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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Who’s driving your car?

So we have a new driver in the house.

Since about June. It’s got everyone riled up. And it’s not because she’s such a bad driver. It’s because we are all such control freaks. And we just want a smooth, adequate speedily ride without cause for ulcers and stomach disorders.

She’s learning and she will be a good driver one day. But usually I would just rather drive. Especially in the carpool lane and on the way to church. Two very key happenings that require speed and agility.

This morning I was thinking about the passenger seat and how hard it is for me to sit there with an inexperienced driver. It’s frightening. I’m not gonna lie.. I have stomped hard on the floor and beat on the dash on more than one occasion in the past few months.

I lack faith in the driver.

Now Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

What is Faith defined as?

Dictionary.com says this…

Faith

1.

confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another’s ability.

2.

belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
When I send my loved ones out into the day I have Faith that they will return home later. I believe that I will see them in about 7 hours.
In fact if I were to doubt seriously that they would return to me I would never get them out of bed.
So Faith is believing in something I can’t see or prove will actually happen.
And God says, Without faith it is impossible to please me. Heb 11:6
So we can feed the poor, cloth the naked, visit the sick, care for our families, give all we have… But if we don’t trust him he isn’t pleased.
Is it easier for you to do something rather than believe something?
Why?
Could it be because by doing something we actually see and participate in the action?
In believing  something, while it still is action, can’t always be clearly seen. So we must have faith that it will happen as we have been told.
And this is a part of  the followers life that requires our being willing to look stupid to others for the sake of the call on our life.
Have you ever done that?
Something that seemed so foolish in your natural thinking but you know that God is asking you to either let go of something or walk in a direction that is not a popular decision. Even to other followers.
So in Faith you walked.
And now you still walk.
And you haven’t seen many results.
You are tempted to lack faith.
You may waver and start  asking for more specifics.

Hebrews 11 records the wall of Faith for us to look up to… Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses…. People of Faith. But verse 13 says… “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance”.

Does that strike you as odd?

These Wall of Faithers never got to see on earth what God had promised them.

It did not matter so much to our hero’s of faith if they had in hand what they were promised because they knew in their hearts they could trust God’s faithfulness.

So how did they continue in their faith?
Because “They admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they left, they would have had opportunity to return.” 14,15
Have you been thinking about a country you left?
Maybe not a literal one. But a situation that was comfortable. You kind of liked it there and God asked you to step out in Faith and now you want to return to the place you knew well.  Maybe it’s a lifestyle or a friendship. Perhaps it’s a job or church. Maybe it’s an actual place and you wish for your old life again.
Verse 16 says… “Instead they were longing for a better country~A heavenly one~ Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”
Are you kidding me?
What an exchange!
It can’t get any better than that!
When we walk in Faith in all our situations. Listening for him. Being quick to obey his voice. Believing whatever he is allowing us to walk through is part of his plan for us that includes another city and a country that we belong to, we  Walk by Faith.
 I am just the passenger believing that as the perfect driver he will get me safely home.
He may take me on a route I may have not thought to go.
But he orders our steps.
I can relax with him in the driver seat. He needs no GPS.
Today what is he asking you to Believe him For?

It’s all good. He is trustworthy.

Maybe you are walking in faith and have been tempted to give up.
Your prize awaits you.

Rise up oh men and women of Faith.

I will follow you….

Several weeks ago in a sermon pastor Bill said this…. “Many people talk about their conversion experience as accepting Jesus. While I never find him to invite us to accept him, I do see in the New Testament that he invites us to follow him over and over.”
I thought it was a remarkable insight.

The difference between accepting someone into my circle and following someone is night and day.
I can accept you without accepting that you have anything of value for me. But if I follow you it indicates you have something I too desire.

I thought about the difference it would make in the lives of many people if they decided to follow Jesus instead of just accepting him.
While it is true we accept what he has done for us it can not end there. His grace is given freely, open for all to accept, but he didn’t invite the rich young ruler to accept his grace. Instead he asked the ruler to make a choice… Follow me or follow your dreams of riches.
In the old testament book of Zephaniah God is warning his people of coming destruction. He is angry. And his holiness can no longer withstand the choices the people were making.
Zephaniah 1:4-6
English Standard Version (ESV)
4″I will stretch out my hand against Judah
and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem;
and I will cut off from this place the remnant of Baal
and the name of the idolatrous priests along with the priests,
5 those who bow down on the roofs
to the host of the heavens,
those who bow down and swear to the LORD
and yet swear by Milcom,

6 those who have turned back from following the LORD,
who do not seek the LORD or inquire of him.”

What grabs me about this passage is this…
These are the chosen people. Just like us. They were his children. But he was willing to wipe them out for this reason…
They wanted to follow 2 gods.
And the creator will not compete for our affection.

We have the choice… We follow him or we follow something else.

So this is my question today…
Who or What do I follow?

Honestly.

How do I spend my day?

Who do I spend my time with?

What are my goals?

If I am desiring to follow Jehovah God how will I look different than these people did?

