Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Let my actions speak of You

I've been reading through 1st John at the recommendation of my boyfriend and today the following verse stuck out to me.

"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." I John 4:18

My first thought was "Phewww". This is good. I am not good with expressing my love to others through my words so I can do this! I can show love through my actions.

However the next thought that quickly came was "man I can totally screw up with my actions too." Like when I am cranky and I just can't help not doing things without complaining inside OR outwardly. Or when my body is just too tired to even give one last ounce of outward energy towards another.

But this word from I John is so true as to how we need to show the love of Christ to others. So I am going to continually pray for spirit-controlled actions in my life that will let others see the love and truth of Christ because I don't want ME to get in the way of Him.

May His love be shown in you too!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Book review

Somewhere near the beginning of last month God led me into the library of my home church. I scanned the shelves looking for a “pretty” book. To be honest a lot of times I judge a book by its cover! So when I saw a beautiful light orange color on the binding of a thin book, I quickly pulled it out. And when I saw the beautiful nature scene on the front, I of course was drawn even more to it.

BUT then I read the title……….. “Brokenness”?

Why this beautiful scene with a title like that.

Did I really want to read a book about brokenness?

Brokenness made me think of weakness.

Brokenness made me think of sadness.

Brokenness made me think of something I did not want to be.

BUT in reality I had been feeling somewhat broken recently, which just drew me deeper to the idea that I probably needed to read this book.

And so I did.

And then I bought the book.

And then I bought the whole series of books written by the author.

And then I read them all……….and have a lot to share about all of them.

So let me say first that if you want to read some beautiful, challenging, life-changing writing take a look at these books by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

But only read them if you really want to be challenged and are willing to listen to what the Spirit wants to teach you through them.

And here is just a little piece from what I am currently learning from the book “Holiness” in this book series.

God has called me to live a holy life.

When I say this it overwhelms me because I feel so unholy most days.
I want everything to go MY way.
I wake up and just want to go back to bed and not have to face a day of service for my Lord.
Someone calls me because they need to talk and I don’t want to even answer the phone because it is taking away from a moment that I can relax.
I have a meeting to discuss church stuff, but I can’t help thinking “do I really have to do this, I could be doing so many other things”.
I am a selfish, sinful person……….how can I possibly achieve this calling of holiness to which God has called me?

“For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight”

And then the Spirit gently nudges me and says “I did not ask you to do this on your own, learn from my holiness, let me guide you in holiness.”
And I remember that I have the pure and spotless lamb living in me, guiding and leading me towards holiness if I just look to Him. Only when I look to the holiness of the perfect, holy ONE will I see my unholiness and be lead towards true holiness.

So let me leave you with some scripture that Nancy points out in her book, that speaks to me about holiness in my own life……………may it speak to yours………………….

I Peter 1:15-16
“But as He who called you is holy
You also be holy in all your conduct
Since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy”.

Ephesians 1:4
“For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight”

I John 1:6-7
“If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, Purifies us from all sin.”

Monday, February 19, 2007

My praise

"Come and listen all you who fear God,
Let me tell you what He has done for me
I cried out to Him with my mouth
His praise was on my tongue
If I had cherished sin in my heart
The Lord would not have listened
But God has surely listened
And heard my voice in prayer.
Praise be to God
who has not rejected my prayer
Or withheld His love from me
. "

Psalm 66:16-20

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The final game

So the HCS varsity girls basketball team had their last game of the season this past week. For those of you that don't know why this is important to me, I happen to be the head coach.

I would like to say that we ended the season at 500, won our last game, and went to the district playoffs.

But none of that is true.......and it is ok!

Because a lot more happened this season to impact me, more than any of the above things could have. And while there may be too many lessons for me to share in a simple blog I am going to try and express just a couple of the valuable LIFE lessons that I learned from a group of beautiful, high school girls. And it is my prayer that God used the season to teach them many valuable lessons as well.


In over 50% of our 16 games this season the girls were trailing by at least 8 points or more by halftime. As a coach it was sometimes hard for me to go into that halftime locker room "pep" talk knowing what to say, how to encourage them, and how to lift their spirits to perservere through. And it was even harder for me to think about going back to a second half of "torture" (ok I am being a bit dramatic).

But what I saw each time, after a time of reflection during the "pep talk", was a team that came out the second half and played harder then ever. What a joy as a coach to see girls not get down because they were facing defeat, but to try even harder. And what a reminder that no matter how rough things may be in life, if we just take that time to rest and reflect we can receive power and strength to perservere through anything.


