Saturday, October 30, 2010

Our Part in Prayer

I often wonder about why and how it is that prayer works, in many ways it is a mystery of faith, faith in the person and work of Christ, in the Providence of God the Father, in the comfort of His Spirit. When I read about Christians being persecuted, think about friends with tragic health issues, or dwell on the garden-variety of everyday difficulties as I pray I wonder - What is the of talking with God, is it for me, is it for Him, is it for them? Well, I know it's not for God, he is perfectly complete within Himself and has no need for my relationship with Him, His love is fully "Gift" Love for me. My love for Him is mostly Need Love, and that mostly is generous, in that it should be stated as entirely "Need" love. How is it that we come to pray for others, and trust God to not only hear but consider our desires, or rather are our prayers in answer to His Spirit's bidding and He has already ordained the answer to what we ask?

As we prayed about the election today, I was reminded of a tweet I'd read on a blog that something like... Come Wednesday morning we can be sure that God is still King. Don't get me wrong - once E. returns we'll be voting, issues and canidates picked to the best of our ability with Kingdom criteria however, it is God who raises leaders, not one is in place without His consent.

I liked the following piece on prayer..The full article can be found here

Prayer is our way of seeking what we lack, which God has the power to bestow.

Prayer always recognises that God will answer all our prayers in accordance with his purposes, and that these purposes are always infinitely glorifying to him and always perfectly good (viewed from his [eternal] perspective, and measured according to what God regards as valuable) for his people (Romans 8:28).

Therefore every unanswered prayer (for health, marriage, the safety of a loved one, employment, friendship, life, breath and anything else) provides an opportunity to say to our heavenly Father:

“You are my loving Lord, and you know what’s best for your people. I can see that you’ve decided not to bestow (yet?) what I asked for, despite the fact that I can’t help thinking that it would be far better for me if you were to do so. So I praise you, heavenly Father, for

(1) this opportunity to re-think what is really ‘good’ for me;

(2) the greater blessings that you have in store, towards which this as-yet unanswered prayer is working;

(3) this fire in which you are refining my faith by requiring me to trust in your goodness and love even when it’s harder than ever to do so;

(4) the opportunities that the coming days, weeks and years may bring for me to praise you as I see some of the details of your sovereign plan working out;

(5) the future that certainly lies ahead in the New Creation, where I will praise you for your intricately-woven goodness and wisdom, where I will see finally and fully what I now see only by faith – that all things truly do work together for the good of those who are in Christ.”

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Worry Stones, Memory Stone... What to choose.. What to choose?

K had an allergic reaction to a nut that found it's way into spinach dip at Applebee's (cross contamination). She went there earlier this evening to study and to treat herself after the ACT on Sat. Once she ate the nut and had the reaction, she took Bendryll pills and liquid, drank ice water and soda- All the appropriate first line actions. She called her Dad, he immediately drove to her.
After a couple hours E., with K. reaction allayed and in tow, picked me up from the friend's house where we'd been visiting when he got K's call.

About this time last year, was when E. almost died in Morocco from a reaction to a bite of fish - he thought it was chicken. It was late, and with no local Doc accessible, and having decided to leave his epipen home on that particularly international trip ( he's never needed one in past 20 years - but has carried it), it was serious and life threatening. Our doctor friend was able to call on the few minutes left on his phone and explain a triage cocktail of the meds he had available. Obviously, it worked, we were thankful. For the several hours, about 12, I was unable to contact him I fluctuated between praying, being a complete mess, and quite frankly both. My faithlessness was palatable; as was my gratitude when I finally heard his faint, scratchy voice on the other end of the line.

Enter this weekend! On Friday night, K called and let me know that she had ordered a salad at Wendy's to take to her evening of sitting, when she checked the label anchovies were in the ingredients. She hadn't eaten anything, threw the salad away, and was fine just "starving" so I ran her some dinner. Good Job K!

