31 May 2009

George Tiller's Murder

Meet Elora de Bondi
born 16 weeks early on 29th of Jan 2007
(born at 24 weeks gestation)
See article and Elora's 6/08 update

Today a man living in Kansas was murdered while he did usher duties at his church. This man had been under criminal investigation, been shot before, and had his place of business damaged because some people chose to take vigilante means to show their hatred of his profession. Meet George Tiller, one of the few late-term ab0rtion doctors in our country. Photo of Mr. Tiller and intro

My only thought as I read about his death is a question. Why is there such an uproar about ONE MAN senselessly killed because someone didn't like what he stood for? Where is the uproar about the THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of senselessly killed pre-term infants because someone didn't like what they stood for? What do unborn babies stand for? For the mothers, fathers, and grandparents who chose to abort these infants, they stand for embarrassment, inconvenience, shame, monetary cost, loss of independence, fear and selfishness.

I extend my sympathy to Mrs. Tiller. I extend my sympathies to all the girls and women, who will hear about his death and will remember the life that stirred within them that they extinguished. I extend my sympathies to the fathers and grandparents.

Abortion Recovery: site site site Know that there is forgiveness and healing at the foot of the cross. In John 3:17 it is recorded that God didn't send his son Jesus into the world to condemn you, but to save you.

Did you know?

"Although the results were pooh-poohed, it is no small matter that in the era of pro-ab0rtion President Barack Obama only 36% of Americans believe ab0rtion is morally acceptable versus 56% who told Gallup it is morally wrong. A year ago 40% responded to Gallup that ab0rtion was morally acceptable, meaning there's been a drop of 4 percentage point since May 2008.

This follows news that for the first time since Gallup began asking the question, a majority--51%--identified themselves as pro-life. In 1995 a mere 33% considered themselves pro-life.

Returning to the morality question, pro-lifers always try to place developments in context. Consider that in 2001 there was almost an even split with 45% telling Gallup that ab0rtion was morally wrong but 42% saying it was morally acceptable--a difference of only 3%. The gap is now 20%!"

Taken from the National Right To Life newsletter, 5/21/09. Subscribe here. Donate here.


28 May 2009

Hope for Me Yet

Last summer I was sitting on the deck watching my husband struggle with the lawnmower. After all kinds of obstacles had been overcome with great difficulty, and assorted yard and mechanical drama, he began to mow... and it ran out of gas. I was rehashing struggles and meditating on things I should have just discarded (mentally). I pretty much said to myself, 'He's hopeless. Look at him!' From nowhere, like a sonic boom, and not set to a tune, came the phrase "there is hope for any man." I say, 'not set to a tune' because that is the line from a song on Casting Crown's The Altar and the Door CD. But instead of it being like the line just wafted through my head, it was like God spoke the line to me. (it didn't sound like James Earl Jones, either) So here is a list of the scriptures which I turn to when I think its just hopeless to wait for my husband to change.

You know what, let me rephrase that. It may actually BE hopeless to wait for anyone to change. What we need to cling to is this: we pray for the Holy Spirit to convict the person we love, and the Holy Spirit stimulates change. WE can't make anyone change. No one else can have lasting change on their own when how we are called to live is so radically different from how the world tells us to live. so. Here are the scriptures. But, I have to admit that because I forget that it's the job of the Holy Spirit to make change, I really struggle with the stronghold of unbelief here. Especially here where it is so clearly out of my hands.

"I trust in you, O Lord, I say, 'You are my God.' My times are in your hand." Psalm 31:14-15

"He who began a good work in ___ will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Phillipians 1:6

"If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has passed away- behold the new has come." 2 Corinthians 5:17

"The Lord will fulfill his purpose for ___; your love, O Lord, endures forever, do not abandon the works of you hands!" Psalm 138:8

"Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the rock eternal!" Isaiah 26:3-4

Remember: "Waiting is an active trust in God to provide fulfillment in *His*perfect*timing* according to His ultimate purpose of glorifying his Son." CJ Mahaney

Pray Jeremiah 17:7-8 over your husband:

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water,
that sends out its roots into the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought.

