Monday, September 19, 2011

Every bottle of perfume always ends up on the floor

I am revisiting the Mary and Martha situation. John 12:1-3:
     Six days before Pesach, Yeshua came to Beit-Anyah, where El`azar lived, the man Yeshua had raised from the dead; 2 so they gave a dinner there in his honor. Marta served the meal, and El`azar was among those at the table with him. 3 Miryam took a whole pint of pure oil of spikenard, which is very expensive, poured it on Yeshua's feet and wiped his feet with her hair, so that the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.  

Martha (aka Marta) makes a meal to honor Jesus. Yes! And then Mary (aka Miryam) takes out the perfume and anoints Jesus' feet. What is remarkable to me is the combination of service and worship, and yet "the house was filled with the fragrance of perfume". I would assume the food Martha prepared wasn't just coldcuts and crackers; she probably spent all day baking and roasting and cooking. The house would be filled with the aroma of the wonderful meal. When Mary poured out the oil it would have overwhelmed the delicious smells of the meal.

Jesus did not despise the meal, and he did not praise the sacrifice over it, but the text speaks for itself: the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the fragrance anointing would follow us around, long after the food was eaten? That the worship offered through service would linger like oil, staying on our fingertips for days, blessing anyone we came into contact with?

I am thankful our L-rd values service and worship. He wants both and created all of us so differently so we can compensate for each other and learn from one another. So I'll continue in this service/worship wrestle until He returns.

One person who has encouraged my spirit in the last year is John Mark McMillan. Cassidy knows the chorus of this song, and it's become a bit of an anthem in our family. He has the perfect balance of lyrical and musical ability, so rare and so powerful. Blessings!

Friday, September 2, 2011

The 4th of Elul

Today, according to the Hebrew calendar, is Ezekiel's heavenly birthday. The gospel reading for this week, according to Kingdom Living, is John 11 -- The Resurrection of Lazarus.

This last week my inner Mary and Martha duked it out. By nature I am a doer; accomplishing tasks is easy and enjoyable for me. Assembling support letters and the details that went into that was a great job for me. Designing a web-site, writing our story and ministry purpose was fun. But if it's not on my checklist then it's hard for me. And spending time with the L-rd is one of those things that doesn't feel right to put on a checklist. As I was jogging today I listened to a song from Matt Gilman and the words of the chorus are: What are you doing? Where are you going? You were made to sit at His table.

This is not just for me folks. Go read John 11, because you were made to sit at His table.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


I imagine him with brown hair and blue eyes, getting the eyes of his aunts and uncle. He would be tall already, like Eliana. Maybe he would be the out-going child, the one that smiles at every stranger at the grocery store, like Hadassah. Most likely he'd be kicking a soccer ball, the way Wyatt did at such a young age. And he would have been well cared for by his big sister.

But I can merely speculate about how Ezekiel would be on this day, waking up to unwrap his presents the way the kids do. I can hear his little voice calling from the crib, "Mama". And he would smile as he approached his high chair, seeing presents and balloons.

But this morning it's Cassidy who wakes up, by herself. She says, to me "Yay, Mama makes breakfast," and the excitement of a birthday barely hangs in the air, but it's too high for us to enter into it.

Two years ago this was a beautiful day. Nine of the best days as a family. Lots of kisses and smiles and poopie diapers. I wish we could go back...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Welcome Home

James Edward Sorell, 35, entered the Lord’s eternal freedom Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at St. Joseph Hospital in Kansas City MO, after a courageous nine year battle with cancer.

James was born in Iowa City, Iowa on May 8, 1976. James graduated from Manhattan High School in 1995. He obtained a degree in Family and Consumer Science from Kansas State University and two months later, married Sarah Franz on July 3, 1999. While he was employed by Bank of America, James attended Midwest Baptist Theological Seminary, receiving a Master of Divinity in 2004. That same
year, James and Sarah welcomed their daughter Abigail Joy and in 2008 their son, Asher James. Throughout his journey James relied upon his trust in God and Jesus’ grace. He continually encouraged others and pursued a deeper relationship with the Lord, even as his pain increased. A firm believer in community and discipleship, he was a true follower of Jesus.  

James is survived by his wife Sarah, and their children Abbie and Asher; his mother and step-father Cindy and Rick Dempster; his father and step-mother, Brian and Colette Sorell; his siblings and their spouses, his twin Jason and Holly Sorell; Melissa and Jerry Shinkle, Matthew and Fiord Sorell; Rachel and Derek Bembry; John, Becca, Richard, Sarah and Sam Dempster; and Danielle and Ryan Sorell; his grandmother Bonnie Beardsley, grandmother Catherine Derowitsch; as well as nine nieces and nephews.

James is now reunited in heaven with many beloved family members including his grandparents Bill
Derowitsch, Phyllis and Don Sorell; Aunt Ann Furrow; and his nephews, Wyatt and Ezekiel Blake.

We will celebrate his life at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, 2011 at Christ Community Church, 14200 Kenneth Road, Leawood, KS, 66224. In lieu of flowers, please send tax deductible contributions to Christ Community Church, which will provide financial scholarships and support for people in Christian ministry.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Cry By Patricia Juster

We just completed our first TENT season and I will tell you it was time well spent. The session I took was about intimacy with the L-RD and while it was challenging and emotionally stressful it brought a new understanding of intercession for me. A few years ago KL had some warfare women come teach and lead us through things for our own city. Before the women left they prayed over me, blessing me with an "Esther Anointing". Part of the prophetic aspect of it was that I would minister to women in my kitchen. I did not know what all of this meant and from time to time asked the L-RD about it. I felt it had something to do with being a good mother, teaching women to be strong and successful in their homes.

