March 31, 2013

Resurrection Basket

This morning I got up, made a beautiful breakfast, put on that purple Easter dress and bonnet. Then just like a postcard from Heaven, my husband ( looking handsome ) and I dashed off to church. After service we enjoyed a beautiful Easter lunch, flew a kite, and then tonight I prepared a beautiful ham for dinner.

I want to tell you that.

Truth ?

I stayed under the covers until the light from outside overpowered the duvet. I awoke to a bedroom flooded in dirty clothes from open suitcases. The kitchen didn't contain a beautiful breakfast but the evidence of our late night Chinese dinner. Instead of primping in that purple dress, I had a melt down in the bathroom after trying to apply my makeup for the 3rd time. Stupid Freckles. ( Only people without them say they are cute !) Eventually we made our way to town for some retail therapy only to find every store closed for.......Easter.

Heart heavy and a 45 minute drive back home, I gazed up at the puffy clouds, the blue sky, and soft green coming over the fields. Easter sure looks a lot different than it did when I was a child. But God quickly spoke over my heart. He reminded me that while there are not baskets and bonnets, I do have a maturing faith. And in this faith, the realness, the fullness, and the delight in Jesus' Resurrection comes to life and that is sweeter than any tradition.

1 Peter 1:3 says:
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.."

It is the resurrection that gives us hope, a LIVING HOPE.
Hope to wake up every morning.
Hope to deal with that co-worker.
Hope to heal your heart.

This hope is not just for March 31st. This hope is for every day. Every day is Resurrection Day.

I know.  Not every day feels like a Resurrection Day.
Some days feel like an "Evacuation, Over-reaction, Suffocation, or Medication" kind of  day.
It's not easy to spot Hope on those days.

That's when we have to go hunt Easter eggs.

Hebrews 4:16 says,
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. 

Get your basket ready.
When we draw near to God, we will find mercy and grace; the best kind of Easter eggs.
Then on those days when you feel so hopeless, simply return to your basket ( or journal ) and take part in that living hope you have from the Resurrection. !

So may you be encouraged that no matter how you celebrated Easter, every day is Resurrection day.

March 30, 2013

Where I've Been

My husband, 5 college students, and myself have returned from our mission trip to serve the persecuted church.

There will be pictures,
There will be stories,

But first...

Shower and caffeine !

Thank you for those that have covered this team in prayer ! We are so excited to share what God is doing around the world, in the USA, and in our hearts.

Stay tuned...

March 22, 2013

Fun Friday: Favorite Pinterest Ideas

You made it to the weekend.
 If you have learned anything about this week it's that you need to laugh more.

This week on Kelly's Korner we are sharing our favorite Pinterest Ideas.
Now I love crafts as-all-get-out. But I ain't no Martha Stewart.

I know what you're gunna say, "But Renda, Pinterest has lots of ideas that are super easy!"
Really, really ?
I don't like a craft that require time, energy, glue, or a trip to Wal-Mart ! (amen)

But what I do like. I like to laugh. And these are some of  my favorite Pinterest ideas.



I don't drink coffee. But when I do....





Welp, there ya go.
I hope you peed your pants. ----I mean that in the nicest possible way :)

March 18, 2013

Wear the Crown

In elementary school, on your birthday, you were given a crown to wear on your little head. It was cut out of construction in your favorite color and your name would be written across the front.
Mine were always purple and covered in Lisa Frank stickers.

When you wore this crown, everyone told you "HAPPY BIRTHDAY."
When you wore this crown, you were birthday royalty.

I remember trying to wear my crown as long as possible. Finally my mom would pry it off my nest of hair while I slept. The crown that was once strong bright purple, now resembled a soggy brown cloth.
The crown would be tossed in the trash because it would be inappropriate to wear the next day. After all, you can only be birthday royalty once a year.

Over the weekend my brother and I had a jam session. I introduced him to a new song that had periced my heart. The song is called "At the Foot of the Cross" by Kathryn Scott.
A lyric of song says:

....Trade these ashes in for beauty,
And wear forgiveness like a crown,
Coming to kiss the feet of mercy,
I lay every burden down,
At the foot of the cross. 

I got choked up.
I was reminded that I am royalty. I have a crown.  

But more importantly this crown cannot be withered or rusted.
This crown is anew each day.

In the gospel of John is says:
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

So today, tomorrow, and next week you may not feel like you are royalty.
You may have a soggy crown, but girl you are forgiven.
It's time to wear your forgiveness like a crown.

March 11, 2013

Big God

Back in Oklahoma I had a little Sunday School class of cute and sticky preschoolers. I think that is the perfect way to describe preschoolers. Cute but sticky....Moving on...

I dreaded Sunday mornings with my preschoolers because someone was going to poop their pants, scream bloody murder, or demand a better snack.

What turned my experience around was when I stopped trying to teach 4 year olds biblical lessons designed for 40 year olds. I replicated a theme I had seen on the ever-so-holy

God is my Superhero !

The kids LOVED this idea.
I LOVED this idea.

My husband still reads comics and is very up to date on all things superhero !

They made superheros, they dressed like superheros, no one pooped their pants, and they learned how BIG and awesome God is.

I learned how BIG God is.
On the transition from child to adult, God transformed from Superhero to Villian, Mad Man in the sky. But obviously God never changed. Instead, it was my attitude and how I perceived Him. I did not approach every day believing in a Superhero God. Instead of thinking of His love and His power, I created a count down to the worst case scenario of the day and hoped I could survive.
Last week while seeking advice from a professor, he met my negativity with:
 "Renda, how big is your God?"

As you may know, there is only one way to answer that one question and if your heart is correctly convicted as mine was, you need not respond at all.
My professor doesn't know how my life will unfold or if my prayers will get answered.
He doesn't need to know.
He only needs to know that God is a BIG God.
I only need to remember that my God is a BIG God.
Maybe you know that I'm talking about.
Maybe you need to stop jumping straight to the poopy pants scenario of your day and simply ask yourself  how Big is your God ?
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible but with God all things are possible."- Matthew 19:26

March 9, 2013


This week I dropped a class, changed my major agian, and molded a another dish in the sink.

This is not joy.

To make matters worse, I felt like my professor was going to revoke my Christian Card because I couldn't correctly articulate the different views of Theology on a study guide. I was not only a failure as a student and a wife but I felt like a failure as a Christian

This is not Joy.

Once I dropped the class and made a new outline for my future, the tension in my shoulders eased for a moment and a smile appeared on my face. I felt the pressure lift off.

But this is not joy either.

I was asked to join a worship team for chapel next week. As homework, I turned on Pandora to work on the harmony. At first I was just reciting words of How He Loves Us. But it did not take long for tears to steam down my face.

"Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though youdo not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious JOY,"- 1 Peter 1:8 

I had been preparing for a future with God without living in the present with HIM.

When I step aside and allow God to rush into my life, I am always shocked when He showers me with blessings. I have had more opportunity this week for ministry then ever before. God presented new horizons for me. And the grocery store had a sale on paper plates.

Things aren't perfect by a worldly standard but since when do I live by their standards ?

This is joy.