27 May 2009

Worship


"Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling."
Phillipians 2:12-13


Fear and trembling: "self-distrust, serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ." (Amplified Bible)

Listen to what CJ Mahaney says on this same scripture from his book, Humility: True Greatness: "This fear and trembling embraces the godly attitude of humility; it includes the fear of grieving and offending our holy gracious Father, and the awareness of our ultimate accountability to Him."

Later the scripture says "for it is God who works in you, both to will and work for his good pleasure." If God is working then we better be working also. God has given us free will to choose how we will live, and as sinners, we need to work at living the way he has called us to. But it is exciting that God is working on us for his own pleasure. Well, frankly, I have given him alot of work to do, so I'm glad he's deriving pleasure from it. I have an image of how I get pleasure from drastically chopping back a hedge. Hm.

26 May 2009

Almighty Comforter

"The God of all Comfort who comforts us in all our afflictions so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction ... For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ." 2 Corinthians 1:3-5


This verse reminds me to turn to God first, not the telephone. To tell Him how I've been wounded, tell Him what happened, tell Him how I feel about it. I find that I am much more metered in my choice of words (to describe the event or my offender) when I'm talking directly to God about whatever I need comfort for. They've said it before and I'll say it again, so frequently 'prayer requests' can easily turn into gripe sessions or simple gossip.

I think about my testimony and who I can comfort because Christ has comforted me. Before, I didn't necessarily "have a heart" for the divorced or unhappy wives in the world. I find that I am more able to have God's heart for them because of the comfort I've received by God's grace in my own marriage.

Let me give you an insider view into my little blogging world. So I'm writing (above). I think "where is it in the Bible about being God's hands and feet, ministering and comforting others like Christ calls us to do?" So I do a search in my Bible search thingy. A million references to feet (the ark should be ___feet long), not so helpful. So I move over to Google and search the phrase there. This leads me to a web community site full of CRUSHINGLY ... what? Crushingly painful? poignant? touching? None of those words work. If you go and read you may feel it too. I can only say I felt the heart of God towards his people. This is how Wrecked.org describe their mission:

"We want to help our readers embrace radical lifestyles in their local context and to connect to the world around them through engaging in incarnational living. In other words, if someone reads a Wrecked article, and nothing about their life changes, then we haven't done our jobs."

Here is lyrics by Brandon Heathwhich I have posted on my kids' schoolroom wall:

"Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity!
Give me your arms for the brokenhearted
the ones that are far beyond my reach...
Give me you heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see."

Some people would say that it's a flaw that Gods plan was to use believers to get His name out there. Some people say there is no God, or that He's not infinitely capable or concerned in our daily affairs, because there is suffering in this world. I disagree... I think anyone who's on fire with the Holy Spirit, anyone who's abiding as we were instructed to do... those people are going to be the hands of Christ in this world, ministering to the hurt and hungry and suffering and lost. If it seems like there isn't enough getting done, my first thought is that the church is too comfortable in the plush seats of the sanctuaries to get out there and do what they've been instructed to do! What does James say, "faith without deeds is dead" (James 2:26)? Comforting the comfortless and feeding the orphan is not going to get us into heaven. But if we have God's heart for his people, people He loves... our faith will be demonstrated by our deeds.

25 May 2009

Always Remember

Memorial Day facts and Info

In the military the airman, seaman, marine and soldier must submit to the authority of those appointed over them. On September 11, 2001, my husband was serving in the Air Force at the NSA doing a Navy mission. He had at least 3 chains of command over him! Now that we are out of the military I appreciate that Jesus is the highest authority and that unlike some of the humans who are in authority over us, he is always right, always just, and always has our best in mind- and always is advancing a righteous, true kingdom.

