Monday, August 25, 2014

A Great Loss

They say that when someone loves on your kids, you as a parent are guaranteed to love that person in return.  Nothing warms my heart toward another like knowing they have poured into the lives of one of my children.  One of those people was a precious saint by the name of Bob Warren.

Bob changed the trajectory of countless lives, teaching what life looks like when you really live it for Christ. My two oldest kids were blessed to learn from him the past two summers and now...we are sad.  He was a Bible scholar in every sense of the word with a thick Kentucky accent.  He loved the quest for truth more than just about any teacher I have heard.  He taught our kids each summer...taught way above their heads, knowing that as they returned to camp each year their understanding would grow deeper and deeper.

In the words of my son..."When Bob talks it is like God is speaking through him directly to me."

So imagine our sadness and shock when we learned that Bob went home to Jesus today.  I have never been so sad about the passing of a man that I had never met.  Bob was special.  The presence of Christ in him was powerful.  There are many, many citizens in Heaven because they were led to Jesus by Bob Warren.

I never got to thank Bob in person, so tonight I am trusting Jesus to tell him for me.  Thank you, Bob, for the impact you have had on my family.  From your daily influence on my husband as he drives to work each day with your CD's playing to the way you allowed God to use you in the lives of teens and college students so deeply that they can point to a week with you as one of the formative moments of their lives...God has blessed many because of you.  May we never forget the lessons we have learned.  May we hold on to the Truth of Jesus, of grace and redemption and our incredible Father who holds us forever safe in the palm of His hand.  You have given freely the treasures of God's Kingdom.  My husband, my son, and my daughter are all stronger because of you.  And me?  I'm in the middle of your study on Romans, continually shocked at how little I knew and at the incredible riches of God's love for me.  Even from eternity you will continue to change lives because your teaching lives on.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

And, Lord?  So many of us are having a hard time with this one.  Will you raise up a leader to continue what you started with Bob Warren? This mama really wants that for all the kids who were looking forward to BASIC Training next summer.  Hearts are broken tonight.  The grief weighs heavy.

Thank you, Lord, for Bob Warren.

*For more information about the ministry of Bob Warren, and to order study materials (which are worth their weight in GOLD) go to    You will be so glad you did.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Drawing close to a Dangerous God

There is the pregnant silence before a storm rolls in.  The trees wait expectantly and the brown sparrow chirps a warning...or maybe it is a herald.

August heat folds back onto itself as the cool front pushes in.  Trees sway and I feel small.  Very, very small.
The thunder booms in the distance.

I can smell the rain.

In the presence of power we are reminded of our weakness.  We are dependent for our very breath.

At any moment lightning could strike.  I could be taken out of this life in a split second.  But still I sit here in this rocking chair, watching the dark clouds take over the sky.  I shiver as the temperature drops drastically, yet I stay.

I want to watch the first drops drip from the leaves.  I want to see the branches burdenened with the weight of water.  I want to watch the rain fall horizontally, bullied by the winds.  I am safe under the cover of my porch.  Sort of.

Perceived safety is enough to keep me out here.

My daughter hums as she finishes her math lesson.  She despises math, but somehow, out here, waiting for the rain, she hates it just a little less.  She chatters between problems, her pencil pausing.  I cherish this moment of peace.

The wind blows harder now, the treetops swaying to and fro in a beautiful, majestic dance.

The smell of rain grows stronger.  It is so close.

I can feel the tension in the air, like the sky is going to burst open at any second.  My daughter notices that it has become so dark that the street lights have come on.

rain, danger, lightning, thunder, God, safe, dangerous, storm

The wind picks up and the thunder booms loudly. In this mundane moment, sitting on my front porch, I am keenly aware of God's pleasure.  He sings over us with the winds and the thunder and His love causes my spirit to swell.  He is safe and He is good and I can stay out here.  He is fierce and He is strong and He is majestic in power, but He is safe.  It is not my perception, it is reality.  He is wild and joy.  He is life and fullness and oh, how I love Him right now.

My daughter jumps up, victorious.  "Done!"  She dashes indoors to put her math problems into the computer and I jump as a crack of thunder rolls from west to east.  Lightning flashes and in the same instant a deafening peal of thunder nearly knocks me out of the chair.

That was very, very close.

Here it comes.  Dead branches drop and loose leaves flutter to the ground.

God is dangerous.  How can I feel this warm in the presence of a God who could take me out in one instant?

Here comes the rain now.  It is a torrent.  It is loud and the street is instantly running with rivers of murky water that will soon run clear.  I feel the mist blowing in on the porch and marvel at the relief felt in the air. At last the dam has broken and the cleansing has come.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  (Rom. 5: 1-2)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Year 5. I need a moment.

August.  Summer's last hurrah before the cool days of Autumn begin to creep in.

I, for one, can hardly wait.

The squirrels seem to think Autumn will be early.  Hickory nuts started dropping in early July (a month earlier than normal) and the squirrels are making hay with my deck...dropping discarded nuts by the thousands and preventing any of us from venturing outside barefoot.  Local schools have begun their year and I watch the busy rush from my front porch, thankful for another year that I don't have to haul five kids out the door at 7:30.  I don't know how long God will call us to this life, but I will enjoy it and milk it for all its worth while I can.

This year is proving to be a bit more complicated as far as our schooling goes.  I no longer have little ones.  My babies are 2nd graders.  (How are they that old?)  Their learning needs increase each year and trying to teach five kids in four different grades is tricky.  Day 1 was Monday, but it was just orientation for my big kids' tutorial. Yesterday was our first attempt at the new books and, well, it was a bit rough. There is only 1 of me and 5 of them and they ALL have the exact.same.time!  So, after discussing options with my big kids, we are going to try something a little different today.  I'll start with the younger three.  Handwriting, Math, Reading...get the bulk of those done early.  The oldest two will be allowed to start an hour later (yes, they are thrilled.  What teenager doesn't want more sleep?) so that they are not sitting around waiting (read: impatiently) for my help while I try to get the younger kids' work finished and tucked away. Hopefully that will stretch me a little less, give the younger kids fewer interruptions (and better take advantage of their early morning attention spans), and allow the younger ones more playtime outdoors while I help the older ones with their more difficult subjects.  (7th grade math, you are dead to me.)

Many people homeschool multiple kids, but I venture to guess it would be easier if the ages were more spread out.  It would also be easier if your kids were into activities like chess, model building, or neuroscience.

Mine are not.

They are athletic little creatures.

They like to be active and rowdy and expel lots (LOTS) of energy.  Sitting for hours at a desk is the kiss of death for an active kid.  So, hopefully, my little experiment will work.  I'll let you know.  :)

And now...back to my coffee.