When my sons left I felt like I had been fired from my job. Going from three children to one seems like a demotion and I continue to struggle with how to adjust to this change. Two months ago a woman who I barely know said she saw Jesus anointing my head for this season. I don't think she had any idea what those words meant to me, but I've been wrestling through this. If I had known four years ago what the Esther anointing meant I wouldn't have been so excited about it. Looking back I can see His preparations for this, though.

The summer I was pregnant with Zeke we did the Beth Moore Esther study. In this dramatic story, after her cousin warns her that if she doesn't do something to help her people then another way will be made (and she will suffer because of her cowardice) she eventually gets to the point where she says, "If I perish, then I perish." There are so many things the L-RD calls us to lay down for His sake, and I thought I trusted (and hoped) enough that I could lay down my children. This has proved so much harder than writing it in a study book.

You see, there's a quote from The Cry that I originally wanted to post about. Then I got off on this tangent, which is how it usually works. It all ties in so powerfully (at least for me). According to Esther 4:16 all of the Jews in the city fasted and prayed for Esther as she requested:  "Go, assemble all the Jews to be found in Shushan, and have them fast for me, neither eating nor drinking for three days, night and day; also I and the girls attending me will fast the same way. Then I will go in to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish." She says "if I perish then I perish". But it's not until the whole community enters into this cry that she follows through with it.

I know that because of the prayers of this community and others around us Tom and I have made it through the last 19 months. It is through no strength of our own. I have wanted to bail so many times, to move and start over, as much as possible. And that means moving away from G-D. Some days He is the last person I want to talk to. I feel so weak, so empty, so sad most days that I want to forget about the deeper journey, the eternal purpose. And then I read something like this and realize, it's not just about me: G-D will stir the hearts of His servants to intercede and those who obey will stand before Him and cry out for those who are initially in despair and cannot or refuse to turn to Him (The Cry, 53).

If G-D could turn all the human hearts towards Himself, He would. But that's not love, and that's not obedience. It's because your hearts are turned towards Him that you have stood in the gap for us. I can feel those prayers, sometimes in my spirit, sometimes in the physical. It's a powerful and humbling thing to know that people are willing to spend time on their knees asking G-D to be present in our lives. I shake my head at it; I don't know what to do with it. I hope I get to see the look on His face as He smiles on you for your own selfless love. He stirred your hearts and you've answered and there are no words from my heart that can equate to the thanks I have for that. I have wonderful models of intercession that are pushing me along on my journey. I desire to be as faithful when He stirs my heart.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Thank You

I just read Sam's post, In the last year and a half my wrestle with this concept of praising G-D in all things has been unending. How do I praise him in the hard things? The really hard things? I struggle with trusting him in these hard times, thanking him seems impossible. I continue to pursue a relationship with him, but every time we talk I'm hesitant. What's he going to say? What's the next boulder he's going to throw in the way? Like I said, we're still talking, but sometimes I'm yelling. Perhaps I'm trying his patience as much as he's testing mine.

I am currently reading a book by Patty Juster called 'The Cry'. Her life is filled with challenges from the L-RD, including her youngest son going to be with the L-RD when he was 12. She writes powerful truths about who G-D is and how we as humans continue in relationship with him, even after we've been deeply hurt, by him or someone else. Jane Hansen Hoyt, in the Foreword to the book, writes "A desperate people receive supernatural intervention".

What does desperate mean? I think I've reached desperation, and some days it feels as though I've gone beyond it, but then he does something that brings me back to zero. During one of my sleepless moments at night I was talking with him and I realized I wanted to be loved by him the way I want to be loved by Tom. I want a gift. A gift that comes from him, not his faithful followers. Is this fair? Will he do this? Am I asking too much? Am I loving him?

So I'm analyzing our relationship. The areas where I need improvement will require his miraculous touch. The trust, the hope, the mirth, these are things that I pray he will shift within me. Just as he took my deep anger and hopelessness, I know he can move to bring me to a safer place. I will sit down more often and listen to him, and read about him and praise him for the gifts that come from him, no matter how they come (but I'm still holding out for my miraculous gift).

Which really brings me to why I'm writing this post. There is a scripture that I recently came across that resonates with me. It's a verse that we as a family can't get away from, humbling though it is: The oppressor of the poor insults his maker, but he who is kind to the needy honors him (Proverbs 14:31). The kindness we've experienced in the last three days (let alone the last 18 months) reminds us of our maker and those who have reached out certainly honor him. Whatever rewards look like in Heaven theirs will be great. Thank you.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Psalm 56:8

I spent some time this morning with a wonderful woman and she gave me this:
Sharon cross-stitched it herself and then looked up what some of the interpretations of this verse are. Here is one that resonates with me: A metaphor from the keeper of a vineyard who receives into his vessel the drops of the grapes pressed out by the winepress of affliction.

I shared with Sharon some of the wonderful things about Wyatt that she never got to experience. I wrote down this one from January of last year: Wyatt and Cass were playing with Playmobil (soldiers and police officers) and he made a police officer Jesus and another one was Peter [Peter was his favorite because he carried a sword in the Garden of Gethsemane]. All the soldiers were romans and everyone else were disciples. At one point he said, "All the soldiers died, but two got saved. Alleluia!" Then he told Cass to say, "Alleluia to Jesus!"

I rejoice that our sons say "Alleluia" to the King of kings, but I'm ready to stop crying tears of pain.