Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I had a great time in sunny Sacramento with my free-believing friends. I am trying to decide how to share what Father has shown me, and have some blogs "in the works" in my mind that I hope to post before long.

Meanwhile, I thought you all might enjoy this movie clip, especially those of you who know I'm a little flying-challenged (though fortunately, not nearly this much!)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Painted Bunting

male Painted Bunting (pompilot)
This is a photo I found on the web of a bird we saw in our own front yard at the feeder just now. I have never seen one before. I love birds and feel Father has remembered me each time I see a pretty one.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


One of my favorite parts of fishing is catching minnows. This is especially fun in a creek with running water. For those of you who aren’t fishermen, a minnow jar is a wide-mouthed jar with a funnel-shaped cone that screws onto the lid and goes down into the jar. You set it against a rock so it won’t wash away, with the mouth of the jar turned downstream. Add a few wads of cheap Wonder bread, and watch the magic.

One minnow will see that interesting white blob and make a run for it. Next thing you know, he’s happily feasting! Wow! Wonder Bread! Much more exciting and yummy than microorganisms and tiny bits of plant matter. Soon, another hapless minnow comes along and sees excited flashes of a brother minnow ahead. He must be missing something! He goes over to join his brother and soon the two of them are gobbling up the soggy Wonder bread.

Before you know it, several other minnow brothers and sisters have joined the feeding frenzy. It just gets easier to attract newcomers, the more flashing fish there are in that packed little minnow jar. Surely there is something great in there, and so more and more come and join the frenzy.

There are a few interesting things to note here. First of all, Wonder bread, while bright and exciting, was never God-intended to be a healthy source of nourishment for fish (or people, for that matter). Second, the more fish show up in the jar, the more buzz and activity there is, but the less actual food is available. Third, and most importantly, once they get in there, they’re trapped.

They wait in the jar for their time of use. Then, they have a hook shoved in their backside. They can still flail around, but they can't go anywhere. Inevitably, their purpose in life is to bait another, bigger fish… once their job is done, they’re disposed of. Either they get eaten by a bigger fish, or they die on the line waiting for one to come along. Then they are tossed out and another minnow is captured and put in their place.

This post was inspired by my wonderful country-boy husband.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Baby and the Bath Water

One of the things we ‘free believers’ hear often from those who still faithfully attend an IC is, "Well, you don’t want to just throw the baby out with the bath water." The implied meaning may vary from "Do you really have to be so extreme?" to "Your leaving organized church is the same as leaving the Lord" to "Are you sure you aren’t getting into some New Age religion?"

Our family is considering moving to a place closer to town, so have begun casually looking. We want a fixer-upper, not a new home. So last weekend we were shown … let’s just say, a REAL fixer upper.

This house was once beautiful, but had been so badly neglected for many years that only someone with lots of money and time to invest would want to try and salvage it. The cost of repairing this house to full functionality would far exceed any market price of the house itself. It just wouldn’t be practical for a busy family with modest means to take the time, money and labor to try and restore this house.

I sighed with regret, seeing the beautiful hardwood floors still in great shape in some of the rooms, the large windows, the huge living area, the brick fireplace in the bedroom. There was so much personality and history to this place. Yet there was the old, leaky roof; the serious foundation issues obvious in the floor, the laundry porch literally falling off of the house, the large lawn completely overtaken by weeds, the falling-down carport loaded with junk. Worst of all, there was a large split between the two halves of the house in the roof, and the brick wall on one side had completely pulled away from the roof! It COULD possibly be salvaged, but much of it would still have to be torn down and replaced. I’m often one for trying to save things. I love old homes; we live in one now. Yet I could see it would make more sense to just tear that place down and build a new one.

Many "free believers" have found that trying to salvage the situation at the institutions we’ve been in is more than we, or our families, can really afford. We gave them our time, our money, our efforts, our hearts, our children. We were told that we’d "reap a harvest" by "sowing" as they specified. It didn’t happen as they said. We became more and more tired, drained, and discouraged as time went on.

We sat under some of the better pastors out there, I believe. I really can’t pin the fault on anyone, nor do I want to. I believe the primary issue was with the system, rather than the hearts of the people inside of it. We were trying to build on, or even salvage, a ‘house’ with serious structural flaws.

Darin Hufford wrote a blog that distinguished what the bottom line misunderstanding often is. People tend to see the institution as the baby. That’s why they worry that we are throwing the baby out with the bath water. But really, Jesus is the ‘baby,’ and we aren’t throwing him out… he’s with us always. Now we’re just swimming in a different place ... now it’s more like a river than a bathtub.