Tuesday, April 26, 2011
This morning, I was reading Joel. I copied a verse onto an index card and read it to the boys while they were frying up their incredible homemade sausage. It reminded us of what we heard on Sunday. We talked about 'Paraclete' and Pastor's sermon. Michael had some thoughts I wanted to record. This was his mental response when he heard the explanation of the kind of Comfort the Holy Spirit gives.
"I immediately thought of the Lord of the Rings-The Two Towers-when the good King and his men are at Helms Deep and nearly destroyed by the tens of thousands of armies of Orcs. Then, as the kings make their last stand and ride out of the fortress they look to the east as the sun rises and here comes Gandolf with a mighty army that completely overwhelms their enemies.
I also thought about Psalm 23-"Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." It never made sense to me before. The rod and staff are pieces of wood and how would that be comfortable? Whereas, when God uses the rod to protect me, it makes sense that He uses it to beat away my enemies. The staff pulls me back and the rod keeps my enemies at bay."
This is the verse in Joel that I read this morning:
"The LORD also will roar from Zion, And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and the earth will shake; But the LORD will be a shelter for His people, And the strength of the children of Israel."(Joel 3:16)
Monday, April 25, 2011
Tues.-What a day! Butchering day for pork and scrapple for the freezer. Two pigs within a week of days. The petty bone comes in handy when you are scalding a very large pig and/or cooking pork and cornmeal in a very large copper kettle over a very hot fire. Meredith and Tommy were here for most of the day. Graham and Susan were watching the proceedings. The Shippey's and family came over for a trip to the river and a pork sandwich and puppy fun. Such kind people. Kelly is a chiropractor and she helped me with a very sore muscle. Used the massage table in my chapel. Mark and Eldon Stoltzfus came in the eve. Eldon is the architect for the Shippey's home place next door. He and his dad will spend the night and he'll meet with the neighbors in the morning before heading back to Pa. The boys were going to take Dan cat fishing but the thunderstorm sabotaged those plans. Took Graham to soccer practice in Appomattox. Susan stayed behind to work on her homework and pack for Pa. I am writing this quickly so I can get off the computer because here comes the storm..I am thankful for old friends, like Eldon, who we really got to know well when we planted that church together in Downingtown back in 1982. Our kids are about the same age. His mother and my mother were friends before we were born. Phil took Mark on a gator ride and while I showed the pups to Eldon. I am thankful for new friends, like the Shippey's, who feel like old friends and comfortable shoes. I am thankful for a freezer full of pork, sausage, and scrapple. I am thankful for family, like Tommy and Meredith, and for our dear friend, Dave Plank, who had stood with us while our shop burn down, and stood with us today, watching a fire cook the scrapple, after he whisked my cornmeal concoction and carried it out in a big Rubbermaid container. He was such a great help today. I am thankful, that when Phil was cutting the pig and the knife slipped and slashed open his forearm, he did not have pain, even though he should have had at least 6 stitches. I did my best with band aids after he shaved his arm. I couldn't do it because I was too nervous about cutting him. After we fixed him up, I covered that area with a sock cuff. He was pleased. I am thankful for Freeman who worked hard over 12 hours to roast the pig to perfection. Philip and Michael were here most of the day as well, except when Mike went out to get more supplies. It was a really nice day.
Wed.-Left for Pa. Took us 10 hours-7 stops. We stopped at a mall for lunch, etc. and heard many sirens when we got there. Left 2 hours later and traffic was still at a crawl. Farm vehicle accident about 20 min. down the pike. Glad we were at the mall for those 2 hours instead of being stuck in traffic. Went to BB's in Morgantown and then to Mom and Dad's. Went walking with Linda in Pine Grove Cemetery. Jim and Deb came over to Mom and Dad's in the eve. to visit. Night was stormy. I am thankful for a nice day with Susan, traveling mercies-close call with a tractor trailer, and Johnny's beautiful tombstone.
