Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday Bullets (Sorry for list making tendency these days)

  • I was asked to perform the song "Unforgettable" at a 30th wedding anniversary celebration Saturday night - a top-notch couple who are such a great example were honored by many. It was such fun to sing with a band. I do so enjoy it. But you probably knew that...
  • My brother and his wife spent the weekend. We didn't get to visit much, between their busy plans and our own, but we chatted for an hour or so before their departure. Family is wonderful and I so appreciated seeing them. I pray they were blessed and strengthened with words of wisdom and encouragement. I know I was encouraged by our visit! They are dear to me.
  • Read about the woman with the issue of blood (Luke 8.43-48). I love how Jesus isn't undone by crediting her action of faith (faith without works is dead) for her healing. He isn't afraid that His part in it will be diminished, He is not jealous of getting due credit. Instead He points out her part in it; her action of faith was noted ("Who touched me?"), as was the centurion's act of faith in Matthew 8. ("Go your way, and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.") Jesus acknowledged the man's faith and the part it played. Jesus doesn't seem caught up with fear that someone is trusting faith and not Him, for indeed, the faith is focused on Him. He knows that. That is all that is needed. We are so worried about semantics. We are so judgmental. Let's encourage faith, strengthen faith. Let's not make faith such a scary thing. ("What if my faith is misplaced? What if I've said this wrong? What if I'm taking credit for this? What if..." -- we've just "what iffed" them right out of simple faith!)
  • Off to take a shower. Looking for motivation to do some plain ol' physical labor and check some things off my list. Oh, don't worry. My list isn't ruling my life. In fact, I've been too readily setting it aside for days now. Time to buckle down. Do you suppose the shower will help? ;)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bullets from another day...

  • Luke 7:41-50 Simon fails to give Jesus water and a towel to wash his feet. The woman who loves much washes them with her own tears and hair. What do we know because of her great love? We know that she was forgiven much. Like this woman, we too need to know how deep our sin was and how thoroughly He has forgiven and loved us. Our actions would then be borne of love, deep love. We can imitate, follow rules, do the right thing, but if our deeds are not borne of true love, we should repent and ask God to help us, fill us, give us true love.
    "Open our eyes, Lord, to see our great indebtedness. Let us love You and therefore others, according to the great love and mercy shown to us. Amen."
  • I love the sun-filled days of mid-January in northern NY. I did not always, but I do now. Someone who moved from the north to more southern climes to escape what was considered to be unpleasant weather recently expressed displeasure with the brown grass currently surrounding her. My assessment? Weather does not have to be a barometer for how good life is. You can allow it to be so, and be miserable for X amount of days each year, or you can delight in the day at hand. Since days are limited, I suggest making the most of each one, irregardless of temps and precipitation.
  • That said, I just finished reading Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys. It follows a young Lithuanian girl who was deported to Siberia in 1941. She returned to her home in 1954. She survived 13 years of Siberian winters. Unimaginable. Unbearably unimaginable. Please consider reading this book. If you teach school, use it in a unit study of WWII European history. It is excellent and intriguing. Finding the will to press on in that world of dark whiteness is... unimaginable. Unbearably unimaginable. My imagination often times readily transports me to various situations. When it doesn't, I find myself wishing to experience that thing first hand. This experience I'll skip altogether if possible.
  • The previously mentioned tree (see last post) will not come down yet again. It is finally starting to dry out. I think I missed my opportunity to remove it sans mess. Oh, well.
  • Little Buddy's surgery went well. Thank you all for praying. The doctor chuckled as he relayed to us Merrick's first words after waking: "What time is it? Will I be able to be home in time for youth group tonight?" Indeed, he was home in plenty of time. And the doc said if he's up for it, let him go. So, go, he did. What a boy! Seems like the perfect excuse to stay home and indulge in Wii. Well, he missed that one. ;)
  • Watched the entirety of last night's debate this morning on youtube with two students looking over my shoulders. I love how closely they follow and comprehend so many of the issues. They make comments and debate and question different positions. Great stuff, I must say. Have I ever mentioned that homeschool ROCKS?
  • God's goodness is often on trial. I am grateful for His goodness that is daily on display in the creation all around me, in the life of my son who sits at my table and studies, in the music of my daughter in the front room playing, in the sound of laughter, in the shared tears with my husband. These are all part of His design. We may think His plan is flawed. I say, His world is full of goodness and beauty that I behold each day. I yield to Him. I could not have created this great goodness. So I will trust Him to deal with all my unanswered questions in due time. And by the way, since I am not God, but He is, I think He's at least one up on me anyway. At least one.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


