus, knowing You...



Oh, to know the pow'r of Your risen life,

and to know You in Your suffering,

to become like You in Your death,

My Lord, so with You to live and never die.


Knowing You, Jesus.. ,

There is no greater thing.

You're my all, You're the best,

You're my joy, my righteousness...


I love You, Lord.

I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Philippians 3:8
Friday, January 2, 2009

THE KING AND I

Based on the story Anna and the King, THE KING AND I tells the story, in song, of a British teacher hired to tutor the children of the royal household in Siam. Before the story is over Anna and the king fall in love.

I see many spiritual similarities between my life and the life of the main character, Anna.

Like Anna
-I am a teacher
-I left my home to teach in a foreign place
(This may be a stretch. This world is not my home. I am here to serve the
king – God. )
-I am not always happy or content with my job description (mainly
because the world’s ways are not God’s ways)
- I find Christian customs to be different from the ways of the world which
too often brings me into conflict with the king
-Sometimes I disagree with God’s calling on my life and argue with him
-But, the more time I spend with Him and get to know Him, the more I
admire Him
-The king – God has fallen in love with me
-I am falling more deeply in love with my Lord

because I am getting to know Him…

Read some of the lines of this song sung in the musical, The King and I:

GETTING TO KNOW YOU by Oscar Hammerstein

Anna speaks: It's a very ancient saying,
But a true and honest thought…
As a teacher I've been learning
And I've now become an expert,
On the subject I like most.

I am by no means an expert on God, but as I get to know Him I want to know Him more.
Getting to know you.
Getting to know you,
getting to know all about you.
Getting to like you,
getting to hope you like me.
Getting to know you, putting it my way,
But nicely, You are precisely,
My cup of tea.
I don’t have to hope that God likes me. As I become more acquainted with Him I learn that He thinks I am the best. He loves me beyond my imagination.

Getting to know you,
Getting to feel free and easy.
When I am with you,
Getting to know what to say
Haven't you noticed
Suddenly I'm bright and breezy
Because of all the beautiful and new
Things I'm learning about you Day by day.
Freedom comes from knowing God. I know it. As I experience my time with Him day by day, I learn from Him. I learn what to say to Him as we speak, and although life can be very hard and I can be very awkward, my relationship with God not only makes my life free and easy, I see each new day as bright and
breezy.

Now, you may be thinking and wondering, “How theological is this entry?”

Well, unless you have read what the Old Testament prophets have to say about our relationship with God your thoughts would stand to reason.
But last fall, while reading Hosea I noticed something.
"Know God "

Popped up time and time again!

Hosea 2:20, “I will be faithful to you and make you mine, and you will finally know me as the Lord.” Hosea 2:20

Hosea 4:6, “Hear the word of the Lord, O people of Israel! The Lord has brought charges against you, saying: ‘There is no faithfulness, no kindness, no knowledge of God in your land.’”

Hosea 5:4, “Your deeds won’t let you return to your God. You are a prostitute through and through, and you do not know the Lord.”

Hosea 6:3, “Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.”

Hosea 6:6, “I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.”

Five times I read that God wants me to know Him.

I've chosen my New Year’s Resolution – Become more deeply acquainted with Jesus.

How? I am going to read through the gospels four times this year. Why four? There are a total of 91 chapters. If I read a chapter each day, I can, more or less, read the four gospels four times this year.

Want to know Jesus? Get to know Him! Read His biography in

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John