taylor the latte boy responds...

here are a few highlights from dessert theater. and by "highlights" i mean "wonderful things maxx did." 

and in case you don't really understand the "taylor the latte boy responds" song, watch the video below it first. that is the "taylor the latte boy" song. which in our production was sung by an adorable high school girl named emma. instead of kristen chenowith. who is also adorable. but not a high school girl. nor a member of FBC tallahassee's youth group.

rosalea did wonderful things too. she was running the backstage. putting on scenery. microphones. handing out props. but it is difficult to video or take photos of backstage help.

dessert theater is a yearly occurrence at our church. and it is a HUGE pain during rehearsals and you think you will never survive the schedule. but you do survive. mostly. and in the end it is amazing. and the kids are fantastic. and the money raised goes to the youth mission/choir tour. and it is something all the kids that graduate talk about how much they miss being in it every year. and the parents that are finished with the marathons of dessert theater talk about how much they miss their kids being in it now. and i know i am coming to the last of my performers (though rosie may keep working her backstage magic.) and i know i will miss seeing him on stage also. mostly because he loves to be on stage so much (he got that from his mama.) but i have one more year...

cast your bread...

Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again. ecclesiastes 11:1

i cast some bread a few years ago. threw out some crumbs actually. some of them might have even been moldy crumbs. a lot of them were dry. and not always the freshest morsels. nevertheless moldy crumbs in Jesus' hands become something quite special...

i threw them onto the waters of a sunday morning Bible study class for college students. sent them out into some late night conversations with young college girls. tossed them out as we rode bicycles across florida. up north carolina mountains. risked our lives pedaling wildly on a crowded 12 land highway beside the mall of georgia. flung out crumbs disguised as dinners. birthday celebrations. april fool's day parties. craft nights. i let some more crumbs loose during late night phone calls. shot them forth in facebook messages. tweets. texts. emails. these crumb catching girls have stayed in my life. they all moved to different cities. states. areas of the country. but they never left my heart.

i had no idea why these girls liked me (then or now). or wanted to grow up to be just like me (and they may be rethinking that goal). i was as much of a mess then as i am now. i was a younger and cuter mess. i taught things that i only am beginning to understand now. i said things with so much bravado and certainly that i fooled them all into thinking i had some kind of strong faith. but those were words. now i live in the faith that i only talked about then. every word i taught them was True. He is worthy. He is good. He is faithful. now i know by heart what i had to have notes on to tell them years ago. but i tossed crumbs then because God made me fall in love with those girls. and stranger still He made them fall in love with me. and strangest of all He made them think that i might have something to teach them. then and now...

moldy crumbs of the Bread was all i had then. but in His hands it was enough. not only for them. but enough to come back to feed me years later.

my bread has come back to find me...

it found me in tampa when i had lunch with this lovely former college student (who forgave me for forgetting to bring my camera and only having my phone to take photos of she and her sweetest new addition)...

and the next day more bread as i played in the park with this gal and her children...

it filled my mouth with sweetness and my heart with joy as i had a long phone conversation with this girl. i have not seen her in YEARS but that does not seem to dim our love and mutual respect a bit...


and today this girl sends me a text about a song that i just cried listening to and it perfectly said what i needed to hear (in face contained a line that i had just prayed and i had NEVER heard that song before) and she says that she joins me in praying for our mutual goal EVERY time she hears that song...

and here is the song...

so all those years of teaching... all those lessons prepared on saturday nights (i mean prepared MUCH earlier than the night before the lesson). those chats while biking when we thought we had no words left. the tears cried together. the laughter in the middle of the tears. all those phone calls. NOT TO MENTION that one night i stayed up ALL night praying for lynnell because she had left me a message saying that she had broken up with josh (who she is now married to) and i was so worried about her... only to find out the next morning that they had gotten back together right after the sobbing message that she left me... i cast my bread upon waters...

and i have found it again. in the comfort of their counsel. in the earnestness of their sweet prayers. in the way they are all raising their babies in grace and truth. and in their love for me...

God is never wasteful. He recycles. redeems. restores. and returns our bread to us. in greater portions than we ever sent it out. and at the moment we need it the most.

2 corinthians 9:10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.

show me...

"Show me wherefore thou contendest with me"  job 10:2

It was but a little while ago that, on thy knees, thou wast saying, "Lord, I fear I have no faith: let me know that I have faith."

...God often sends us trials that our graces may be discovered, and that we may be certified of their existence. Besides, it is not merely discovery; real growth in grace is the result of sanctified trials.

God trains His soldiers, not in tents of ease and luxury, but by turning them out and using them to forced marches and hard service. He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers and climb mountains, and walk many a weary mile with heavy knapsacks on their backs. Well, Christian, may not this account for the troubles through which you are passing? Is not this the reason why He is contending with you?  --C. H. Spurgeon

To be left unmolested by Satan is no evidence of blessing. 

from "streams in the desert" by l.b. cowman

this one line really struck me...

To be left unmolested by Satan is no evidence of blessing. 

which reminded me of this song that i love by sara groves, open my hands.