Fast forward to me getting into the car this evening and the aftermath of listening to tonight's Applebee's story.
Me - "Did you have your Epipen?"
Her - "I took both my Bendrylls, I called Dad, and got in the car to drive to him."
Me - "Are you telling me you left a public place and didn't let anyone know you were having an allergic reaction!" (Decimals rising quickly)
Her - "Mom, nobody cared, no one would have even probably helped."
Me - "Do you not realize you could have died!...(3 minute tirade of possible anaphyllactic scenarios)"

At the same time I was tirading outwardly toward my kiddo, there was a very calm conversation going on inside my head. It went like this..."Why are you yelling, you are not speaking what you want to here. Tell her you are so glad she is alive, Praise God. Tell her you are thankful she had her Benadryll, That she acted quickly, that she called her Dad. that it was not worse and that she's not in the hospital - or that she's not __________" Dead, that was the word in the fog of my brain that I could not say even to myself. "You could have died" is only a presumption, and therefore easily said as opposed to "You are not dead" which is another proposition all together.

Within the hour, I had apologized for my disconbobulation, and we were all laughing and carrying on about the Titans win.

I've mulled over this post a couple days, we read Colossians 3 this morning, the Truth there, made me smile; it gives me hope. It admonishes that Christ is all hope, that we are to put off the old self, that we are to act in goodness, encouraging eachother in the truths of God and give thanks. That is the "stuff" right thinking is made of.

Right there in the middleof the chapter, appropriately CENTER it has these few little words... I am thinking that it is the theme of this year for me.

...but Christ is all, and in all.

The Church's One Foundation

The Church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord,
She is His new creation
By water and the Word.
From heaven He came and sought her
To be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her,
And for her life He died.

Elect from every nation,
Yet one over all the earth;
Her charter of salvation,
One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses,
Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses,
With every grace endued.

Though with a scornful wonder
Men see her sore oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder,
By heresies distressed,
Yet saints their watch are keeping;
Their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song.

Second only to Be Thou My Vision, I love this hymn. God is provident, eternal and the prime mover. He is indeed in and through all, it is truly His "every grace endued" that calls us to not only to humility, but to shout His praise.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Knowledge and Wisdom

Knowledge and Wisdom, far from being one,
Have ofttimes no connection, Knowledge dwells
In heads replete with thoughts of other men;
Wisdom in minds attentive to their own.
Knowledge, a rude unprofitable mass,
The mere material with which Wisdom builds,
Till smoothed, and squared and fitted to its place,
Does but encumber whom it seems t'enrich.
Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much;
Wisdom is humble that he knows no more.
-William Cowper

Written for Kids....? Good fodder for Adults

I picked up the Book of Virtues last week from the Goodwill Bargain Bin. We've had at least 3 copies in our pilgrimages, over the years. I was browsing through "Courage" this morning and found this advertisement encased in a small black-lined box in newspaper typeset. Interested?

MEN WANTED FOR HAZARDOUS JOURNEY. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.
- Ernest Shackleton (pictured)

British Antarctic Explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922) placed this ad in London Newspapers in 1900 in preparation for the National Antarctic Expedition (which subsequently failed to reach the South Pole). Shackleton later said of the call for volunteers that "it seems as though all the men in Great Britain were determined to accompany me, the response was so overwhelming." Book of Virtues, W. Bennett, p.493

It made me chuckle because of my visceral response in thinking of the spiritual parallel to this. Life can sometimes feels like an Antarctic Adventure with Christ. Shackleton's snipet challenges me to consider my responses to Christ in the more difficult seasons of passage. Hmmm....sounds a bit like...
"If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels." -The Lord Jesus

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Gift I admire...

True politeness consists in being easy one's self, and in making every one about one as easy as one can. - Alexander Pope

The ability to make others feel that they are special is a gift, my mom and E. have this gift. They've never met a stranger. It's magnetic.... I like that.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Book Venture ...

