Monthly Archives: July 2006

My Family

I spent a lovely hour… ok, almost two hours!!   chatting with my family in Australia.

They are having “Christmas in July” – every one is there but me.  Now, before we get to sad and sappy over the whole deal, we must remember that I have gotten to see my family A LOT (relatively) since I graduated from High School… and we didn't know how often we would get to see each other.  I did just spend 6 weeks with my mom and dad here in Anchorage this last Christmas.  The problem is, I am out of marrying sisters!!  They are all taken, so the next thing we'll be getting together for is … renewing of vows?

Thanks fam, for letting me chat and feel a bit of a part of it.  Even sharing with me, down to the last detail, the MULTITUDE of scrumptious deserts.  Holy moly…. you are going to need at LEAST all afternoon to get through tasting all those yummies.

Well, we had macaroni and CHEESE for dinner.  there you go!! (with chewy broccoli) yeah.  so your lamb roast was better… at least I don't have that many dishes to do. 🙂

I miss you all tons, and I will definitely get pics of the new house on the computer in the next week… sorry it is taking so long.  It just doesn't look that great to take pics of yet!!  BUT I will push my pride aside, and post.

New House

It has been crazy crazy moving in.  We have been here long enough, though, that I can't just do moving type activities… I have to maintain where we are living too!!

And this is a MUCH bigger house to clean!  So I am figuring out what kind of a routine would work / schedule for cleaning.

We are so enjoying our LIGHT – the trees are at eye level.  Don't know if I already shared this, but we have had some “kid” squirrels chasing each other out here.  A Mama Robin, feeding her fledgling (took us a bit to ID the fledgling… with all those fluffy feather he actually looked bigger than mama!!), and countless chickadees.  And lots of breezes, and blue sky and sunshine.

I am feeling so very spoiled!!!

Day 1
Moving in was less than ideal.  We got our keys a WEEK after we closed and signed.  THEN, I cam over to begin the cleaning, and there was stuff and trash everywhere, like she hadn't finished moving out.  SO we left, called the realtor who called the seller's realtor etc. and tried again the next day. 
Day 2
it was dirty dirty dirty.  The carpet was trashed.  and there was / is traces of a SMOKER (which wasn't there before!) we are finding more and more.  The bathrooms were… ICK.  the stove top took me three days of scrubbing and cleaner and oven cleaner to get workable. 
Day 3
The fridge is broken… it leaks.  they have a second one here. (now we know why!!)
The shower tile is so so so… disgusting.  Every other day I take a shower in there to scrub ONE wall…. andmy fingers are cracked and bleeding and it makes me nauseous its so gross.  That is probalby where the new BOIL on my face came from!!
Day 4
Unlike my last boil, I go straight to the Dr and get myself some antibiotics.  I do not want a repeat of the last one!!  We find out that the previous tenant (not impressed that the seller sold…) told the other two tenants that we would be raising the rent $300 !! so they have already put in their 30 day notice… nobody told us!! we wonder how long till they leave!?!?!?!
Day 5
Bryan gets the tenants ACCURATE new leases to go into effect September 1.  The one guy decides he'll stay (YEAH!) the other will move out, but will stay through August (YEAH!)
Day 6
Unit C garage door is broken… somethng electric.  The lights in our hallway are on a timer.  BUT we don't know where!?!?”!?! Have looked everywhere (except where it is, of course) 🙂
Day 7
BIG YARD DAY!!  we are NOT gardeners… but we would sure like to be.  We don't know what any of the plants are.  Or how to prune, if there is a way that is proper… so we just chopped.  Guess we'll find out if we ruined them later!! 🙂  The weeds are numerous, and everything is very overgrown, but as long as I can pace myself and not try to do it all at once, we could have some nice plants in the next few years.  I found out the huge flowers on the side are Peonies… beautiful, huge, overgrown, and desperately needing something to hold them up a little!!

