Browsing Category "Practicing Praise"

Is God Selfish? An Atheist Knows Not What He Says

I watched a street preacher speak to a crowd with an atheist ready to pounce.  He wanted to know why ‘good’ people don’t go to heaven, feeling hell was unjust, and he called God selfish, and he called God a curse word.  I was impressed with the preacher’s calm demeanor and his loving persistence with the man, and the crowd, which was clearly antagonistic.  

“The Heavens Are Not Pure in His Sight”

The man in the video, full of sin like every man, boasts about his own goodness (after all, he did go to Ethiopia to help humanity).  He wants God to judge him based on his own goodness.  And God will judge him based on his own goodness just as he desires, but what a foolish desire for “God puts no trust in His holy ones, and the heavens are not pure in His sight” Job 15:15.   Jesus, who was sinless, gave all for humanity, and graciously offers a way for God to judge us by His own righteousness.  We are welcome to trust in our own goodness, as that man desires, but we are also welcome to trust in His goodness.  

This is a gift freely offered, but instead of an appropriately thankful response, Jesus continues to get sneers and condemnation from mankind.  The man’s accusation is rooted in ignorance of who God is, who we are, and how horrific sin is.   Sin is costly.  That man offers no answer to the severity and magnitude of the rampant injustice on earth.  God does.  

God is Just: Do Not Hope He Will Sweep Your Sin Under the Rug

How does it feel to be wronged by someone else?  Does it hurt, does it hurt a great deal?  What if God were to just brush it aside like that man wants Him to, is that just, is it good and unselfish?  As the victim of someone else’s sin, you need objective  justice, not a perpetrator telling you it was good for them and besides, it’s minor and relative anyway so it’s okay, no biggie.  Who’s to say it’s minor?  The perpetrator of course, but not objective truth, not goodness, not God.  It is right that your pain is not swept under the rug, but expressed in a just way.  Punishment is necessary, this is basic justice and it is good and right; “without the shedding of blood there can be no remission of sin”  Heb 9:22.  Blood was shed, justice was paid in full, at the cross, unless we chose to stay under God’s just wrath.  Even if the perpetrater, and all the world, brushes aside your pain as relative, Christ does not, He knows better than anyone the painful terror of that sin.   

Is Sacrifice Selfish?

What do you call a man who take a bullet for you?  Do you call that selfish?  Would this man say these things if he were on the hill that dark night at Calvary when the moon turned red?  Would he be yelling at Christ telling Him that He was so #%@! selfish?  Would he say that to the bloody Christ, the one man in all of history who was truly good and innocent?  Sin is costly!  If God is good, then every lie I told, every wrong thought, every wrong deed is costly; and the payment is hell.  But praise God, the good news is that I don’t have to pay it because Christ already did.  May God have mercy on this man’s soul, may he someday hear what is was that Christ said over and over again while paying for our sin on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”.

Is this our idea of selfish?  Would that man yell those things if he were standing in the crowd witnessing this?…

“You Know Not What You Ask”

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” Galatians 5:22-24

Almighty God, Your love overwhelms me, Your compassion unmeasurable; crucify my flesh, my will, fill me with You that I would love more fully, help me to understand with Your compassion.  

Jesus, teach me to suffer long, to endure, to wait on You, to live at peace with Your timing, to practice temperance.  Help me to understand Your gift, the pain You willingly bore for me and for all who believe.  From this understanding, produce in me meekness, mercy, and charity. 

Holy Spirit, grant me goodness, for I go to the source.  Hold back my tongue, until Your fruit manifests from it.  Give me faith to see as You open doors of utterance that I may speak the mystery of the gospel with clarity and boldness.

“But Jesus answered and said, “You know not what you ask.”  Matthew 20:22a. 

Last Saturday I met a godly woman, married three years, who told me her husband has health problems and is in constant pain.  This pain is a terrible pain, not a dull throbbing pain, but an almost unspeakable pain that continually disrupts even basic living.  This was something her young husband lived with daily, making anything he tried to accomplish extremely difficult. 