Thurs.-Mom had breakfast at Reuzit. Susan and I had a nice breakfast with Dad and then went up to see my mother. But first, Susan wanted to stop and see Bev and it was good that we did. Tornado warnings and dark clouds and high winds delayed our trip to Mother's since we would have been headed into the storm. Eventually picked up some Chinese food and Rosalee met us at M's for lunch. Nice visit. Met Mom at Yoders at 2:25 and went to see Anne's renovations of their house and little David. He loves to snuggle. Went to Reuzit and bought more books and some clothes. Stopped at Karen's to see her and hold Jonathon before having supper with Mom and Dad. He fell asleep in my arms. I told his dad that if we put a little dress on him he'd look just like his mother's baby pictures. He didn't think I should do that. Visited with Deb and Jordan. Joe and Jonathan, Paul and Jim, stopped in at Mom and Dad's to say Hello. Left Bev's at 8:40 with Rosa and Naomi to go to Ocean City, NJ. It is our 13th year of getting together for this excursion. Arrived shortly before midnight. House to ourselves. ($87.50 for each of us for 3 nights and 3 days.) Hungry. Ate and went to bed around 1. I am thankful for family, friends, and ocean waves.
Fri.-Bev woke up at 4:30 to watch Kate and William's wedding. The rest of us caught some snippets of it when we woke up. God's best to them both. Went to Atlantic City for outlet shopping. Ate at the Rainforest on the boardwalk. Stopped at Blockbuster for some movies and the corner store. Watched movies and ate supper. I am thankful for traditions. I am thankful that we know each others favorite stores. I am thankful that we like Ocean City's family atmosphere. I am thankful that we didn't get addicted to gambling that time one of us played a dollar and won $80. She stopped playing and they couldn't believe it. She treated us to supper with her winnings and we've never done it again. (Philip went to a Chi Alpha formal dinner. Lindsay took a picture of the backs of Gil and Philip and sent it to me with the question, "Who's Who?" If Gil's hair had been a bit shorter, it would have been even harder to tell.)
Sat.-Lazy breakfast of quiche, fruit, baked oatmeal, and coffee. Drove out to boardwalk and shopped. Chilly and warm, depending on the clouds. Ate pizza. Nothing traumatic happened to any of us. No toilet paper was stuck in anyone's waist trailing like a bride's train for hundreds of people to see. Came back to our own private beach and sat out on blankets and chairs for an hour or two. Saw dolphins and a whole flock of sand pipers. Came back and got cleaned up and went out to eat at Yesterday's. Ordered salmon, potatoes, green beans, and salad. Lovely. Watched 'Salt' in the eve. and 'Wedding Date.' Slept from midnight to 7:20 Sun morn. I am thankful for friends like these. We laugh, talk, cry, talk, sleep, talk, eat, talk, eat, and trust. I am thankful for movies with girlfriends and no men around making comments.(Phil shot a turkey!)
Sun.-Slow breakfast. Went to our own private beach. Back to house for lunch and back out to beach. Weather had cooled considerably and we bundled up and laid back to back. Bev looked like the Grim reaper in her dark hooded sweatshirt and dark blanket. Came back to house and cleaned up ourselves and the house and signed the guest book and headed out to the boardwalk. I went into the jewelry store to look for something for Susan. Found boxer dog earrings. Met two girls from Thailand and shared with them about Johnny, etc. Meaningful time and they were so sweet. They were from Bangkok and attended college in the states, and after spending the summer working at the jewelry store at Ocean City, will head back home. Went to Crab Trap for supper. Ordered baby back ribs. Yum. Got home to Mom and Dad's before 11:00. I am thankful that we did not have an accident even though Bev got seriously hot during the heaviest traffic and insisted on taking things off and turning on the air. She wanted me to steer and I said no way. I am thankful for Bev who always counts her blessings. I am thankful for Rosa, in whom there is no guile. I am thankful for Naomi, and her wisdom and strength and constant friendship. I am thankful for God who started this wonderful tradition and helps make it happen every year.
Monday, April 18, 2011
"C.S.Lewis has made this profound observation: 'To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless-it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.'
