By their fruits you will know them...

Week 2 of our backpacking adventure has us studying Joshua as he sends spies into Jericho to sniff out the situation. God seems to direct the secret agents directly to Rahab.

I would love to know how the fellas ended up in a prostitutes house. Makes me thort of thmell a rat. But I digress.

Rahab may have had a reputation as being a bad girl, but she had a heart of gold and just so happened to have a handy scarlet cord that would be a lifesaver to herself, her family, and the spies that she was playing host to.

Rahab had heard of God's deeds. She had heard about the whole parting of the Red Sea thing and believed. And she was ready to lay her very life on the line. She knew, by faith, that God could --and would-- save her. No matter her past. No matter her circumstances.

Not only that, but Sistah Rahab's faith earns her a place in the very genealogy of Jesus himself. That, my friend, is a God-thing.

God loves us, every one. We are so not worth it. We may not be living inside a city wall and we may never have need of a scarlet cord. But our lives and our testimonies are relevant. I may never save the lives of spies looking for information, but I may well be the one that shows my neighbor who Jesus is.

How important is it that I show the world Jesus? I tell my kids all the time that we have to give a good testimony. I remind them that if we call ourselves Christians, others will look at us and expect to see something different. Not different in a "Oh look at the Souths, what a bunch o' weirdos" kind of way, but in a "Wow, look at the South kids. They're pretty neat kids!" kind of way.

But it's not just the kids. It's me. If I gossip and complain, how does that bear fruit? If I lose my temper, who does that edify? If I'm a poor steward of my finances, what does that say? I *say* I have faith, but do I? Do my actions show that?

Rahab has so much to teach me.

I would like to think that if I were in the same position I would do exactly the same thing. But would I? C'mon, who am I kidding? Hide spies in flax on my roof while I lie to government officials about their whereabouts? I get all choked up when it's time to go to the DMV.

I am so not the girl Rahab was.

I can't say this about me, but I can say this about our gal Rahab. She totally exemplifies that great verse in Matthew:

"You can detect them by the way they act." Matt. 7:16 NLT or the NIV version: "By their fruit you will recognize them."

Rahab, you rock. I wanna be like you when I grow up.

Well, sort of like you. Wink, wink...

Gettin' my pack ready-

An entire year has passed since I went on safari. I had so much fun on that trip that I couldn't resist taking a backpacking adventure when I was invited by Amber and all my old safari compadres.

This time our challenge is Joshua. I've actually read this book several times and Joshua is one of my favorites, so I proudly stupidly had little fear when embarking on this study. So imagine the irony when I read through Joshua 1 and realize that God told Joshua four times --4 times!-- "be strong and courageous".

Adjective: Not deterred by danger or pain; brave.


I've backpacked before. Actually, I love it. I love hiking. I love the outdoors. Some trails are easy -- with even trails, a steady incline, and nice scenery. Others are rocky,with uneven terrain, overgrown bush and steep hills. Some come fraught with danger, like snakes and bears. Others are so tame you're lucky to see a chipmunk.

I've a sneaking suspicion that God called me to this study because something downright skeery is fixin' to happen. I'm certain He's got a plan, and in my life, He has a distinct pattern of revealing His plans through the wise words of godly women. Women like Amber, and Gretchen, Kellie and Lisa. There are others, of course, but these are a few of the friends that shared their hearts so honestly, so openly, and so transparently as we journeyed through the book of Daniel one year ago.

God is faithful. If you haven't heard my story about how we came to move twice in six months, scroll down a bit and read. God is amazingly, unwaveringly, incessantly, eternally, incredibly faithful. My entire life is one example after another of His love and faithfulness.

Wanna find out what God's up to?

Stay tuned.

Lacing up my hiking boots and donning my cutest khaki shorts,


Because, of course, we're supposed to make them. Right?

I should make a list like my 9 year old did. Things he really wanted to do, not what others wanted him to do. Things like "stay up all night more often" and "eat more sugar".

So, in the spirit of Tucker, here is my list:
  • nap more often
  • drink more coffee
  • perfect my Wii tennis game
  • beat Pablo at Jeopardy
  • take my kids camping
  • teach the boys to fish
  • make one fabulous gourmet meal per month
  • have more backyard campfires
  • memorize an entire book of the Bible
  • finish a NY times Sunday crossword in one day, in pen
So if you ask me what I'm doing in 2011, there you have it. Yes, I'm going to go back to Weight Watchers. And yes, I'm going to lace up my old running shoes. And I'll still bug the heck out of anyone who knows me by asking if I should let my hair go gray. But my prayer is that in 365 days, I'll look back at this list and be able to report that I accomplished some, if not all, of the items on my list. 

Happy New Year!