Saturday, May 30, 2015

What the Holy Spirit Does

I am reading A.W. Tozer and came to a part that held a shocking, new insight for both Ricky and me. Definitely struck us! When either of us thought about being Spirit-filled, our first response: the power to do miracles. Right?!

"For instance, they were true disciples, and they possessed the consciousness of their discipleship and their authority from Christ. They were the Lord's own loving disciples. That did not come at Pentecost. They were converted, forgiven, and had fellowship with Christ, and they had something a lot of ministers do not have now -- they had the gift of preaching: "They… went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where" (Luke 9:6)!
Again, they had the power to work miracles, so that when they came back reciting the manifestations of their power, the Lord rebuked them for pride and told them they should be glad, rather, that their names are written in heaven. But He did not deny that they had exercised His power, for He knew they did. He gave it to them! Some teach that if you are filled with the Spirit, you will have miracles, forgetting that the disciples had the power of miracles before they were filled with the Spirit.
The power of the Holy Spirit is not necessary to make miracle workers. The power of the Holy Spirit is something infinitely higher, grander, and more wonderful than that. They worked miracles before the Spirit ever came.
Now, consider the difference in their lives and experiences when the Holy Spirit came upon them, when they were no longer in the pre-Pentecost days, but when they were in the post-Pentecost era after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
It is easy to list seven things that the Holy Spirit did for them, and you can check each one with the Scriptures:
  1. They knew his presence
  2. They received joy
  3. They preached with power
  4. They had authority
  5. They were separated
  6. They became men of prayer
  7. They loved the Scriptures" 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Barriers and Bonds

  • Ricky had a really rough week with deadlines and working out-of-town, which means no-to-little sleep. So, everything was very relaxed and low-key so he could catch up on his rest. However, we did make it to an outdoor wedding -- simple and sweet to the core :) (And gorgeous weather, thank You!)
  • Aolani's antics: sleepwalked one night for a little bit while Ricky and I were still up; she moved clothes around the house before sitting on the potty and crying...?
  • The other day I heard myself say to Aolani, "You can't control what is not yours." I was convicted of how we sit in our little worlds trying to control everything/one in them, and yet none of it is ours. It is God's. Entrusted to us but not ours. His.
  • We leave for vacation with all of my family this weekend to spend a week at a beach down South. I'll try to post this weekend before we leave, but then I'll take a week off.

Waiting to throw her rice for the wedding couple's sendoff
  • School verse: Matthew 6:20 ~ Store your treasures in heaven where no moths or rust destroy.
  • Verses to memorize this (and the following) week: Psalm 40:5-8 Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. Sacrifice and offering you did not desire— but my ears you have opened— burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. Then I said, “Here I am, I have come— it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.”

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Near the Place

"To be filled with the Spirit of God is to have come through feelings, disturbance, anxiety, disappointment and emptiness. When you reach that place of despair, when you have gone to the last person and you have written the last editor, when you have followed the last evangelist around and hunted up the last fellow to counsel with you – when no man can help you anymore and you are in a state of inward despair – that is when you will recognize that you are near the place where God can finally do what he wants to do for you. When there comes that despair with self, that emptying out of you and that inner loneliness, you are getting close."~ A.W. Tozer 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Filling the Canvas of Our Days

  • Normal weekend: helped out friends put up fence, flea market, family movie/pizza night, church, and small group (here).
  • This is Teresa's last week here with us!
Vertical writing/drawing
"I U MOM" (that's me with high heels!)
We got to pet-sit Button one night; he slept with Micaiah a little while, but mostly in Aolani's bed.
with his warrior gear (helmet, sword, guns, sling, and belt)
painting wrapping paper with legos
  • School verse: Exodus 20:7 ~ Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
  • Verse to memorize this week: Psalm 40:3-4 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him. Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Arrow {video}

Here is the song I have on repeat in my head right now. Oh, how I relate. So good.