'You may have experienced deep hurt because you made the choice to love. It would be only natural to tell yourself, "I'm never going to open myself up to that kind of pain again." Of course you feel that way. Who wants to be wounded?
Lewis's statement reminds us that there is an even deeper hurt to be found in not loving than in taking the risk to love.
If you choose not to love, not only will you be hurt, but the people you could have loved will be hurt in ways you may never know.
Take the risk to love! ...No hurt or misunderstanding or sin that has been brought on you could be worth the greater hurt of refusing to love....Keep this in mind: the one relationship you can truly count on is your relationship to Jesus Christ. Lean on your relationship to Him as you take the risk to love others..." ~~~~~
We can make soul vows and miss out on so much of life. We tell ourselves, "I will never allow this to happen again. I will never open my heart to hear from another person or allow them to speak into my life. I will never love anyone outside of these chosen few."
And we build up walls to keep people out and suddenly find that we have built a prison where no visitors come.~~~~~~~~~~~~
Our lives are really not our own. They are God's to do with what He'd like. Oh God, help us to love as You love. Help us to lay down our lives for our friends. Help us to be willing to be hurt again.
intertwined their way into my spirit and I share them with you here.
~~~~Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues and there He saw a lady who was so bent over that she couldn't straighten herself out. Luke describes her malady as 'a spirit of infirmity.' Jesus saw her and called her over to Himself and said, "Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity." He laid His hands on her and immediately, she was made straight and began to glorify God.
The ruler of the synagogue was angry that Jesus healed on the Sabbath and he addressed the crowd, saying, "If you want to be healed, come be healed on any work day, but don't come on the Sabbath."
Jesus, politically incorrect and to the point, said, "Hypocrite! You loose your cattle and lead them to water so they can drink on the Sabbath! Shouldn't this woman, who is a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound-think of it-for eighteen years, be loosed from her bondage on the Sabbath?!"
And when He said these things, all of His enemies were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things done by Him.
~~~~~And the other story~~~ Jesus was wrestling in the garden, praying that the cup the Father had asked Him to drink could somehow in some way be taken from Him. He found His disciples sleeping instead of praying, and as He was speaking to them, a great number of people showed up with torches and ill intents.
Judas, one of His twelve disciples, came up and gave Him a kiss. It was his way of letting others know which man was Jesus. Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of God with a kiss?"
The disciples were stunned; confused with the events that had awakened them from their slumber. "Should we fight? Should we use our swords?" they asked. One of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
But Jesus answered and said, "Permit even this."
And He touched that servant's ear and healed him.
Then Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and the elders who had come to Him, "Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you in the temple, you didn't try to take me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness." ~~~~~
There are times in our lives when Jesus intervenes, and sees our trouble, and calls us to Himself, and says, "Think of it! You've tolerated this long enough. Be set free."
And then there are times in our lives that Jesus helps us face our greatest fear and does not deliver us from trouble, but stays with us through it, and He says of the difficulties in our lives, "Permit even this."
How do we know if He is saying, "Think of it! Be set free!" or "Permit even this" when it comes to situations we face?
I think we can always ask Him.
The disciples asked what they should do and He answered them
with those difficult words-"permit even this".
The woman didn't ask.
She just came to the place where He was and He saw her and called her to Himself
Stay in His presence and ask.
Ask and stay in His presence.
And keep on staying in His presence no matter what His answer is.
And keep on staying in His presence even if He never answers. ~~~~
I read something Richard Foster wrote in his book, "Prayer," that found its way into these two stories in my soul. He says, "We can be assured of this: God, who knows all and sees all, will set all things straight in the end. Even better, He will dry every tear. In the meantime He mysteriously takes our sorrow and uses them to heal the world."
And "With spiritual maturity comes the ability to discern between the trials that are a normal part of living under the cross and the injustices of an evil world that demand correction." ~~~~
I think we often live somewhere in the midst of the mystery of
God's deliverance and God's permission.
I think the real miracle is when He gives us grace to live
with the 'not knowing.'
Some things we will not know or understand
until we see Him face to face.
