Friday, June 25, 2010

the monkey and the fish

day 2 of our vacation i pulled a book off the shelves ... the monkey and the fish by dave gibbons

the title was the sole reason that i picked the book.
typically i pick a fiction, one of my favs would be Janet Evanovich, the Stephanie Plumb series ... but the newest book is not available to me right now so I will settle for this one.

so far, i am enjoying it. and thought this would be worth sharing ...

A typhoon stranded a monkey on an island. In a protected place on the shore, while waiting for the raging waters to recede, he spotted a fish swimming against the current. It seemed to the monkey that the fish was struggling and needed assistance. Being of kind heart, the monkey resolved to help the fish.
A tree leaned precariously over the spot where the fish seemed to be struggling. At considerable risk to himself, the monkey moved ar out on the limb, reached down and snatched the fish from the waters. Scurrying back to the saftey of his shelter, he carefullly laid the fish on dry ground. For a few moments, the fish showed excitement but soon settled into a peaceful rest.
- An Eastern Parable

Translation? The fish died.
Relevance to the 21st century church?

The title of the book is taken from the Eastern Parable above, this book by Dave Gibbons is liquid leadership for a thrid culture church ...

today I read about defining 3rd Culture:
Third culture is the mindset and will to love, learn, and serve in any culture, even in the midst of pain and discomfort.

Immediatly, I could relate. I understand this concept, I just called it Urban Ministry. It has been my life for the past year.
"even in the midst of pain and discomfort" It is against all we know to embrace pain ... but as stated by dave, it is the catalyst for helping people to see God.
again this I can relate to, my world is not the same that I had imagined. this past year (actually almost 2 years) have been filled with much pain and discomfort - beyond anything I could have ever imagined. And again and again - I have witnessed God at work. While I still long for my son, I also trust in the Lord and know that he has a plan and will use this pain and discomfort for HIS will.

I have been told that as the book unfolds I will discover that 3rd culture is not just a trend or a new thing but the heart of God. In fact ... GOD is 3rd culture. And if GOD is 3rd culture, then that is where I want to be.

I look forward to the journey ahead and how the above parable is explained, it is my prayer that I share this journey with whoever cares to come along.


Monday, June 21, 2010

plumb line

This is what the he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in his hand.
And the Lord asked me, "What do you see Amos?"
"A plumb line" I replied.
Then the Lord said, "Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer." Amos 7:7-8

The scripture above was part of my morning reading. I use plumb-lines to teach drawing ... but wanted to have a clear understanding of what the prophet Amos was teaching. I looked up the definition of a "plumb line" ... it is a tool used to determine a truly vertical line. A plumb line is used to determine the straightness of a wall.

Today I have been reflecting on me, am I in correct alignment.
It has been my prayer that the Lord would reveal to me where I am off line. I have been so focused for so long on one specific thing - that I have lost sight of all the other amazing blessings that have been showered all around me. It is my prayer that the Lord will work on me, so that I may have to correct vertical alignment.

the word from Joel was moving as well ... Stir it Up

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE "Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands"(2 Timothy 1:6, NKJ)

TODAY'S WORD from Joel and Victoria Do you ever feel like you’ve “lost your fire or enthusiasm?” We all have times when we feel overwhelmed by the pressures of life, but that’s when you need to stir up what God has placed on the inside of you. Remember, there are no disadvantages with our God. You have everything you need to succeed. No weapon formed against you is ever going to prosper; you just have to stir up the gift inside. How do you stir it up? By speaking God’s truth and meditating on His word.

Start right now by simply declaring, “I am going to see God’s favor in a greater way. New doors are going to begin to open for me. Supernatural opportunities are coming my way. God is setting up divine connections for me. I’m always at the right place at the right time. I am going to overcome every obstacle and defeat every enemy. I’m going to see every dream, every desire that God has placed in my heart come to pass, in Jesus’ name!”

A PRAYER FOR TODAY Father in heaven, thank You for the dreams, desires, and gifts You’ve placed on the inside of me. I choose to stir up those gifts and declare what You say about me. Have Your way in my heart today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

my story

after 2 years of keeping this blog, i am amazed at my story, my journey - which continues to unfold.

i especially loved this word from Joel today ... because regardless of what plot turns take place, i am assured of the ending.