Many times during a time out huddle on the sidelines I would ask the girls, "What do you think you need to be doing better out there?". (As a teacher you learn rather than just tell them, let them figure it out. Plus half the time what you tell them just goes in one ear and out the other. At least if they come up with it it has a better chance of staying in there). Almost everytime I presented this question to them the first comment they would respond with is "We need to talk more!".

Then we would break from the huddle ("Go Warriors"), they would go out on the court, start communicating and start playing better. But then they would forget the communication thing after a couple of minutes and not play as a team again. So then the next time out would come and I would say "Didn't we just talk about communicating more?" And they would say "Yes". And I would say "Well I haven't been seeing it enough"'. And they would agree. And we would break the huddle ("Go Warriors") and the cycle would continue.

Communication........no communication......communication......no communication.

BUT through it all I saw from the sidelines a valuable truth. When there was open and clear communication they would play as a team, working together, encouraging one another, and playing as one. And when I look at life no matter what the relationship is whether with a parent, a boss, a co-worker, a spouse, or a friend, these relationships can be just like my basketball team. When there is open and clear communication in relationships there is a unity and sense of oneness but when there is a lack of communication things can start to fall apart and players may get frustrated. Clear communication is key to so much in life.


One final lesson I would like to share came through me making mistakes as a coach. My goal every year as a coach is to not only teach the girls lessons about the game of basketball but about life. How to play with good attitudes no matter what is a big lesson I encourage as well as playing their hardest no matter what the scoreboard says and also being commited to the team and one another through practices and games.

And partly because of these "strong" coaching goals and partly because of me not being careful enough with my tongue, I had two instances that really made me aware of how words can hurt even when the mouth that utters them may mean them differently than they are taken.

The first lesson came when a girl showed up in my classroom with her ankle wrapped after a gym class incident, the day of a big game where we had a good chance of winning. My first thought when I saw her was man we really needed her in this game because she is a strong player. So what came out of my mouth was "Well I guess if we lose the game it will be your fault." Meaning to convey that we had really needed her in the game and it was a bummer that she couldn't play. But the words that I choose were not the words that I needed to say to show my heart. And what came out of my mouth was not taken well by her as she had taken my goal of commitment to practices and games very seriously and felt like she was letting me down. After a little crying and hugging and talking with her over my words, I came away realizing that the gentleness and encouragement that I had meant in my heart needed to come across better on the outside.

I learned this same lesson several weeks later when I got an email from a parent concerned not only with her child not playing much but her child's self-esteem. And as I read the email I began to think did I say or do anything that could have brought down this girl's well-being? Because as a coach I should have been doing nothing but encouraging her to grow and get better. And while I may have desired to do that in my heart I fear that my words may not have fully expressed exactly how I felt. My words of "I really know you can play harder than that" and "you played well but I know you can play even harder" may not have been the right approach or the words she really needed to hear. Words of gentleness and encouragement that I had in my heart needed to be said. And so I learned that I needed to really express clearly to others my heart through my words and actions. To show them the love that really lay behind all the coach talk.

So from a season record of 3-13 came a much better season of learning for a high school girl's basketball coach.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Beauty within

Beauty within....

shining through your eyes

Beauty within......

in a burst of joy and smile

Beauty within......

through a tender, falling tear

Beauty within......

from the truest source of light

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Mark 8:22-26

A man blind, maybe from birth or maybe from a disease or accident later in life, is brought to Jesus to be healed.

Jesus spits on his hands and places them over the man's eyes.

When they are opened and the man is asked what he sees he responds "I see people, they look like trees walking around."

So Jesus once again places his hands on the man's eyes and they are opened and he can see completly.


Several things stike me about this passage of scripture. First of all why wasn't the man healed completly the first time Jesus put his hands on him? I don't think it was because Jesus was too weak to completly heal the man the first time he covered his eyes. God in the flesh not powerful enough to heal a blind man on the first attempt? NO........I think maybe instead that the man did not have complete faith the first time Jesus placed his hands on him. The man was brought before Jesus by others. He did not willingly come himself and maybe it took that first "fuzzy" openness of the eyes for the man to really believe that Jesus could heal him. It is also encouraging to see that Jesus does heal him completly even after that first intitial lack of faith. God is gracious even when we doubt and are weak.

The second thing that strikes me is the man's response as to what he sees when his eyes are opened. The first response he has even when his vision is still fuzzy is "people". Not the sky, not a building, but people. I think sometimes I need to pray more for my blindness. All to often I am just as blind as the man in this story. I fail to really see the people around me and to see them clearly! Caught up in my own little world I walk around in blindness not able to see those around me as they need to be seen.

Jesus is willing to heal and open our eyes and really let us see if we only let him.

