Tuesday, May 19, 2009


we have been studying about obedience with the kids this month. it actually has been pretty convicting for me. i may post some of my other observations on here too if i have time. but this week we are teaching the kids about genesis 3 and the fall. The first act of disobedience. Here is the email i sent my volunteers. it is what the lord taught me as i studied this familiar passage this week.

Bible Story: Adam and Eve disobey; Genesis 3:1-24

Bottom Line: It's right to listen to God because He is GOD.

There is a lot to glean from this familiar passage, but because you all do not want to read a book, I am only going to dwell on one that applies to this week’s lesson. The enemy told Adam and Eve the ultimate lie that we all still buy into, “You don’t have enough.” He made Eve discontent with all the trees that she was permitted to eat from and she was only focusing her desire on this one tree. And many times we can take a felt desire and some how make it into such a big deal, we then believe that we must have it! Oh how we can justify sin! This lie worked for her, because somewhere she quit trusting that God was enough and that He knew enough. There are many times that God tells us to do something and we can clearly see why. There are other times He tells us to do something and we cannot see why and we may never know why, but we are called to obey regardless. That is our bottom line, “Listen to God because he is God.” Each month we study a virtue that teaches us about the nature of God, every one of those virtues could be used to build a case as to why we can trust God. He is good and we can list off a million reasons why, yet our sinful nature still wants to be in charge. We like the control so we think we know best. Or we still think that we do not have enough, so we deserve something else (like more knowledge). Did Adam and Eve gain what was promised by the serpent? They sure did, only they didn’t need it. Their lives were much better before. So much for thinking that control and getting more of what you want leads to a better life. What a convicting lesson!

Take time and pray and confess. What areas of your life are you seeking to be in control or what areas are you seemingly in control of? (hint hint: they usually are the areas of your life that produce the most anxiety and entitlement in your life) Take time to confess that to the Lord. Confess that you are prideful and trust yourself and creation to provide what you need, rather than the Creator. Confess that you are trying to control situations to get your desired outcome your selfish desires. Pray and confess your dependence on the Lord. Cry out to Him that you need him to function, even though you consistently try and do it alone.

Pray for your kids. Pray that they too will see where they try and be in control or where they think they need more and do not have enough, even though the Creator of the universe is faithful and provides all we need! What if they learn at this young age to quit buying into that lie and to trust that the Lord is enough????

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

gospel relationships...

i have been doing a study on the book of galatians by tim keller this spring. it is incredible and i highly recommend it to everyone! here are some excerpts from his chapter on gospel relationships (galatians 5:26-6:5):

"the gospel creates a whole new self-image which is not based on comparisons with others. only the gospel makes us neither self-confident or self-disdaining, but both bold and humble. because of the gospel, we neither earn our worth through approval from people not through power over people, so we are neither overdependent on others, nor afraid of commitment and vulnerability. that works itself out in relationships with everyone."

"moralism often makes relationships into a blame game. why? the moralist is very consciously try to earn salvation through performance, and that includes relationships. moralists must maintain a self-image of being a 'good person.' now some moralists do so by laying the blame on others, by being very judgmental and by always insisting that they are right. there is a lack of teachability, humble admission or error or listening. but moralists can also play the blame-game by laying the blame on themselves. moralists can 'earn their salvation' and convince ourselves we are worthy persons through being very willing to help others. this kind of self-salvation superficially makes the moralist look very open to listen, very humble, very teachable. but this can be co-dependency, a form of self salvation through severely needing people's approval or through needing people to need you (i.e. saving yourself by saving others). so moralism works through either blaming others or blaming yourself. either way it makes relationships tortuous.

on the other hand, hedonism reduces relationships to a negotiated partnership for mutual benefit. hedonism says: 'a relationship is fine as long as both people are helping each other reach their goals.' but as soon as a relationship entails major sacrifice, the hedonist labels it dysfunctional and bails out. (there are dysfunctional relationships but only when the sacrifice is being done out of needy selfishness and not out of fullness of love.) so, for the hedonist, you only relate to another as long as it is not costing you anything. so the choice (without the gospel) is to selfishly use others or to selfishly let yourself be used by others. but the gospel leads us to do neither. we do sacrifice and commit, but not out of a need to convince ourselves or others we are acceptable. so we can love the other person enough to confront, yet stay with the person when it does not benefit us."

i am a moralist through and through. i have played both sides of the moralist, my latest struggle being the latter. this study of galatians has opened my eyes to the gospel and what it means for my life after i am saved. it has brought me to tears many times. i constantly need to be reminded of it. this moralist needs to be reminded that she is fully loved and accepted by god, no matter what. my failure in relationships and friendships is just another picture of my broken life that i have tried to control. i think i am finally beginning to understand the gospel and my life is changing. just ask those around me.

