Tuesday, August 30, 2011


How often am I confronted with words that just creep into my heart, my mind and my soul and make me stop and ponder.
Well it happened again this week.
I have been reading Leviticus. Not what I would consider my favorite book of the Bible. It is actually (to sum it up quickly) a book about the laws and commands that God gave the Levites who would serve Him.
But on two consecutive days I read frequently:

"Be holy, because I , The LORD your GOD am holy."

"Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the Lord your God.

"I am the LORD who makes you holy"

"You are to be holy to me because I, the LORD, am holy and I have set you apart

OK I get it. GOD is holy. I have no problem with that at all. HE alone is true and pure and undefiled. HE is separate from all that is evil. HE does not tolerate evil. He is completely pure. IF HE wasn't, would I want to follow Him?

But He wants me to be holy? You to be holy? Isn't that asking a little much,Lord?
A footnote in my Bible, reads that for people, holy means being separated to God and from all that is unclean?
All that is unclean??
Like TV shows and movies I watch?
From music that I listen to?
From thoughts I have?
For the daydreams I have that might not be right?
From the people I hang out with?

Man, this is a tough one.
I am not being very holy. Don't get me wrong; I so desire to be holy. I want to separate myself for God, for His purposes.
But like I said, this one got me.
Holy isn't being "super religious" or "legalistic".
It is being who God wants me to be, who God envisions me to be, who God commands me to be.
I can not be holy if I rely on myself, I must rely on Him.
O LORD, help me to be holy, to be separated for you. Away from all that is unclean. Help me to be an example.

"Therefore, be holy, because I am holy."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The ending of summer

Today feels like summer is ending.
For you, it may feel over already if you are back at school or about to start school again.
For me, my first hint was that my husband went to church with me today. It is the first entire weekend he has had off since the middle of May.
Working at a Young Life camp where you never actually know what day of the week it is, summers for Scud always include working on what the rest of the world knows as Sunday. For him, its either day 1 or day 2 of the camping week. So to be able to go to church with Scud makes me know that summer is ending.
The next thing that made me suspicious of the ending summer was that it was warm and I decided to go to the pool to read and swim some laps. Woodleaf was completely empty. No one whatsoever at camp, not a single car in the parking lots. What happened to the 300-400 kids that were everywhere just a week ago?
Another clue to the ending of summer was how frantic I get when I see how bad the Giants are playing. I am sure they know the season is only 5 1/2 more weeks, but my mind and heart scream at them to pull it together.
I love summer. It is so much more relaxing than any other time of the year. I tend to read more books in the summer than the rest of the year. I have longer times with Jesus than any other time as well.

One thing that reminds me summer is NOT OVER is that I haven't been to the beach yet.
I am a beach girl thru and thru. I grew up spending my summers at my grandmother's beach house north of Ventura. I learned to bodysurf and surf. I loved walking on the beach for miles. I became a collector of sea shells at the age of three, and I can not go to any beach today without looking for shells. Hopefully next week, I might get the chance to take Kellen and Jax to the beach-at least for a few hours.

I am not ready for the routine of fall. Where I have to account for my time, book meetings, prepare studies. Mind you, I love being friends with college kids, but I love the beauty of no schedules that summer affords.
I have been told that I am flexible and usually handle change well.
Its just that I don't want summer to end. I want to own my time and my schedule.
But in reality, I don't own my time. You don't own your time.
We each have been given a certain amount of time to live on this earth. None of us knows how much time we have.
ONLY GOD knows the length of our days.
"Our times are in Your hands" say the Psalms.

So now I need to figure out what it is that I should be doing with my time. What is it God wants me to do?
As much as I hate summer to end, I am so grateful for the break of the normal routine. Thankful that I got to know and love 52 kids from all over the country in Arizona. Thankful for time with dear friends who served on assignment at Woodleaf during the summer. Thankful that because it was summer, Katie and Nate got to take a long weekend visiting us. Thankful that Kellen and Jax spent a week exploring our home and enjoying the Sugar Barrell. Thankful that I got to see college kids that I have come to love dearly, serve Christ here at Woodleaf.
Now its time to get back to work. Time to get back to that which God has called me too.
Time to enjoy the next season that God has in store.
But ...oh how I love summer!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Walking in God's Ways.

Today I started in 2 Chronicles and began to wonder how fast I would read thru this book. Well chapter 6 was all I needed to realize that God has/had something to say to me today.
2 Chronicles 6:14
"O Lord, God of Israel, there is no GOD like you in heaven or earth-you who keep your covenant of love with your servants of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way."
and part of verse 30 in the same chapter says:
"so that they will fear You and walk in your ways all the time they live..."

What does it mean to walk wholeheartedly in God's ways, and walk in His ways all the time we live?

