September 23, 2010

JP: Campfires

JP writes:

The Price Family went camping this past weekend with two families from our home group. We had a great time of fun, fellowship, and laughter. Our campsites were down by the lake in what was termed the "primitive" area of the park which meant tents only and no electricity with about a 300 yard hike to the bathhouse. Being that our sites were right on the lake, this meant that we had to walk past every other campsite whenever we made that trek.

The thing that I noticed whenever I made the hike was that no matter what time it was, if someone was at their campsite they always had a campfire. At times it was really pretty ridiculous. People with RVs would be inside cooking or watching tv with the air conditioning blowing while at the same time there was a campfire burning outside. You could pick out the people that obviously didn't think about having a campfire before they left home. Even though they hadn't brought wood, a saw or a hatchet, they were adamant about having a fire. I saw many instances where they found 6-8 feet long fallen branchs/trees and laid them across the fire pits and had a blazing fire that could be seen from the moon. It was comical to see the extremes that they went to.

Not to be outdone, we too had our campfire going. However, we planned and brought the necessary tools to have a controlled burn. One night, we actually had a conversation about our love of campfires.

Campfires fascinate us. They are beautiful and mesmerizing with flames that crackle, dance, and flicker, an ever changing pattern. The colors are spectacular - white, red, orange, blue. We seem to be drawn into the fire and often get lost in thought in it. We cook on it, get warm by it, and gorge on Smores around it.I even love the smell. And at times small campfires aren't fascinating enough, so we fuel it to make it larger and more satisfying.

Satan and sin are like this. Much of the time they appear beautiful, mesmerizing, and spectacular. Luring us in to more and more, bigger and better in order to take our eyes off what we were called to do or were created for. That is having a relationship with Jesus. But even inherently good things can cause us to stumble if it keeps us from what we know we should be doing.

For example, one night the Prices decided to have Smores while everyone else went to bed. The other families decided to pass after seeing the sugar high that their children had from partaking the previous night. However, Angela sent Paul back to the campfire area to get her some tissues. Feeling guilty that no one else was experiencing the pleasures of Smores, Kristian and I quickly (and easily I might add) lured Paul in. Several minutes later Angela came investigating only to find Paul sticky fingered with a mouthful of marshmallow and chocolate.

It was pretty much the same classic scene as in Genesis 3. "Paul, where are you? What are you doing?" Me being the good friend that I am tried to aid in the cover up by yelling, "Here she comes Paul, hide!" Pretty similar to Adam's reaction when he heard God walking in the garden after they had disobeyed God's instructions. Hide!?!? What good would that do? At that point Paul was already caught brown and white handed. All of us were as a matter of fact.

All because of the lure of the fire and the promise of a reward of temporary sweetness. Is there anything that is luring you away from living your life to its created purpose? Ask God, He'll show you.


KP: Come Out of the Clutter and Hear God

KP Writes:

I was reading a posting on Elijah List this morning and was struck by a posting written by Garris Elkins.
I have copied excerpts from this timely message to Americans and the American church. I concur: Simplification is much needed in America. The clutter has gotten so deep, 'up to our ears' I would say, that we can no longer hear the Lord. Read on and be blessed!

"We are living in cluttered times that have produced distracted lives. Family activities and careers ask for their fair share of our day. Ministry commitments ask us for more of our time. The needs of others stand in line at the door of our lives and want to come in. Each of these demands are good by themselves, but together they can become overwhelming in their ability to fill every spare moment of our lives. At some point we must push life back and create a place to listen to what the Spirit would say.

Paul addressed cluttered lives when he wrote to the Church in Corinth:

"The time that remains is very short. So from now on, those with wives should not focus only on their marriage. Those who weep or who rejoice or who buy things should not be absorbed by their weeping or their joy or their possessions. Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away. I want you to be free from the concerns of this life." 1 Corinthians 7:29-32

Later in verse 35 Paul wrote:

"I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible."

Paul was listing, among those things that can distract us, our relationships, our failures, our successes and our possessions. When all of the stuff of life begins to fill our lives, we become absorbed into them and take on their shape – and our image changes. Like wet clay, we are crafted into an image of the distractions in our lives instead of being absorbed and molded into the image of Christ.

Now is the time to push back the clutter and distractions of life that are occupying your time and space and draining your away your energy.

God is asking His people to unclutter their lives where His Spirit can set down and do extraordinary things. Remove the clutter and distractions and welcome the coming of the Lord."

I choose this day to push back the clutter and distractions and be crafted into the image of Christ. Will you choose the same?


September 20, 2010

MP: God's Beautiful Creation

MP writes:


This past weekend, as we were camping for probably the last time this season, I felt God telling me to look at the beautiful creations. I will share some of those beautiful things that I saw.

The lake that we swam in was so clear and beautiful. This reminded
me of the sea of glass in Revelation. When the light shimmered on the water it looked almost as if crystal was being bent. It also reminded me of how God creates things for us to think of as beautiful. I marveled at how God even thought to make the sun able to warm you up when the lake makes you cold.
Revelation 4:6 "Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal."