They were in fact still acknowledging him. They may have even gone to church.
But he was not their only leader.

And that’s what he wants his followers to understand.
He must be the only leader.
Or we can’t follow him at all.

Some will choose as the rich young ruler did to turn and walk the other way. I don’t believe It was so much about the riches but the man’s allegiance was the heart of the matter.

The following will require a sacrifice. But as a friend recently told me…The sacrifice is always worth it on the other side.

It’s no secret following him costs us.
It may be our wealth, family, reputation, friends, dreams, or comforts.

But I have made the choice.
I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back…
No turning back.

Above all else….

It’s a monday morning. My body is tired from too much running on the weekend. I pull myself from bed and trudge down the steps… calling out names and picking up laundry as I head down.
I pour myself a cup of coffee and wearily start fixing the lunches.
Children start arriving at the counter for some toast and cereal but not without some encouragement.
I quickly get my Bible and pick up where we left off on friday…
Soon I come to this verse and announce it as the verse of the day…
Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)
Guard your heart above all else,for it determines the course of your life.

It reminds me of the movie…”Cheaper by the dozen”. One of the take away lines for me in that movie was when the punk boyfriend of the older daughter is all stressed out that someone may touch his car. It’s a Lebaron. As the children approach he yells, “HEY keep a perimeter around the lebaron”.
It made me laugh when I saw it the first time and it makes me laugh today.
“KEEP A PERIMITER AROUND THE LEBARON”!

We had some discussion about what it means to Guard our heart…
The perimeter factor comes up.
The children are quick to point out that we should guard our heart from evil.
Yes.
There are many evils that we should be guarding against…
Examples for them are violent games and movies. Language and dirty jokes. Lieing, cheating and stealing.
It’s Very important for us to keep far away from things that sear our conscience and destroy our inner man.
But could it mean something beyond those obvious sinful choices?
Could this be talking about another griping vice that ties our hearts in knots?
Do we know what it means to be wise in the way we guard our hearts?

Do we confuse “guard you heart” with “harden your heart”?
It’s easy to mix those two up.
For example, I have learned to guard against certain sins. I can flee them rather quickly. I’m on alert and a radar goes off in my head and heart…RUN! Run as fast as you can.
My walls go up and I guard myself against the enemy’s trap.

However, God never asks us to harden ourselves to people.
We get hurt. And alarms start ringing in our heads…Ouch, Ouch run for cover. The walls are raised and the drawbridge closes.
Boom.
We shut it tight. Peaking out only on occasion but never, never will we allow anyone to get that close again.
We call it guarding our hearts when actually we have taken the seed of hurt and carefully planted it causing a root of bitterness to begin to grow right there in our inner man.

And we wonder why the world seems so much dimmer inside these walls. We fear going back out while the vine grows tighter and tighter around our heart.
We reason that wisdom says stay aloof.
Don’t involve yourself.
Don’t be vulnerable again.

It’s tricky.
And it’s dangerous.

We change who we are. We see others with jaded eyes.
We become cynical and easily angered.
We doubt others sincerity and we question integrity.

It’s bitterness.
And we plant it saying we are “guarding our hearts”… But instead it splits our hearts in two.
And we are left with broken hearts.
Fortunately for all of us there is a healer.
He binds up the broken hearted and sets the captive free.
We just need to ask him to come.
It may mean that we have some tearing out to do first. Those roots can run deep.

Guarding my heart from all kinds of traps including bitterness will determine the outcome of my life.
Not just for today but for eternity
.

Who’s the wise guy?

I have been reading the Proverbs with my kids for the past 2 weeks.

It has been good.

In fact there is something so exciting about reading words straight from the Bible like…” My son listen to your father’s instructions. Take heed to your mothers warnings”.  They look at me like I may have inserted those words on my own.

One of the things that I pray for more than anything else in my personal life is for wisdom and discernment.

We need it so badly.

I need it so badly.

Every day in every situation. I am constantly weighing the decision… is it wise? So Proverbs is just the book to read when talking about Godly wisdom.

The thing is, wisdom isn’t something we buy, or decide we’re going to have. It’s not a commodity. True wisdom can only come by asking the living God to give it to us. “For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” proverbs 2:6

Proverbs repeat this over and over…Search for wisdom and understanding like a hidden treasure.

But this is the caution…

Proverbs 3:7

New King James Version (NKJV)

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and depart from evil.

So if I ever think I’m kind of smart. A little bit wise. Pretty full of understanding…

I am not.

True wisdom says all the credit goes to the one who gave it. 

And I am not that one.

As I was reading the words to my boys yesterday I became increasingly fascinated with this thought.

What would our world, our churches, or neighborhoods look like if we were all looking for wisdom like buried treasure. IF we all sought understanding from our creator. If we asked for wisdom more than we ask for health, wealth, healing, or protection.

Not so we could be the wise guy but so he would be honored in us.

What if?

What if we trusted God with all our heart and didn’t try to lean on our own understanding. And in all our ways we would acknowledge him….He promises to direct our path. proverbs 3:5

I have some paths that need straightening right now.