And then, we may no longer care.
"Think of it!"
Can we trust Him?
Can we trust His timing?
Can we trust His silence?
"Permit even this."
~~~~ Luke 13:11-17; 22:47-53-NKJV
Tues.-Susan and I met Mrs. Houts and Alyssa, Jane, Syndney, and Cheyenne at Pamplin Exxon around 8:30 this morning. Mrs. Jones' brother bought 10 tickets for a tour of the Governor's Mansion at an auction and gave them to her for Christmas. Mrs. Jones drove her car and Mikayla and Clarissa rode with her. (They had a great time touring the Mansion, eating lunch-a club sandwich and fries-at The Tobacco Co., and touring the Capital. (Richmond) Susan enjoyed the architecture of the Mansion and saw it through her father's eyes. They got back shortly after 6:00.)(Mrs. Jones told me later how much she enjoyed being with Susan. "What a delightful girl...") I taught music to the boys today in 7-12 grade and heard some things I probably wouldn't have if the girls had been there. One of the middle school boys shared how a very young boy was intimidating him and I said that the next time he comes for you, do this, and I let out my Aborigines holler right there in that little classroom. To the man, every boy jumped, and then I said, "And in that second that he is jumping in fright like you just did, make your escape." Strikes me so funny every time I think about it. I also gave him some other ideas and I am hoping he is never intimidated by a 4 year old again. I ran out and got groceries and after school, I came home and did lots of odd jobs-wash, making fish and couscous with vegetables, feeding puppies, burning trash, etc. Michael helped put the groceries away. He and Philip hit the sack early. Phil worked out in the fields most of the day. Susan worked on coating peanut butter eggs after supper. The puppies grunt when I pick them up. I think it's because their bellies are so roly-poly. Phil gave them shots tonight while Philip held them and closed his eyes. He has an aversion to needles. The little puppies cried and wailed and Susan comforted them quickly in her willing arms while I cried for the dear little things and cleaned up the kitchen.///I am thankful for the young man in high school who wrote 'Jesus' in his play dough and wished he didn't have to crumble it back up. You'd be surprised how much you learn about a child's life when they are playing with play dough while listening to worship songs. I am thankful for how well the kids did when I quizzed them on composers and compositions. I hummed part of a classical piece and they shouted out the composer and the name of the song. I am thankful for the conversations that occur when you take time to ask questions about the meanings of the words of a song. Like, "Vainly they watch His bed...Vainly they seal the dead..." and "Death cannot keep its prey....He tore the bars away". Soul-thrilling, actually. I really like these kids.
Wed.-The children know that school is just about out and are happy and rammy. My absolute highlight of the month, is the following incident. When I am wanting to teach the children a song, I play it on a CD while they draw or play with play dough. Sometimes they sing along with it and that's always a pleasant sound. I have two high school girls who help me with the younger children. One of the girls had several drawings gifted to her from the K/1 children. I saw the one on the top and asked,"Who drew this?" She told me and I asked her if I could have the picture. Then I asked 'Evan' to sign his name. For reasons I can't go into, it is especially gratifying that this particular child has a firm delightful grasp on the fact that Jesus loves to dance on top of rainbows with a smile on His face and His arms lifted up. I have memorized his crayon drawing and can bring it to mind at will. I found Dr. H. later and said, "I need to show you something." He looked at the picture and said, "That's a keeper." So, we're going to frame it. Hopefully, I will find a purple mat to match the purple sash Jesus is wearing across His white robe. We'll hang it in the hallway and we'll never forget our 'Evan.'
My niece, Abby, won "The President's Award." She broke and made all kinds of records as a soccer goalie for EMU. She is a sweet girl. My brother's first wife was killed by a drunk driver. My mother hung onto Augustine's quote-""He judged it better and more in accord with His power to bring some greater good even out of evil than to permit no evil whatsoever." My brother married another wonderful woman several years later. Abby is their daughter. My mother was talking about Abby the other day and she said, "Abby is definitely a part of that 'greater good.'