I went "dumpster diving" for books this morning and met a few book sellers. I want to learn how to choose and sell books more effectively, so I jumped out of my comfort zone and asked a man what he was going to do "with all the books in his cart". He stated he makes his living by selling books. Another gentleman was stacking his cart of books at the counter so I asked him the same thing. Here is what they said I should do. Get what you like...Find a Niche...Invest and Learn!
Incidentally, I heard this back in July from a friend.

I've decided I like older books best, there is something soothing about holding an old antiquated looking book; as far a genres I prefer literature,textbooks (good homeschool titles sell), large coffee table books(a few $2 investments might yield a good return one of these days), biographies, personal journals and poetry. If I think something will sell well - I usually try it.

Finds of the day:Merchant of Venice in the Ten Cent Pocket Version ,- Several of the 1900's Arden Shakespeare Series, Fabulae Faciles - A First Latin Primer , The Woolcott Reader

Monday, October 11, 2010

On Little Girls

A & L, the 4 & 7 year old girls of a friend, have been visiting on Mondays for about a month while mom is at class. They are now very comfortable in our home and we thoroughly enjoy having them.
It is such a blessing to have the burst of little girl energy and emotion around. The hugs and laughter makes me tempted to start on a second batch. Not really. We have a great time with them AND I had almost forgotten how very loud chase and tickle time can get around here.
L, the oldest, is very similar in nature to K. and is a no- nonsense kind of tom boy who is very matter of fact. She can not only "take it", but she can dish it too. A, the littler one, who is an auburn, doe eyed beauty, is all girlie-girl. IT is fun to watch her roller coaster up and down her emotions. We are now comfortable enough to insist on a no whining rule. However, it is easy enough to remember just how real and devastating it felt to wait for your choice of a special story. Our Evening:

Stories of the day
Chatting and tickles
Chase time
Choosing Decorating and eating cupcakes
Washing faces, Brushing teeth
Tucked into Couch - Foot wars
Hugs, Whimpers
Sleep .......and all in the span of three hours...Phew!
"Little girls are the nicest things that happen to people." -Allen Beck

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake, I am still with you. Psalm 139

Hard to imagine, some people throw little ones away.Inconceivable.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

God Doesn't Stay Second Place ...

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Don't be deceived, my dear brothers.Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. - James

We've been going through the book Judges at Church and also at a Bible study. Judges deals with the idols of the heart. God doesn't stay second place, He will always insist on first, for our own good. HE alone is good.

Derek Webb's song,"The Wedding Dress" has a line -
"So could you love this bastard child, though I don't trust you to provide..."

It always comes down to TRUST, trusting HIM to be all and in and through all. That is a lesson, I am ever learning. May my lips praise you and ever say, "Lord pull me back to Center, for it is In and through You all things hold together."

When we are faithless yet He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. - Hebrews

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Psalm 128
Blessed Is Everyone Who Fears the LORD
A Song of Ascents.
1Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD,
who walks in his ways!
2You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.
3Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
around your table.
4Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
who fears the LORD.
5 The LORD bless you from Zion!
May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life!
6May you see your children’s children!
Peace be upon Israel!

Sermon on Fearing the Lord - Fear is reverence, respect, honor and trust. It always comes down to the question, where is my trust, or more correctly, in whom do I place my trust? Is it about me or HIM?

A Few Quotes on the Psalm:

Blessings are tangible, blessings are real, blessings are in the ordinary as well as the extraordinary, blessings are kingdom shaped, blessings are long term as well as now. - Pastor Hayhow - Emmanuel Evangelical Church, London

Joy, which was the small publicity of the pagan, is the gigantic secret of the christian. - GK Chesterton

We accept the announced and proclaimed truth that God is at the center of our existence... - Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Directionp.120

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The best of all the preachers are the men who live their creed. -Edgar Guest