I believe in a blessing I don't understand
I’ve seen rain fall on wicked and the just

Rain is no measure of his faithfulness

He withholds no good thing from us

No good thing from us, no good thing from us

I believe in a peace that flows deeper than pain
That broken find healing in love

Pain is no measure of his faithfulness

He withholds no good thing from us

No good thing from us, no good thing from us

I will open my hands, will open my heart
I will open my hands, will open my heart
I am nodding my head an emphatic yes
To all that You have for me

I believe in a fountain that will never dry
Though I've thirsted and didn't have enough

Thirst is no measure of his faithfulness

He withholds no good thing from us

No good thing from us, no good thing from us

I will open my hands, will open my heart
I will open my hands, will open my heart
I am nodding my head an emphatic yes
To all that You have for me

No good thing from us
No good thing from us

He withholds no good thing from us

I will open my hands, will open my heart
I will open my hands, will open my heart
I am nodding my head an emphatic yes
To all that You have for me

sometimes opeing my hands to all that He has for me means opening my hands to things that i don't (and may not EVERY this side of heaven) understand. it may mean opening my hands up to pain. to rain. to thirst. but knowing that pain, rain, and thirst are not a measure of His faithfulness. that they are GOOD things when they come from His hand. 

and along those lines... i think this was the best blog post that i read about the tragedy in newtown... from david platt, the gospel and newtown.

 it is long but worthy of reading and starts with the age old questions...

These are questions that go far back in history. Epicurus, the Fourth Century philosopher, made the famous statement: “Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to…If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent.  If he can, and does not want to, he is wicked. But, if God both can and wants to abolish evil, then [why do we have] evil in the world?”

and ends with this beautiful conclusion...

When we consider all that Scripture teaches about God and evil, we are led inextricably to the gospel: the good news that God has taken the very worst thing that has ever happened in the history of the world (the death of His Son) and He has turned it into the very best thing that has ever happened in the history of the world (the salvation of sinners). Evil is tragically real, God is supremely great, God is absolutely good, and the gospel is shockingly glorious.

shockingly glorious. He withholds no good thing from us...

to see me mended...

one of my favorite gals in the world, miss nell, was commenting on facebook how the Christmas season is so new and fresh for her this year with her baby boy making her look at the Babe in the manger with her new mama eyes.


when she mentioned feeling so overwhelmed experiencing Christmas as a mother, i recalled the final haunting lines from this luci shaw poem, mary's song,  and looked up the rest of the poem to share with her online. and so i thought i would share it with all of you. it is a lovely example of what poetry does.. makes you look at something from a different angle. and rocks your world...

Mary's Song

Blue homespun and the bend of my breast

keep warm this small hot naked star

fallen to my arms. (Rest ...

you who have had so far

to come.) Now nearness satisfies

the body of God sweetly. Quiet he lies

whose vigour hurled

a universe. He sleeps

whose eyelids have not closed before.

His breath (so slight it seems

no breath at all) once ruffled the dark deeps

to sprout a world.

Charmed by dove's voices, the whisper of straw,

he dreams,

hearing no music from his other spheres.

Breath, mouth, ears, eyes

he is curtailed

who overflowed all skies,

all years.

Older than eternity, now he

is new. Now native to earth as I am, nailed

to my poor planet, caught that I might be free,

blind in my womb to know my darkness ended,

brought to this birth

for me to be new-born,

and for him to see me mended

I must see him torn.

"for Him to see me mended i must see Him torn."

those were the words that i remembered from the poem. 

being a mother costs so much.

life costs so much.

love costs so much. 

grace costs so much.

christa wells says this about her beautiful song "life costs so much"...

It’s about…the very tangible torment He opened Himself to repair the damage we’d done.  The great personal price He accepted to resurrect us.  How free is Grace?

Someone paid for the damage…

Tim Keller points out that if someone backs out of your drive, running into your gate and garden wall, there are real, actual damages that must be paid in order to restore the gate and wall. “Either you or he absorbs the cost for the deed, but the debt does not somehow vanish into thin air. Forgiveness, in this illustration, means bearing the cost for his misdeed yourself.”

And the Father told us all of it long ago.  He told us we were dead, reminded that dead people can’t raise themselves up.  That resurrection would be a critical heart of the plan.

Dry bones, breath breathed, open graves, dead brought to life, Lazarus, Christ himself, our own future…the imagery is pervasive and effective in Old and New Testaments.

Ezekial 37: They say, “Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.”  Therefore prophesy and say to them: I will bring you back to the land of Israel.  Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live…

How else do you explain all these open graves we’ve got?

How do we explain it?  Joy in emptiness?  How do you explain the forgiveness of deep offenses?  Peace in tempest winds? How do we explain the always-returning green hope buds of this Life?

Someone must have paid…

a thousand things are happening...

i just heard this song by christa wells (and by "just heard" i mean that i have had it on repeat since i heard and and have cleaned my entire house whilst listening to it over and over and over) and i love it. and her. and i am thinking of including her in my heavenly 'hood. but i am worried that c.s. lewis will like her better than me since she can write songs from john piper quotes.

this song was inspired by this john piper quote (and tweet)...


You’re gonna cry yourself to sleep 

You’re gonna soak the pillow
for many weeks 

You’re gonna cry
Why me? 

But in spite of the ache
that doesn’t go away 

You’ll be sharing your story
one rainy day 

And at the next table somebody catches your words 

He hears a truth that he’s never heard 

He takes it back to the marriage he’d given up on 

Hands it down to his daughter
who writes it into song 

You didn’t know 

A thousand things are happening in this one thing 

Like a thousand fields nourished by a single drop of rain 

So honey, wrap yourself in promise
while you wait the morning light 

A thousand things are happening tonight 

You’re gonna cry yourself to sleep 

‘cause for the moment all that you can see 

Is what you’ve lost, lost
Why me? 

But in the midst of the most exquisite pain 

you’re drawn into a peace that you cannot explain 

and the praises you sing of a sovereign God 

reach the girl whose last hope is gone 

she never thought there was purpose in anything here 

now the seed has been planted and it’s taking root there 

You didn’t know 

A thousand things are happening tonight 

You’re gonna cry yourself to sleep 

A thousand miracles you’ll have to wait and see