Thursday, May 31, 2012

On love...

The love for equals is a human thing -
of friend for friend, of brother for brother.
It is to love what is loving and lovely.
The world smiles.

The love for the less fortunate is a beautiful thing-
for those who suffer, for those who are poor,
the sick, the failures, the unlovely.
This is compassion,
and it touches the heart of the world.

The love for the more fortunate is a rare thing-
to love those who succeed where we fail,
to rejoice without envy with those who rejoice,
the love of the poor for the rich,
of the black man for the white man.
The world is always bewildered
by its saints.

And then there is the love for the enemy-
love for the one who does not love you
but mocks, threatens, and inflicts pain.
The tortured’s love for the torturer.
This is God’s love.
It conquers the world.

-Fredrick Buechner The Magnificent Defeat

Amazing.  It precedes the Forward of my latest read. - what a hook!  Praise God. This hook holds all time and knowledge.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Trials and Triumph

Yesterday was our end of the year picnic, and as I looked across the lawn I noticed that one of my parents from last year looked as if she was growing a blessing bump.  I didn't want to ask because last year they had lost two babies in the first trimester.  E and I had lost two little ones in the fourth month before we were blessed with K.  I ended up being on bed rest for the entire rest of the pregnancy which ended with our little one coming a month early...just weeks after I'd graduated college.  It was a hard time in our lives... a trial - a time for God to grow us in knowing Him in the ways that only come with heartbreak and tumultuous circumstances.  I write that, because I understand the heartbreak that longing for children brings.
Anyway, this Momma found me at the end of the picnic and let me know that they were almost 18 weeks along.  I wanted to cry, I was so overjoyed.  E. and I have prayed for them several times over the last two years and it was wonderful to see what God was doing in their lives as she explained their journey.  The Momma talked of how that time of trial had actually been precious to them looking back, it also coincided with the economic downturn and hard times all around, but now as God was blessing them she was so excited to tell of God's goodness and faithfulness.
Later, yesterday we had bible study and as we were going through the ninth chapter of The Story Joseph and Judah  the pattern of building life's that God often uses was again brought to my mind.  God is not interested in what we accomplish if it is not intertwined with who He is making us to be.  What a loving Father we have.

Tuesday night, I picked up Leadership as an Identity. one of E.'s latest reads that I had been privy to through  excerpts he had read to me.  A good friend gave it to him earlier this month and now it is on my must read this summer list. This is a good summary...but you'll want to read the whole thing.

Don't waste...spiritual equity;  God is teaching you a greater capacity to know Him and to love Him more.  You are learning what it really means to need Him.  God loves it which we know that we need Him.  This "limp"  is your core credential as a leader. 
Samuel Chadwick states it this way, "It is wonderful what God can do with a broken heart if He gets all the pieces."

I just think of the passage in 2 Corinthians 4, "We have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not ourselves..."  Praise the Lord..

Monday, May 21, 2012

An end of the year poem

God make my life a little light,

Within the world to glow,--
A tiny flame that burneth bright,
Wherever I may go.

God make my life a little flower,
That giveth joy to all;--
Content to bloom in native bower
Although its place be small.

God make my life a little song,
That comforteth the sad;
That helpeth others to be strong,
And makes the singer glad.

God make my life a little staff
Whereon the weak may rest,--
That so what health and strength I have
May serve my neighbor best.

God make my life a little hymn
Of tenderness and praise,--
Of faith, that never waxeth dim,
In all His wondrous ways.

- Matilda B. Edwards

 I like this poem.  I just dug it up as the year is ending and we are sending our little ones on to the preschool.  They say a personality is set by the age of five and half of what we ever learn is done before the age of five.  I always think about that when I get the knowing, oh, your a babysitter look or comment.
My reply, at least in my mind, "Yes, absolutely, and what a great task and wonderful calling."  There wasn't one day this year, as I heard the Doxology called for after prayer or heard the baby catechism recited that it didn't bless my heart and humble me at the sweet calling of being a part of these "little hymns" lives. 

There are somethings that will always defy the law of supply and demand... children, relationship, love, and God --  no matter how much you have of them - they leave you longing for more - even when your proverbial plate is brimming.  It is, indeed, a wonder in the economy of God.  Praise be His name.

Ever heard of Tychicus?

I've heard of Eudacus - my mom used to joke, as she told the story, "You'da cussed too, if you'da fell out a window." - not easy to forget (I remember 30+ years later) but Tychicus, he's never been on my radar, not until this morning.

We were finishing up Titus and E. preached on how we are all called to be like Tychicus. Tychicus is found several other times in the scriptures (Acts 20:4; 1 Cor. 16:1-9; 2 Tim. 4:12;Eph. 6:4; Philemon 4:9; 1 Cor. 4:2 and Titus 3) and was very trusted by Paul; he carried the newly penned letters to the Colossians and Ephesians. Tychicus also took over Timothy's and Titus teaching/pastoring posts when they were called away. I didn't know that. Also, he was with Paul at least 3 or 4 years in his travels, that meant he had to leave his family and traveling was not jet setting back then - more like doom and diaster on the forecast. He stayed and helped Paul when he was in prison - what, did he rent a room and just hang out? I got to thinking, why hadn't I noticed him before? I also thought, wow! How are we to be like Tychicus?