SO that is a rundown of our new place.  the tile in both bathrooms and the kitchen is needed to be stripped and regrouted and patched… things are falling off and apart, and the wallpaper has GOT to go… but there is so much of it… so it might be a one room a month sort of  a thing!!  I sure could use a soak in our new hot tub… that is in our bathroom… but we need to figure out how to fill it up (the hose under the bathroom counter?) and then drain it when we are done… and find the buttons to start it… ?!?

With all of that, the light and views just lift me up and make me smile.  Its wonderful wonderful and I feel totally and utterly spoiled!!  AND am finding out, that I am having a little trust issue with God… can you believe it? after all these years of Him taking care of us in some extreme situations even, and I would consider not trusting Him NOW??  yup.  its a journey.  some lessons must be learned multiple times!!

oops – not catholic like some are wondering

From my previous post I may have given some the wrong idea.  There is no faith in the prayer rope.  It does nothing for you but keep you focused (like doodling, tapping your fingers or squeezing a cush (sp?) ball.  And keep track of the number, if you have a goal.  Which you can keep track of however.

The point is the prayer.  I would imagine you could use any prayer that pointed you to Christ.  The simplicity and depth of the one sentence gives a person much to meditate and ponder.  And it isn't for everyone.  I will probably not find myself repeating 1000 a day 🙂 . 


one of my lovely commenter's, Apple, has this on her blog Process

Worship Gathering for last week (July 16)

The Jesus Prayer

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”


When Jesus was coming close to Jericho, a blind man sat begging
beside the road. The man heard the crowd walking by and asked what
was happening. Some people told him that Jesus from Nazareth was
passing by. So the blind man shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have
mercy on me!” The people who were going along with Jesus told the
man to be quiet. But he shouted even louder, “Son of David, have
mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and told some people to bring the blind
man over to him. When the blind man was getting near, Jesus asked,
“What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see!” he
answered. Jesus replied, “Look and you will see! Your eyes are
healed because of your faith.” Right away the man could see, and he
went with Jesus and started thanking God. When the crowds saw what
happened, they praised God.     Luke 18:35-43


Two men went into the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the
other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood over by himself and
prayed, “God, I thank you that I am not greedy, dishonest, and
unfaithful in marriage like other people. And I am really glad that
I am not like that tax collector over there. I go without eating
for two days a week, and I give you one tenth of all I earn.” The
tax collector stood off at a distance and did not think he was good
enough even to look up toward heaven. He was so sorry for what he
had done that he pounded his chest and prayed, “God, have pity on
me! I am such a sinner.” Then Jesus said, “When the two men went
home, it was the tax collector and not the Pharisee who was
pleasing to God. If you put yourself above others, you will be put
down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honoured.”   
Luke 18:13

What are tools that you use to help you in your walk with Jesus?  There are different tools for different people, some we pull out regularly, even daily, some every now and then, or just for a season.  Here is one we learned and practiced last week… One that has become a regular part of my day the last couple weeks since MJ first shared it with me.

The Jesus Prayer... seated comfortably with your head bowed, attend to your breathing, then begin the prayer in rhythm with your breathing.

       Breathe in: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God,”

       Breathe out: “have mercy on me, a sinner.”

Guarding the mind against all distractions, the prayer focuses during every repetition on the meaning of the words, praying them from the heart and in the heart.

(This is usually done with the help of a prayer rope which has 100 knots in it to help keep track of your repetitions.  Instead of a rope, we used a set of 100 boxes to tick… great for the kinisthetic in us that eagerly looks for something tangible to help our minds focused!!  Click Here:  prayer ropes.  for a good web site for ordering.  I will just stick to the boxes or incorporate it into my day.)

I have used it through out the day recently… whenever I sense flesh taking over the Spirit!  It has been incredibly “refocusing” (is that a word?)  I said it working out today… I felt so light and free and Spirit controlled when I was through. 

There is a wonderful story of a Russian guy wandering the country side searching for a way to pray without ceasing… and this is what he was told by a…? some leader in a church… its an incredible story, and if I could find it on the internet, I would direct you to it, but I can't.  Someone let me know if you find it!  Here is a book you could purchase or borrow from a library:  The Way of a Pilgrim

This isn't a convincing argument of why you should 🙂 I am not too good in that way.  But, if you would like another tool in your walk.  Maybe try this one.

p.s. Kevin Hardwick… to what was your comment referring? – I am assuming it wasn't referring to us moving house.  There is much nonsense in moving, but not the kind you were referring to I am sure.



