Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Haven't we all had a stray dog in our yard? Us too!
Guess who visited us the other day....

We had a stray pig!!

Blessings on your day,


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Backpacking Through Joshua - wk 6

This week we read through Joshua chapter 6. Now here's some fun. So, up until this point, the Israelites have been working pretty hard to gain ground in life. Fighting or struggling through every forward motion. Well, except at mealtime. Now, they have crossed the Jordan River and are ready to take the city of Jericho and all that is in it. This is a mighty city with mighty warriors in it and it is shut up tight like a bank vault. How on earth are they going to even get through the fortifications, let alone taking over the city itself with mighty warriors protecting it.

"No worries Joshua ~ just walk around the city once a day for a week, blowing horns. Then on the last day, go around 7 times, blow horns and yell. The city is yours. done."



I imagine the people of Jericho, although they have heard about God and the blessings He has bestowed upon Israel, are watching from atop the wall on the first day, turning to each other in disbelief, "This is what we've been afraid of? Have they had too much wine?" "Seriously? They're making a parade and that's how they're going to defeat us?" I also imagine that at least some of the Israelites felt silly presenting this 'attack' and must have wondered if God wasn't just trying to humble them or even have a laugh at their expense.

What I find really really cool is that they obeyed anyway. At least there is no mention in chapter six of naysayers or ill-behavers.

Our focus this week is that God is omniscient. He's a know-it-all. No, not like S4J is a know-it-all, or your teenage son is a know-it-all. He is THE Know-it-all. He really does,

having infinite knowledge or understanding

God knows, understands infinitely. So when He is prodding you, or even giving you very clear, step-by-step directions you can be assured that He already knows everything that will follow. He already knows how my seemingly strange and useless actions will affect the circumstances and people I am surrounded by at any given time. So that's the big stuff - God knows how to win wars, take down walls, stop rivers.

And He knows the small stuff. Be still my heart. He knows every grain of sand on the shore. He knows every star in the sky. He knows every time my heart has been broken. He knows my secretest secret dreams. He knows my strengths and weaknesses (He made me!) and how to use them to His glory.

Who do you want in charge of your life? Someone who read, "Being in Charge for Dummies" or someone who knows every word of every book ever written? I'll take door number two.

Uh oh, here comes application. If God, the greatest kindle of all times, is in charge of me, then I have to submit to His leading. When He asks me to do something outrageous or completely ridiculous in my mind, I can and should obey in full confidence knowing that He's 'got this'. The best part of applying this truth is the comfort I can take in knowing that, along with the big stuff, He knows the little stuff too.
P = Putting it out there

What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever done for God's glory? Washed the dishes. Yes, I think washing the dishes is ridiculous. But, to glorify my Father in heaven, I will do it.

Have you ever NOT done something you knew God wanted you to do? Yes. God wanted me to apologize and ask forgiveness of someone who had tortured me for nearly my entire adult life. He wanted ME to apologize. ME to ask forgiveness. Um. No.

What was the result?

For a couple of months I refused. I stopped taking communion, I nearly quit music ministry. I knew I was wrong, I knew I was being a hypocrite, and I knew that I could not serve in that condition. But I was willing to live the consequences rather than be the one to say, "I'm sorry." What a mess. I 'knew' doing so would not change any behavior on the other end and felt I was justified in the things that God was asking me to confess and repent of. What a mess. Did I say that already? Then God said this to me, "I suffered a horrible, excruciating, death on the cross for you and you cannot say two simple words to someone I love?" Um. Yes.
So I did.
It went down pretty much like I had expected but the thing I have to remember is that I do not see everything. I do not hear everything and I do not know everything. God knows how He is working in this person's life and how He used me in it and I certainly hope it brought Him glory that one who professes to know and love Him, put down her pride and humbled herself before someone who does not.



Friday, February 11, 2011

Backpacking Through Joshua - Wk 5

Focus: God is holy

P = Putting it out there

  • ·Have you ever met someone that you could tell was a Christian by first impression?
This has been a tough question for me to answer.

I can't say that there has never been anyone who I could tell by first impression, was a Christian, but I can tell you that I can't think of one. Been trying all week. Let's be honest, if you take away settings that you meet people in, such as church, or at Bible study, or prayer shawl knitting ministry; if you take away outward physical markers such as jewelry, bumper stickers, long skirts, long hair, white collars, etc.; if you take away activities such as handing out tracts, preaching in the town square or huge crusades, what first impression indicators are you left with? A smile? A certain 'light' in the eyes? A soft but sure posture? The fact that they didn't curse in the first 3 sentences they spoke in your presence?

I've met people who I thought were Christians and found out I was wrong. I've met people who I thought weren't Christians and found out I was wrong.

