Wednesday, June 27, 2012

She has found her voice...

We have now had our new dog for almost a whole week!  She's really a good dog - doesn't shed, is already housebroken, isn't aggressive, seems to be loyal.  Very calm personality.  Sweet.

The longer she's with us the more comfortable she is getting.  The first noise she made was a bark that sounded like a dog burp.  Then, it has become apparent that she REALLY likes Dennis - so she cries when he leaves.  She eventually kind of sighs and settles for me!

I heard a NEW noise last night.  Both Dennis and I had commitments.  She stayed with him till my reheasal was over, then I brought her home with me.  She went out in the backyard and something (I really don't know what) caught her attention.  She barked.  A real bark.  A bark that was high and piercing and not really something that would scare a robber.  It's just...weird.  I'll admit that earlier when she was alerting me to the nieghbors next door with what sounded like a dog burp, that wasn't really impressive either.  But this...this just makes you say, "What IS that sound?"

We all have our own "I need to find MY voice" journey. I've heard a lot about finding your own voice.   But, what does that 'found voice' really sound like to others?  It doesn't sound like anyone else's, but what does it do to the spirit of those who hear it?  Does your 'voice' build up, or tear down?  Does what you say make people wince, or feel stronger?  Is there hope in your voice?

I know people who have gotten so tired of not saying what they really felt that they cast off restraint.  They feel better after 'sharing their heart' with you, but you feel beat on or maybe even vomited on.  I know that those are strong words, but the Bible has strong words about...our words.

Ephesians 4:29
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

I know we will be able to recognize the sound of Noel's bark in a crowd of dogs!  She doesn't have a choice - but you and I do.  "Do not let any..."  ---  that's choice, right there.

It might be a good idea to pick up a couple of other tips from Noel - - - notice and act excited when your loved one comes home!  Don't growl at toddlers.  Try not to shed!  And hopefully, if you are reading this, you have that whole housebroken deal mastered - that is truly a blessing!  :-)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Game Show Winner

If there was a game show based how many church songs one knows - I would SO be crowned the queen.  Honestly.  I know A LOT of songs.

Tonight I am thinking of all the "please use me - I will do anything - go anywhere for You" songs that I have song with passion over the years.   At camps, during altar times, leading others in that direction or just singing alone in my piano room - the memories of surrender songs flash through my mind.  A LOT of songs.

I'm also thinking of how much easier it sometimes is to sing the songs than to DO the action being requested by heaven.  Not everything that one does for the Kingdom of God fits into one's 'giftings'.

The last couple of weeks have held some very poignant moments of Truth for me.  Would I serve Him by serving others in ways that are difficult or very uncomfortable for me (for more than one reason)?  I honestly looked at a circumstance and said those highly over exposed, marketed-on-a-bracelet, church words - "Jesus, what WOULD You do right now?  Am I serving You by doing this?  Am I loving with Your love by doing this? "

I can assure you that even though I experienced peace and direction, it wasn't really an emotional break-through moment for me.  It was an obedience, serving moment.

I don't know where those moments lead, or how they impact the Kingdom.  I just know that serving is not always convenient, fulfilling, romantically spiritual, or even clean.  Serving is loving Him and loving with Him.

If You can use anything, Lord, You can use me
If You can use anything, Lord, You can use me
Take my hands, Lord, and my feet
Touch my heart, Lord, speak through  me
If You can use anything, Lord, You can use me...

Sunday, June 10, 2012


I went to the doctor last week.  It seems that no matter what doctor you go to, they always want to weigh a person before getting around to business.  Really?  Getting my ear's cleaned out - must get weighed first.  Probably have to weigh in before getting my teeth cleaned next.  

I went to the doctor last week, got weighed and found that I have gained 10 pounds in the last 2 months.  Groovy.  How is that even possible.  The doc says of course it is possible because it happened!  What have I done differently?  Nothing, I reply.  

And then I remember...  the 14 large boxes of junior mints that I got for my birthday.   Those mints were so light, so small, so refreshing, so thoughtful, so FUN.  Evidently, I grew larger - one fun mint at a time!  (And I haven't even eaten them all yet! Ugh.)

I could connect this with small sins, attitudes, thoughts that add up to a big load after a while - a big load of heaviness that snuck up on you when you weren't aware, but is suddenly very apparent.

But instead, today I am connecting these mints with each small choice to bless, to choose faith, to be thankful, to pray instead of worry, to trust instead of need to understand.  My hope - no - what I'm counting on is that each LITTLE decision to choose Jesus will add up.  That there will be days when I will be surprised at the territory I have gained, one small step at a time.

I am aware that the analogy should be a picture of eating vegetables not junior mints.  I will tell you that I know that sugar is not a food group - please don't email me about the dangers of sugar and miss my point here.  

My point is - don't discount or dismiss the small things.....either good or bad.  They add up.  They don't just disappear because they are small.  

And, by the way, I still don't know who gave me that driveway full of junior mints, but, thank you!  Thank you for knowing and caring about what I really like.  Thank you for taking the time to make the sign and line up the boxes so they looked so cool.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.  It is worth every extra mile I have to walk to lose the weight I gained!!!!!!  Honest!