My heart ached for her and her husband, but attempting to put myself in their shoes by imagining what life must be like was very hard to do.  It is very hard to know anything other than what I do know; I hardly know pain of any sort, and I do not know chronic pain at all.  I lack empathy because I lack experience.  Jesus, how hard it is to leave myself and experience even a bit of the depth of compassion that dwells within You.  Lord, give me compassion.  

“But Jesus answered and said, “You know not what you ask.” Matthew 20:22a

Early the next morning after meeting my new friend, on Sunday at 6:30 a.m., I suddenly felt a lot of pain in my stomach.  It continued throughout the day, much of the day I was alright but many times the pain was very intense.  I realized it was only constipation so I was determined to avoid the emergency room, however I found the pain unbearable late Sunday night.  The pain was so intense I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t pray, and I certainly couldn’t sleep; for hours I couldn’t think about anything other than the pain, and I couldn’t do anything other than moan and rock back and forth on the couch.  All I could do was endure for the time God allowed it to continue. 

While I was on the couch that night, Jesus graciously and continually brought to my mind that I know nothing about pain, but that others do know pain, and they know it routinely.  My heart ached more fully for those who are so acquainted with pain. 

He also reminded me that He isn’t the author of pain, but that it could be blamed on something which is nothing, the nothing which is the gap, the great separation between man between God, and that all of creation groans and will continue to groan until He restores all things. “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” Romans 8:22   My spirit is at peace with Christ even as my body is wasting away, separated from Him physically. 

God wasn’t chastising me that night, though He does chastise His children.  All I felt from God while rocking in pain was grace and purpose and answered prayer.  I was the one, after all, who asked for more understanding; I was the one who asked to be closer to Jesus, the One most acquainted with pain, the One most acquainted with the gap which He did not create. 

Corrie ten Boom’s father once said, “It is no easy thing to stand in the palm of God’s Hand”.  When pain is so severe it consumes, Lord, You cradle us in the palm of Your Hand.  We gain strength to endure by trusting You are at work, graciously producing in us good fruit which You will use for Your good purposes.  Love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, all these are good fruits sown by the Spirit and tilled by Christ.  Praise be to the One who will return to reap His harvest.

23 Dec
2012
Posted in: Practicing Praise
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Just Something to Remember…

I was getting ready to go to bed and my amazing husband looked lovingly into my eyes and said, “when you go to bed its like the sun is setting on my day”. 

I needed to write it down so that I didn’t forget.

2 Timothy 1:7

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  2 Timothy 1:7

The Lord spoke powerfully in our home for six days through His word.  If you’ve got a minute, please, pull up a chair… 

Day 1:  Saturday, September 8th, 2012

At a special women’s event at our church, the speaker wrote 2 Timothy 1:7 up on the board and had the group memorize it.  The group had it down pretty well in less than 10 minutes, perhaps less than 5.  I’d go into the teaching methodology but then I’d be bunny trailing, so that’s for another post.

Day 2: Sunday, September 9th, 2012

While my husband and I were getting the girls into bed, my 7-yr-old, who was not at the event the night before, told my husband she was afraid, and that God gave her the fear.  My husband, who was not at the event the night before, knew Scripture had something about God NOT giving us a spirit of fear, and so corrected my daughter on her false thinking.  I dropped in on the conversation to mention that we had just gone over that verse in my class at church the night before.   As my husband was looking for a bible, I was trying to recall where it was in Scripture (yup, mind like a steel trap), first suggesting Timothy, then decided it must have been James or Galations and ended with ‘oh, I don’t know’.   James got his phone out and quickly found the verse, 2 Timothy 1:7.

Day 3: Monday, September 10th, 2012

At the dinner table that night, my 17-yr-old son told us that he engaged in a long conversation about Christianity to a Muslim woman in a burka.   Really?  Well, tell us more.  He had extra time before his community college class began (dual enrollment), and overheard a Muslim woman tell another student that wearing the burka was the greatest thing a woman could do for God.  In the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind, not fear, my son decided to offer a bible to a stranger in a burka.  She said she already read the bible and asked if my son read the Quran.  Yes, he read the entire Quran.  Apparently surprised and intrigued, she then had many questions for my son concerning Christianity.   