Your Story Ends in Victory

"You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed" (Psalm 139:16, NLT)

TODAY'S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Did you know that all of your days have already been written? God has already recorded every part of your life from the beginning to the end. He knows every disappointment, every loss and every challenge. The good news is that even though you've had some challenges, even though you've faced some setbacks, your story ends in victory. Your final chapter concludes with you fulfilling your God-given destiny and experiencing His eternal restoration.
Any time we face a disappointment in life or go through a loss, we have to remember there's another chapter in front of us. We can't stop on that page, we have to keep moving forward. Instead of focusing on what didn't work out, wondering why we went through a marriage that didn't last, or why we didn't get that position we worked so hard for, focus on the future. Let go of the past and press forward because your story ends in victory, and God will restore everything that has been stolen from you!

Heavenly Father, thank You for setting me up for victory. Thank You for holding me in the palm of Your hand. I choose to release the questions and disappointments in the past so that I can be ready to receive the victory You have prepared for me! In Jesus' Name. Amen.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Time for an update

after almost 2 years of the same template ... it is time for an update. will this one be it, i will be trying this one out for a few days, but my mind may change.

Saturday I entered one of the most hectic 10 days of the year. I have been preparing and planing for this week since January. This is KidsGames week check out the websites for more info ... (

What is so awesome about KidsGames ... it is international sports ministry. This is a way to use sports to share the Gospel of Jesus ... what an amazing vehicle. There are 7 sites in Indy participating this year, we had a Youth Leadership training Saturday. Brookside Church is partnering with Connection Pointe Christian Church of Brownsburg to bring this amazing program to the Brookside Kids this week.
This is our second year partnering with Connection Pointe. Sunday when we headed over to Conseco Fieldhouse for opening ceremonies for KidsGames, the neighborhood kids were paired with Connection Pointe kids.
I was so moved when a number of the kids knew each other, it was a like a famly reunion - they hugged and laughed then spent the day together. I got a little teary-eyed when I realized that these relationships will continue to grow over the next years. As this partnership continues, the Connection Point Kids are 7, 8 and 9th grade ... the neighborhood kids are k-5th grade. Relationships, that is what it is all about.


Thursday, June 10, 2010


15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "Oh, my lord, what shall we do?" the servant asked. 16 "Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them." 17 And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so he may see." Then the LORD opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:15-17

Imagine if we looked on all our situations (difficult and not so difficult) with spirit filled eyes. We would see ALL that God is doing. Faith reveals that God is doing more for HIS people then we can ever realize through sight alone. Situations can seem impossible, insurmountable ... remember there are spiritual resources at work even when you cannot see them.

My Life Application Study Bible goes further to say that if you do not see, the problem may be your own spiritual eyesight ... not a lacking of God's power.

It is my prayer that my eyesight will be faith filled - always. Of course it is not easy, but with his strength in me, I can learn to see. I think it might take practice, and I am willing.

Lord, strengthen my spiritual eyesight - allow me to see all that amazing power that surrounds me. AMEN.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

His Time

a great reminder, everyday.

Quicker Than You Think
"The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise…" (2 Peter 3:9, NIV)

from Joel and Victoria
Do you realize that as a believer in Jesus, you have a tremendous advantage in life? The Creator of the Universe is not only fighting your battles, but He is lining up the right people, the right breaks, and the right opportunities to move you forward. You may be facing a situation right now that looks like it's never going to turn around, but I believe that you're going to see some changes quicker than you think. You're going to come out of debt quicker than you think. You're going to accomplish your goals much quicker than you think. That relationship is going to be restored quicker than you think!
Remember, God is not slow in keeping His promise. I believe we are entering into a decade where we're going to see the hand of God move like never before. He is going to open up doors that no man can shut. He is going to turn impossible situations around and take you places that you never dreamed. It's time to get ready for more of God's favor because that breakthrough is going to happen quicker than you think!