Went out to Farmville in the eve to take Susan to Vertical Edge. Did some shopping. Did some praying and singing in the dark. //I am thankful for the little girl who says to me, "I don't like music but I like art." And that is just the way it is. I am thankful that I got to see little Noemi this week. I can't get over how courageous her mama is, and so full of grace. I am thankful for the conversation I had with someone in the computer room this morning who has triumphed over a brain injury. I am thankful that I found lots of good books to bring home in the yard sale room for a donation of my choice. Susan says we need to build a house for my books and keep a library to live in.
Thurs.-Last day of school before a 10 day break. I went to chapel today. Something good happens to me as I listen to the familiar words of the scripture. My guard is not up. I do not need discernment. I can just sit and receive the Word of God and I do. I almost had to leave again because of the way the words affect me emotionally. I am deeply moved and I hope that I am changed. Dr. Hubler shared after the liturgy. He said something like, "Lazarus, was called out of the grave but he had to go back into it again. Jesus, in the Resurrection, rose to a life that could never die again. When we are born again, we have a life that can never die. The hope of the Resurrection provides a pathway for us to follow Jesus through death. He was the first one through and He came out the other side. Now we can too." Clarissa was here today. (Sr. last year) She went to get groceries with me and I heard about some of her good college experiences. She is friends with a Von Trapp girl who is the grand-daughter of Maria Von Trapp-'Sound of Music.' She played a recording of Melanie VT and several of her friends singing at the student center at school. The students play and sing while other students chat and drink coffee. Clarissa and college go well together. She is thriving. She helped me later with art. We dipped and dyed hard boiled eggs after drawing on them with crayons first. We also painted their Mother's Day handkerchief gifts. The younger classes went on an egg hunt today at a retirement home. One of the little boys gave me his candy for Susan, Mr. Hertzler, and myself. Went to Baine's with Doreen and Graham after his hair cut and I found a Jan Karon 'Mitford Series Cookbook.' Doreen got it for me with her credit there at the store after she heard me wondering aloud about the ethics of my buying yet another cookbook. It's basically a brand new book originally priced at $30. I got her to sign it for me in memory of our fun times there at Baine's on Thursday afternoons. Michael made us BLT's for supper. He mowed the lawn and then he and Philip met Erik over at the neighbor's pond to go fishing with chicken livers. Susan played with the puppies and decided to take a quick nap. Should I wake her up? She's been sleeping for an hour and it's just about dark. Phil's been planting sweet corn and field corn. ///I am thankful for this nice spring break. I am thankful for clothing to wash and a kitchen to clean for it means we have clothes to wear and food to eat. I am thankful for the cool evenings with the windows open and the peepers peeping and the sound of puppies horsing around.
Fri.-Slept in! Got myself together and went out to Farmville to run some errands and to have lunch at Longwood cafeteria with Lindsay, Lisa, and Michelle. When I went to meet Lindsay at her house, Gil greeted me with a surprise at the door. He's full of surprises these days. We had a lovely time at lunch and I hope we do it again soon and many times after that. I keep having to remind myself that I am not a college student. Came home and made some pizza for supper. The guys had butchered a pig today. They made sausage and raw bacon pieces and have the loins all ready to grill tomorrow for the Chi Alpha Pig Roast. They ran out in the eve. to get more supplies for the party and Susan rode along. She made some chocolate eggs while I was gone and Alli came over and they watched Miss Congeniality together while Freeman helped with the pig. Phil planted corn most of the day. He was cold and wet when he came in and I made him some hot chocolate to drink after he took a hot shower. While we were playing with the puppies in the evening, we talked about how Good Friday is always gloomy. I told them that when I was little, thought Jesus was crucified every year and I would be so sad on Good Friday. "I bet you were relieved when you found out that wasn't true," one of them said. I remember where I was standing when I found out it wasn't true. It was that significant of a discovery and I have my sister to thank. The boys hit the sack early. Phil is reading a book about slavery that he found in the box of books I brought home. He remembers almost everything he reads. I can't do that. I called and wished my mother a Happy Birthday. I left a message which means someone has her out for her birthday. I keep forgetting whether her birthday is today or tomorrow. Now my dear friend, Naomi, sends me belated birthday cards in April, and my birthday isn't until May, and we have to laugh about that. She just can't seem to remember. I sent my mother a colorful silk butterfly scarf in the mail with the best birthday card ever and she liked them both very much. I am thankful for the fun we have playing with the puppies in the evening and wiping up their little puddles before they walk through them. I am thankful for friends whose lives entwine with mine and that we'll be friends for a very long time. I am thankful for my children and husband and Alli. I am thankful for the dripping of the cold spring rain and the certain hope of a hot bath in the next 10 minutes and the adventure of a new book to read thanks to Alli.