Daniel saw a vision which is so comforting and exciting: "He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." (Daniel 7:14)


"To the only God, our Savior, be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forever more! Amen!"
Jude 1:25

24 May 2009

Radical and Courageous?


Listen to Mary Kassain, author of a blog called Girls Gone Wise:

"When it comes down to it, I believe that living out biblical submission in this culture requires far more backbone and brains than acquiescing to popular reason. It’s one of the most radical, courageous, and intelligent things a Christian woman can do."


(link to entire post)

22 May 2009

Early to Rise

This terrible, sarcastic cartoon is how I used to feel, and what I'm struggling now to overcome as my first reaction to getting up early to listen for the Lord and to pray for my family and the lost. And the President and the Supreme Court and the single mothers and the foster children. Ok, I'll stop.

This is what the Bible has to say:First off is the example of our Savior: "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." Mark 1:35

My next favorite is Isaiah 50:4, "The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught." 'Cause I feel weary, not just from getting up early, but from chasing these kids all day and homeschooling and trying to keep a comfortable home!

Isaiah 33:2 is also encouraging and gives me hope that if I step out in obedience early in the morning, God will strengthen my body and spirit throughout the day. "O Lord, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in times of distress."

Even in the Old Testament the followers of the one true God "were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, they were to do the same in the evening." 1 Chronicles 23:30

Psalm 143:8 says "Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul."

This reminds me of something Beth Moore said. She said something along the lines of 'All day we go around holding out our little cup of needs. We are so needy! We say, can I have a cup of love? Can you give me a few drops? Can you? And we spend all of our time trying to get that cup full. And we can't do all the things we are called to do because we spend all of our energy trying to weasel a few drops of attention from everyone in our lives. But if we would go to the Lord who made us and knows each of our individual needs, and how to meet them best, if we would go to him first thing each morning, then any drop that any person might give us during the day would be overflow. It would just be icing on the cake!'

20 May 2009

Not Condemned

So. John Piper... Wow.

I get Desiring God emailed to me each week or so. (sign up) One of my favorite scriptures is John 3:17. I even used to have it on my checks! Anywho, this week John Piper taught on a passage that included John 3:17. It was John 3:16-21. Here's the entire passage:

John 3:16-21
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.

So much of what Piper says is just amazing. It made me think on quite a few things. He said that just the act of Jesus coming makes division. Man is judged, or forgiven. Man accepts the Truth, or rejects it. Some believe, some do not. As a believer, don't you love the part: "whoever believes in him is not condemned,"(v18) but tremble for the lost at the other half of the same verse "whoever does not believe is condemned already."

Another part of this passage that made me wonder was "people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil." (v19) Claire and I were measuring the weather using different devices. I told her the barometer measures air pressure; the thermometer measures heat... I told her that there is no measure for cold. Cold is just an absence of heat. It is the same for good and evil. Evil is an absence of good. And also for lightness and dark. Brightness is measured by watts, but there is no measure for darkness; it is an absence of light. Verses 21 says "But whoever does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed." You just have visions of nasty things slinking in dark corners of garages and alleys and warehouses. Its like a child who tries to hide a lie so that their 'darkness' won't come into the light. The politician who tries to cover up a sin to prevent it from becoming common knowledge. In verse 22 it continues "But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God." Hopefully that is where we are, here together in this blog. I have seen God's work and I have felt his uplifting hand, and I want to bring it more into the public eye so that he can get more glory for it.

"When he comes, the truth about all things comes. The truth about God. The truth about ourselves. The truth about the way of salvation. The truth about what is good and beautiful. The truth about evil and ugliness. The truth about how we ought to live. All right thinking, and all right feeling, and all right doing is defined and measured by Jesus." Man, that is hard. Sometimes, no, most times it is easier to do the self-focused and sinful thing. It is hard to look at ourselves, compared to Christ, and see the ugliness and accept it as true instead of brushing it aside or trying to justify it or just comparing ourselves to others. But he is the standard.