Do you?

I could use wisdom for making some large decisions.

How about you?

I think this is God’s message  to me  today…

Relax in me. Ask for my wisdom. Don’t rely on what seems rational in your thinking. I will direct your path. I will make a way for you. In fact,Trust me.

It’s really the wisdom I’ve been asking for all along.

That’s it.

True wisdom is understanding I can’t know it all but I am friends with someone who does and he will lead the way. 

In fact he not only leads the way but sometimes he makes a way in the desert.

He gives words when we need it.

He gives grace to endure it.

He brings light to dark situations.

He. Is. the wise guy!

Troyer Camp 2011

So we had our anual Campout last weekend.
It was packed with fun.

We welcomed some new friends and future family members to our ever growing population.

We were missing Aaron and Jasmine. But here are the Troyer Grandkids.


With uncle Steve High jacking the picture.

He does this a lot.

I don’t know why…Maybe it’s from being locked in his closet as a child. (jk)

You will often find him in the picture with a goofy pose.

Gotta love him.


We made shirts and played indoor games.

This was a game my uncles used to play at family events. We dug it out and tried it out on these guys. Allen and Jason fought to the death for their 2 cups. They provided some good entertainment.

Dale Always proves to be a crowd pleaser! He had just gotten done with some arm wrestling and moved on to some sumo wrestling. We were in stitches at the end.

We played pass the shoe from me to you…


Grandpa stood on his head…Not bad for 71! Jus’ sayin!

Risk was a BIG hit!
And than we moved the fun outside.

The girls took a boat ride.

And jumped off the dock.
These 2 guys picked up where they left off inside.

And the game of choice was Greased watermelon football.


Tyler was apparently the watermelon police. Making sure there were no cheaters or sneaky moves.

It was a fight to the death. No man woman or child were given a break…

As you can see…

We also played some messy, Whipped cream whiffle ball.

What a hoot!

It proved to be a slippery, mess but it was fun!
mmmm! Yummy! What a delicious snack.
Of course we had to eat sometime so for dinner we had a hog roast with all the fixin’s

We enjoyed hearing these 2 play together on Sunday for worship.


We will look forward to celebrating their marriage next month In Virginia.

It was a great weekend being together and making more memories.
I love these people.
And what’s kind of cool…
I really like them too.

Didn’t see that coming…

We have lots of trains around here.

I’m not a fan of waiting on trains.

I do everything I can to avoid them. In fact Sometimes I drive out of my way to make sure I don’t have to sit and wait. My theory is …At least I’m moving!

But sometimes I get right up to a track and the light starts blinking and the arms go down and there I sit stuck waiting on that train.

I didn’t see it coming.

And if I am intent on getting somewhere it makes me crazy. I try to occupy my thoughts so I don’t focus on the inconvenience that is currently traveling at an all too slow of speed in front of my vehicle.

Trains aren’t the only things that I don’t see coming. At times I am completely taken off guard by other circumstances in my life and it’s not that easy to just “occupy” my thoughts as I wait for the inconvenience to pass. Sometimes the intensity of the situation

ROCKS MY WORLD

and I am left with a large question mark…

What now?

I didn’t see that coming.

And all the what if’s and why now’s come marching in a parade blowing their horns. There is no candy in this parade. No sweet drippings. Only loud noises and confusing messages.

So I look up to my papa and say, “Is there room on your lap for me? I’m scared. And I don’t like these loud noises. ”

And he always says, “Yes come… Come sit, I will give you rest. Wait here while I  make all things new”.

And sometimes the thing that makes us tremble the most becomes the exact thing he uses to build something new in us.

The things that hit us out of the blue are never out of his control.

I am believing this today.

“Be still” when all is crashing in.

“Be still” When the waters rise.

“Be still” When the noise is more than you can stand.

Be still and know that I am God“. ps 46:10

School’s In..

Well we did it all over again.

Another year of school.

Freshman is now Sophomore. 7th grader has turned to 8th. 5th grader has become a middle schooler and the little one is now a 3rd grader.

The passage of time. It is moving forward with no thought for my feelings.

This year I didn’t have such huge adjustments. I do have a middle schooler but I’m not going to pretend it’s as hard as the first one going or the thought of the last one. He’s a secure boy that one is. Although he was a little nervous about getting lost the first day. Because I am such a great mom I may have in my most mature voice dared my 8th grader to hold his little brothers hand to his locker. In which they both responded “MOM!! That would be AWKWARD!”

I was just trying  to help…I don’t know what all the fuss is about.

So instead as I dropped them off I told them they needed to kiss their mama goodbye 🙂

Those boys! I love to give them grief! We all know they deserve it!

Fall is always super busy! Between all the start-up paper work and extracurricular activities we are pretty normal….Running…..Running.

Malaina is at it with volleyball and Show Choir. Jalen is going to start Drums this fall. Micah has football, Bible Quizzing  and piano. And Sophie has dance and socializing. That little butterfly needs someone to talk to every waking moment.

So we’re off and running. Here we go~!