For me, it probably means to:
Spend time with God everyday and talk to Him thruout my day.
To obey what His word says to me because it is always true.
It means loving my family in the best way possible, always looking for the best way to minister and encourage them.
It means Loving and caring and encouraging my friends thru good times and bad.
It means not to be judgemental. OUCH that's a hard one for me.
It means to always be truthful, and to be loving when it might hurt someone.
It means not watching TV shows that have no worth to me (and movies as well).
It means being committed to who HE has called me to be committed to.
It means trusting God even when life hurts so deeply-like when people I love die too early or are so sick with cancer or other diseases.
It might me being with people when I am so tired and weary.
It means trusting God when I don't know the outcome.
It means Waiting on Him -NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES .
It means taking care of myself and my body. Woops another one I really need to work on.
It means maybe only having one glass of wine (Yes, I love wine).
It means realizing that I might be the only person that another person might see who knows Jesus-and am I truly reflecting Him?
It means trying my very hardest to be who He envisions and wants me to be.

That's my list (for now).
What does yours look like?
I would love to know.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I have been reading thru the Bible every year for somewhere between 15-20 years now.
Sometimes I read very slow and might only read a few verses in a sitting; other days I read fast and furious to get thru some of the Old Testament.
I know that God has a reason for naming all the people that occur. But for me, those names usually mean nothing. If they don't have a story connected to their name, I usually skim thru pretty FAST. But I realize they all have their own story, just as we do and probably if I were one of those names, I would be so thankful. Afterall, if you are named in the Book that has sold more than any other book since the world began, you would be honored to see your name included.
For the past week I have been reading thru the books of 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings and 1 and 2 Chronicles.
1 Samuel and 1 Chronicles mostly tells the life of King David. Quite a number of people are mentioned, but i couldn't tell you who they are. The past three days I have been reading in 2 Kings and in 1 Chronicles and quite a few verses captured my attention but I just want to reflect on two of them.
The first verse is from 2 Kings 6 verse 17 and says in part:

"Open his eyes that he may see"

There is a scared young man who thinks that those fighting against Israel are so numerous that they will be crushed in battle. The prophet Elisha prayed for this young man and the LORD opened his eyes to see all the horses and chariots and warriors that He had provided.

I want my eyes to be opened to see the things that God wants me to see. I want to see clearly with His vision for my life. I don't want to be discouraged when things don't go the way I had thought or envisioned. When life throws me curveballs that come out of nowhere. I want my eyes to be opened daily to the things HE wants me to see, because maybe, just maybe, His idea for my day is completely different from what I had planned. And I don't want to miss at all any divine appointments that He has scheduled.

The other verse just lept out to me, mainly because i have been reflecting alot on the verse in 2 Kings 6:17 and it is from 1 Chronicles 19:13b

"The LORD will do what is good in His sight."

The LORD's sight. He sees everything and misses nothing. Nothing we can do escapes His eyes. And even tho I am not there yet, I know that 2 Chronicles 16:9 says: "for the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him."

God's eyes see perfectly clear. There is no squinting, no rubbing dirt out, no reaching for the glasses or putting the contacts in. He sees everything with spectacular clarity.
He knows when I am seeking Him, when I am doing everything I can to reflect Him in a way that is honoring , He knows when I am obedient and when I am not. He knows when I try and fool others to think I might be better than I am, but He sees the real me, all the time.
And so the times when I wonder what to do next, what He wants and envisions for my life, why would I not go to Him first? Because even if I go after what I want, what i desire and think I need and when it contradicts His ways, somehow -mostly thru pain and trials, I come back to Him. I come back to His clear perspective, His truthfulness.
Doesn't God always do what is good in His sight? Doesn't He know the best way? Even tho things don't always seem good to me; is my definition of good the same as His? I have learned over the years thru pain and suffering, that God does see clearly, when i don't. That HE sees the finish. HE sees the end of our trials. He sees the end of our suffering. HE sees the end of our lives when we just see the here and now.
So I truly want to see with His eyes. With eyes wide open to see what He does. To try and look at others thru His eyes and not mine. To be open to see what He wants and then to be strong enough, faithful enough, to do what He wants to be done, regardless of what my eyes might see as stumbling blocks.
Oh Lord God, open my eyes to see.
And may I always keep you in my vision.

Friday, August 12, 2011

WISDOM-learned from others.

WHAT IF you were the smartest man in the world? the smartest that has ever been born?? What if you had all the money you needed and were one of the richest men ever to live?
What if you actually heard God talk to you??
How would your life be different?
Would you need God?? Would you listen to Him? Would you do what He said?