17 May 2009

Anniversary

It's just about the two-month anniversary for this blog! I have enjoyed making my writing here a regular part of my life. I really hope that you enjoy the new layout and that the ads may be interesting to you. If the ads are actually distracting, then you can always subscribe to the blog and get emailed when I post (look for the button at the bottom of the right-hand sidebar). That way you don't have to check back here, and you won't see the ads. I would really appreciate any feedback you have. Please feel free to leave me any comments or ideas! Thanks, dear readers!

Ladies Weekend Part 2

Well it was wonderful to get away and get to spend some time with ladies I love. If I had to choose a scripture to sum up the weekend it would be 2 Corinthians 5:15 -20 which reads:

"He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for him who dies for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting mens' sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God."

We slept very little because we were talking late into the night, drank at least 5 pots of coffee and talked, sat in the hot tub and talked, ran from a rainstorm, ate out and talked, ate in and talked, talked through a power outage, talked through a movie, shared our testimonies, and shopped. And we talked to our families a little. How can we get so little sleep and come away so refreshed?

15 May 2009

Ladies Weekend!

Well, on Friday at 1 pm. I am dropping off the kiddoes (as they say in Texas) at my mother's and heading south about an hour for Ladies' Retreat!! "Do I need to order tickets?" I asked. "What are we studying?" "Is there a book we'll read beforehand?" No, no, no... just talk, have fun, talk, window shop, talk, eat chocolate, talk, eat, drink coffee and talk. Did I mention I'm leaving the kids with my parents?! One of the women is bringing her laptop, but I'm not making any promises. So, probably I'll post on Monday.

If you follow my other blog, Higher Education, be sure to look at the new layout and tell me what you think! And, amazingly, I updated all the new sections on my Etsy page so there is alot there besides my handmade cards, in case you're interested.

14 May 2009

Glorify Him


My baby hid the ball to the mouse (for the computer) but I just found it. Ha HA! So due to the late hour but wanting to stay committed, I have a delicious quote for you. Enjoy! From John Piper:

"When everything in life is stripped away except God,
and we trust him more because of it,
this is gain... and he is glorified."

12 May 2009

Helper Suitable

So, reading list for today:

1. The Silence of Adam
2. Reforming Marriage
3. Genesis 2 & 3

so... get to it!

Points to recall from Genesis:

2:17 God tells MAN to not eat from tree of Kn. of G & E. God gave man the instruction, and God holds man responsible for keeping it. Man was put in charge of all creation. Man was able to eat from the tree of the Kn. of g & e, but was given the freedom to not do so. We are not puppets; we are given free choice to do right or wrong.

2:20 no helper suitable found for man.
God kept on saying "It was good" until the day that Adam named all the creatures, each with its partner. But it wasn't good that Adam found no creature appropriate for him to have as a partner. Then, God created woman second. From Reforming Marriage: "He needs a companion suitable for him in the work to which God has called him. He is called to the work and must receive help from her. She is called to the work through ministering to him. He is oriented to the task, and she is oriented to him. The man needs the help; the woman needs to help."

3:1 serpent approaches WOMAN
Satan immediately goes against the designed chain of command.
Matthew Henry Commentary:"Those who would be safe, need to be shy of talking with the tempter. He quoted the command wrong. He spoke in a taunting way.
It is the craft of Satan to speak of the Divine law as uncertain or unreasonable, and so to draw people to sin; it is our wisdom to keep up a firm belief of God's command, and a high respect for it. Satan teaches men first to doubt, and then to deny.He aims to make them discontented with their present state."

1 Peter 3:7 says: "Likewise you husbands... give honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel" The analogy that best describes this to me is the comparison of a coffee mug beside a delicate tea cup. Both hold liquid; but we honor the teacup because it is the weaker vessel. Man is like a coffee mug, sturdy and solid and can handle being donked down onto the counter; woman is like the delicate china teacup, beautiful and gently set down onto the saucer. I think that Satan used woman's delicacy against her for his best attack. Think of the lyrics from the song "Slow Fade" from Casting Crowns' album, The Altar and the Door.