After he told us his story, we prayed together as a family right then and there.  Having 2 Timothy 1:7 fresh on my mind from the two nights prior, I recited it in my prayer.  And it was a fitting verse because it certainly was power, love, and a sound mind that moved my son into action.   We then gave him an English/Arabic new testament, a tract entitled “Jesus and the Quran”, and some other literature by the Crescent Project (an outstanding ministry dedicated to sharing the faith with our Muslim neighbors) just in case he were to see her again. 

Day 4: Tuesday, September 11th, 2012:

Going through my email that morning, I notice an email update from the Crescent Project.  Though I only open such emails on rare occasions, I decide to open it that day and as soon as I do, guess what verse is staring nonchalantly back at me?  2 Timothy 1:7.  

“God has not given us the spirit of intimidation. Pray for Christ to plant deeply within you a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind when you think of and interact with Muslims (2 Timothy 1:7).”

The content of the email was also posted on Crescent Project’s blog.  

Day 5: Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

That afternoon, while we in the drive through at McDonald’s after our homeschool co-op class, I told the girls that when they think of something nice about someone else, they should go ahead and tell that person, because it is encouraging, and the Lord wants us to be encouraging to others.   My 5-year-old responded, “But I’m shy”. 

And so the verse became fitting once again, “Oh, no, sweet Bekkah, you aren’t shy!  That is a lie you are believing about yourself.  Always remember, sweet girl, you are a child of God because you accepted Christ’s free gift of salvation!  That means you have the Spirit of God living inside you, and God gave you a Spirit not of timidity (NIV), but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline!  Bekkah, you can encourage others because you have God’s Spirit living inside you! 

Then, later that same day….

It was our first night for our church’s Wednesday night program and it was amazing!  I am a newbie ‘Table Leader’ along with a friend and my 14-yr-old daughter.  We are responsible to encourage a table of second graders in the faith every Wednesday (one being my 7-yr-old daughter).  I considered that the Lord might bless us with yet another instance of this verse so when the song leader introduced the new song to the group, telling us that it was from “Second Tim…”  I anticipated what was coming next.  Second Timothy one verse seven.  I know Christ was in that room that night, with all those dear children, I know His Spirit was powerfully present.  I uploaded the song, lovingly sung by our song leader;  please rejoice with me as you hear this promise of God put to music…

 Day 6: Thursday,  September 13th, 2012

My 14-yr-old daughter went to a special event her school organized, in a town about an hour away.   Guess what verse one of the speakers quoted while addressing the kids?  You got it.  2 Timothy 1:7.  She came home and excitedly told us about it; she even anticipated hearing the verse that day simply because God brought it up 5 days in a row already, why not once more?  After she told me about her experience, I jested that perhaps this would be the last day, since God rested on the seventh.  And apparently that is what God had in mind, because this is the end of my testimony.

——–

Why did our family hear that verse 6 days in a row, each time at an unrelated event by unrelated people?  Why did God graciously move in this way?  All 6 of us recognized the hand of God; it was no coincidence. 

I imagine the answer to that why is unique to each one of us, and now also to you, dear reader.  God speaks through His word “for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness” 2 Timothy 3:16.  Without the speaking of the word, without the hearing of the word, without faith to receive the word, I would have nothing to testify now.   

Whenever the word is opened, we must listen carefully; God is speaking, and the significance of His message is unique to each of us.  We must each ask ‘what are you saying to me, God?’.  I don’t know how God will use 2 Tim 1:7 in the lives of my children or my husband, or in your life right now, but God knows, and He has said, “Ask and it will be given to you.” Mat 7:7a

I understand the week to be a sweet answer to prayer.  For months now I’ve been praying that our home would abound in prayer and in praise; that we would be distinguished by the continual praise on our lips.  I pray that our knee-jerk reaction in any kind of trial would be prayer, and then praise.  And that our reaction to blessing would be immediate praise, that joy would fill our home for the glory of God. 

Now there is much to battle since Satan knows the power of joy and so loves to steal it by telling us that we have a right to the blessings, and that the hardships are meaningless.  Our vision is often clouded by these lies and so the joy of the Lord is not always evident in our home. 

