Bethel Women's Ministry

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Anyone Need a Break

Last night my husband was out of town for work, so I called a good friend. Ann and I are scrapbooking/crafty friends. You should see us pull out our tools and go to town slicing and dicing photos, cards, etc. One time she even crocheted. She is a multi-talented woman.

It had been several months since I let myself do anything creative other than writing.

I have to be careful because I get on these kicks and just can't help myself. Case in point: I do three albums at a time. One is the family album. One is Abigail's album. And one is Jonathan's album. Needless to say, if there was ever a fire, I'd have one aching back by the time I got all the albums out!

But in the push to write all these books on deadline, I've lost the ability to slow down. Okay, okay. Those of you who've known me are thinking, "And this is new how?!?!"

Even Sabrina, my dear writing buddy, was calling me on it Saturday. "Cara, we've got to schedule some writing breaks for you."

I know this is true. I really do.

But see if I step back, then I realize the family album is almost THREE YEARS behind. Eck! Now my fingers are itching to get that album caught up. I was HORRIFIED when I realized it was that bad. I have 100s of photos on my computer that I haven't printed, simply because I don't want to feel that far behind. Plausible deniability. If I can't see the photos, then they're really not late. We attorneys can make anything sound almost logical.

God calls us to rest.

I know it. I've read all the scriptures about Sabbath rests. But, to be brutally honest, I stink at taking them. I live with this sense of urgency that I can't explain.

I feel there is so much to do, that I have a hard time slowing down. That's why our vacation to North Carolina was tailor made. No internet. Turned off the cell phone -- most of the time. Even took three whole days off from writing -- then deadline fever kicked in again.

So how do you do it? Are any of you experts at finding balance? Even though my deadlines are technically behind me and my agent has told me to take my time, I feel this internal pressure building up again. One more contract. I only have one more contract to fulfill. Must write lots of proposals. Get these ideas down on paper. Pitch them to the right people. Let my agent work her magic.

I only have ten more years to pour into Abigail before she likely heads off to college. Jonathan wants to read, so must teach him 15 syllable words -- TODAY.

You get the picture. Help! And I can't wait for the overnight scrap on October 19 -- though I really need three straight days to get caught up!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

This week

This week we will look at Jezebel in the Wednesday night study. Key passages you can read ahead of time include:
I Kings 19
I Kings 21
II Kings 9
Some scholars have called her the wickedest woman in the world. I'm looking forward to exploring her character and lessons we can apply to our lives. It should be a great discussion!

Also, even though Sunday School will start a new quarter next week, we will conclude the Jennifer Rothschild study on Walking By Faith. It has been a fantastic study and I encourage you to join us for the final video.

After that, we will start 40 Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

And don't forget that our next Lady's Fellowship Night will be September 21 at Ginny Stewart's home.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Tucker's Miracle

While all of that was wonderful, the best part was catching up and seeing with our own eyes the miracle that Tucker Green is.

You see, in May, he unexplainably lost the ability to walk. Ever been a doctor’s mystery? Trust me, you don’t want to be. But that’s exactly where the Greens found themselves, when Tucker was run through a litany of tests and experts trying to find some cause. Instead, all they got were a list of things he didn’t have.

While he was in the wheelchair, Tucker would pray, and God would answer with a dream. Now these were specific dreams. The kind where He says in three days this will happen. And the wonderful, amazing thing is that God said in three days you’ll walk. And three days later, Tucker walked with a walker. They kept their plans to go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Costa Rica. Tucker wanted to do the zipline, and even that morning, his dad thought he shouldn’t. But God had told Tucker he would do it, and he did. It was at that spot that Tucker began to walk on his own again.

Why do I share this story? Because it’s a story of the magnificence of God. A God who still does signs and wonders today.

But even more, because this could become the rock of remembrance in this ten-year-old’s life. This could become a moment that he clings to through the future storms of life, where he can say, I don’t care what my circumstances say, my God is bigger – He made me walk again when noone could explain what was wrong.

We each have those moments in our lives. Some more dramatic than other, but all there none the less. Those times we need to come back to – pull out the rock from our pocket and rub it between our fingers as we stare at the mountain in front of us. Pull out our dreams and fears and place them on an alter built of the stones from every time God has moved in our lives.

If you haven’t done it for awhile, find time and look back at what God has done in your life lately. I guarantee you will find His fingerprints all over the pages of your life. Even in the times you were positive He wasn’t there.

Monday, August 13, 2007

"...Keeping up with the Joneses." We're all familiar with the feeling of pressure that comes when someone we know gets a new house/car/haircut/dog/whatever. :) We're living in a society that says we "are" what we drive/eat/wear/etc. Additionally, we're expected to be at the forefront of all these trends or we are Undesirable. Unworthy. Unacceptable. Don't you just feel exhausted when you think of trying to live up to those kinds of expectations?!! Members of the early church found their identity in Christ and in community with one another. Read Acts 4:32-35. "There were no needy persons among them," because "they shared everything they had." Wow. These Christians viewed possessions as tools, not status symbols. "Lord, take what I've got and use it to meet the needs of those around me!" How many of us pray like that? Their generosity resulted in ALL the needs around them being met. (Again: wow.) Now, read the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5. Mull this one over: What might have motivated Sapphira to agree to lie about the sale price of their property when they donated it (the profit) to the church?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Moving Forward

My parents visited last week. I always love having them come. We simply enjoy each other. And I know Dad will always have a new song for me to listen to. He goes through favorite songs like some people go through chocolate.

A few weeks ago his favorite song was Lifesong by Casting Crowns. (I tell you, he is a cool Dad!) Then it was something else. Now it’s Moving Forward by Free Chapel. In a few weeks, I just about guarantee it’ll be something new. But for right now, it’s Moving Forward. If you’ve never heard it, hie thee to iTunes and buy it. It is amazing. The lyrics have run through my mind as if on a loop for the last week. If the words could truly work into my spirit to the point that I believed them completely, they would be life changing.

Have anything in your past that you regret? Anything happen to you that impacted you even though it wasn’t your fault? Feel out of control and hating it?

Then sing with me.

“Not going back, moving ahead
I’m here to declare to you my past is over
In you all things are made new
Surrender my life to Christ
Moving, moving forward”

I love it. All thing are made new in Christ. We all know that verse. But do we expect Him to really do that? Or do we get in the way? Or do we believe He’ll do that for everyone but us? That somehow we aren’t worthy of that promise?

“You make all things new
You make all things new
You make all things new
I will follow you forward.”

I know there are areas in my life that I need Christ to breath new life into. I need the promise that He does make all things new. That I won’t look back, but will move forward. Regardless of the past. Regardless of the present. Because I trust Him with the future. And I will follow. Wherever He leads.

The past is over. The future lies ahead. Move with me into that. Whatever Christ has for us, let’s surrender and say, “Yes, Lord.” Throw your arms wide. Say Lord take me. Whatever You can use, keep. Whatever You can’t, transform as You make me new.

Let’s walk into the future with Him, one step at a time. I can’t wait to see what He does.