"It's the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings...
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid...
The journey from you mind to your hands is shorter than you're thinking."

3:6 WOMAN gives apple to MAN Adam was 'with her' at the tree-- the word means elbow to elbow. What was he doing while she was debating Satan?! His silence, when he doesn't take her by the arm and get away from the tree, is the first step on the slippery slope. And although Eve was the first to bite the fruit, the new testament always refers to Adam's sin-- because he was in charge, he is held responsible.

3:7 cover themselves with fig leaves They try to hide their sin from God. But Hebrews 4:13 says, "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account."

3:16 curse to WOMAN Jan Meyers, author of The Allure of Hope, says "...the artistry of being a woman took a fateful dive into the barren places of control and loneliness." Every woman wants to "control her surrounding, her relationships, her God." John Eldredge, author of Wild at Heart, says "No longer is she vulnerable, now she will be grasping. No longer does she want simply to share in the adventure; now, she wants to control it."

3:17-19 curse to MAN Matthew Henry Commentary: "His employments and enjoyments are imbittered to him. Labor is our duty, which we must faithfully perform; it is part of man's sentence, which idleness daringly defies. Uneasiness and weariness with labor are our just punishment, which we must patiently submit to, since they are less than our iniquity deserves."

3:21 God clothes them with skins God corrects the way they covered their nakedness; you can just imagine when Adam and Eve come out of the bushes with a dry and withering leaf just barely doing justice... But God covers them with animal skins. (Some people think that until Noah landed the ark, people hadn't eaten meat. Gen. 9:3 says "Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant." [Ref. to Gen 1:29; "I have given you every plant yielding seed ... and every tree yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast... and to every bird... and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food."] So I imagine, if that is true, how appalled and remorseful Adam and Eve must have been to see the slaughter of an innocent animal to cover them after they sinned.) Does that remind you of anything? The shedding of innocent blood to cover sins? God started the pattern in Genesis.

3:23-24 expelled from garden
And so man's journey began. The struggle, the pain, the suffering, all to be salved by the one who was there in the beginning:

"and God said, 'Let US make a man in OUR image' (Gen 1:26)

And when he comes back the next time, "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain... I am making all things new." Rev. 21:4-5

Christian Dating

K-LOVE Rocks!

K-LOVE is having their fund drive-- they are a really excellent station that has been instrumental in my life for the past few years. God really uses this station to encourage listeners. They have less than 48 hours left to get 60% of their funding. So, if you listen to this station in your area, or are blessed with money to assist excellent Christian ministries, I urge you to think of them. Thanks!

Check HERE to see if they are in your area.
Click HERE to give online. Thank you!

10 May 2009

Depression Facts

Here is some disheartening reading from the online Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders. I regret to say that I think my husband is sliding fast into a full-on depression. I think he started in February and now here we are where its taken over again. Mother's Day was just too much pressure. He fell apart after breakfast because we were running late for church and it was worse and worse all day. He has an appt Tuesday with our pastor and we're expecting the Dr. to call us back any day. So prayers for him to actually make it to the lunch with our pastor would be really really appreciated. Thanks.

"The core symptom of major depression is a sad mood that does not go away. While most people have occasional days when they feel out of sorts, persons with Major Depressive Disorder experience low feelings that build gradually over a period of days or weeks. They are usually not able to "snap out of it" even when something positive happens. In some cases, the symptoms are preceded by an obvious loss or painful event, such as divorce or a death in the family, but the disorder may also appear to begin "out of the blue." People with MDD often appear sad, irritable, and easily moved to tears. They may sleep poorly and complain of vague physical aches and pains; experience sexual difficulties or loss of interest in sex; drop out of social activities; and come across to others as unhappy or lacking in energy. Some people with MDD may deny that they feel depressed, but they lose their enthusiasm for hobbies or work they once found enjoyable and rewarding. Children and adolescents present with many of these same characteristics, but they may often appear easily frustrated and cranky instead of sad. The symptoms of MDD can be summarized as follows:

