Saturday, October 18, 2008

What a blessing

I'd love for you to check out the conference messages Piper did on Job. You can watch them, listen or read...but if I could talk you into it, please watch it. You'll get such a better feel for what was conveyed. I noticed already that much of what he said that hit home most wasn't on the script.

I'll blog more this week about some of what helped me most. But for now, I'm so grateful that I was able to share it with 14 brothers and sisters in Christ. Included there are my oldest, Cassie, who left it saying, "I wish I could get all my friends to something like this. It was amazing." Makes me tear up in gratitude.

I also can't wait to see the fruit of it in the 4 women from my Bible study who were there. What a gracious providence that we'll be talking about suffering this week. They got a crash course!

Piper's in TX

I was so blessed last night and helped throughout Dr. Piper's first talk on Job. And as they are amazing at this tech stuff you can read a transcript or listen to it here. I'll post more fully this afternoon, but here's some highlights from me as I sit and ponder without my notes:

When talking about Job's friends...good theology can really hurt people.

When thinking about God turning to Satan to say, "Have you considered my servant Job?"...Piper likened it to a thief entering a jewelry store and running into the owner. Instead of kicking him out, he turns to him and says, "Have you seen the biggest, most precious diamond I have? It's right out front, but it's locked. Here's the key."

Shortly after paraphrase...God is not a bumbler. He doesn't say "Oops. Didn't mean to say that. And I sure didn't mean for that to happen."

On a side note, Piper talked about the compassion that he has for Job's wife. She had just lost 10 children...her husband that could do no wrong is covered with sores...all around her would be whispering the things that Job's friends would soon say (What have you done wrong, Job? God doesn't let things like this happen to good people.), but she knows that Job's not done anything wrong. He pointed out that he thinks Job's had a great deal of compassion for her too because he doesn't say that she was a foolish woman, but that she sounded like one.

Fun moment...Piper talks about the sores that are covering Job's body. They are described in the book as oozing, grimy with dirt...and filled with worms. Piper then said, "You don't know this kind of suffering." I turn to my dear sister who is with me and we smile. Oh, yes, she does. She and her infant daughter were covered with them! You have to wait weeks to wait until they are fully grown before you can get them out. You sit, feeling them wriggle inside you...eeek.

Later in chapter 6 he pointed out that Job says that there are words which are for the wind...words which are said in the heat of the moment of suffering which we as those trying to help don't need to correct. Let them just go to the wind. When they have been restored a little, they will know the difference. Job's wife's words are an example of these. Just comfort during this time.

Time to go to the conference again! Love Piper Day!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Homecoming Queen

Here's a great story that happened last week in the town of Aledo, TX. Warning...I should have grabbed a tissue first. Click here to meet Aledo High's newest homecoming queen.

HT: Challies

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

I want...I want...I want...

Oh, how expectations can kill my focus. It's one of the graces in my life that God has shown me how true this is, especially during football season. We have a school holiday, staff workday here today. Parent conferences all day long. But this year at the high school, they weren't going to start until 11am Wayne told me. But what about football practice? I asked. They usually bring the freshman up in the morning and do the varsity practice at the normal time in the afternoon. Nope. We've told the freshman, no practice. What?? So what do you have to do in the morning? He replies Sunday morning...nothing. I don't have to be there until 11am. I'll be home with y'all.

Wow. Really?? I was so thrilled. We canceled some plans we'd made. Cleared the calendar 'cause Daddy's home! Nothing comes before that! The ladies I was going to meet with were so glad for us. They are walking with me through this year. They understand what this means for us. (If you're not sure what it's like, just click here.) I took Aisley and Brennan to their babysitting job at a friend's house when the phone rang. It's Wayne. Couldn't be coming home already, could he? Wouldn't that be something! Early to come home and a morning off! How quick my bubble just told them to be there at normal time tomorrow. No morning off.

My mind went immediately to the truth God had shown me so many years before. If I hadn't expected it, I'd have been fine. He's never home on a Monday morning. This one isn't any different. Except for that little expectation. So I had a fight last night with my flesh. The sons of Korah's words rang within me from Psalm 42:5-6...
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones called that kind of talk "preaching to yourself". Take yourself in hand, he'd say. Question yourself. Pull yourself back from stumbling and turn your eyes back to God.

What came to me as I lived and prayed with God that evening is how I cling to wanting what it is clear that God doesn't not want. Christ prayed in the garden...take this cup from me, yet not my will but yours be done. He went in sorrowful and troubled, the Word tells us. But He arose from that time, ready...willing...steadfast...strong. Rise, He told them, let's go.

What that says to me is that when He prayed "not my will, but your be done"...He meant it. He wanted what the Father wanted more than He wanted anything else. He went to His Father, asked for what He wanted...I did that, too. Father, I want Wayne home tomorrow. I want him to spend time with his girls. I want talk to him, tell him all that's been going on around us and within me. Please. Let him stay home. I even did that second part, just like Jesus. But Father, I want what you want more than anything. Sort of. Well, not really. Really, I just want Wayne home. I want what I can see. I want...I want...I want...

That was my battle last night. Competing wants. Do I want what the Father wants? Do I want anything more? What does it mean in me that I still want what the Father has said no to? It means that I don't know Him like my Savior knew Him. He's a good Father who knows how to give good gifts to His children. He loves me, loves my girls, loves my husband. He doesn't withhold any good thing from us. His plans prosper me, not harm me. He gave His Son to seal the argument...if He'll give up the treasure of heaven, will He not together with Him freely give me all things?

What this means is that my prayer continually must turn from give me to the prayer Jesus never prayed...Father, let me see you clearly so that I may love you truly and trust You in everything You do in my life. Give me sight Father to behold Your glory so that I might be changed into the likeness of Your Son just one degree. Give me satisfaction in Your Your ways so that I might be one who looks like Jesus. Wean me, Father, from a desire for anything that is different than what you give that you might be my all...all ways, all times, all places, all circumstances. Change my I I want You. For the sake of Your Name.