Monday, April 7, 2014

Who here remembers Moses?

I once suggested we join a small group of elder statesmen in our church. Jim, not sure it was the right age classification, joked how it might go:

Who here remembers Moses? (all hands raised)

Hey, that guy owes me money.

Seriously though, what if you could interact with people who knew Moses--watched him grow up in Pharoah's court, knew of his speech impediment, were familiar with his big brother Aaron, saw him climb down the mount with the stone tablets, calmed him when his anger flared?

To me, that is the magic of studying the Bible: meeting real people in real situations and reading what the Lord did in their lives. "Remembering His deeds" in their lives opens up the possibilities for what He is doing in mine.

At different times in different studies, I have identified closely with the experiences of Esther, Jochebed, Hannah, Elizabeth, and Miriam. Their struggles aren't so different from mine; their God is the same powerful one I want to know.

I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. Psalm 77:10-12

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Jesus’ refusal was curt: “Beat it, Satan!” He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy: “Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.” Matthew 4:9-11 

Rebuke is definitely a Bible word, right? We don't use it commonly; nor do we do it. By definition to rebuke is "to express sharp, stern disapproval of." It's neither advisable nor politically correct to rebuke one's kids, neighbors, or congressmen.

Personally, I reserve my rebukes for the enemy. Even at that, I forget what an effective tool it is.  It took me most of today--the morning after an unpleasant episode--to realize what was required.

For me, the formula goes something like this: 

A difficulty + a disparaging word + my own discouraging voice = I'm down for the count (though I don't always know why).  

The disparaging word can be from someone in my inner circle or someone I barely know. That person may or may not intend to send me sailing in a sea of despair. On another day, their comment might not even register. But given the right circumstances, my thoughts start downward spiraling in agreement with their uninformed lies.

The enemy tried to get Jesus down. Remember His pattern of response? He did it three times in a row in the wilderness wielding a different Scripture as his sword of the Spirit each time. This is when Bible study pays off;)

Temptation (based on a lie) + Rebuke + Scriptural truth = Satan defeated

The taunts being dangled in front of me this time had to do with Reid's future. How did I get the monkey off my back?

My refusal was curt: “Beat it, Satan!” Then I backed my rebuke with a quotation from Jeremiah 29: "This is God’s Word on the subject: For I know the plans I have for Reid,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper him and not to harm him, plans to give him hope and a future."

Believe it. It works.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Rejoice again

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4 

Not sure if you got one of these in the mail. It was our Christmas card in 1994.

We rejoiced in the Lord then, for he gave us more than we wanted--a baby, actually two babies, a boy and a girl, a whole family!

We rejoice in the Lord now, for he gave us what we needed--a purpose, a calling, redemption, healing, an glimpse of his glory--so much more than we deserve!

Maybe that's why it's repeated, you think? Rejoice and again rejoice. God is always up to something.

What are you rejoicing (ie. to feel or show great delight) in today?

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4 

Friday, April 4, 2014

got idols?

Josiah removed all the detestable idols from all the territory belonging to the Israelites, and he had all who were present in Israel serve the Lord their God. As long as he lived, they did not fail to follow the Lord, the God of their ancestors.  2 Chronicles 34:32-33 

Does that sound like an ancient concept that has no bearing on your weekend? Or can you personalize it and fill in some modern-day idols that take center stage in your life? 

There was a specific period of time when I demolished a number of "arguments and every pretension that set itself up against the knowledge of God" as 2 Corinthians 10:5 describes.

An idol has been defined as anything that occupies the forefront of your mind. It probably won't be a bronze calf, we're more sophisticated than that. What does your life revolves around though? 

Being created to worship means that we are all susceptible to idolatry. Would-be gods are perpetually sneaking up on the altar of our hearts. They need to be removed and replaced with the One true God if we want what's best for ourselves. The very first commandment is that we have no other gods before Him.