  • Disturbed mood (sad, hopeless, discouraged, "down in the dumps") during most of the day.
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities.
  • Change in appetite nearly every day, leading either to weight gain or to loss of 5% of body weight. In children, this symptom may appear as a failure to make normal weight gains related to growth.
  • Insomnia(waking in the middle of the night and having difficulty returning to sleep, or waking too early in the morning) or hypersomnia(sleeping much more than normal).
  • Psychomotor retardation (slowed thinking, speech, body movements) or agitation (inability to sit still, hand-wringing, pulling at clothing, skin, or other objects) that is apparent to others.
  • Sense of worthlessness or unreasonable guilt over minor failings.
  • Problems with clear thinking, concentration, and decision-making.
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or making a suicide attempt.
Major depression is increasingly viewed as a chronic condition for many people. Left untreated, a depressive episode may last four months or longer, regardless of the age of onset. While most people recover fully from a given depressive episode, eventual recurrence is common. Long-term studies of people with MDD indicate that about 60% of patients who have one episode of depression will have a second episode; with each succeeding episode, the chances of a subsequent episode increase. For example, persons having a third episode stand a 90% chance of having a fourth. Between depressive episodes, the patient's mood may return to a nondepressed state (in about two-thirds of the cases) or continue to show some degree of impairment (one-third of cases). Patients who recover only partially between episodes appear to be at especially high risk of recurrence."

08 May 2009

Be Involved in the Political Process!

"FOR YOU CREATED MY INMOST BEING; YOU KNIT ME TOGETHER IN MY MOTHER'S WOMB." Psalm 139:13

from my National Right To Life E-Newsletter :
"Barack Obama met with Planned Parenthood in 2007 and promised that mandatory abortion coverage would be "at the center, the heart of" his health care reform legislation. In an April 30, 2009, National Public Radio report, Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, confirmed that "health care reform is going to provide a platform" for ensuring that "all women . . . regardless of their income, can get access to the full range of health care options . . ."

To reach your state Senators and Representatives, click HERE. The link is right in the middle; it says "Tell Congress." It really does take just a moment. There is a template filled out for you, you just add your name and any additional comments (I added "as a parent, voter, and woman without medical insurance, I urge you to NOT include abortion in the health care reform"). It is really so, so easy. Only the people who give input (that is, voting, contacting reps)to our system of government should be able to complain about it. Wouldn't that be great!

To sign up to get updates click HERE.
To just go to the NRLC homepage click HERE.
To see Barack Obama's record on votes concerning the sanctity of life, click HERE.

This image is a baby at 20 weeks, or 5 months, gestation.

Not For This World

"Close to open" my husband called it, when he explained to me how the restaurant business works- Don't close the doors at night until the place is ready to open tomorrow. I just climbed back up on the Flylady wagon and I felt a tad discouraged when I went to bed last night- but only just a tad 'cause I was so tired. But then Nathan woke me up at 1:45 and I felt awake, so I put on my iPod (me?) and did the dishes. It makes such a difference in the morning, for the rest of the day. Using the iPod makes it a time of worship, too. Does anyone know the name of that monk from long, long, ago, who wrote the book about turning everyday drudgery into worship? By doing it for Christ? I'd love to read it but I don't know his name.

One of the songs was talking about not being made for this world. Another was about how we used our time. Another was saying 'live as if there's no tomorrow.' Another was asking how we did on Judgement Day- were we running from our mistakes, or rejoicing? And I was there, doing the dishes in prep for tomorrow. I thought of Romans 12:2 "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." I know that doing the dishes is not necessarily 'conforming to the world' but it made me think- if there was no tomorrow, I sure would live in the Lego-and-Polly-induced squalor and just read with the kids piled on top of me... I would stop yelling for everyone to get in bed so I could think straight or get a rest... I wouldn't worry if the car was going to make it or if we could get all the bills paid on time.
"And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." (2 Corinthians 5:15) We have to just spend our energy doing the best we can for him who died for us. We have to do the dishes as if for him, send the kids to bed in his name (ha!), do all things -spend ourselves- for him who died for me. The song on my iPod that started all these musings was by Toby Mac, "I'm For You" on his Portable Sounds album.