Worship Gathering (for long ago July 9)

We had some neat things going on at the last couple gatherings.

two Sunday's ago, I led worship from the piano, with no other instruments.  As much as I enjoy all the extras, there are times when simplicity is the way to go. If for no other reason, because there is no other option!! LOL

MJ (pastor) was speaking on the power of God… from Phillipians 3 when Paul says …”that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, …”  It was truly an anointed teaching.  I have not heard MJ sound more clear and focused since I have known him.  One of the main points (Molly might be interested in bringing this one up in her posts sometime!!) was that Jesus did all that He did, signs, wonders, teaching, etc. through the power of the Holy Spirit, not out of His “God-ness”. (PLEASE NOTE, this is NOT taking away His divinity… Jesus is God… I absolutely believe it) but his minsitry was done through the power of the Holy Spirit, not through the power of His Godness.  And that Holy Spirit is the same Spirit that dwells in each believer…. more on all this later.

After the sermon, during the response time, I played for a while, then we sang “Breathe on Me” – (hillsongs) and I sensed the Spirit leading me to just sing…  “Tehilla” – it was awesome.  There were some that joined in, I even RHYMED!! – ok, the Spirit rhymed.  It was incredible.  It made me think of “prophetic worship” – like God had things he wanted to say through me, using the words that were coming out of my mouth.  Words of confession and repentance, cries of mercy and a desire for BELIEF in God.  They were unplanned and unrehearsed, usually I didn't know what would come out, melodically or wordwise, until I opened my mouth and it exited!  It was awesome.  My heart was so burdened for our church.  The love and compassion in my heart was no longer mine, but magnified to the Spirit's proportions.  That is what it felt like anyway.

I just wanted to share this, as it is the first time that we have had true “spontaneous  worship” in a Souljourn worship gathering.  (only in home church)  I love how God is growing us, expanding our view to include more of Him.

i am still here… or back I'd should say!

SO we have moved.  There is still cleaning to be done and some odds and ends and a cupboard to clean out 🙂 – ok, probably more than I realize is still there!! BUT we are here, living functioning and boxed in amidst our new great views, space, LIGHT, trees…

There have been a few surprises.  Mostly not fun or nice. BUT God is working it all out, I am learning patience. and through it all watching a 13 yr old… I don't remember being quite so… teenagerish!!  God is teaching me patience, mercy, compassion… they are NOT really the character qualities I was thinking I'd be working on this month.  (well, patience I'll be forever working on )

so to let all who want to know that I am here, and will be posting again… though possibly rarely, and even more rarely commenting most probably, though I will, as usual, be reading you all.

plus I have to tell you about the last couple worship gatherings.  very good.

Worship Gathering July 2

Oh what a wonderful service today!!!

That cool part, is that the music aspect of the worship was less than average, to be honest… we were weak today.  Just the two of us, piano and voice.  And I chose songs that really don't work well for that.  My bad.  But its proof that you don't need amazing music for God to move and work in our hearts!!

So as we walked into the service we all got our hands dirty.  Literally.  Rubbed in mud.  (except the piano player waited until after he finished playing our three songs).  We also kept Keenan (6) and Alexis (7) in for the whole service this time.

We delved into the richness of God's grace and the stinkiness of our sin and our own attempt at righteousness.  At the end of the service, in our response time, we reviewed how each of us dealt differently with the dirt on our hands.  Some of us rubbed it away, so we couldn't even tell it was there (without a magnifying glass, anyway) and some of us it bothered for a while, then we just ignored it and got used to our dirty hands.  Some of were bothered to distraction and could focus on nothing but the dirt on our hands, and tried not to touch anything or anyone, and hid it from others.  Some gloated and loved it… showing off their pile of dirt, and making a show of it…

I'm sure you have figured out by now that the dirt is sin.  and as Scripture was read
Psalm 51
James 4:6-10
We washed our hands… allowed our hearts and spirits to be washed in His grace.

