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Showing posts from May, 2007

The Privilege and Challenge of Leading

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is not effort without error or short-coming; but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement; and whom, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.-Theodore Roosevelt, "Citizenship in a Republic," a speech delivered at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910.

My Place of Abundance

As we approach our one year anniversary of our decision to leave our old church, I have been reflecting on the last year of adjusting. I have to say that the last two days have been really good. The fact that I had that "light bulb" moment back in the beginning of May really has given me clear perspective on the trials of last year. I think that there has continued to be confirmation in so many ways. So, suffice it to say that in many ways I KNOW that what happened was not just something I fabricated in my head or overreacted to. It was serious. It is also very sad that behavior continues to go on being tolerated and ignored. It is hard to deal with things, but in the long run, it is a better way of peace and for creating a culture of peace.

Talking to different people, my reaction is not resentment, but true compassion. I am praying for growth and transformation. I feel no ill-will toward anyone. I feel compassion and forgiveness. I have felt that for a long time, but in lig…

How is your commitment to the Lordship of Christ?

Excerpt from p.219-220 of Dear Sister:

The bible tells us that we are not our own, but that Christ purchased us with His own blood and we have become God's own possession (1 Cor. 6:19-20; 1 Peter 1:18-19; 1 Peter 2:9).

If these Scriptures re true of us, we will:

Love what God loves and hate what He hates.Not question His Word.Be willing to lay down our own plans and wishes and submit to His.Have no resentment in our hearts when God sends us to a place we don't like to go.Be content with whatever He provides for us, whether little or much.Accept the lowest assignment with the same glad attitude as the highest.Do our best for Him with all our heart, all our soul, and all our strength.Not ask for an easier or more comfortable life.Always seek to please Him instead of ourselves.Choose to serve others instead of ruling over them.Be satisfied with God's approval and not be affected by people's opinion of us.Walk in humility toward God and our brothers and sisters.Not seek--even…

How God Equips You to Serve

I thought this chapter in Dear Sister was so appropriate for the "Experiences" section of SHAPE that I wanted to take some notes here for future reference:

. . .I would like to explain a little why God leads us through times of waiting for answers to our prayers, testing of our faith and struggles from within and around us.

It's for our personal growth as Christians. If God would fulfill our prayers and expectations and give us a smooth life without any adversities, we would forever remain weak, immature Christians. As much as physical exercise is vital for a small child to learn how to sit, stand, and walk, we as believers need spiritual exercise to develop in our Christian lives.

The more we are forced by circumstances to learn to trust God and overcome adversities, the more our faith grows and the more Christlike we become.

(She encourages reading the story of Joseph from Genesis 37 on - how cool that I will studying this with Kim, Rachel, and Lisa in July!)

. . .count ho…

Dear Sister

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I am reading the book entitled Dear Sister,: Letters of Hope and Encouragement You can find the book at www.gfa.org by Gisela Yohannan. She is the wife of the founder of Gospel for Asia and will be the speaker at our women's retreat.(Click here for her bio: Jubilee Women's Conference) The chapter I just read is "Do You Share God's Expectations for Your Life?" Here is an excerpt: . . . I planned to take a few hours off to reflect on the past year, pray,
and think about what I should specifically believe God for during the next 12
months. (Wow! That is what I have done every New Year's Eve/Day for about 25 years!). I wanted to write those things down and make them a matter of prayer, faith, and expectation.

This brings me to the question I wish to ask you:

Do you have any specific prayer requests and expectations for this
year? . . .
what I want you to consider is your spiritual life: the
depth of your personal walk with the Lord, your growth as a Christian, the
progress y…

SHAPE Wrap Up

WHEW! Last night was the last night of SHAPE teaching, and I think, overall, it went very well. The women were so fabulous to work with. I love the openness of the women and their desire for discovery was awesome. People make the class, and this was a great group to go through the process with. I loved the streamlining of the Spiritual gifts part that I did, and it made me wish that I had done that for the women in Women Becoming, but I "lived and learned" through that experience. I also think doing this right off the bat with the Women Becoming women probably wasn't the best thing to do. It would have been better to start off with Inner Life Growth and "telling our stories" and done the other things along the way.

