Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Silent....

Sorry the blog has been so silent. It is a bit how my life has been in many ways lately. Don't get me wrong we are always plenty busy around hear but I have just felt the need to be quiet lately.

I am still wrestling through things with this Bible study I am doing. I have one more week and I don't think any other study has ever done to me what this one has. I have been in a wrestling match for a few weeks with this one and am not sure if it coming to an end will be a welcomed relief or if the work I need to do isn't finished and as hard as it is maybe I wish it would keep going. Only God knows what I need right now and I know He will be faithful even when I feel faithless.

I have had a lot of things come to an end recently. Softball is over. Co-op is over. Cayla's classes in Lancaster are over. Awana is over. School is now finished. I am trying to figure out some kind of summer routine other than get up when you feel like it and do whatever the rest of the day. That plan isn't really working so I know next week it will be time to lay down some ground rules.

Well I just wanted to jump on quick and let you know where I am at in case you thought I got swallowed up in a big hole or something.....that would be too easy:) I hope your day is blessed!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Too much going on to post....

I know I never got back on here last week.....life is just like that here. A lot going on in life and in me. I never really full recovered from the trip when I found out my cousin's 20 year old son died in a car accident last week. Way too young. These are hard things to understand.

I also started a new Bible study a few weeks ago. About a week or two in I confided in my friend that for once I am not sure this is a study I need. See I am a very "needy" person. I all but have to drown myself in God's word or I fall apart but for some reason this topic didn't seem to be an issue. I was actually happy about that since so many other things are issues for me. But let me say ladies "pride cometh before the fall" because I got hit with some things last week and this is just the study I need right now. It has been deep. I have wrestled with God over quite a few things that I desperately want to hold onto and He is asking me to let go of. I hate letting go. When will I ever learn that what He asks us to let go of is so we can be given something greater??? I am so stubborn. It has taught me never to say that I have mastered something. There is always more to learn and ALWAYS more to weed out of my life.

Anyway, I feel like I am starting to ramble but I just wanted to let you know where I am at. Please pray for my cousin and his family. Pray for me as I speak at a mother/daughter gathering tomorrow night. Also I just want to leave you with a link to a video showing the Retuning Hearts celebration I was at last weekend. Just click on 2010 video. It is 7 minutes long but well worth it. Have a blessed day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Freedom from behind bars????....

He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers....Malachi 4:6

Louisiana State Penitentiary is a place of new beginnings. There is a sign that even says it when you enter through the front gate. I am sure some would say otherwise but it is true. Of the 5100 prisoners housed there for the most violent crimes over 2000 of them have formed a relationship with Jesus Christ. Freedom from behind bars. A paradox of sorts. Only God could orchestrate what I witnessed this past weekend. Men living in freedom in a way that most of us on the outside struggle ourselves to maintain.

As I looked into their faces and listened to their stories I realized I am no different than they are. I struggle. I make poor choices. I fall and by God’s grace get back up again. Aren’t we all really just one bad choice away from possible disaster?

I wanted to post all weekend but as often happens my emotions take over and the right words escape me. They cannot be found. I feel as though I will not do these men honor and many of them deserve honor and respect. I saw a fire in them for Jesus Christ that I am hard pressed to find in our churches. Now I know there are going to be skeptics. Those that say they too could be on fire like that if they were placed in that desperate of a situation where God was really all they had left. Somehow using “real life" and living in a free world as an excuse.

Their relationship was real and they were authentic. They had no reason to try and pretend to be something they were not.

Not only was witnessing this fire and worshipping with them an experience I will not soon forget but the images of them as they grabbed their children and loved on them will be etched in my mind forever. These were men among men. Real fathers who are working hard to make changes that will impact future generations.

At the end of the day I watched a man get down on his knees and pray with his 2 small children. When he finished it was time for goodbye. The little girl started to cry, the man assigned to assist this family was crying. The dad held back his own tears and in an act of bravery said it was time to go. I walked up to him after his children were escorted away and placed my hand on his shoulder and told him that he did more today for those kids in one day then some dads ever do in a lifetime. He told me how hard it was and that he was overwhelmed with emotion. He said he was ready to go lay down, drift off to sleep, and dream. I told him I was proud of him. He is a great man of God. I will pray daily for his release understanding that sometimes God works in ways we never really understand and that He is the author and perfecter of their faith and in His wisdom he may need to stay a while longer.

These men are truly rehabilitated and they are truly free. Freedom behind bars. Who ever knew it was possible. I am ever so grateful that I had the chance to be with them if only for a little while. It was a privilege. God has allowed me to have many opportunities and though it is difficult I lay it all out there when He does. I have left pieces of my heart a lot of places and this weekend a part of my heart is in the Louisiana State Pen. You have inspired me to deepen my faith and to believe in miracles. You are a miracle with your well worn Bibles being carried around in your back pockets. Angola you will always be a part of me.

I will share more stories from the trip later this week.

Have a blessed day!