But while we are often unfaithful, God is always faithful.  God graciously chose to make Himself evident to each of us during our 2 Timothy 1:7 week.  “If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”  2 Timothy 2:13   Indeed, He is a prayer-hearing God, close to us and within reach, who speaks to us out of His holy word.  How thrilling!  What love is this?  God: our maker, sustainer, and redeemer, is also our friend who listens and speaks?  Oh, what undeserving joy!  So, firstly, before asking what significance that verse holds for our family, might we linger long in joy and astonishment that God concerns Himself with sinners like us. 

The significance of the verse?  Oh, right, that.   I haven’t really been meditating on that yet because I’ve been just kind of wading in the goodness of God.  Perhaps the most significant significance is simply that.  Thank you, Lord, for printing that verse on our hearts; I know the significance of that imprinting will be applied time and time again by each of us, and by you, dear reader, as we continue to follow Him into eternity.

———

Okay, been meditating on the significance of the verse.  As stated above, the application of 2 Timothy 1:7 will be different for different believers; each of us should ask the Lord individually how best to apply this verse in each of our own lives.  As for me, the Lord seems to be weaving the following message into my heart:

Not a spirit of fear, but one of power, of love, and of a sound mind.  When I act, react, or not act at all out of fear, I lack faith; I do not believe God’s promise, I do not believe the truth of 2 Timothy 1:7, that I have the Holy Spirit deposited within me.  And the Holy Spirit is one of power, of love, and of a sound mind.  I must continually ask myself what is motivating me to action, I must ask the Lord in prayer to show me which path I am taking in different situations, am I walking down a path of fear, or one of faith? 

When my kids wake up scared in the middle of the night I tell them how I handle my own fears.  Basically, I think of the worst thing that could happen, and that can get pretty ugly.  Once I have that in my mind, I then give it over to God, trusting that if my fear were to happen, God would have a plan to make it good, even if I never saw that goodness until I got to heaven. 

And God would not only have a plan to make it good, as I trusted Him, I would grow in my faith by the trial (James 1:2-4), and be the better for it even here on earth.  And, on top of all that, God would also be glorified through the trial, which is my purpose while I still have breath. 

Faith is something substantial; built upon God’s promises, faith empowers and enlightens.  Fear has no substance, it is a bottomless pit, it is the lack of faith.  An old friend of mine has taken up a mental exercise while going through her day asking herself if she is choosing faith, or fear.  This is a noble pursuit; I can testify that the few times I have tried this exercise for myself has produced powerful effects. (I sound like a commercial).  

WARNING: Honestly asking if your motivation to do little things throughout your day stems from faith or fear can drastically change your life.  Little things you might do without thinking suddenly become a trial of sorts.  Wait, why am I doing this, or why aren’t I doing this?  Isn’t it really just out of fear?  If it is not out of faith, it must be fear.  Fear of what?  Oh, right, I’m afraid of __________(couldn’t possibly list all the fill-in-the-blank fears because the list is a bottomless pit).  Am I willing to give that fear to God, trusting Him through whatever consequence that might follow?  And you’re suddenly faced with all kinds of trials. 

But don’t retreat, you that are the redeemed of Christ, you who are invited to share in the wedding supper of the Lamb.  Stand your ground, you who will one day wear the “fine linen, bright and clean” Rev 19:8a.  Remember Revelation 19, recall who it is that wins and stay on His side, and turn now to hope and prayer. 

And my earnest prayer about the ‘little thing’ not only helps in coming to an honest answer, but also provides the strength necessary to follow through in faith.  Today, as I do each little thing, might I apply 2 Timothy 1:7 by asking this question to the King of kings and Lord of lords, in prayer, “am I acting, reacting, or not acting out of faith, believing You have given me a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind, or is it actually fear that motivates me?”  “Ask and it will be given to you.” Mat 7:7a

Give Us This Day…

“But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit [it to be so] now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.” Matthew 3:15

This verse is easy to pass by to get to the actual baptism of Christ, but I linger here this morning, it’s beauty striking me; the Spirit holding me captive to it.   What is it about this verse that is so rich?  What is the Spirit saying?

Do you I know what is proper and when it is proper to ‘fulfill all righteousness’?