Friday, May 8, 2009

children desiring god conference...

last week john and erin and i went to children desiring god in minneapolis, minnesota. here are some quotes from the conference, we learned much more than this, but here are the highlights. we all live blogged on a twitter. you can follow me on twitter twitter.com/beccalarae. i also included a little surprise for you at the end. our rental car was pretty sweet!!

john piper: the cross was simultaneously self-sacrificing and self-exhalting. the cross is god-centered not man-centered. 2 cor 5:15

piper: most people have trouble with a god-centered god because they grew up with a self-esteem based children's ministry.

david paul tripp: what kind of messiah do you want? one that gives you what you want or one that saves and redeems you?

tripp: there will be tough moments in life when you cry out for god's grace & you are already getting it. its the grace of refinement.

we've got to teach our kids they don't write their life story. their's is part of the great redemption story & they'll never hold the pen.

the amount of time you spend praying is a good indicator of how much you see your need for the lord.

a new idea that came out of the conference: a kidstuff series on the authority of the word. if they don't believe in its authority why study it, know it, or obey it.

don't be jealous of our grand marquis! we rode with class and we could have parked in the handicap spot without anyone thinking twice about it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

jon comes to dallas...

that is right! my brother is officially back in the states and he came to dallas a few weekends ago to visit and be united with his love, fiona. she has only been waiting to see him since november. here are some pictures.

jon and fiona. united at last!

fiona. isn't she pretty?
mom and jon while bowling.
me and pops.our cousin mike and his wife kelly down from kansas city too!we spent a lot of time in friendly competition over mario kart.
then we moved on to rock band. here is our lead guitarist.
and the drummer and vocalist.
a pic of the whole band.the cousins.
it was great to see jon! thanks to all of you who have been faithfully praying for him while he was in Iraq.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

more surrender...

the lord has been wreaking havoc on many areas of sin in my life. one of the many things he has been teaching me about is that i CANNOT fix the junk in my life. i cannot get it together. i can't pretend that everything is okay. i can't even find my boot straps much less pull myself up by them. this week he showed me how my fix everything tendencies are even in my prayers.

i have been rereading cs lewis' the screwtape letters. If you do not know the premise of the book, it is a series of fictional letters from uncle screwtape (a master tempter) to his nephew and young tempter, wormwood. in chapter IV, the topic is prayer and this quote stuck out to me.

"whenever they are attending to the enemy himself [remember references to the enemy are references to god] we are defeated, but there are ways of preventing them from doing so. the simplest is to turn their gaze away from him towards themselves. keep them watching their own minds and trying to produce feelings there by the action of their own wills. ...when they meant to pray for courage, let them really be trying to feel brave. when they say they are praying for forgiveness, let them be trying to feel forgiven. teach them to estimate the value of each prayer by their success in producing the desired feeling."

i do this all the time. i feel anxious or worried about something and so i go to the lord in prayer (phil 4:6-7), but what happens is not what god intends. i bow before him and i know that i am not supposed to be feeling anxious and i say that i don't want to and i want to trust him. so i lay it out there and i almost surrender it. what happens next is that i then think that since i know that i should feel peace and rather than trusting the Lord for peace, i just start trying to feel it. i may even be able to generate a little bit of it, but it doesn't last and then i feel defeated. why does this happen? well because in essence i came to jesus with my problem, held it out and but rather than relying on him to fix it or take it, i knew what it should look like so i began to try and make that a reality on my own. i focus on myself and how i was feeling rather than the one who could change my life in an instant if he wanted. and my attempts fail each time, so i just continue to living in anxiety or fear or whatever i was seeking relief from. this just continues to show me that i do not trust the Lord. i am still trying to fix my life and live right on my own. good news is that he loves me enough to not let that happen. he is teaching me to surrender and lean in to him. and throw my hands up in surrender. i can't do it, even when i mask it in churchy stuff like prayer, i can't fix myself. but i can lean in to the one who can. thank you lord that you are sanctifying me!!