Thursday, February 8, 2007


I have heard countless sermons and devotionals on how Jesus feels our pain. He understands and knows how we are feeling when we suffer because he went through the same things when he was here on earth. And I know many times upon hearing those messages I thought "Does Jesus really know?" Could he have possibily felt EXACTLY what I am feeling in my particular situation? And since he was God he probably didn't feel nearly as much pain because God is strong!

But Jesus was human too and he felt a lot!

As I read Matthew 26:69-75 last night I knew Jesus felt a lot pain in his life here on earth.

This scripture passage speaks of when Peter, a close friend and disciple of Jesus, denies that he even knows Jesus. I could almost feel the slap that Jesus must have felt across his face the first time Peter said "I don't know the man". I could almost feel that sharp pain in my chest that Jesus must have felt the second time Peter said "I don't know the man". And I could almost feel the sickness in my stomach and the shortness of breath that Jesus must have felt on that final blow " I don't know the man".

Have you ever had someone say hurtful things about you? PAIN
Have you ever had someone you love leave your side? PAIN
Have you ever had someone look at you like they don't even know you? PAIN
Have you ever had someone deny they even know you because it might be embarassing? PAIN
Have you ever just felt alone like no one is there to stand beside you? PAIN

No matter what your pain.......Jesus felt that pain and wants you to turn to Him for comfort.

Let Him be your healing in the pain.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Broken and Contrite

Isaiah 57:15

"I dwell in the high and holy place
With him who has a contrite and humble spirit"

Psalm 51:17

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit
A broken and contrite heart"

1. Forcibly separated into two or more pieces; fractured

2. weakened in strength, spirit, etc

1. Feeling regret and sorrow for one's sins or offenses
2. Filled with a sense of guilt and the desire for atonement

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Shine on me

Psalm 4:6

"Many are asking, "Who can show us any good?"
Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD."

Shine On Us - Phillips, Craig & Dean
Lord, let Your light
Light of Your face
Shine on us
That we may be saved
That we may have life
To find our way in the darkest night
Let your light shine on us
Lord, let Your grace
Grace from Your hand
Fall on us
That we may be saved
That we may have life
To find our way in the darkest night
Let Your grace fall on us
Lord, let Your love
Love with no end
Come over us
That we may be saved
That we may have life
To find our way in the darkest night
Let Your love come over us
Let Your light shine on us

Monday, February 5, 2007

Frozen pipes

So I just got home a couple hours ago and went to turn on my water........but nothing.............no drip, no dribble............nothing.

Then it registered "you idiot". (I'm talking to myself at this point). "You forgot to leave the water running a little this morning. See when it gets really cold out (like the below 0 weather we have been having lately) I need to let my water run a little so the pipes don't freeze.

Well I forgot.

So I call my landlord, feeling like a complete dope, and say "Um.....I forgot to leave my water run and now I don't have any. Is there anything you can do?" So he comes up and starts working.

And what do I do? Well I could have gone out in my pajamas and watched him work on thawing the pipes, or I could have sat inside and watched 24, but instead I started praying. Because I remembered my post that I want to have "prayers that move mountains" or that break the ice out of pipes!! So I start praying and in a matter of about 8 minutes of me pleading to God for water (because I surely couldn't do anything to get the water back) water started pouring out!!!!

So did I learn my lesson? Yes the water is going to be running all night and all day tomorrow!

But more important it made me think of something else. As I sat there praying and thinking about the ice that could be blocking the pipes and not letting water pass I thought of how easy it is to become like those frozen pipes. How often do I let bitterness, jealousy, pride, anger harden like ice inside of me? Not allowing for the river of life to flow through me and in me?

I challenge myslef and you with the words to a favorite song of my students!

I've got a river of life flowing out of me
Makes the lame to walk and the blind to see
Opens prison doors sets the captive free
I've got a river of lie flowing out of me
Spring up oh well, within my soul
Spring up oh well, and make me whole
Spring up oh well, and give to me
That life abundantly

The Journey of Life is like a Trail.

It has a beginning.......
We are definetly energetic as we begin taking our first steps down the trail. We look expectently forward, wondering what lies ahead. Many times we want to run to see what lies ahead. BUT when we do this we sometimes miss what is going on around us. There may be a beautiful view we fail to see and appreciate or a fellow hiker passing by in need of a drink.

And then there are the stumps and the fallen logs........
The annoyances that get in the way of our journey. Some make us fall, some make us angry, and some make us look behind us, wishing we could go back to the beginning of the trail where we had that excitment and happiness. BUT many times if we hurdle these obstacles, we come out feeling accomplishment and joy and can continue down the trail stronger than when we started.