Jesus knew precisely what He should be doing and precisely when He should be doing it.  Like the earth knows when and where to spin in it’s orbit, allowing for just the proper distance for life to thrive on earth.  Jesus knows what is proper and when it is proper to ‘fulfill all righteousness”.   There is a time and a season for everything under heaven.

Perhaps another time wouldn’t have been proper, perhaps another place or another person other than John, perhaps Christ would not have said these words.  Christ humbled Himself not only to be baptized by a man, but also by subjecting Himself to time and space, God’s natural contraints upon man.

I don’t know that I’ve ever thought of my various activities throughout the day as ‘necessary to fulfill all righteousness’.   Yet, each one, at the proper time, is just that.

Yesterday my dear husband was sweating up a storm working on our rotting garage.  The foundation of our 1915 garage has been completely covered by years of built up ground, buring the foundation which has the effect of rotting the wood wherever the dirt touches.  My husband has been digging a massive trench around the garage to expose the foundation, and it is truly hard work.

He kept telling me not to help him but to do what I need to do in the house with the kids.  Two days ago, I did as he wanted and stayed inside doing my regular duties, but I can testify that though I was not idle, it still didn’t feel right or good.  It felt improper.

In retrospect, I am sure that I should have said something like this to my hardworking man when he told me not to help him,

“Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”

Then, I should have gathered the kids and we could have all helped.

It is 8:45 a.m. right now and I have finished my devotions and I have finished my response.  Though I didn’t get to the day’s entire prayer list, I know I can continue to come before the Lord throughout the day while driving or cleaning, or for a quick 5-minute Scripture pick-me-up.  I can now confidently move ahead with the duties the day offers.  The Spirit has shown me what is fitting and proper.  I am to spend an hour or two on that garage, blessing my husband.

If I choose to ignore this knowledge, choosing instead my own spinning thoughts of ‘but this, and I need to do that’, I will lose my step with the Spirit, my conscience pricking me each minute I do not turn, and eventually, as the day dwindles, my mind will be ever more racing and anxious, having accomplished only my own agenda while ignoring the Spirit’s promptings, resulting in anxious thoughts, bitterness toward the constraints of time and duty, and a sense of meaninglessness of what I did accomplish.

No.  Not today.  Today is my opportunity to capture each moment of the day, by asking, ‘What now Holy Spirit?’  ‘What’s next?’.   If it is not terribly obvious, then to my knees in stillness and prayer, and I know the Spirit will guide.  What is fitting and proper for this moment and this place, to fulfill all righteousness, Lord?

The Dilapidated Garage: Today’s Glorious Mission

Our garage, if you want to call it that, is in need of a lot of work.  Paint, a new roof, new doors, and now we’ve discovered it needs either a completely new foundation, or lots of reinforcement to the current foundation.   In short, it’s a mess.

Ever since my poor husband realized the foundation needed extensive work, he has spent hours poking the wood, walking around it, thinking, then poking again, walking, standing, talking about it, thinking about it, then inside on the computer looking up possible solutions, then back outside poking and thinking, etc.

He concluded that he would have to dig deeply around the entire thing to work on the foundation, but his time is so limited.  It will soon be cold and he goes to work everyday so he can only dedicate precious few hours to it each week.  These things are of great concern to him.

Yesterday, while he was poking and thinking, I kept asking him if I could be of any help and he finally directed me to the children, “if you could help Beks practice riding her bike, that would be wonderful.  I had to tell her I couldn’t help her because I had to work on this”.  I asked him if I ought to dig around the garage the next day while he was busy at work, and both he and I quickly brushed the thought away because I have many responsibilities of my own.

Earlier in the week I prayed that the Lord would give me something I could do that would really show my love to my husband.  Yesterday I prayed about the garage; that my husband would have peace about it.  This morning during my devotions, I asked Jesus to speak to me; I asked the Lord to lead me today.

So when I stumbled onto Luke 6:48 this morning, “He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid a foundation on rock…” The words, “dug down deep” really hit home (or the garage) and I didn’t think it too far fetched to consider that the Lord was calling me to dig deeply around the foundation of our garage today.

So, there is today’s testimony about God’s amazing faithfulness in answering prayer.   I love God’s little surprises; I would have never, ever, guessed that I was going to spend today shoveling dirt because I happened to read Luke 6:48.