I also thought that it was really sweet that as we were packing the car up we saw some wild turkeys and two of them w
ere white. They were so pretty. But because they weigh so much they made a bunch of noise whenever they tried to fly to the top of the trees.

We went with some of our friends, the Skeeles and the Kopplins. It was fun to be able to play and hang out with them. For use in the lake we brought some water floats that we use
d to take to the beach; and the Kopplins brought their Zodiac. Believe it or not my mom actually did get into the water even though I thought that it was a little chilly in some spots.

Over all we got to enjoy the beauty of the nature and have good family fun with everyone. We also got to roast a few marshmallows.

Love Y'all,

For the Christmas dance I am in Russian again and possibly American too performance. :~D

September 17, 2010

MP: Into the Swing of Things

MP writes:

Hello Y'all,

My life is back into the swing of things, sort of like before school ended last year. Dance has started back too. Also I have been able to make earrings and cook. I finished sewing a small sheet for a doll that I started a couple of years ago, with Nana on the way to Ashville, North Carolina. All these things I have been doing in the afternoons. I have such an affinity for making things.

Dance has been really good. It feels good to be sore except for my left calf which I hurt. But now it feels better because I stretched it out. The one bad thing about taking two months off is you feel as if your muscles have atrophied to nothing. Because I did Gram modern last night, today when I was doing science which was talking about gram bacterium all I could think about was dance.

Sometimes when I am making earrings I have these ideas that I think will be cool. But when I beget them they are
bizarre and I wonder how I ever thought that they were cool. The earrings that I make to sell are a variety of colors. Sometimes the posts badger me when I am trying to get them onto the hooks.

Lately I have been making salsa and it is so good because I don't make it spicy but it still tastes great. I have really enjoyed being able to have this free time. When Grandma and Papa took us to Branson, MO, I was able to watch some cooking shows and I wrote down some recipes that I have not been able to try yet but am very much looking forward to preparing.

I have also made some knitted items. I hope that y'all have enjoyed this update of my life. Hope your ambiance is lovely. I love you!

Love always,

September 14, 2010

JP: Celosia Flowers and the Bees

One of the things that the Lord has blessed us with is a covered back patio surrounded by a beautiful flower garden with a pond. My favorite thing about it is that all of the flowers are perennials and come back on their own every year. (Note the phrase "on their own!")

A few days ago I was on the phone out on the patio when the Lord began to speak to me. Currently, we have beautiful Celosia flowers in bloom. They remind me of fireplace pokers glowing from the heat of the fire.

As I gazed nonchalantly at them the Lord reminded me that the closer a fireplace poker is to the fire or source of heat the hotter it
gets. The same is true with believers. The more we place ourselves in His presence, the hotter or more intense we are for Him. Another benefit of fire is that it purifies. When precious metals are exposed to a heat source for an extended period, they become more pure. God is a fire that purifies. Therefore, the more we expose ourselves to Him, the more we are purified and our sinful desires are burned away.

God then focused my attention on the bees that were buzzing from plant to plant. There seemed to be about 20 bees or so. Not wanting to miss what God was wanting to teach me, I looked up pollination on the internet.

It is estimated that one third of the human food supply depends on insect pollination, most of which is accomplished by bees. That is one third of human life depends on the bees unwittingly pollinating. Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the male parts of a flower to the female parts of a flower, which results in fertilization of plants and the production of seeds. Pollen is also a source of protein that they feed to their developing offspring. Bees don't even realize that they are carrying it. The pollen just falls of them after they land on the next flower.

Likewise, after placing ourselves in the presence of our beautiful Lord and Savior through worship and prayer, we unwittingly carry His presence and fire with us.
Pollination is a picture of the Heavenly Bridegroom King using His bride, the church, to deposit seeds into this lost world. We do this mostly by consistently seeking Him and living a lifestyle fully pleasing to Him. In other words, "walking the walk." And as our children see us do this, they are fed and grow in the Lord.

Just as a great deal of human lives depend on the pollination process, human lives depend on us being willing to plant seeds. Our job is to plant seeds and harvest. We're not responsible for it taking root. That's God's job. And honestly, some of the pollinating occurs from just living life. I refer to it as the ooze factor. Just walking the walk and looking for opportunities to ooze Jesus love onto people.

So, are you willing to be a bee?

----- Jeff

September 11, 2010

MP: Joel on Fridays

MP writes:

Hi y'all,

So every Friday afternoon there is a teaching at IHOP. Right now Mike Bickle has been teaching on the book of Joel. I am learning how much it relates to the end times.

One of the things that I have learned is there are four factors that often overlap and work together in a national crisis.
1-God's zeal for relationship with his people leads him to discipline them and to destroy their oppressors.
2-Another is Satan's rage-
In the end times God will allow Satan to vent his rage but within limits.
3- Man's sin also plays
a role-
Humans will be violent toward each other.
4-The last is creation's groan.
These four factors work together for good under God's sovereign reign. I personally think that it is strange that we are quick to point out Satan and man's role in disaster but not God's. He is very much involved in in crisis that hit nations. In national crisis the greatest need is God's favor.