I see it best when Reid walks around with a new VHS tape. He fixates on its front, back, spine, memorizes the back matter, copyright date, and fine print. Watches YouTube videos like this one by a similar collector. It becomes his world and precludes all else. His eyes are 2" from the image. His ears replay the soundtrack. His mind reviews each scene. His fingers cling to the black plastic casing. It is all he can think about. He begs me to go to a thrift store and buy another.

At first it's easy to dismiss or criticize as just bizarre, but then I begin to see what I am holding onto just as tightly. Go ahead, personalize it...

Andrea removed all the detestable idols from her territory--food, wine, dessert, being in charge, pleasing people, safety, comfort, her reputation, her children, her iPhone, autism itself--so all who were present served the Lord their God. 

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Let us run the race marked out for us fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Hebrews 12:1-3

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Of lemons, limes and Reordering life

Let’s take a good look at the way we’re living and reorder our lives under God. Let’s lift our hearts and hands at one and the same time, praying to God in heaven: We’ve been contrary and willful, and you haven’t forgiven.  Lamentations 3:39-41

Reorder our lives...

Who would do this unless under duress?

I know I didn't. It wasn't until everything fell apart that I was willing to say what we were doing needed to be re-ordered. Only then could I see how contrary and willful I really was.

Reid and I splurged last Saturday on lunch at California Pizza Kitchen. He got his usual cheese pizza, finished the word search on the kiddie menu, and was ready for the obligatory kid's sundae as he sucked on a lemon from my water glass.

Lemons are sour mom.

I know. They make you pucker.

Limes are too.

Yes, but you know they mix them with sugar to make key lime pie and that is yummy. I was fondling the  table tent that pictured their dessert offerings.

Key lime pie! They have key lime pie? I want that instead of my kiddie sundae.

Really? You're gonna change it up? He always gets the same thing. Here, at Sammy's, at Las Olas, everywhere. Everytime.

Yes, yes.

You're sure?

Yes I want the key lime pie instead.

Okay let me see if I can catch the waitress and re-order for you. Stay here.

I caught her mid-scoop, cancelled the kiddie sundae, and reordered. Then came the best part.

Mom, because I love you, you can have two bites. was so much better--and bigger--than the boring old kiddie sundae he has always gotten.


Reordering your life, marriage, and home takes a little longer. One spouse has to learn to submit and not do everything herself. The other has to lead after hours, not just at work. It takes practice; it spills and makes a mess; it's sticky and you fall into the old way without realizing it. 

But when it arrives, it's so much more delicious and satisfying than what you used to have. 

Let’s take a good look at the way we’re living and reorder our lives under God. Let’s lift our hearts and hands at one and the same time, praying to God in heaven: We’ve been contrary and willful, and you haven’t forgiven.  Lamentations 3:39-41

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

It's April and I'm not Blue

April to April. It was the working title for the book I thought I was writing before we received The Poppins Revelation. 

It's also a catch phrase in our family. We use it to express how far we've been delivered from a crisis in April of 2010. April marks a new year in the Hebrew calendar and commemorates God's deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery during Passover. In a pretty tangible way, we can relate; God delivered us from the bondage of autism (and more) during April. Every April we watch it come to more and more fruition.

April includes tax day....Jim's birthday...and Easter. It marks a full circle in our process of becoming rescued, redeemed, resurrected, re- people.

Thinking of April as Autism Awareness Month just pales in comparison.

Autism may be the presenting issue that takes me most often to the Lord. It might be one of the greatest challenges I have faced in life, but it isn't the only one, or the last one. And it surely doesn't have the last word.

Four years ago, I prepared daily posts during April. I had to abandon my post about day 13 when the proverbial #$%& hit the fan at our house. All that ensued is the subject of The Poppins Revelation book I am finishing. Through it, each member of our family was changed from the inside out. Frankly, autism is not the villain anymore. It was the vehicle.

This April I'd like to unpack one "Re-word" each day to remind us all that God's Word is the last word...on life, on autism, on cancer, on trials, on fear, on death. May it fall afresh on you...take root...and make all the difference.

Today's verse is a double portion: Review and Rewrote.

Every day I review the ways he works, I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.  2 Samuel 22:20-22