His grace is a BEAUTIFUL thing!!

We then each had communion in our own timing and sang

“Grace Flows Down”
“Grace Like Rain” (Amazing Grace to different tune, and adding a chorus)

our new space is wonderful.  Its so much more intimate!!  I can HEAR the church body worshiping, instead of only hearing me!!!  Most wonderful, was hearing Alexis and Keenan sing their hearts out to their Father God…

It was a great service.

Worship Gathering June 25

Haven't been giving you my little updates… not that it has been terribly frightening, to be quite honest!!

 A couple weeks ago I was SO SO tired, and I asked the Lord to surprise me with direction and His felt presence, because I really just wanted to go curl up in bed, to be quite frank!!

As soon as I arrived (we started in our new classroom space, which to the eye at first isn't so asthetically pleasing) I felt God's peace beginning to wash over me.  I changed the order of service to start out slow and meditative, actually beginning with a song nobody knew “Only You” as the opening prayer… since it was where my heart was.  Then we sang songs of God's love for us.

“It Is You” – Hillsongs quiet beautiful song
He Knows My Name

 As we finished singing “He Knows My Name” – I thought of Psalm 139, and I read that Psalm 'over' the congregation… It was beautiful.

Now that we had basked in His love for us, and His attention to us… we moved on for our purpose in this world…

“You Said: – a great song with quote after quote from Scripture talking of God's desire to see the nations set free, and the harvest being ripe, and His promise to be with and go before in evangelism and we read

Psalm 96 – a great Psalm to catch David's / God's vision for all the nations of the world to be praising His name!!!

After the service we sang

It's All About You (Jesus Lover of  My Soul)
Be Thou My Vision

It was a very mellow service, but exactly what God had ordered for the day.  I am glad I didn't fight His inner promptings and try to make it an “upbeat, exciting” service, and try to force it on everyone, including myself.  Just as in our one on one time with Jesus we rest… so as a body of Christ, sometimes we just need to rest in Him and be quiet.

July 4th

What a wonderful day we had.  Mostly because it was so wonderful to have my husband home to hang out with us on his day off!! – It seems so rare lately to have family time without an ulterior motive.  (ministry, friends, etc)

We went to the parade in down town Anchorage… my first time.  That was fun, and I loved watching Keenan out the front, cheering for the soldiers and veterans, yelling “Thank you”… its great!!

We made cookies and decorated them to take to friends and then barbequed with our pastor's family.  Seems we hardly ever get to just hang out with them!!

We did our fair share of Fire crackers… I THINK they were legal!! Keenan dropped the end of his sparkler on the ground and STEPPED on it   So there were many many tears going on there!! lots of ice.  When we got home we put on lavendar and aloe vera and gave him some tylenol… he had already had motrin.  Poor kid.  He really was in pain!!

BUT its all looking better now.!

there is our update.  unbelievably, we will FINALLY get the keys to our new place today… I can't stand it I'm so excited to see what it looks like inside!!  SO we'll begin the cleaning today, maybe a little moving, and then the next week will I am sure be a blur.

I finally convinced our 13 yr old neighbor that is staying with us to go to Youth Group.  She will be going to the Junior High Camp in a coupel weeks… my logic was she would see some faces and meet some people. 🙂  I am praying for a wonderful experience at camp, and hopefully some new Christian friendships, and a better understanding of God and who He is.

That's all for now.

July posts

Jul. 28, 2006: My Family
Jul. 27, 2006: New House
Jul. 25, 2006: oops – not catholic like some are wondering
Jul. 22, 2006: Worship Gathering for last week (July 16)
Jul. 21, 2006: Worship Gathering (for long ago July 9)
Jul. 18, 2006: i am still here… or back I’d should say!
Jul. 6, 2006: Worship Gathering July 2
Jul. 6, 2006: Worship Gathering June 25
Jul. 6, 2006: July 4th
Jul. 2, 2006: “Choosing Home” tangent on freedom in Christ
Jul. 1, 2006: we closed!!!