Sat.-Flocks of gold finches enhance my quiet time as I watch them from my desk. They camouflage with the dandelions. Cleaned the house, did some wash, made green beans and mashed potatoes for tomorrow's lunch. Took a nap. Played through 'You Were the Joy' on the piano. Chi Alpha came around 4:30. Philip invited them for a pig roast and kick ball. He knew Gil and Lindsay wouldn't be able to be here for another Chi Alpha gathering and wanted them to be here with Chi Alpha one last time. I took Emma, Adi, and Michelle down to the river and we planted E's and A's dogwood trees on the bank of the river. The kids played a rousing game of kickball. One of the students has seen very little nature and he was busy taking lots of pictures. Another student hurt his foot and needed ice and pain killer. Emma and Adi wanted to come inside. I made them some play dough and we painted big pictures on big papers. Brenna and Alli were with us and it was so relaxing just to color and paint. Meanwhile, Phil was cooking a big copper kettle full of scrapple out back over a fire. He had to use the petty bone to lift up the kettle. I helped him figure out how much cornmeal to add, plus spices, etc. We filled up every available pan and chilled the scrapple in the big fridge cooler. I finished the book Alli loaned me around 11:30 and went to sleep.//I am thankful that Philip has the gift of hospitality. There was a pile of kids here and he knows how to make everyone feel welcome. I am thankful that Michael decided to go over to Happy Valley and fish after the party to have some time alone. He listened to Dave Ramsey on his ipod while he sat there and fished and thoroughly enjoyed himself. I am thankful that Phil got up to check on the mooing cows around midnight and discovered that they were out.
Sun.-Stayed home from SS just to give myself a bit more time to get my act together. I fried some scrapple for everyone's breakfast and also threw a fruit salad together for lunch. Plugged in the crockpots full of green beans and mashed potatoes too. Susan, Phil, and Philip went into church at regular time. Apparently they were asked in Sunday School where they would like to go. Phil said Alaska. So did Dianna. I told Phil that I want to go to the Holy Lands. I really want to go to the Holy Lands. I wouldn't mind Alaska either. Most of all, I just want to go to my little chapel/cottage. If it had a bathroom I'd stay out there alot longer. Maybe it's good I don't have one. Sat in the back at church because we had to leave early and come home. Enjoyed the worship service, especially the song we were singing while portions of 'The Passion' were shown. Deeply meaningful. Plus, little Adi wanted to sit with me and she fell asleep by the second song. Pastor Frank preached on Romans 8:11 and surrounding verses, plus other scriptures. "If that same spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." It's pretty amazing. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would take what is His and give it to us. What is Christ's? Life. Hope. Power. Love. Compassion. Righteousness. Strength. Truth. Resurrection! This is the same Spirit that hovered over nothingness before the earth was created by the Words of God. This is the same Spirit that gave words to holy men of old and they were moved to write the scriptures. This is the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead and it dwells in you and I if we have received Him into our hearts.
1-The Resurrection is the initiation of something new. The old is done away with and all things have become new. The word 'crisis' means 'turning point.' When Jesus was crucified, the disciples experienced crisis. Their dreams and hopes of a new kingdom were crucified with their leader of that kingdom. Their lives would never be the same.