Yet, here I am, that’s just what God called me to for today.  I am thankful to look out my window and not only see a dilapidated garage, but also a glorious mission, full of His purpose and His presence.  I’ll let you know how it goes…

Update:

I was able to do some focused digging at various intervals throughout the day because the Lord graciously made it possible (I’m slowly learning I don’t have to be anxious about my other responsibilities when the Lord directs, because He always works it out one way or the other).  I had cookie making duty for my son’s soccer team which my 14-yr-old daughter gladly took on for me.   She had her headphones on and was joyfully be-bopping in the kitchen for hours, baking up a mean quadruple batch of chocolate chip cookies.

My husband got home in the evening and said, “Do my eyes deceive me, or do I see some digging has been done?”  Since I wasn’t totally sure that was exactly what he wanted, I was so pleased that he was happily surprised when he saw it.  Thank you Lord!

A Thousand More Smiles Than Yesterday

Today my 7-year-old Ana said something to me that shot right to my heart,

“If I went away from you, what I would miss is your smile, that one smile.”  She sweetly said to me while I was helping her wash her hair.

“Sometimes I actually cry because I think about how much I would miss your smile if you were gone.  Like if I were living at my friend’s house, I think of how much I would miss your smile and I actually cry!”

I was very touched by her tender words, and, of course, smiled at her. “Yeah, that smile!” she reinforced.

Oh what a gift that was from above!  I started thinking about the power of something as simple as smiling.  Mothers have it in their power to chose to smile consciously, generously, and sincerely at their children.

Each smile a wordless love poem, reminding them how precious they are, that they are unconditionally loved and accepted.  It is so easy, but smiling generously is not obvious; it must be done consciously or can too easily be neglected.  A mother’s hearty smile can change the atmosphere of the room from dismal to cheerful. “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.” Proverbs 15:30   And heartfelt, consistent & sincere smiles give glory to God in a way nothing else can.

I find the smiling women at church far easier to approach than those that do not smile very often.  One can certainly love Jesus without smiling all the time, but some have discovered the power of their contented smiles, and they use this power for the Glory of God.

There is an older woman at our church that really stands out from a crowd.  Wrinkles and white hair serve only to enhance her beauty and elegance.  What is it about her?  It’s her smile: frequent, contented, loving and kind.  Though I do not know her, her smile and twinkling eyes, coupled with her faithful church attendance and beautiful white hair, speak volumes about who she is.  This woman knows God’s faithfulness and is content in Christ.  “A happy heart makes the face cheerful…” Proverbs 15:13a  If I were ever in need of another older Godly woman’s opinion, I am almost certain that I could go to her though I have hardly spoken to her!  Smiling is that powerful!

It has been my conviction for some time now to smile more lovingly, more generously, more consciously, more.  I want my family to feel my adoration and approval and my community to see what overflowing joy results from following Christ.  It comes down to a desire to shine for Jesus with everything I’ve got!  If God is at all praised with my smile, then today might I give a thousand more than yesterday.

:)

20 Jul
2012

Praising God for Hornworms!

Today we’re praising God for Hornworms. We were done with our swimming lessons at the YMCA and walking to our car when we spotted a very little organic garden near the parking lot.   I often pray for opportunities to teach the children how to see God’s goodness in our everyday life and little patches of nature have yet to disappoint me as a great resource toward that end.

Today was no exception because we found a hornworm on one of the sunflower plants, diligently doing what God made it to do; eating everything in sight!  I was quite sure those who tended to the garden wouldn’t mind a bit if we kidnapped their hornworm since these guys are a gardener’s worst nightmare, so we found an old container in the car and off we went with our captive.  Each amazing feature has been lovingly observed by my children, including its blackberry shaped poops, and I have had the glorious privilege to praise God along with my children at each discovery.

Our next door neighbor, a 46 year-old woman who loves kids and critters, also delights in praising the Lord over the little things in life and the girls have learned that showing her their critters thoroughly adds to the fun because you never know what this she might do.  This time she excitedly plucked the 3 inch creepy crawly off the stem and let it crawl up her arm.  Ew!