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Athens Classic Marathon Completed!
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We are finishers! 🙂 Brian and I completed the Athens Classic Marathon!

Brian and I returned home from our amazing anniversary vacation in November.   It will truly go down as some of the best experiences of our lives!

One of the highlights was running the Athens Classic Marathon while praying for 28 couples.  We had committed to pray for 28 couples while we ran, see previous post, and this turned out to be so much more meaningful than we ever could have imagined!  I wrote the couple names on our bibs, upside down, so that we could read them while running.  As each mile began we would look to see whose mile it was and then spend several minutes praying for this couple out loud while we ran.

As we prayed, these marriages and families would flash before our minds.  The Lord would bring thoughts to our minds of things we knew were in their lives that needed prayer: job pressures, heart connections with their kids, finances, good in-law relations, having date nights, recent car theft, being in ministry together and so much more.  If we did not know the couple as well we knew things to pray for all marriages!  There started to be repeated themes that we would pray for each couple: unconditional love, purposeful pursuit, faithfulness and deep heart connections between the couple and between them and their children.  We were both surprised how this activity brought us to tears repeatedly!  It was a holy moment that we were honored to have, and greatly inspiring to us!

As far as the actual run, well it was slow and it was painful but this run was not about reaching a personal record or impressing anyone with our time!  It was about being together, running together in prayer and finishing together!

I love running marathons!  This is our third and with each one the Lord has taught me something new.  Athens was no different!

Moments after completing the marathon we recorded this video to say thanks to our 28 couples:

 

 

 

 

The Prison of Comparison
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Today I was asked “What is the devastating effect of comparison in a woman’s life?”  Here is my answer:

“I know I am not alone in this nagging sense of failing to measure up, a feeling of not being good enough as a woman. Every woman I’ve ever met feels it – something deeper than just the sense of failing at what she does. An underlying, gut feeling of failing at who she is. I am not enough, and, I am too much at the same time. Not pretty enough, not thin enough, not kind enough, not gracious enough, not disciplined enough. But too emotional, too needy, too sensitive, too strong, too opinionated, too messy. The result is Shame, the universal companion of women. ” John and Stasi Eldridge Captivating
I read these words in 2005 and thought how is it possible for someone to write the exact things I think! This is spot on in my opinion. I am too much and not enough at the same time! And the kicker is that when living in the prison of comparison I assume and declare that every other woman in my life is a PERFECT balance of all those things that seem out of reach for me.  I am left discouraged and with a deep need to make something of myself.  Soon a pursuit of self promotion and improvement follows.  This pursuit left unchecked takes my time, my energy and my emotions.   Time, energy and emotions that could be used to bless His kingdom instead of building my own.
To me the devastating effect of the prison of comparison is that it steals my joy and sidelines me in the work of the Lord.

Nourishment
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There are some books we read quickly and then there are others we do not.

This one I wanted to sit long and drink in.

That I might taste it’s truths on the taste buds of my starving mind.

In hopes it would fill my aching stomach with lasting nourishing truth.

Truth that when completely digested would bring life giving energy to my hands and feet.

Hands and feet that used to be busy serving the Lord and had grown still and stiff from hurts and wounds still needing to heal.

I know these truths are buried in these chapters and verse, because I know the Lord himself can be found there.

The Word was God and the Word is God.

What my aching belly really needed was the Lord.

His truth.

His character.

His perspective.

His reality.

So, I went to His word consistently.

Is the most important meal of the day breakfast?   No, it is the meal before breakfast, the meal of His Word.

“Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a JOY and a DELIGHT of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts.”  Jeremiah 15:16

 

Deborah – Living in God Will!
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If you are like me you know God can do anything!  You have come to Him in faith for many things that you know He is able to do, and yet when the answer you seek alludes your life sometimes you are tempted to move into “God can, but He won’t”.  The Israelite people had lived in 20 years of cruel oppression and the oppressor had 900 chariots!  The following pod cast is a lesson I taught at our women’s Bible study on Deborah.  Join me as we look to the Lord through the life of Deborah.

You can find the podcast here.

 

 

Reading Plans, YouVersion & John Piper
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I am not even sure when I first started using the YouVersion app for reading my Bible, but it is just old hat now.  I don’t carry my Bible to as many things as I used to.  I don’t need to, I have it with me all the time.  I have it with me when I go to church.  I have it with me when I am in the carpool line at the school.  I have it with me when I volunteer at my kid’s school.  I have it with me on field trips, public school field trips.  I have it with me when I attend a luncheon with the district superintendent.  I have it with me when I am in the grocery store and when I hit the gym.  I have it with me on the soccer field.  I have it with me because it is on my phone and easily accessed at all these locations!

A few months after I started using my app Bible more than my paper Bible I decided to give the reading plans a try.  I was hooked immediately!  It is so simple.  The reading plans keep a record of where I am, what I have read, what I need to read and all at the touch of my finger.  And when I complete a plan I get a little check off thrill and it goes in my completed plans list.  For this girl who loves lists and loves to check things off this is a thrill indeed and a good motivator.

Over the last 6 months, or so, I have been reading through the New Testament, and I am only a few chapters away from finishing.  It is the first thing I do in the morning, and I mean the first thing!  I grab my phone and without waking anyone who remains sleeping in my house I am reading away in my reading plan through different books in the Bible.  I love it!  It has changed the way I read.

I was excited to discover, thanks to my husband (!!), the following article.  John Piper has now put out seven new reading plans available in YouVersion.  As soon as I complete the last chapters of Revelation waiting for me I plan to choose one of these new plans and give it a try.

I am a big believer in change, in trying different things!  I do so with my Bible reading from time to time.  I have had several different methods and enjoyed them each for different reasons.  I will be blogging about different ways I have read my Bible in the future to give you ideas to try or fodder to spark your own ideas.  In the end what matters is our consistent time in His word in order to have consistent time at his feet, in this case at the touch of a finger!  A touch of a finger casts us down at his feet to sit and listen, anywhere, anytime!

 

Eve – The Pathway to Sin
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This semester the women’s Bible study that I am involved in leadership with is working through Life Principles from the Women of the Bible, by Wayne Barber, Eddie Rasnake and Richard Shepherd.  I had the opportunity to teach the lessons on Eve and on Deborah.  We covered Eve a several weeks ago and I would like to invite you to listen in.  You can find the lesson on our Pod Cast Media page.

Have you ever considered what it would be like to be famous for the worst thing you ever did, your biggest mistake, greatest failure in judgment and action?  That is what it would feel like to be Eve.  Through the account in Genesis 3 we can see a clear path that led to sin, one we can learn from.  Grab a Bible and look along with me at what the Lord has to share with us through the life of Eve.

The lesson on Deborah will be available soon.

 

 

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