Just don't remember meeting someone without any of the outer physical indicators that I knew was a Christian by first impression. Which brings me to the next part of that question.

  • Do you think you are easily recognizable as a Christian? Why or why not?
I suppose, you could easily assume I am a Christian when you see me at church. You could assume from the cross hanging from my neck that I am a Christian. You could assume because you only ever hear Christian music playing in my car that I am a Christian. As far as by first impression, I don't know what people would say about me in this area.

Except for this one lady.

She came through my line at work and after a bit of conversating about I don't even remember what, she said to me, "I can tell you're a Sister." I thought she meant that she could tell that I have a sister! Then she clarified, "I can tell that you are a Sister in the Lord. You just have this way about you." I told her that indeed I was, I thanked her for her kind words and told her that I hoped I would see her again.

Lord, please help me to always have that way about me.

  • ·Modern Christianity tends to value ‘blending in’ more than standing out– agree or disagree? Why or why not?
This one is also a toughy for me. I suppose it depends on your surroundings and what you view as "blending in" and "standing out". And how do you measure "blending in" or "standing out" against being set apart, holy, salt and light? I can stand on a box and yell to all who will hear that Jesus loves them. People have been reached this way. I can quietly listen to someone talk about their deceased love-one with earnest interest and care. People have been reached this way too. I say, in answer to this question, God has gifted us all differently, given us different temperaments, different 'hot buttons' and aside from direct directions, like the ten commandments, has set us to reach the lost in different ways. We cannot ever discount or sideline Scripture that doesn't fit into our idea of how things should be, but if we were all flies, there would be no bees to make the honey to catch us.

We can reach the lost. Some will do it by blending in. Some will do it by standing out.

W = Worship
The first two songs are about personal holiness, being set apart for God. The second 2 are songs of worship to a most holy God.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Results Are In

It is with a tinge of let-down that I announce that Sing 4 Joy did not place in the Department of the Army level of the 2010 Digital Photography Contest. *sigh*
Can't wait 'til they open the 2011 contest!

On a less let-downy kind of note, Sing 4 Joy is getting branded! Pretty soon I will have my very own custom logo. Yahoo!

Thank you all for your encouragement and well-wishes!


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Aloha With A Kiss

Did you even know that Hershey's makes Kisses with macadamia nuts in them??

I selflessly bit into one to prove it to you...

and look at the little banner!

Have I mentioned that I am going to Hawaii?

Aloha my friends,

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Backpacking Through Joshua - wk 4

This week we are reading out of Joshua Chapter 4; but before I stop at camp, I was so excited to read Amber's encouraging comments today about making it to week 4. I know that I have felt pressed against and pulled away from my time in God's Word while doing this study, so it was especially excellent to have that acknowledged and addressed by our head backpacker! Remember - we wrestle not against flesh and blood....take a few moments, get your groove on and remember we serve a mighty God, a powerful and holy God.....

Week 4's Focus - God is Unchanging

So, the Israelites have crossed over the Jordan and God tells them to erect a stone memorial so that this event can be remembered (paraphrase strictly mine) "that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever."(Joshua 4:24)

Amber says this in our text, "Sometimes I lose track of my experiences with God's unchanging character and start to do a 'Peter in the middle of the sea who forgot to look at Jesus and started sinking' style panic attack. But when I remember that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow I can weather storms much better." Then she lays it out there....
"I'm looking forward to hearing how you intentionally remember what God has done in your life and how you use that to teach your children or the other people in your life when we reach CAMP."

...intentionally remember....gulp.

It is now Thursday, and I have been unable to post anything, save for 2 worship songs. I have struggled all week with answering this week's questions because I continually draw a blank.

  • How do you keep your memories of the Goodness of God alive?
  • Do you feel comfortable sharing the things God has done in/through/for/to you with your children? Your friends? Your family? Your coworkers? Why or Why not?
I have been picturing all week the lack of stone memorial in my front yard. The lack of 'Jesusfish' sticker on my car. The lack of Billy Graham style crusades I have led.

And I was all prepared up until just a few minutes ago (after adding a couple more worship videos) to come humbly before you all and admit that I cannot think of one.single.way in which I keep my memories of God's goodness alive, of how I share these memories with my children or those around me and then it hit me.


I SING 4 JOY! *jumps up and down and giggles and claps* I sing all.the.time of God's goodness, His faithfulness, kindness, love, patience, power, greatness. I sing to my children. I sing to my family. I sing to my friends. I sing to my coworkers. I share, with you, the bloggy world, how I am moved by God to repentance, good behavior, forgiveness, loving others, etc, through the music that I share with you.

And so-----without further ado----

W = Worship

Blessings on your day,