The only thing about this SHAPE class that I am still unsure about is the whole "Experiences/Abilities" time with them. I just didn't know how to have the "warm up" teaching. I think the one for Spiritual Gifts/Personality Type…

So many things wrapped up and coming to an end

WHEW! My four weeks of teaching the SHAPE Class are done, and I think, overall, it went very well. It gives me such a "zip" to hear what people are learning about how God has wired them for His Kingdom purposes. Just loved hearing stories of people. I am very grateful that it went well. Just the third week of the "Experiences/Abilities" section was a bit clunky. I need to work on how I can have a little "warm up talk." I had them go directly to small groups, and this was a bit "clunky," but I honestly didn't have a clue about how I could talk about that one. So, praying for wisdom for the next time I do this.

The Tale of the Three Sisters

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Walter Women, originally uploaded by carolfoasia. My cousin was murdered at 7:10 a.m. Saturday morning. See article here .These are some reflections on the question that is instantly asked by all, "Were you close to your cousin?" I relected on that question this morning and journaled about it. It became a reflection on families that I wanted to document here. "Were you close to your cousin?" We grew up in El Segundo (on the beach near LA Airport) and they grew up in Corona (inland Riverside). So, yes, we grew up together, but we didn't live in the same town. We would usually have a "kids swap" where they would come to our house for a week, and we would go to theirs for a week in the summer, and sometimes we would all go to my other aunt's house for a week (who was childless for the first ten years of my life). I specifically remember them all dressing me up like a Christmas Tree in the middle of summer and hanging bulbs and ornaments on me. Being the…

The Well-Educated Mind: Part I

So, I may not have a Part Two for the Well-Watered Soul for a while. I just wanted to talk about the fact that I am

DONE WITH HOMESCHOOL!!!!!! See here for my final moments on that with Michael. Apparently, about the same time (Noonish), George was finishing up math with Paul at home. Who knows? Maybe they ended at exactly the same time! TEE HEE. They are so connected at the hip, I would not, at all, be surprised.

Anyway, in summary, we had a very good year. Things seemed to be so balanced in getting through things but still having flexibility in going to plays and field trips and the like. I think taking out the literature/read-alouds and only having them at night has made our days run so much more smoothly. Sometimes, those LOOOONG Sonlight readers would really bog down our history because I didn't want to move on until we were done with the book for that time period. Now that we have been through the read aloud favorites in their catalog, we can pick and chose what choice b…

A Reminder

“When life hands you lemons, don't just make lemonade. Open up a lemonade stand.”
- Anonymous

Summer Study Goals

Well, speaking of Bible study. I am looking at my calendar and realizing that SUMMER IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER. We just wrapped up Bird's Eye View of the Bible last night. It was a great overview and review of the entire Bible. I am so pumped to be in the Word of God this summer. So, I am looking at where I have been and where I am going, and I would like to have some personal Bible study goals. I still have that goal of studying through Precept Upon Precept with others in these key main books:

Genesis (Halfway through with Kim in 2003-2004)
John (Done 2002-2004)
Romans (Doing now!)
Ephesians (Many times, last was Fall 2006)
James (Done 2004-2005)

So, here are my goals:

Romans 1-5

WHEW! Kim, Nancy, and I finished up this a couple of weeks ago, and we aren't going to continue with Romans until after they get back from Korea. There is just too much on their plate, and we are going to spend our Thursdays in prayer for this. It is a good stopping point, but I realized that I had straddle…

The Well Update: The Well-Watered Soul Part 1

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Haven't given an update of "The Well" in forever and a day!