2-The Resurrection is the intention not to let your past contaminate your future. No matter how dry our bones are as a nation or as a church, the Holy Spirit will blow on those bones and bring them back to life. We must release our past failures and successes and not be confined by their limitations.
3-The Resurrection is an intimate reminder that God keeps His promises. He promised that He would rise again, and He did. He said, 'Destroy this temple and in three days it will be restored', and it was. He said, "I must go away and send another Comforter who will take what is mine and give it to you," and He did. Now the word Comforter is the word 'paraklete'. I have no idea if I spelled that right. I think it is Greek. I love this. The Holy Spirit is not the kind of comforter that pats your back and says, "Everything is going to be okay." He is the kind of comforter who is like a whole army coming to rescue you when your battalion is about ready to be destroyed. He is Warrior God. He gives Real Help. He is moved with compassion to intervene and gives us as much help as our situation calls for. He does not sit there and pity us and make sympathetic sounds. No! He roars and comes to our aid. Alleluia! (Not everything I am writing comes directly from PFrank. I am getting additional parts of the sermon as I write his up. ;))
Jesus was the embodiment of God here on earth. But He is intent on building a church that looks just like Himself. He looked like God and we look like Him. His purpose for the church is that we would express His life to each other and to those who do not yet know Him. We need the Holy Spirit and His work in our lives in order to accomplish Christ's purpose.
We left church right away to go home and change and take our food to Tom's for an Easter Day with them. Alli and Freeman were there as well, which was nice. Tom's had a friend, Joe, who was there for the day. We had ham, chicken steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, coleslaw, applesauce, pickled beets, fruit salad, Alli's brownies, tapioca pudding and for supper we had tortilla chips and a layered dip that Bethany made, ham sandwiches, scrapple, fruit salad, etc. etc. and lots of malted chocolate eggs which are my favorite. I helped Serena stuff the plastic eggs with candy and Freeman and Alli hid them and Abby and Serena hunted them. It was really hot outside. Later in the day, we watched "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" and that was really relaxing and a little scary. I liked how Aslan told the children that he is known by another name in his country and that they must learn to know His other name.
Marv, Lydia, and Daniel came over for a visit on their golf cart. I am excited that his parents will be coming down to live with them in their new house. We helped plant a church in the city with his parents and about 30 others soon after we were married and we have such fond memories of our times together with them. ///I am thankful that the three are over in the man cave watching a movie and that I have time to write and that Phil is watching 'The Passion.' I looked at him while they were playing it this morning and he was crying and he's been wanting to watch it all day. I am thankful for Michelle's most beautiful voice and that she sang and played her guitar while I sat on the sofa and listened to her. I am thankful for family and friends. I am thankful that we were the joy set before Him and that is why He endured the cross and despised its awful shame. Thank you, Thank you God.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Friday, April 8, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
I yelped when I read some quotes by William Gladstone. Phil said, "I thought you'd like that." According to Maybury, who gives permission to copy his articles, Gladstone (1809-1898) was a businessman and student at Oxford who became captivated by religion and economics. I won't pretend to understand much about what was said about him but these are the remarks that made me yelp.
"Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feeling for the strength of their argument. The heated mind resents the chill touch and relentless scrutiny of logic."
I love that.
"Nothing that is morally wrong can be politically right."
Think about it.
Check out Maybury on his website~ RichardMaybury.com
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
"25 Ways to be Annoying on the Plane"
or "How to Lose Your Seat at 20,000 Feet"~~~~
1. Follow behind the stewardess and mimic her words and motions as she talks to people.
2. Yell "Brace! Brace!" loudly and with authority. This will keep people from being bored and will rouse them from their sleep. ("Brace" is what the crew member says when there is an impending crash. You brace the back of your head with your hands and move forward, bending over.)
3. Go around and ask people if you can have their leftovers-before they are finished eating.
4. Get the microphone and announce that there will now be a talent show and that one person from each row should get ready to share their talent.
5. Find an empty seat beside someone who is sleeping and lean your head on their shoulder and fall asleep.
6. Organize relay races between the sides of the plane like women play at Baby Showers, etc. See which side can bring you things from their belongings the quickest. For ex. "Lipstick", "A $20 bill", or "Picture of a grand-child." The winning side gets to leave the plane first.