And then there is the divided path which we come upon......
Which way should we go? Of course we want the way that will be the easiest and will have beauty all around it. BUT in the end is that the best choice or will it just lead to a dead end or a steep incline? We don't know so we choose and take our steps asking for guidance each step of the way.

And then there are the moments of sheer beauty .......
Moments with a gorgeous view, bright sunlight and a refreshing breeze. Moments that bring us peace unlike any we have ever experienced. These are the moments we love and must hold on to as we walk through the deep, dark paths of the forest, hoping for that beautiful moment that may lie right behind the next bend.

Keep on the trail!

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Lord have mercy

So even though Michael W. Smith is not my favorite singer of all time I can't help but love his song Lord have mercy.

I hope the words speak to you as they have to me today........

From the album "Worship Again" by Michael W. Smith

Jesus, I've forgotten the words that You have spoken
Promises that burned within my heart have now grown dim
With a doubting heart I follow the paths of earthly wisdom

Forgive me for my unbelief
Renew the fire again

Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy on me

I have built an altar where I worship things of men
I have taken journeys that have drawn me far from You
Now I am returning to Your mercies ever flowing
Pardon my transgressions
Help me love You again

Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy on me

I have longed to know You & Your tender mercies
Like a river of forgiveness ever flowing without end
I bow my heart before You in the goodness of Your presence

Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy on me
Your grace forever shining Like a beacon in the night

My Prayer
Lord have mercy............when I turn from you ways
Lord have mercy ...........when I think I can do anything without You
Lord have mercy............when I let You grow dim in my life

Curious about the blog title?

So you may be asking "Why whispers in the night?".......well let me explain. God speaks to all of us in many different ways. For me sometimes this is as a whisper in the night.

Now you may be asking "How do you know it's God?".......well let me explain. I spend my alone time with God in the late moments of the night right before I go to sleep. Maybe I do this because it eases my mind of thoughts from the day and allows for a peaceful night's sleep. Or maybe I do this because I like to reflect on the what the Lord has done throughout the day and how I can improve in my walk with Him. Or maybe it is because in those still, quiet moments of rest I feel closest to Him.
I think it is because of all those reasons.
But because I have spent this time before drifting into sleep with my LORD I am confident that when I awake with a stirring deep in my soul it is from Him sent through the Holy Spirit. I also know it is from Him because most times I don't want to always do what He asks!:(
For example several years ago He woke me and asked me to write out Valentine's day cards to about 20 of my students to show them how much they are valued.
Did I want to write out 20 Valentines?
No........it would take too much time.
No.......it might give me a hand cramp.
But God spoke!
And then one time He asked me to go on a missions trip alone, halfway across the world.
Did I want to go?
No........it was a dangerous country.
No.......I am a girl what can I possibly do?
But God spoke!
But most recently he woke me up at 4:00am and told me to start a blog.
Did I want to blog?
No.......it would take too much time.
No.......I would have to be vulnerable and share my feelings with anybody that wanted to read it.
No.......what could I possibily have to say?
But God spoke!
So I prayed about it......felt a peace about it.....and started typing......and now I can't stop.
God has given me so much to say!
Remember we need to be willing to do what God asks no matter how crazy it may seem to us. And no matter how much we may think we are able to do. Because we are the instruments, God is the musician. And beautiful music can be made out of any old instrument.
Listen and Follow God's Voice!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Faith to Move Mountains

Matthew 21:18-22
I remember as a little girl riding in the Buick with my family and looking out the window as we drove by the mountains in central PA. Probably on the way home from a trip to the Altoona mall or maybe a day at the local amusement park. But I remember closing my eyes and saying "God I know You said that if I just believe You can move that mountain". And I would squeeze my eyes even tighter........ completly believing that when I opened them the mountain would have moved because I KNEW God was real and everything He said in His word was true. I would open my eyes...........the mountain hadn't moved..............but I just thought "well I must not have believed enough!!!!". (Who knows maybe God really did move that mountain an inch to answer the prayer of a believing child? I am going to ask Him someday.)

But as I think back to that moment as a child I realize I need more of them in my life today. Far too often I pray to God and when I don't see that immediate and miraculous answer to my prayer I just want to give up.

"Oh ye of little faith!"

And honestly there have been times in my life when I have actually thought "What is the sense of even praying for that because is there really anything that can be done?".

"Oh ye of little faith!"

My prayer tonight is to have that faith of a child . To be able to go to God and ask Him to "move mountains" without having a single ounce of doubt in my soul that it can't be done.

"Jesus replied, I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt...........you can say to this mountain. 'Go throw yourself into the sea' and it will be done. If you believe you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer" Matthew 21:21-22 NIV