Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekly Pic--Bluebonnet Beauties

At least my girls can tolerate each other long enough to pose for a picture in the bluebonnets as is the tradition here in East Texas...and at least they'll still humor their mother long enough to pose for same said picture...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Teens, TVs and Talents

I don't usually watch a lot of TV, but BigJoel just got home from a long trip. When he's here, the television pretty much stays on non-stop. Usually its either the Food Network or HGTV, but for some reason today, he landed on MTV. Then he fell asleep (Poor baby, it was a loooong tour.) So now I've spent the afternoon watching back-to-back episodes of Teen Cribs. I could have changed the channel, but that would mean I'd have to get up from my ComfyChair. I love my ComfyChair. (I don't get to sit in it, or even see it that often, because it is in the corner of my bedroom and is usually buried under pillows and clothes. But I cleaned my room today because Joel was coming home and I rediscovered the ComfyChair.)
But I digress...
Teen Cribs is a show where MTV travels around the country showing us the homes of spoiled little rich kids. These kids have more money in their piggy bank than we have in our bank account. I'm overwhelmed at the excess. One boy got a brand new BMW for his fifteenth birthday when he got his learner's permit. He also has a really nice truck. He's under 18 years old and his two cars cost more than my house. A twelve year old boy has three plasma screens in his room so he can play video games and watch TV at the same time. I feel guilty because we have five TVs and only four people in our family. There's just something not right about having more televisions than family members.
Now of course, we don't have that kind of money to spend, but I have to ask myself if we would live like that even if we could. These kids and their families may be very good, very generous, very well-grounded people, but I still can't imagine.
So if I had the money those people have, I hope I would be more responsible. I hope I would use it to fund micro-businesses in developing countries rather than to build a skate-park in my back yard. I'd like to think I'd sponsor 100+ Compassion kids rather than have a full-service nail salon in my basement. I pray that our walls would be covered in photographs of our family mission trips instead of autographed celebrity sports memorabilia.
I've always told God that I believe I could disprove that whole theory about it "being easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into heaven". Joel says if he won Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes, the first thing he'd do is quit his job. I tell him that's the wrong attitude to have, because God has called him to be a minister so he doesn't work for the money. Its about the ministry. Honestly though, if God would just see fit to bless us with ridiculous wealth, I think I could really do some good.
But then there's that parable of the servants left to care for the Masters' talents...and I wonder how I'm doing with that. Am I investing what I DO have wisely? or just burying what He's given me in my own desires while waiting for His return?
Hmmm, maybe that's why we haven't been blessed with ridiculous wealth...and all this time I was blaming Joel.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Weekly Pic--Spring Time in Texas

Springtime in Texas can only mean one thing--wildflowers! Well, it can also mean tornadoes, relentless winds and sudden hail storms...but wildflowers are much nicer, don't you think?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Would I Know?

Today a friend's Facebook status read, "[Denyse's Friend] wonders where she would have been in the crowd that day." And I have wondered that many times myself.
When I was teenager, our church produced an extravagant Passion play each year. It always struck me how we, the actors, went from the Triumphal Entry waving palm branches and singing "Hosanna", to an angry mob yelling "Crucify Him" within a time span of about 15 minutes. Surely people weren't that gullible. Surely people would have seen through the Sanhedrin's plot. Surely if I'd been there, I would have recognized Him. But I wonder...
Would I Know You Now
Music and Lyrics by Wayne Watson
Would I know You now if You walked into the room
If you stilled the crowd--If You light dispelled the gloom
And if I saw Your wounds--Touched Your thorn pierced brow
I wonder if I'd know You now
Would I know You now if You walked into this place
Would I cause You shame--Would my games be Your disgrace
Or would I worship You--Fall down upon my face
I wonder if I'd know You now
Or have the images I've painted
So distorted who You are
That even if the world was looking
They could not see You--The real You
Have I changed the true reflection
To fulfill my own design
Making You what I want
Not showing You forth divine
Would I miss You now if You left and closed the door
Would my flesh cry out "I don't need You anymore"
Or would I follow You--Seek to be restored
I wonder--I wonder
Will I ever learn
I wonder--Would I ever know You now

Would I know Him? Would I miss Him if He left? Where would I have been in the crowd that day 2000 years ago? Where am I in the crowd today?

I wonder...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I Could Never Imagine...

"What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?" Psalm 8:4

One of the greatest joys of following Christ is when God allows you to be a part of something much bigger than yourself. Last night was a reminder of His lavish grace and extravagant love. I stood smack dab in the middle of the floor of the American Airlines Center in Dallas and watched as over 19,000 people sang and worshipped. It was the Rock & Worship Roadshow featuring Addison Road, Tenth Avenue North, Hawk Nelson, Jeremy Camp and MercyMe. I was overwhelmed at how the Lord uses such ordinary people to accomplish His extraordinary tasks. And I couldn't help but wonder why.
(image courtesy of
We've had the privilege of watching MercyMe's ministry since its inception back in 1994. At that time, Big Joel was a youth minister and MM was playing the youth camp/DiscipleNow circuit. (Our ties go back even farther as we'd known Bart, the lead singer, since childhood.) I remember one day about 12 years ago when Joel brought home their latest indie CD called The Worship Project. He said, "There's one song in particular on here that could be really big..." We sat in the living room floor and I had cold chills as I listened to "I Can Only Imagine" for the very first time.

A few years later Imagine hit the charts, created a whirlwind of "success" and the band felt they wanted someone to keep them grounded and accountable. Unfortunately, there was no money for accountability, but they did need to hire someone to drive the bus. So Joel resigned his youth ministry position and became the bus driver/road pastor for the band. After just a few months and some restructuring, he stopped driving the bus and became their full-time road manager.

And so its been a unique experience...watching God work through a bunch of ordinary men (not just the six guys in the band, but Joel and other crew members as well).

Last night I was struck once again by the notion that you never know where the path will lead when you give your life to Christ's service. It may take you to an arena filled with thousands of people singing words to a song you wrote, or it may take you to South America to work with impoverished people and orphans, or it may take you to your own living room to watch the miracle of your daughter come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

But hopefully, wherever it takes me I will never lose the wonder and awe of someone like me being used by Someone like Him.
"...No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" 1 Corinthians 2:9