Well Solomon was this man. GOD gave him wisdom unsurpassed by any other person ever born. He gave Solomon this wisdom because when God asked him what He would like from God, Solomon asked for the wisdom to discern right from wrong to be able to rule Israel and God's people the way God wanted. And then God gave Solomon wisdom and blessed him with riches beyond his imagination.

I realize that many people who have all the money they need, who don't have to rely on anyone for their physical needs to be met, have a hard time believing that they need God. But does money buy happiness, contentment? Yes, money can buy you things, allow you to have all sorts of toys, take unbelievable vacations that bring you happiness for a time, but money cannot buy you emotional ties, cannot buy you the relationships you crave.

God gave Solomon everything; blessed Solomon with so so much. And for such a long period of time, Solomon did right in the eyes of the LORD.
In 2 Kings chapter 11, things began to change.

"King Solomon loved many foreign women...they were from nations about which the LORD had told the Israelites "you must not intermarry with them, because they will turn your hearts after their gods. Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. He had 700 wives and over 300 concubines and his wives led him astray."

OK first of all, he had over 1000 women. That in itself is PROBLEM ENOUGH!! More than enough problems. Can you imagine 1000 women fighting for his attention?? And what they must have done to try and be with him?? Kind of grosses me out.
Its difficult enough for a man or woman to always love, always be kind and patient and forgiving to their spouse day in, month in and year in and out of marriage. But 700 wives and 300 concubines?? With that many he could see them each once every three years. There is NO WAY Solomon could meet the physical, emotional and even spiritual needs of 1000 women.

But I digress. The point of this story is that God clearly spelled out that foreign women would drive Solomon away from Himself.
Why is it that we have such a hard time obeying God? When He clearly tells us something, we can rationalize ourselves to believe, "He didn't really mean me in this situation". Or we think "I will do this thing just once and then never again".
Do I , do you, really think we know more than the One who created us?
Do you think God gives us commands because He doesn't want us to have fun? That He wants us to live dull, boring lives?
Absolutely not.
John 10:10 says " I have come to give you life and life abundantly (or life to the fullest)"

Is God telling you something right now that you are putting off doing?? A very dear dear friend of mine just broke up with her boyfriend. It took her two months to do it, but she did it. It wssn't fun, and probably wasn't easy, but in the end, she obeyed God, because she knew this was the right thing to do.

Solomon asked God to give him wissom so that he would do the right thing.
Further along in 1 KINGS 11 I read:

"As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God....Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD, he did not follow the LORD completely...The LORD became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord...Solomon did not keep the Lord's command."

From what I surmise in this is that once we decide to follow our own agenda even once, can cause effects in our relationship with Our God. Once we disobey the first time, isn't it easier to do something again?

Do we settle for something good, when God desires to give us Life abundantly? otherwise known as His Best for us?.
Are their gods in my lfe that are taking my focus off Christ? Am I allowing my family, my friends, my job, my earthly treasures, my wants and my desires, to come before my obedience to the LORD??
I don't want the LORD to become angry with me because my heart was turned away from following Him first and keeping Him front and center.
Solomon was the wisest man to ever have lived and he messed up.
How does that bode for me then?
I want to learn from Solomon's life that things that look appealing can lead my heart away from God. And what i really want is to have my heart always longing after God. I want to obey Him all the time. And when I don't, I want to go immediately to Him and make things right again.
Thanks wise Solomon...I am learning from your mistakes.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I know this little boy who is three years old. He is absolutely full of life. He is non stop in physical activity and in talking. I love being with him any chance i get. Why?? Because he is my grandson.
We have this game. I ask him: "What is your full name?"
He answers me: "My name is Kellen, Big Car, Buster Posey, Cody Ross, Goofball, Lil Booger Gill"
Its a combination of all our own special little jokes and we laugh everytime he says it.
Kellen Loves Life. He LOVES BASEBALL..
My son Todd says Kellen has the potential of being the biggest GIANTS fan ever. And he quite possibly could be. He knows more about the GIANTS this year than his Grammy does.
Kellen and his adorable sidekick and little brother Jax just spent a week with us.
I had a blast (altho a bit of an exhausting blast) with these 2 little guys that I love so dearly.

Whenever Scud or I would ask Kellen a question about the Giants or anything else , he will answer us right away. But if you ask him a question and he doesn't know the answer or can't remember it off the top of his head, he will say "You tell me".
Its really cute how he says it so fast.
Scud says he doesn't even stop to think or try and remember, or try to pretend he knows the answer. He just immediately says "You tell me".
If you ask him again and try to get him to remember, he will think about it. And then you either get the answer or another "You tell me".