Father in heaven, thank You for being faithful to Your Word. I trust that You will complete the work You've begun in me. Help me keep my heart and mind focused on You as I stand strong in faith to see Your promises come to pass in my life. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Today is the first session of Art Club. I pray the kiddos are as excited to learn how to create art as I am to teach them. I pray that the Lord would bless this work that he has established for my hands.
Our get to know you will be a self portrait ... then through the summer we will work on all the features, and continue to use our own faces as our project inspiration. I have some special Artists that I will incprporate their styles ... artist they may relate to but have never heard of. All our work will be based on
Psalm 139:13-1413 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Matthew 10:30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
It is my prayer that as they learn how to look at thier faces, they will see what an amazing Lord we serve and He loves us SOOOO much.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Life to dry bones

After Matt shared his devotion this weekend, we worshiped with the Todd Fields song; Breathe on Me. I posted it on the top left ... one of my favorites.

Forever, you are the God of my Story.
Write every line for your glory.
Breathe on Me



a word from joel.

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE: "The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple"
(Psalm 119:130, NIV)

TODAY'S WORD from Joel and Victoria
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the obligations of everyday life? Does your schedule sometimes feel complicated?
One of the enemy's greatest tactics is to keep people so busy doing so many good things that there isn't time for the most important thing. Jesus said that in this life one thing is needed and that is to sit at His feet and spend time in His Word. When His Word is a priority in our lives, everything else in life will fall into place.
Today, do you need to simplify your life in order to make room in your schedule for Him? If you're not sure how to order your day, simply ask Him to give you wisdom and show you how to manage your time. He loves you so much, and He loves it when you call upon His name. Remember, He longs to be good to those who are looking for His goodness. Simplify your life today so you can receive the light and understanding He desires to give to you.

A PRAYER FOR TODAY Father God, today I surrender everything to You. I give You my mind, will, and emotions. I give You my schedule and ask for Your wisdom to order my days. I choose to put You first and thank You for leading me and guiding me in every decision I face today. In Jesus' Name. Amen

All the activities I am involved with currently are for ministry. It is eye opening to see that even though it is good, the timing might be off, or the work might not be for me to do.
I have found that I busy myself with the Lords work to help take the focus off dealing with myself ... that is not the type of work the Lord desires from me. (am i being a mary or a martha? something for me to consider deeper)

looking forward, doing something "for me" that will also help kiddos ...
Tomorrow ART CLUB starts, I will be working with two small groups during the Summer Day Camp at Brookside Church on Wednesday Mornings. I am excited to use my professional training as a K-12 Indiana Certified Art Educator ... granted I have 12 years experiennce with High School Students and I will be working with 4th and 5th graders ... but what fun! It shakes out to 8 sessions. Today I am going to create the plan and focus. In the past the Art has been craft focused ... I am looking forward to introducing the students to artists they may have never heard of and tapping into some raw talent that simply needs some direction. I pray we will be able to have an exhibit at the end of the summer.
- please pray that my Art Teacher Mind will return, and be sharp - full of HIS wisdom.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Dry Bones

Every now and then the worship leader at Northview Church (Matt Bays) shares a devotion during worship that hits me direct in my heart. It was as if he had been in the car with Aaron and I on our way to the service. Everyone dissapeared as he shared on Satruday day night - what a gift ...

Ezekiel 37 1-14 The Valley of Dry Bones
1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know."
4 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath [
a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.' "
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
9 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.' " 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.
11 Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.' 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.' "

On our way to church Aaron and I were both feeling blah - now I know, we were parched. Our bones were dry. For me, I was trying to find resfreshment on my own. When Matt shared this scripture, what a picture was painted in my mind not only of me being refreshed, but the Brookside Church, the Near Eastside of Indy ... it will not be anyhting that I can do - only GOD. I feel alittle silly that I forgot that part. Here I am running myself ragged, and I loose sight of the one that is really doing to work. Praise the LORD!
HUGE thanks to Matt Bays, thank you for sharing that timly word.


Friday, June 4, 2010

gentle whisper

The Lord said, "Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by."Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains a part and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:11,12

Love this passage about Elijah hearing from the Lord. It is a reminder that God doesn't reveal himself only in powerful miraculous ways. To look for God only in something BIG ... may be to miss HIM. He is often found gently whispering in the quiteness of a humbled heart.