An arrow is stuck between my ribs
And I pray to God,
Don’t let it end like this
I fought like a man with will to live
But I was betrayed by the man within

How on earth did it all go down like this?
I’ve got no words to make sense of it
My shield, my fight for righteousness
Could not protect me from myself

I’m looking for the higher power
To be my mighty tower
Save me from myself, Oh yeah
But I’m-a fall seven more times
And it ain’t nobody’s fault except mine
There’s only one way out

Please, Lord, forgive me
I’m down on my bended knees
And I need your love
Mercy is your medicine
Help me turn around again
To You, my friend

How long did I fool myself
Believing I, I didn’t need nobody’s help
A fool trusts in his power and his wealth
Until he’s brought down low
Unto a shadow of himself

The arrow was sent to intervene
It pierced my bones and shook me from my dream
Lord You know exactly what I need
Wounds from a friend, severe mercy

I’m looking for the higher power
To be my mighty tower
Save me from myself, Oh yeah
But I’m-a fall seven more times
And it ain’t nobody’s fault except mine
There’s only one way out

Please, Lord, forgive me
I’m down on my bended knees
And I need your love
Mercy is your medicine
Help me turn around again
To You, my friend

Thursday, May 14, 2015


  • The week has been normal and busy -- Teresa started her job, and the neighborhood kids have begun to gather in our backyard to play most every evening (which is a blessing and answer to prayer). Our weekend consisted of movie night, a football game, and Mother's Day (church, park/picnic, Bible study, and a low-key family evening of books, prayer, skyping, games... simple and sweet.
  • Oh, and I meant to mention that for Ricky's and my birthdays last month, all of our parents went in and got us a nice, big, portable dishwasher (it rolls around and has an extra wood-panel surface to use for more counter space)! It works great, and Ricky especially loves it ;)
 at their first football game (a local semi-pro team)
Mother's Day 2015 (Ricky's mom got the girls matching dresses!)
  • School verse: Ephesians 5:25 ~ Husbands, love our wives.
  • Verse to memorize this week (I'm going to work on Psalm 40 next): Psalm 40:1-2 I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Well-Worn Paths to the Cross

In honor of Mother's Day tomorrow --
"You do your children great disservice if you strip away all the excuses for failure and force them to see all their sin as it is, without giving them well-worn paths to the Cross." ~ Ted Tripp
This quote really struck me simply because of two words -- "well-worn". 

I am all about no excuses (because if excuses are allowed, there is no need for the Cross) and for seeing the straight-up evil within our hearts (because without confronting our own wickedness, there is no need for the Cross), BUT... we are lost, helpless, and stuck in our own dark despair without a WAY OUT. Yet, (thank God!) we know that there is a way out, the way to the Cross!

"Well-worn"... Telling our kids how to get to God is vital, but showing our kids how we get to God -- daily -- brings reality to vital. Makes it really vital.

"When I mess up and fail and fall, this is what I do. This is the way to the Cross. This is my well-worn path to the Savior."

[I just read Ann Voskamp's Mother's Day post and sobbed -- so much truth, so many good things to repeat, so much grace. A must-read.]

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Pets and Play

  • We were out a lot this weekend: hanging out at a friends' house (outdoors so kids could run wild together and Ricky could get a haircut), field trip to the landfill (so kids can see where all stuff ends up), picnic in a park, family movie night, visited our friend's church, another picnic in a park, coffee shop...  
  • Our friend, Teresa, living with us just got a new job and started today! She will be commuting for the next few weeks before moving. 
  • Micaiah: called a granddaddy long-legs, spidersquito ; and, after I put him down for a nap and sang to him, heard him mixing two lines from different songs as he sang, "Don't say a word, Mama is here" ;)
  • Ricky and I went out last week to a movie while my friend babysat. They did nature walks, read, and did carnival-type games and races...

Knockin' down the lineup

Pumpkin cupcakes on Ricky's birthday the weekend before
Micaiah with our friend's bunny

The black one lives on our ceiling as our "pet" and the kids have each named him -- Boy-o and/or Harry


  • School verse: Proverbs 16:18 ~ Pride goes before... a fall.
  • Verse to memorize this week (again; too busy and just forgot): Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.