THE WELL-WATERED SOUL



I would love to write a book with this title someday. :) This is really the priority and passion of my heart for myself and for others because I really believe that all other things flow out of a well-watered soul! I remember once when I was on the Well-Educated Mind loop I talked about the Well-Watered Soul and one of the ladies emailed me telling me she had spent all day trying to find that book on the internet, and she wanted to know who the author was! Tee-Hee, just a phrase I coined in reaction to the assertion the The Well-Educated Mind was the be-all end-all of life. THIS is the priority!



I just spent the last two hours (yes, it is only 7:30, but it is springtime, and I am up with the sun for the next few months, just how my body clocks it) in delicious savoring of every bite of the first five chapters of Romans. Oh how yummy! Better than the Chai Tea I imbibe every morning. :) I have b…

Encouragement

A Letter:

Dear Carol,

. . .You are much appreciated! How thankful I am that God has chosen to bless the ___ women by placing you in our family! Thank you for your love for the women that has translated into leading this segment of the Wednesday Bible Study. It has been such a joy to watch the women explore what God has given them. Thank you for the years of preparation that have gone into that which you teach us now!

I'm looking forward to what God will do in you, in me, and in the women of ___ as we continue to love and serve Him and His women!

What a joy to watch you delight in Him and to sense His delight in YOU!

Love,
____

I can't tell you how encouraging this made me feel yesterday when I found this letter tucked in a book that she gave me to read.

GOD IS AWESOME!

This letter came to me last Sunday:

My new friend, Carol,

. . .I am so grateful to the Lord for sending you to us. I clearly felt the Lord's presence and saw His hand move before and all through the retreat. Thank you …

25 Points to a Lightbulb Moment

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I spent some time reading some Blogs this afternoon, and I am so impressed with what some of these people think to write.

I just don't think I have that many profound things to say.

So, I will treat this more as a journal that processes my thoughts of the day.

I already did this a bit on my photo blog which is right here(just had to do that because I just figured that out tonight!), but I wanted to journal a bit about how I process things so that I might get a better grip on how to more quickly get back on the "road."



I anticipated that something might be hard for me in the interaction with a friend today. So, I prayed about it. I asked George to pray about it too. My last "funk" occurred after interaction with this friend. Nothing that the friend has done wrong. This is a lovely person, but my heart is tender still. It is still mourning. So, I went into it thinking, "I might get hurt."

I heard some things that made me mourn. It was not anything huge, but …

A Kind of Dream Day

Slept in until 8. Prayed a bit. Read a bit. Got ready for church. Went to church and the new Sunday school class for mediation training. The conversation was so RICH in the class. There are two elders, one pastor, one of the women's ministry directors, and people from the marriage mentor training team. I loved the honest dialogue. I loved the sweet prayers lifted up to God.

We are SO in the right place.

Afterward, we stopped for a lunch date at the Mexican restaurant near church. We saw a family that asked us how we were doing at our new church. When I mentioned that I needed a place with an established women's ministry so I could grow in my passion and gifting and that George needed to be in a place that was more missions-minded, they both said that this was exactly what was brought up in a meeting that their Bible study had with two elders that came an talked to them. People in the group both targeted in on two areas: women's ministry and missions. This is precisely why…

Too long since I posted

To say my life is full is an understatement, but I wanted to say that another hill has been overcome. I have determined what happens in the Vortex sucking, and I am doing my best to avoid any hint of allowing myself to get sucked back in.

I told George that I haven't struggled for weeks, and he said that just that morning he was thinking that he had not heard me relay any "vortex angst" for quite some time.

Yes, I think we are over a huge hump. It just takes time to get over traumatic experiences, and it also needs to be replaced with similar experiences that are much more positive and encouraging. Going to the women's retreat on the 20th and teaching SHAPE on the 2nd has made it abundantly clear that while my activities and ministry are very similar these days, the environment is much better and for this I am eternally grateful.

So, I am off to meet with Sherry (the manicurist) for church!

Bye for now!