Thank You Father, for the ways that you choose to reveal yourself. Open the eyes of my heart to hear you and experiene you today. I am yours, fully Lord.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

one to gnaw on

For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9

I am reading through the Bible in Chronological order, 365 daily readings. This format provides parallels with the events in Kings, Samuel, Chronicles, it puts the Psalms order of context ... anyway,
I have entered the divided kingdom. The Kings of Israel were bad, bad in the bad way. The kings of Judah, stayed closer to the Lord - but certainly struggled as well. The verse above takes place during King Asa's reign. He had turned to the Lord for help previously, and the Lord provided for him. Without fail. Then when Israel was preparing to attack Judah, he went to a neighbors instead of the Lord for help. From that point on, Asa did not seek the Lord for help again. And Judah faced trouble.

I am gnawing over this verse this morning ... In my Life Application Study Bible, the footnotes say:
It is not sin to use human means to solve problems, but it is sin to trust them more than God, to think thay are better than God's ways, or to leave God completely out of the problem-solving process.

I find myself thanking the Lord that HE is my strength. The last month (or more) has been busy - looking back it was crazy. Nothing was accomplished with out the strength of the Lord.
At the same time, I pray that my heart will be fully committed to HIM. In all things, not some of the time - but all the time. I do not want to be lukewarm or just going through the motions because it is the right thing. It is my desire that the Lord will continue to strengthen my heart to be fully committed, to be in HIS will, always.
And the Lord always knows the true state of our hearts.
I pray that the Lord will convict me in the areas that I fall short. Lord please do a quick work in me, so that I may shine with your Glory, striving to be more and more like your son, Jesus, the model for a heart fully committed to the Lord. I ask forgiveness for when I have not turned to the Lord for help and relied on others over God. Thank you dear Father that you sent the perfect example in your precious son, Jesus. I commit my heart to you- fully thank you for strengthening me. AMEN.

GRACE AND PEACE!Check Spelling

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

what if's to whatever

Yesterday a friend shared an important lesson with me. She is facing, today, a decision that will be made by a court that will change her life forever. Regardless of what the judge decides, things will change.
When I asked her how she was doing ... She said, that she could be a wreck if she dwelt in the What If's ... her mind could go in millions of directions. So instead, she has handed over the what ifs and was only accepting the Whatever's from God. She is completely open to WHATEVER God desires, and has accepted that regardless of the ruling GOD is in control and he uses all things for HIS good and perfect will.

So just like my friend, I am also giving over the what ifs, and taking the whatever's. His plan is so much better then my way 100% of the time, so why even waste the time on the ifs. Praise the Lord!
We always have a choice when facing life, and I choose to face life with Jesus. He might not always remove the "trouble" but he is an excellent guide to take us through it. What a huge asset He is, through all things. He will never leave us. PTL.

Fitting ... from Joel Today:
Scripture: " But only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her" Like 10:42, NIV

from Joel and Victoria: In today's world, most people find that life is full. We have over 500 channels on TV, an unlimited number of sites to browse on the Internet, cell phones & PDA's keep us connected 24 hours a day. Everywhere you look there is something to do or some kind of entertainment all the time. If we are not careful, we fall into the trap of thinking that we've always got to be busy doing something. But Jesus invites us to be still because really, only one thing is needed.
I heard somebody say one time, what if we treated our Bibles like we do our cell phones? can you imagine people in elevators, lobbies, and shopping malls thumbing through their bibles all day long? can you see people reading and studying the Word while sitting in traffic and at red lights? Not that you should do that, but the point I am making is that we need to live our lives in balance and make the word of God a priority. Let's make sure we don't allow the distractions of life to keep us from the one thing that is needed.
prayer: Heavenly Father, today I set my heart and affections on YOU. I choose to lay down the distractions of life and put YOU first because YOU are the one thing that is needed. Help me keep my mind focused on YOU as I declare YOUR praises throughout the day. In Jesus' Name. AMEN.