This phrase came to me this morning reading my Bible.
I am reading in 2 Samuel. David is now the King of Israel.
In chapter 2 I read:

"After this, David asked the LORD..."
then again in chapter 6

"And again David asked the LORD what to do?....So David did what the LORD commanded"

David essentially was asking the LORD for direction, and to me, he was saying "YOU tell me"
And isn't that what I should be doing? What we all should be doing?
Everyday? Thru out our days? Asking the LORD what is next? What is it that YOU want me to do? How do I handle this situation? Should we not be going to the GOD who made us, the ONE who knows us better than we know ourselves, to ask for whatever we need?

Don't we believe that HE is the one with the BEST answers?
Granted, we have questions and concerns that He doesn't answer immediately.
Presently, I have been praying and asking the LORD for His direction on a matter for a number of months now. For reasons known only to HIM, He has chosen not to show me yet what I am to do.
But one thing I do know, is that I am not to move forward until HE tells me to.
How often in our days do we actually consult God in what we are dealing with?
For me, the answer is NOT ENOUGH.
Sometimes I think I know what to do in situations and don't even think to consult the LORD.
When I write that, I think to myself: "Really Missy?? you know better than THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE?"
Who do I think I am??
I realized again this morning, that I need to go to God frequently thru out my days. To seek His direction, to try and ascertain His will, to invite HIM into every part of my life.
I realize this will be difficult to practice. But I am determined to try. I want His input. I need His input.
I want to be like Kellen and say "YOU TELL ME ".
And sometimes, to realize that He won't tell me right away. But to wait on HIM and His direction, will always be the BEST way.

AND I LOVE how God confirms His truth to me in so many different ways.
Right after reading this in 2 Samuel and writing in my journal, "YOU TELL ME", I picked up Oswald Chambers' devotional, My Utmost for His Highest and read:

Are we living at such a level of human dependence upon Jesus Christ that His life is being exhibited moment by moment in us?"

YEP, pretty sure God wants us to go to Him and say "YOU TELL ME".

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Love deeply, Forgive freely.

Today was a day filled with mixed emotions.
I went to the memorial service for my dear friend Amy's dad.
It was more a celebration of his life.
Wade was a man who loved deeply and forgave quickly. That was the message spoken over and over about him today. I wish I had known Wade better. He cared for others so deeply and the MOST important people to him were his family. He loved Kathy from almost the minute he laid eyes on her and loved her so well for over 43 years.
He loved his children enormously and taught them to love others just as he did.
I remember from the very beginning of my friendship with Amy how impressed I was with how she cared for people and made them feel so special. She learned this from her dad. He was her role model.

The Pastor today was from Wade's very small church in the Almaden area of San Jose. this was the very same church that Wade's grandmother helped to found. Jordan told us that Wade had told him sometime during his 15 month battle with cancer that he did not want to wast a single moment of his life and that it would be a shame if he did.
I wrote that down on the program because that's what I want to do.
I want to love people as well as Wade Douglass and Katie Parsons May did.
God took both of them to their eternal home a little bit too early for me. But I truly believe that God knows what He is doing. And that its ok for me to question and ponder. And like I wrote in an earlier blog, I need the reminder that this earth is NOT my home...this is where we pass thru a number of years that only God knows how many...until we reach our REAL destination- Heaven...where we will spend eternity with Jesus; free from all the trials of life on earth.
Because of Katie's life and Wade's life, I have been so challenged these past 3 weeks to change how I love and view others.
This morning I was reading my bible in the book of 1 Samuel. Its the story of King David. Actually 1 Samuel is the story of before David was king. He was the armor bearer for the first king of Israel, Saul.
But Saul disobeyed God's command and lost favor with Him and then the Lord appointed David to be the next king.
Saul became obsessed with getting rid of David. Unfortunately, Saul's son Jonathan, was David's very best friend. Saul was trying to kill David when Jonathan heard about it and went to inform David that he needed to run for his life.
But in chapter 23 and verse 16 we read:

"Jonathan went to find David and encouraged him to stay strong in his faith in God"

That's what Katie May did. That's what Wade Douglass did.
They shared their faith and hope in Christ and loved others well.
I want to be like them. I want to be like Jonathan.
I want to encourage others to stay strong in their faith in God. Whatever happens to them, whatever might turn their world upside down.
Over three years ago, I joined the Young Life College staff because I wanted to encourage college friends that a relationship with Christ lasts for a lifetime. That life doesn't make sense apart from Christ. That we need Jesus everyday. That the more connected we are to HIM, the more we will be able to handle what life on this earth might throw us.
One of the greatest joys in my life has been encouraging Amy to stay strong in her faith. We've walked some pretty crappy roads together. But I am confident Amy's faith will stay strong in the weeks and years ahead because she wants to be reunited with her earthly father and her Heavenly Father forever.
Its not because of me, its because of the example of her dad.
Love deeply, forgive freely.
Thank you Lord God, for Wade's life and how You are using his life and Katie's life to want me to be a better lover of people.