Sunday, September 29, 2013

Judges 3:7

Our pastor has been doing a series of sermons on the book of Judges recently entitled "Fallen People, Faithful God".  It's been a great series.  (the picture above was swiped from the church website....hope they won't mind me 'borrowing it)

This morning, as we began chapter 3, Ross read a verse that leapt off the page at me.  I was reminded of the time not so long ago that I spent trudging through the book of Judges.  It's a hard book to read, y'all.  The Israelites made me mad when I read it.  Or rather they just exhausted me.  Friends, it will wear you out to read about their behavior and how they do the same crap over & over again, never learning their lesson.  I read it looking at them through the eyes of a parent who has taught & retaught her children again and again.  But this morning, Judges 3:7 jumped up & slapped me.

In Judges 3:7, our pastor read "The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord; they forgot their God and served the Baals and Asherahs."

It reminded me of these verses, all found in Judges:

Judges 1:19:  "But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways."

Judges 4:1:  "Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, now that Ehud was dead."

Judges 6:1: " The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites"

Judges 8:33-35: " No sooner had Gideon died than the Israelites again prostituted themselves to the Baals. They set up Baal-Berith as their god and did not remember the Lord their God, who had rescued them from the hands of all their enemies on every side. They also failed to show any loyalty to the family of Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon) in spite of all the good things he had done for them."  

Judges 10:6: "Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord. They served the Baals and the Ashtoreths, and the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites and the gods of the Philistines."

You get the idea.  On and on, from chapter to chapter, this pattern continues.  The people forget God & begin to worship something else.  God gives them over to their enemies.  Eventually the people realize how far they've moved from God and are reminded of His great mercy, His grace and His blessings.  They run back to Him, seek His redemption and forgiveness and are reconciled to Him.  And then it starts all over again.

Oh. My. Word.

Sound familiar?  It does to me.

I find myself, over the years, falling into the same patterns again and again.   The same doubts, the same sin areas, the same battles.  It's exhausting.

Lord, break the cycle.  Break me. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

40 Reasons Why I Love You, Larry

1.  You married me.
2.  You have stuck with me through the really hard stuff.
3.  You gave me three amazing kids.
4.  You're hot.
5.  You make me laugh.  Until I snort.  And pee.
6.  You love our '2 minute snuggle' as much as I do.
7.  You are a great example to our kids of how a man should treat his wife.
8.  You hunt to fill our freezer.
9.  You take Sam hunting & teach him how to clean the deer/hog/squirrel.  Teaching him to become a man who takes care of his family is a priority.
10.  You would take the girls & do the same if they wanted to go.  Nothing is too boyish for your girls to learn!
11.  You are willing to embarrass yourself to make me feel better or to entertain the kids.
12.  You laugh at my jokes before you tell me that they're dumb.
13.  You are not afraid to cry in my arms -- and you don't freak out if I cry in yours.
14.  We have the same sense of humor - warped, crude, obnoxious, goofy. (and sometimes dirty!)
15.  You love our kids with great passion.
16.  You love me even more passionately.
17.  You tease & flirt with me after all these years.
18.  You appreciate me & remember to tell me often.
19.  You write silly love songs for me.
20.  You are easy to please.
21.  You let me be me & indulge my crazy ideas.
22.  You allow me to be a part of your toughest struggles.
23.  You explain news stories to me when I ask you for the 3rd grade, 5 minute version.
24.  You cuddle -- then leave me alone! -- when we doze off at night.
25.  You love the Lord and don't care who knows it.
26.  When you teach, people listen.  You make the Word make sense to them & make it feel applicable to their life.  You are an amazing teacher!
27.  You have a knack for flirting with old ladies and making them feel special.
28.  You have a knack for flirting with ladies our age & making them feel special, too.  (And it doesn't bother me a bit because I know who you're coming home to!)
29.  There isn't a baby alive that you won't try to entertain.
30.  You have a special talent for ruining perfectly wonderful songs with your crazy lyrics.
31.  Did I mention that you're hot?
32.  You protect me -- physically, spiritually, emotionally.
33.  Your musical tastes make me grin.
34.  You snore like a freight train running through my bedroom, but I don't think I could doze off without it anymore.
35.  You refuse to let anyone treat me with less than the respect you feel I deserve.
36.  You compliment me from the pulpit.
37.  Our girls know their daddy loves them and would walk across hot coals to save them from harm.
38.  Our son knows his daddy loves him and would dodge bullets to keep him safe.
39.  Your soft, smooshy lips.
40.  And yes, that.  (oh hush folks....he's my husband.)

Today is Larry's 40th birthday.  I love this man more than I can even put into words....but I hope this got close.