Saturday, September 24, 2011

History Repeats Itself

"The man said, 'The woman you put here with me-she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.'"  Genesis 3:12 (NIV)

Okay, so the history might have been slightly altered.

What was consumed was not quite the wholesome, albeit forbidden, fruit from the Garden of Eden.

The consequences of the ingesting were not as dire by any means.

But "the woman" still got blamed.

What's a girl to do when she passes a Krispy Kreme with the HOT DOUGHNUTS NOW sign on?

Yes, I was the one who, just hours earlier, had encouraged the man to just stick with the yummy soup and stay away from the Fettuccine Alfredo.  He ordered it anyway.

And then that neon sign screamed out to me!  In a moment of weakness, my exclamation and recitation of the sign's orange words prompted him to slam on the brakes and take the sharp right turn. Before we knew it, we were in the drive-thru ordering a hot doughnut for each of us.  And I must confess, I even said, "Do you think we should get 2 a piece?"  Fortunately, the man was strong.

Guilt overcame me before the last bite was eaten and my fingers were licked.  I apologized.

As if I needed a reminder or a reason to be shrouded with the shame, this morning the man said, "Why did you make me eat that doughnut last night?"  Then he chuckled.  He's really a good guy...and one who went to the gym after the sinful incident to work it off.'s a word to you girls out there.  Since the beginning of time, we women have had great power to influence.  Seriously.  Eve's not the only one to use her womanly prowess.  And too many times the consequences have been undesirable.  Think Sarai suggesting that Abram sleep with her maidservant.  What was she thinking???  Even our generation suffers the repercussions of decisions made. 

We need to consider that power.  We need to pray for God to guide our influence.  To equip us with restraint.  To give us patience.  To trust Him and His plan.  May we be the makers of future history, obeying God, resisting the enemy, and urging our men to do what's right.

Lord, thank You for the intricacies of Your creation.  Thank You for the trust that You've given us as women to influence.  Lord, fill us up with Your wisdom so that the power will be wielded wisely.  Thank You for giving us freedom in choices, so that we learn and grow.  Thank You for forgiveness when we stray off-course.  Guide us, Lord.  Help us follow Your Way.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Even More

If you, then...know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him."  Matthew 7:11 (NIV)

Our youngest daughter attends a school that recently launched a technology initiative which provides each child in 6th grade and up with a laptop.  In order to protect the investment, parents were required to purchase specified computer bags.  All bags are identical.  Basic black.

The students have been quite creative in decorating their bags.  I had no idea that there were so many duck tape designs!!!  Or that duck tape seems to be the artform du jour.

Our middle-schooler decided that a sillyband knotted around one of the handles was sufficient at first.  However, a couple of weeks into school, I noticed a cool zebra stripe replaced the sillyband as the distinguishing feature.  I said, "Well, that looks cool!  Where did you get it?"  She said, "Oh I found it on the floor in the stairwell."

And she was content.

With someone's poorly adhering, wrinkly, trampled upon zebra stripe.

I said, "Don't you want me to buy a roll of duck tape for you?"

She replied, "No, really, this is fine." 

Why didn't she just ask?  I would gladly give her a truckload of duck tape!

This morning I decided to take the removable zipper pouch from the front of her bag to a friend of mine who monograms.  I asked her if she would like that.  Those beautiful almond shaped eyes lit up!  I asked her if she would rather have her first name or her initials.

She said, "Just my initials...MLB."

Like I didn't know.

Oh, how our heavenly Father wants us to ask...and receive even more than we would ever dream.

And He knows our name.

Oh Lord, how often we settle for tattered rags when You want to cover us in robes of righteousness.  Clothe us, Lord, with Your "good gifts" of "much more"!  Thank You for the intimacy of Your great love toward us.  We love You. 


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I Am Weak, But He Is Strong

"I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever!  Amen."  Ephesians 3:16-21 (NIV)

The words that I learned as a child echoed in my mind.

"I am weak, but He is strong."

Yes I am.  Weak. 

I knew that God was keeping His end of the bargain. I prayed for Him to help me be less hungry.  I wasn't hungry.  I wasn't even thirsty.  I had a cup of water right there in the console.

But even though I could almost hear Him encouraging me to pass it up, cheering me on, I blocked out His voice and went there anyway.

To Starbucks.   For a Java Chip Frappachino. 

(It was decaf, nonfat, and no whip.)

As I pulled out of the drive-thru, this is the chorus that played in my mind.
"I am weak, but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
The Bible tells me so."

When I wanted God to reprimand me, He just said, "I love you.  We'll do better next time."

I am so weak.  In so many ways.

Weak in my faith.

Weak in my Him and others.

Weak in my walk.

But...yes, Jesus loves me...wide and long and high and deep. 

And He "is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us." 

Immeasurably more.

Because He loves us.


Jesus, thank You for Your love and the promise of strength.  Help us to trust You.