Hmmmm? College Route

We met with an enrollment officer at A. College. It was a nice meeting. Seems like a authentic environment. The value for the sanctity of life is very evident. The 2 year program that bridges to a BSN would be an excellent fit. Not a lot of fluff in course work. We'll still look at a few other colleges and pray for the right course to be evident.
It is fun K. that you did a presentation today about a T map and well, you are more coincidentally mapping the course of your life. This should be fun.
We went to heart attack shack, otherwise known as Checker's, to celebrate. They do have great fries. You said, "I'm really glad they don't have campus housing, I want to live at home. I don't think I'd like dorms." On that - we agree. We want you to live at home and we don't like dorms either.
Then, once stuffed and happy, we started talking many some of the ways that God has given us peace in this course.
Pretty amazing.
Proud of you Kiddo.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A thought that caught my attention

While at study tonight, during prayer, someone prayed that we would be able to distinguish the not only the good from the bad, but the good from the best. I have heard that somewhere before, and the Spirit of the Lord kept impressing the latter part on me. Settling for good is second rate, when God intends our best.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law,the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.James 1:22-25

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

$.42 worth from a Quotation Dicitonary

There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness. - Countess of Blessington (Are you Kidding? Is this an actual name? Really!)

Natural abilities are like natural plants; they need pruning by study. - Francis Bacon

This is no time for ease and comfort. It is a time to dare and endure. - Winston Churchill

The first and simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind is curiosity. - Edmund Burke

There is danger when a man throws his tongue into high gear before he gets his brain a-going. -C.C. Phelps

The ship of heaven guides itself and will not accept a wooden rudder. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army. -Edward Everett

Exaggeration is truth that has lost its temper. - Kahlil Gibran

Expedients are for the hour. Principles for the ages. - Henry Ward Beecher

An extravagance is anything you buy that is of no earthly use to your wife. -Franklin P. Jones (So glad it doesn't go both ways =o} O.J.)

I always prefer to believe the best of everybody-it saves so much trouble. - Rudyard Kipling

Familiar acts are beautiful through love. -PB Shelley

A happy family is but an earlier heaven. -John Bowring

The family is one of nature's masterpieces. -George Santayana

The greatest firmness is the greatest mercy. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Always let your flattery be seen through for what really flatters a man is that you think him worth flattering. -George Bernard Shaw

The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do. - Eric Hoffer

Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity. -Kahlil Gibran

And gain is gain no matter how small. - Robert Browning
(This is going with my running quotes)

For everything you have missed you have gained something. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

If there is any truer measure of a man than by what he does, it must be by what he gives. - Robert South

Little girls are the nicest things that happen to people. -Allen Beck

A little girl is innocence playing in the mud, Beauty standing on its head, and Motherhood dragging a doll by its foot. - Allen Beck

Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues but the parent of all the others. -Cicero

While grief is fresh, every attempt to divert only irritates. you must wait till it be digested, and then amusement will dissipate the rest of it. _Samuel Johnson

Habit, if not resisted, soon become necessity. - St. Augustine

Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length. -Robert Frost

I will never permit myself to stoop so low as to hate any man. _ Booker T. Washington

The main object of religion is not to get man into heaven but to get heaven into him. -Thomas Hardy

Home interprets heaven. Home is heaven for beginners.-Charles H. Pankhurst

The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons. - Ralph Waldo Emerson (Beware of Saddam's "magic spoons")

It was pride that changed angels to devils; it is humility that makes men as angels. -St. Augustine

A man isn't poor if he can still laugh. -Raymond Hitchcock

There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come. -Victor Hugo

Imagination is a quality given to a man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is. -Oscar Wilde

Slight small injuries and they will become none at all. -Thomas Fuller

There are no uninteresting things, there are only uninterested people. -GK Chesterton

The best portion of a good man's life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love. -William Wordsworth

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. -Victor Hugo

The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and will to carry on. -Walter Lippmann

The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost. -GK Chesterton

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Somethings You only get to say a few times in your Life


I did wait 10 days just to make sure the wounds had healed a little, that way you'll be less likely to choke while congratulating me on MY team's good game!

Thanks! I'll shut up now...and never mention it again. =0|