God's passion is to remove all that hinders love. But we say how? How do we answer that? Well here are three things: 1- receive God's correction, 2- resist Satan's activity, 3- repent of sin.

As the church we have the most responsibility to pray and raise a standard against sin and oppression. God requires that His people humble themselves in obedience before Him. Therefore we must stand in the gap and intercede for the unbelievers. Part of Joel 2:13 says that we must rend our heart and return to Him.

On another note, yesterday I started back to dance. My gluteus maximus, hamstrings, hip flexers, and calves are sooooooooooo sore. I only took two classes this summer and boy am I paying for it now. On Monday I have Jazz which is my favorite class. Tuesday I take modern and ballet, Friday is pointe, and Saturday is another required ballet. We will start Christmas show rehearsals soon. At that time I will let you know which dances I am in for our Mystery of Christmas performance.

Love Y'all,

September 8, 2010

MP: Camping and Visitors

MP writes:

Hello all,
I am so sorry that it has been forever since I blogged.

I love visitors and camping! We have had visitors and we have gone camping with some friends of ours.

Since I last wrote we have had Ben Brinker stay with us for a month while he did Awakening Teen Camp. That was before we left for Georgia. The week we got back Kurt Miller and his friends, Casey and John, stayed a week with us. They were amazing! After they left, Grandma and Papa came for a couple of days and and then took us to Branson, MO, for a couple of days. It was a FABULOUS vacation!!! The aftermath of those days was that I got tan. Then we had Mrs. Joyce and Ms. Kathleen come to visit us.

Last weekend we went camping. I must give Mommy accolades for preparing all that wonderful food that I have affinities for. While we were in the woods camping we had to be careful not to leave our food containers ajar because if we did it would allure some critters that we might not want.
I don't like this picture much
While at our campsite that had a lake right there by it we were able to go swimming. I got a tan once again. Yeah, I am no longer white. Though I did hurt my knees several times on the rocks.

So not only did we have fun but we got to do it with some of our friends, the Kopplins. Being able to swim at the same place that we camped was pretty sweet. The whole time we were camping
it was not too hot or too cold.Love y'all,

September 6, 2010

JP - The End Is Near!!

There, I said it (typed actually) and now the proverbial cat's out of the bag! It seems that everywhere I turn someone is talking about eschatology or end times. My mom is doing a bible study on Revelation, a women's bible study at Riverstone is doing the same thing, our family is taking an IHOPU class on the book of Joel, a number of the Christian radio stations I listen to when I mow the grass are teaching on it, various ministries and websites that our family follows are discussing it, and a friend of ours, Mark Nysewander, is actually writing a book about it from the Enemy's view. Right now people seem really hungry for a better understanding of how God's end time plan lays out. What does this mean? I don't know. Maybe nothing or maybe the Lord's stirring up His people. If I had to vote I would fall on the later side.

So, why is so important to have a clear understanding of the end times? Because it is important to God. Did you now that there are over 150 chapters in the Bible that focus on the end times? Compare this to the four gospels which total 89 chapters. The gospels give us a record of Jesus' ministry related to His first coming when He redeemed us from our sin. The 150 chapters on the end times reveals His ministry related to His return to rule all nations.

Some say that it's too difficult to understand or that we weren't intended to understand. Many are offended at the idea that we can know. Some choose the Ostrich method - putting their heads in the ground hoping it goes away. Others mock calling anyone who talks about it as doomsdayist.

Noah was given a difficult message to receive, unprecedented, unfamiliar, doomsday type message. They undoubtedly mocked him, after all, everyone knew that water didn't fall from the sky. It came up from the ground. Others were offended at the idea. Still others ignored his message. But did that change the message?

Jesus said "as in the days of Noah, so it shall be in the days of the Son of Man (Luke 26:27)". They were eating, selling, buying, planting, and marrying right up until the rains came. That's how it will be with us.

But, how will we know when? Matthew 24 tells us that no one knows the day or the hour. True. But in the same chapter Jesus tells us what things or signs to look for. The book of Revelation lays out God's plan for Jesus return. In the middle of summer, we don't know when the first snowfall will occur. However, when we see the leaves changing colors and falling off the trees, the temperature dropping, the thick gray clouds rolling in, and the snowplows getting ready, we tend to get the idea that snow might possibly be coming.

So, I encourage you to familiarize yourself with what God's word says about Jesus return. Sounds simple, right? Often God's way seems so simple that its offensive. The story of Naaman in 2 Kings 5 is a great example. "Go and wash in the Jordan seven times and your flesh will be restored." Sounds easy enough. But, nooooo! Naaman couldn't imagine it being that easy. So he suffered with leprosy until he relented to the simplicity of God's plan. Am I saying that it's easy to know when He will return? No, but you won't know how soothing the water feels until you jump in with Naaman.

When is Jesus coming back? I have no idea! Though I do know that we are a day closer. It could be 10, 20, 80 or so years, but I see the leaves changing.


Long time no see!

It may seem that the Price family has forgotten how to blog! We apologize for our absence, but we have had a busy summer. Still no excuse.