We don't leave our families behind or brave bandits daily but.. in the realm of being a wife and mother, we spend our lives helping our perspective point guys work out details in their part of building the kingdom like Tychicus helped Paul; and honestly, most of us would rather not have our work details billboarded... dirty dishes, church casseroles, paperwork, dusting corners and wiping bottoms and noses are hardly noteworthy, but necessary none the less. And we are appreciated, as Tychicus was, and known, by our husbands and as they turn into parents, our children.

Another thing that stuck in my head was that Paul called Tychicus, a fellow bond-servant in the Lord,'sundoulos' which is translated slave. Paul honored him as a dearly beloved brother, a diakonos(servant), he highly esteemed. What a lovely picture of faithful stewardship is Tychicus. Eventhough, I had never stopped to find out about him, I found myself praying to be like Tychicus today, a servant found faithful behind the scenes.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

In need of a "haircut"

On Good Friday,

C. woke up and was looking at our living Easter basket, the grass had soaked up the week's unseasonable sunshine and the blades

threathened to swaddle up

Sunday's colored eggs entirely...

while C. ate his breakfast,

he examined it,

with a furrowed brow he stated,

"Auntie, this basket needs a haircut."

I concurred.


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Whispers in Pleasure and Shouts of Pain

Faith rather than panic, is the proper response, King Solomon, one of the wisest men whoeer lived, once said that wisdom is found by being cautious and by correctly understanding all the facts.  When we make decisions in a calm, prudent, and biblical manner, we know we are acting wisely.                      
When I tell people this they respond, "It's easy enough to say we shouldn't panic, but I can't help panicking in the circumstances.
I know exactly how they feel, we are facing events and decisions that tempt us to panic.  Yet the Bible teaches us we can maintain a positive, prudent attitude in the midst of crisis.   - Dr. D. James Kennedy Your Prodical Child
It's been quite a little while since I have indulged in big bin diving at our local Goodwill Outlet (you rummage through huge bins - pull your treasures and pay by the pound. Books - 59cents and other stuff $1.39/ pound).  What a deal, if you actually would by the stuff otherwise.  I often get this feeling that something good is there, I believe it to be God whisper.  It is silly, I know, but God is so good that he...."whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." and C.S.  Lewis so poignantly stated. I am thankful for the whispers of pleasure I find in a good rummage.  I wanted a pool for Caiden, and fully intended to get one of those cheap little round K-Mart dealies.  Surprise, I found the fold up kind -a more expensive version not to mention being space friendly, in the bins.- I also found Dr. D. James Kennedy's book, the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, and a few other little treasures. Set me back nine bucks and change and I smiled at the blessing. 

I had a sneaking suspicion Prodical would be a good read, but bristled at the title.  It's a great read and with larger print for old, night eyes - I easily skimmed and read through most of the book in the early hours of this morning. The Mc D's ice tea before heading to bed no doubt helped.
The natural disaster contributed to the son's repentance. - Dr. James Kennedy
All the miseries we endure are a profitable invitation to repentance.  - John Calvin
I found myself, once again, dealing with that nasty old heart issue - panic.  When crisis comes my temptation is shock and discombobulation.  God desires our response to be one of trust and belief. How many seconds of unfettered emotion is disobedience when I receive the initial jolt of coming tumult?  After all, delayed obedience is disobedience.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

An Apt response of heart...

I was feeling a little tug about my prior post.  It was harshly stated, and maybe appropriately so; however, I found an apt response in a familiar place... my books.

Books, good books - are good catalyst for the 180*'s that are ever necessary in us, as poor fallen creatures.  Highlighted or underlined passages, or old journal jottings are often just what God uses to call my heart to repentance.

I had to chuckle as I looked at the title this quote came from - as we are called to change not rant against the happening world. Albeit, changing is often labeled as ranting - but there again, I often need to check my motives. As in, how much of my rant is injustice and how much of it is a prideful gripe.

From - "On the Duty of Christianizing" - Thomas Chalmers
Eloquence may dazzle -and argument may compel  the homage of its intellectual admirers - and fashion may even, when these are wanting, sustain through its little hour of sunshine a complacent attendance on the reigning idol of the neighborhood--but it is only if armed with a panoply of scriptural truth, that there will gather and adhere to him a people who hunger for the bread of life, and who make a business of their eternity.
It is the church who stands against the rising tide of cultural folly.  Rise Up O, Men of God, for you the church doth wait, Rise Up, O, Men of God, and make Her great.  Grant it Lord Jesus.