Whatever I gotta be, I'll be for you
Whatever you need from me to see you through...
I'm for you- If you never knew, I'm for you.

Paul said "I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings." (1 Corinthians 9:22-23) This reminds me so much of my dear, unsaved friend. When I am with her, I try to not have a split personality- I try to be true to the gospel- I try to be the person I am with my saved friends- but I also am conscious of our differences, and I try to be true also to what Paul has said. I SO CLEARLY remember being in her shoes-- feeling lost and desperate at times- I hear her worrying about what it all means, how she can make things last- and I think, 'but for the grace of God, there go I.' There go I!! That is me- that could be me-- but for the grace of our loving God.

07 May 2009

A Community of Believers


My MIL called looking for encouragement. Its been a hard week for her, watching my once-burly FIL lose weight after having his entire stomach removed to clean out a cancer. I told her what came to my mind from the outside of the situation-- first, its 'only' been 2 weeks. Also, he has to adjust to the new reality of his life- he has to mourn what he thought his life would be. And last, to call the oncologist and ask 'what's the line between adjustment period and personal danger' regarding his vomiting and lack of calorie intake? While I was still fumbling for something to say, she brightened up and said "Thanks, I'd lost perspective" and hung up. Cool! I'd encouraged her! It brought to mind the lyrics I was on the floor for last week (tears running up over my eyebrows kind of on the floor). Here is a taste of Casting Crowns' song Love Them Like Jesus from their Lifesong CD that gives advice to those who are listening to the problems of a friend:

So love them like Jesus, love them like Jesus
You don’t need the answers to all of life’s questions
Just know that He loves them, and stay by their side
Love them like Jesus

That's what we should do when we are asked for comfort or advice-- not fumble for something to say, but, like Elizabeth George, ask God what to say (usually nothing) and lacking a clear answer, just 'stay by their side.' I know I was extremely comforted by friends who instead of giving me their opinion, just sat with me in silent commiseration. "I love you, and I'm sad this is happening to you." means alot.

06 May 2009

Ephemera



Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.
Psalm 144:4


Yesterday I added alot of items to my Etsy page. Some of it was cards or baby blankets but most of it was ephemera. I love ephemera. It's a word that means transitory, temporary things, usually paper, like lists, tickets, posters, newspaper, envelopes and receipts-- things you just need for a moment and then usually throw away. These are the reason I began to scrapbook so long ago. To put the fragments of life- the scraps- in there with the photos that tell the story. Then when I had kids the precious ephemera quadrupled- ha! and that was just for one. No, joking. You wanna know a deep dark secret? I collect stamps. I love them. They are just so beautiful. I have at least 7 mini-collections, or focuses, in my stamp collection: Post Office; mothers/ teachers/ women; American quotes; American expansion; disabilities; and then personal ones from my life: Smokey the bear, AF, Maryland; and some space ones. And just for Lacey, and anyone else reading from the Deaf community...these! So you know my dirty secret. And I know you are all going to click on all of those links because you are so interested! (It's ok.)

When I post ephemera on my Etsy, I feel nostalgic and a little sad. Is someone going to find my kid's photos in a box at some auction in 75 years and snatch it up as a 'find?' I can just see the ad on Ebay now: "Cute child in vintage cotton shirt. Drinking old-fashioned style juice box. Sitting on what appears to be a wooden chair. Unsure of year, surely before 2015. Who was this child? Where did she live? What became of her? We'll never know."

04 May 2009

Come to the CARNIVAL with me!

