Chase Fireflies

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To Know God

“Those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.” – Psalm 9:10

Today I’m wondering how well I know the name of my God. I could tell you that He’s got a whole slew of names to represent different facets of his character – from Jehovah-Shalom – our God, our Peace – to Jehovah-Shammah – our God is present. I could tack on those rather strange titles of God as a Lion and a Lamb – or really mess with my own head with the references of God tucked in Revelation (quite the framework for a good nightmare.)

Apparently, Sunday School answers can be readily accessed, but to really know God’s name – as this verse suggests – directly correlates with trust. “Those who know your name put their trust in you.” So I guess the question is not how well do I know the name of my God, but how well am I trusting Him? My words of devotion fall flat if I don’t analyze the anxiety-prone areas of my life and then answer that question.

Will God really protect and provide for my family? When a crisis rocks everything I know to be true, will I still choose to believe? Will I know that even in the crisis, that God has my best interests at heart? Will Paul and I pursue God as passionately with two little kiddos in tow? Though it’s exponentially more difficult to follow God with the same fearless gusto with kids, there is no other option. They will see the world through us and their little eyes will study our every move. Will they be able to look at us one day and say that Mommy and Daddy knew Jesus and that they all out trusted Him? And will that knowledge and trust look beautiful enough to compel them to follow God also?

I think that my favorite part of the verse above is that with the knowing and the trusting come God’s presence. He doesn’t leave those who go after Him. He gives the seeker the source of life. And whether that life sees laughter or tears, wealth or poverty, health or disease, that life sees Jesus. And that life – that fearless life – is immeasurably worth the living.


Take it to the People!

Selah has been running around the house of late, excitedly gesticulating with her right arm, and demanding that Paul and I, “Take it to the people!” Either she’s absorbing too much political coverage and has a sixth sense that the NH primaries are today – or she’s jumping on board with her mother’s most recent mad cleaning/organizing/giving and selling campaign of her own. Oh, she makes us laugh…

On a side note, if you don’t see us for the next few days, it’s because we may be confined once again to the house. Adden randomly spiked a 102 temp at 1:30 today and is lethargic and spacey. Please pray that he gets better. It’s hard to see kids that little get sick. Thanks!

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Care for Creation in the New Year

Paul subscribes to this Creation Care Magazine and in the most recent edition, it listed these practical ideas for caring for God’s earth. With the start of the new year, it’s a great time to toss out wasteful habits and begin to live a more God-centered and satisfying life.

1. Observe the Sabbath- enjoy time with family, friends, and God. Head out to church and then take a nap (at home, that is – not at church.) “Be still and know that I am God.” No shopping or driving elsewhere – it’ll save lots of money on gas and such, plus restore your focus on God.
2. Keep your thermostat at 68/70 and pile on the blankets. Open curtains on sunny days. Close them at night to retain heat.
3. Carpool, walk, ride your bike, take public transportation at least once a week.
4. Put off one non emergency purchase for a month, then see if you still “need” it.
5. Turn down the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120 degrees.
6. For gifts this year, give relationally or give things like fluorescent bulbs, fabric bags, or natural cleaning products.
7. Cook at least one meatless meal each week – or one more than you do now. Eat at home one more meal than you usually do. Go on a fast food fast – no McD’s, Wendy’s, Burger King for a week – or maybe a month.
8. Go on a TV fast – no commercial TV for a week or month. Pray on the commute home instead of listening to the radio or get a book on tape that will renew your faith life.
9. Clean out your clothes closet and give away anything you did not wear in the last year.
10. Spend at least 5 min a day outside, giving thanks to God for the beauty of His creation.

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The Castle 2007

Ahhh… The Castle… a long desolate drive to the middle of nowhere (my apologies, Angie)… a castle that transports you to a different period altogether – of ballrooms and ladies teas and servants’ quarters… and an invasion of 80 some young adults who are seeking more than this world has to offer.

Our theme was Storyline this year – centering on the crazy beautiful story that God has written -discovering how that overarching story speaks to our own lives – and allowing our stories to offer hope to the hurting.

The kids heard relevant messages, sang out to Jesus with Crowder and Brian, gained ten pounds compliments of Mary and her amazing kitchen staff, fought over cabbage patch kids and oil filters in the dumb item game (Paul exercised his authority to acquire one sweet Hello Kitty princess crown for Selah), watched Noomas, played hockey, dodgeball, ultimate frisbee, and football, created commercial spoofs (though I would have to say that Narnia and Ricky still hold the prize), listened to honest talks on sex (which I am hoping to address in another blog), clawed people during the World Series of Spoons, displayed talents, spent time alone in the prayer room, were challenged by Bre’s stories of loving like Jesus in the Big Easy, etc, etc.

All that to say, it was a busy weekend, but a great one. God never ceases to amaze me how he correlates everything together and how He speaks to hearts. I want to thank Paul on behalf of the kids, for all of the work and prayer that you put into this, honey. Best Castle ever and I’m not just saying that cause I’m your wife:). I want to thank everyone who had a part, whether you were at the retreat working or at home praying. Based on tears shed, dialogues beginning, and facebook chatter all over the place, I’m thinking that lives were changed.

On a final note, I want to ask those of you who prayed to continue to speak to God on behalf of this generation. In fact, I beg you to cry out to God on behalf of these lives. One of the guys did not return to the Castle this year because he lost a battle to depression that no one knew he had. Talk about a tragedy that would break your heart. Please pray that each of the kids would know God as their Glory and the One who lifts their head. (Psalm 3:3) It’s difficult navigating your way through this world as an adult – much less a teen that’s got crazy hormonal things going on, a horrendous home life, and is inundated with this world’s ethics and mores.


Update on Castle and Christmas Pics

We are still catching up on our rest following our youth retreat, but much thanks to all who prayed. Everyone seemed to have a blast! I’m hoping to post pics of the weekend within the next few days and write a little bit more of all that happened up there. Till then, here are some pics from Christmas. It was such a joy to celebrate with our kiddos at home this year (though we definately missed Rhode Island and especially my brother in France.) Enjoy!