7. Encourage people to talk to each other and find out about each other's lives. (Use the microphone again to communicate this point.) Say loudly, "Come on now, let's not be strangers!"
8. Wake up sleeping people and ask if they are comfortable enough.
9. Offer to clean people's eye glasses for them.
10. Boldly spray the confined area with air freshener.
11. Take the mike again and play "Where in the world are you from?" Call out the different continents and countries and have people cheer and call out when you say their country. The country with the loudest cheers, wins.
12. Stand in the aisle and sing "America's National Anthem" with as much gusto and warmth as possible, while holding your hand over your heart.
13. Drop an entire open bag of marbles on the floor. (This is especially effective during landing or take-off.)
14. Ask people if you can "borrow" their airsickness bag. Tell them you'll return it in a few minutes.
15. Go around and ask people if they want to see your beautiful mother's ring and give them the birth and life stories of each child represented.
16. Go up to someone and ask loudly, "Haven't I seen you on 'America's Most Wanted?'
17. Play your harmonica.
18. Pop bubble wrap or bubblegum.
19. Blow soap bubbles and hide your container while doing so.
20. Go around and ask people if they would like to use the bathroom now. 21.Go up to a complete stranger and slap them on the shoulder and say emphatically, "THERE you are! I've been looking everywhere for you!" and then proceed to converse with them about things they will think they should know about.
22. Ask the people in your row if they would like to play "Whisper Down the Lane."
23. Ask the stewardess for at least 10 wet hand wipes and tell her you want them so you can take a sponge bath.
24. When the stewardess asks you if you want a drink, tell her you want a mixed drink of milk, tomato juice and coke. Sip it and begin to gag, gesturing wildly as if unable to breathe.
25. Hiccup loudly.
26. Ask the stranger who was sleeping nearest you if they realize that they talk very coherently while they sleep. Then keep looking at them, shaking your head with disapproval while making "tsk, tsk' sounds with your tongue.
That's twenty-six. I have two more but they're really far too mean to print and they reveal the downward spiral of my human nature far too well. I haven't read this list for years. I was telling someone at school what I was typing and they said that perhaps God gave me that goofiness to serve a special purpose at that time and I am quite sure they were right about that.
(May 23, 1013-What makes me laugh to this day is how ridiculous these are and how tired we were. I would write a few in my notebook, hand it over to Janelle to read, and she would shake helplessly with laughter, tears rolling down her face.)
Saturday, April 2, 2011
The other evening, I went to Barnes and Noble with a friend to hear about her latest adventures. Life has thrown a few curve balls her way and one of the ways she is dealing with them is to look for a male companion on e-harmony. She was telling me about some of the information that potential men post and then she queried, "Why would you say that?" in her cute, perky way and I was slapping my leg and shrieking and then I said, "Wait a minute. I have to write this down," so I found a homemade envelope that a second grade origami artist had given to me and I jotted down the things she said. As I was cleaning off my desk this evening, I found my notes. I hope you find them as funny as I did. I write them in the order she said them.
How Not to Win the Woman of Your Dreams.
Listen up Men. Don't do the following:
~Display a cut-off photo of yourself with your ex-partner's head of hair still showing.
~Say you have bad news-you're unemployed and have physical disabilities.
~List 'sex' as one of your top four passions.
~Post a slouching mugshot of yourself.(She acted this one out.)
~Write a poem to 'your wife to be' on your third correspondence.
~Live in Iraq
.~Forget to put in your dentures for your profile shot.
~Call her 'baby' when you barely know her.
~Say you love her right away.
~Post your whole life's story from the time you were a child until the present.
~Say that you like to sew, especially dresses.
~Admit that you are a bomb specialist.
~Make it obvious that you have no life.
I hope this is helpful. ;) For what it's worth, I know of two couples that met on e-harmony or a similar website. One couple has been happily married for several years and another couple is just about ready to tie the knot.