In case you didn't know, I have another blog which is about homeschooling and life in general. I am 'attending' a blog carnival, and I put a link in the sidebar here at New Mercy so you can go check it out if you like. That blog is alot less personal and has two goals: to give family updates on our life and the kids' activities, and to let family and friends and neighbors know what kind of homeschooling we do, what we're studying right now, and more about the homeschool lifestyle that we live. You're welcome to visit!

03 May 2009

Just Keep Praying

"Often there is nothing as godly as inactivity on our part,
or nothing as harmful as restless working,
for God has promised to work his sovereign will."


AB Simpson, Canadian preacher

02 May 2009

Take that Plank!

If I have learned anything over the years I have been struggling, it is to take to heart the story Jesus told in Matthew 7:1-5.

1
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

Because: Romans 5:8 says "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." If I could just die to self while my husband is still sinning against me-- all the time, without complaining or justifying.

Because: Luke 9:23-24 says "Then he said to the crowd, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to keep you life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life." If I could just put aside my ambition to be queen of everything- to be on a pedestal- to be an idol- if I could remember I'm giving up some things for the Holy God, Creator of all things- not for my husband. To not resent my husband for the things that God has asked me to give up.

Because: Mark 10:43-44 says "But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all." Every one of us has eternity written on our hearts-- we want to leave a legacy. Some of us will get a building named after us, or a corporation, or some such. But I would like to be a great, first-ranker in Heaven, front-row seat to the throne, with some serious kingdom responsibility (polishing thrones, cleaning pearls, doling out cupfuls of river, holding lost babies), so I have to be the servant for a while here on earth. Which post will last longer?

Because: Psalm 141:3 says "Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord, Keep watch over the door of my lips!" Yikes! I think sometimes I need a heavily armed guard. But I would like my list of verbal sins which is kept at the door of heaven, to be perused upon my arrival, to be as short as possible, so...
"Pray for me that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given to me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel." (Ephesians 6:19) My husband says by being 7 x 70 forgiving, being kind, being hopeful-- these things are a witness that there is a loving God behind me doing those same things to him. Elizabeth George said something along the lines of 'I would take a moment to see what God wanted me to say in that situation, and most times he wanted me to say... nothing.' On the same topic, I altered Proverbs 14:1 a little to say "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own [mouth] the foolish one tears hers down." I definitely don't want to be tearing down my own house.

Because: Isaiah 55:8-9 says that Gods thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways. Like the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than ours. So when I am totally stumped at why on earth God would allow things to unfold the way they have, when I am sure that there is no way my husband will ever change, I try to reflect on these verses. Another verse I tweaked a bit is Habakkuk 3:17-18 "though _______, yet I will rejoice." Whatever I can put in the blank, still I can rejoice. I can rejoice at the health of my children, at the multiple rooms with sound roof and a strong front door that we live in; at the breath I was given, that I even have a husband with the ability and desire to support us.

Because: The pastor of my church in MD, C J Mahaney, said "Cast your cares upon Him; Where there is worry, where there is anxiousness, pride is at the root of it. When I am experiencing anxiety, the ROOT ISSUE is that I'm trying to be self-sufficient." We can do nothing without He who made us.

Finally, today I was really enjoying holding Nathan's hand. He is 16 months old. He has a fat little hand. The different times I held it, it was cool and plump, or damp and mulchy, or wet and soapy, or hot and sweaty. All these times that I held his little hand, I first put my right hand down to him with the fingers pulled back, and each time he would reach up and put his tiny open hand in mine. I cherished it especially today, I don't know why. Then I was writing this blog entry and I found Isaiah 41:13, which says "For I am the Lord, you God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, 'Do not fear; I will help you.'"

photo:
"As a mother hen longs to gather her chicks under her wings, so I long to gather you." Mosaic on the altar of Dominus Flevit Church in the area where Jesus looked down on Jerusalem and wept. (Photo: Martha Ann Kirk)