  • Little buddy has surgery this morning around 11:00. An adenoidectomy. Been there done that when he was not yet three. But they've grown back and are quite enlarged, obstructing airways and prohibiting ear drainage. So, here we go again. Asking for God's blessing. If you read this, could you do the same? Thanks.
  • I chuckled at this GOP aide's attempted indictment against Ron Paul. Personally, I think he hung all the rest of them and aided in championing Paul's cause. Read for yourself:
    "...the vote would be 434-1 -- he'd be the one, but he was the one who kind of put up the ideological goal posts -- this is where you should be if you're pure, and what we found is no one is really pure except Ron Paul," said John Feehery, veteran House Republican leadership aide.
  • Last night we hosted a family who has endured three years of devastating challenges - the loss of a pulpit, the failing of a business, and the death of their firstborn son. They have been in the valley and are still coming out. But their testimony is powerful: God speaking to them in the night season, God answering their prayer to really understand the cross and its meaning and power, their resounding declaration of His great goodness to them. If you think of them, pray that as they press on through the valley of despair, the rich anointing that is visiting them will only grow in grace and power.
  • Christmas has been slow to leave my house, if remaining decor represents "Christmas" to you. The tree is still lending beauty and light every evening. And every evening I say to everyone, "Enjoy it tonight - it's coming down tomorrow." Then tomorrow comes with unexpected twists and turns, and the tree survives one more day. Maybe we should trim it with hearts and call it a Valentine Tree.
  • The semester is shaping up to be a traveling semester. We will study some Spanish, head to Spain and possibly the DR with our two students in tow. Home school ROCKS!!!
  • "But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle [you]." 1 Peter 5:10

I think we forget an important part of this verse. It is not my favorite thing, this suffering stuff, but it seems to be a part of the package. We need to trust His plan in the midst of it, because He will perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle. He will. He is faithful to do good for His own. I am forever in debt to Him.

  • The sun is shining. The earth is crystal. Mid-winter delights. Don't miss them! Live today, embrace the beauty at hand. You will not walk here again.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Monuments and Mountains

I've been hearing a consistent word: The rocks in the fields will become monuments. Mountains will be moved. How? Faith. Grace. Faith and grace.

I am desperate for rocks to be removed. Desperate, I tell you. I remember studying about the giants in the land, the enemies of God's people. Remove them all. Don't doubt that He can do it. I've believed before. Then I grew weary, tired of believing. Forgive me, Lord.

And now? He's stirring up faith. I'm believing with earnest faith. And I see once again. Things have become accepted that He doesn't want me to accept. Weaknesses have been claimed as my own when He wants me instead to rule over them. Giants have been allowed to dwell within His borders because I've allowed them in my life, and I belong to Him. I am His territory, I am not the giants' land.

I don't know how it will happen. I don't know exactly when it will happen. I only know one thing: I cannot do it; it will be all Him. I pray to know how to cooperate, and it is His grace that will allow me to know. I ask for the strength to act upon that knowledge, and it will be His grace that strengthens me. I cannot do this. I've tried. Again and again. And again.

No matter. He builds monuments. He moves mountains. My faith merely allows me to participate. Somehow. And even that is a mystery.

No matter. It's no mystery to Him.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Catching My Breath

The holidays swirled in quickly this year. Not that that is unusual, is it?

So, there has been little chance until now to contemplate a year finished, another just unfolding.

Over all? It was a long, hard year. Difficulties multiplied. I had considered the previous year challenging, but I have learned to endure even more as the days and weeks of 2011 passed. Good lessons, but hard. He has taught me well. He does all things well.

The year also brought much joy: courtship, engagement, and a wedding, for instance. I watched daughters and sons grow in gifts of music, directing, teaching, and guiding. A granddaughter arrived to us in August. I have grown in my understanding of seasons. They have grown in their love for Him. This is joy.

A new church site was established in Potsdam. This has meant Rick preaches two times every Sunday. But with the new year there is a sense of something new in the air. Rick is sensing a change; something new is coming. We wait to see exactly what it will look like. Writing. Travel. We will allow Him to lead.

And the change effects all of us. How can it not? Our two remaining in school will be swept up in the change, I am sure. That will be exciting to see as well.

So, to Him who holds the year in His hands, I bow. I surrender all to Him, more and more readily as the years pass. He can be trusted with them all.