Saturday, September 20, 2014

Easter Wrap-Up

This weekend our family is in need of prayer.  Our Meaghan is in the hospital and the situation is grim.  Yet I can assure you that no matter what happens, beyond the shadow of a doubt we are trusting and resting in the assurance of God's love, grace, mercy and peace, which He promises in abundance to His children.  Please join us in praying.  Thank you!


The grief of Friday.

The emptiness (and anticipation) of Saturday.

The overwhelming joy of Easter Sunday!

“Why do you seek the living One among the dead?  He is not here, but He has risen." 
(Luke 24:5-6 NASB) 


I hope that you made time to let it soak in this year.  I hope that you found a church that preaches the Bible yesterday.  I hope that the pastor of the church you attended spoke with the same passion that we found at our church.  I hope that after worship you were able to look around you and find the thrill of all that God has accomplished in your world over the past year.  

2013 was a challenging year for our extended family.  There was a stroke (in my generation, not my parents'), two of my in-laws lost fathers, there was the tree-incident, little Judah's birth and rushing over to the NICU across town, and there was a cancer diagnosis.  In the middle of all of that, Mr. Marvelous had a back injury that kept him off work for about 6 weeks, pneumonia, a probable torn meniscus in his knee, and his on-going, monthly bout of respiratory infection.  

BUT GOD....

My brother is completely healed from his stroke.

 The in-laws have the comfort of the assurance of heaven for their fathers.

Matt is so much recovered from the tree-incident that he is back to working on trees.

Judah was home by Thanksgiving and is doing great.  The doctors find no residual effects from his early birth and illness.

Nancy is half-way through chemotherapy.  Not only does she look great, she was able to hostess the Easter gathering this year!

Mr. Marvelous is doing well this month and has found some good doctors who are a tremendous help to him.  


And we are thankful for all of it.

But I can tell you right here and right now, that no matter what, whether we had seen all these amazing miracles and all these evidences of grace poured out on us or not, God is good.

It's not about what we have or what we get.  It is all about the eternal hope we have through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  My family does not lead a charmed life.  We have had 
(and continue to have!) our struggles and trials.  But in every trial, every hard situation, every dark moment, we have the confidence and assurance that a loving God is in control of every aspect of our lives.  To quote the hymn, "Our hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus' blood and righteousness".  Not on having good times, good health, financial success.  Only on Jesus' blood and righteousness.  


  Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.  I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:11-13  NASB

May His peace, His mercy, and His grace fill your hearts and your homes this year!


 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday


I promise this is real and not photo-shopped.
That was our front sidewalk.
The other end was over on the driveway.



As you go through your day today and through your weekend, please pray for my niece Meaghan.
Thank you.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Names

For an explanation of the Names Project, please see this post.  Thanks!

My Names Project has slowed down the past month or so.  I have been focusing on other Bible studies and other books of the Bible.  Earlier this week I went back to Jeremiah and got back to work.  I was reading in the thirty-ninth chapter about the conquest of Jerusalem by the Babylonians.  In the fortieth chapter we are told that Jeremiah remained in Jerusalem after the initial deportation of God's people.  Then in the forty-first chapter God tells the story of how Gedeliah, the appointed Governor, was murdered.  That is the back story for what happens in the forty-second chapter. 

God's people have been left in Judah.  These are "the poor people who owned nothing" (Jeremiah 39:10).  The people are distressed and anxious.  They are few in number and their Governor has been murdered.  They come to Jeremiah and ask him to please pray to "The Lord your God" on their behalf.  Did you catch that?  "The Lord your God".  Twice they ask the question and both times they refer to Him as Jeremiah's God.  Jeremiah hears their request and he answers and agrees to pray to "The Lord your God".  Isn't that wonderful?  He is reminding them WHO God is; He is not just the God of the prophet Jeremiah ~ He is THEIR God.  The people then respond to Jeremiah and promise obedience to whatever "The Lord your God" tells them through Jeremiah.  I was on the verge of rolling my eyes and thinking, "Didn't they get it?!" when I went on to verse 6.  There they promise Jeremiah that they will obey whatever "The Lord Our God" tells them to do.  Twice they affirm that God is not just Jeremiah's God; He is Their God too!

The remainder of the chapter, and the next chapter too, are not encouraging.  Things don't get immediately and remarkably better for God's people.  In fact, for another season of time, they get worse!

But there was one moment when the sun shone through the clouds and God's people saw that one little patch of God-Light.




It is my prayer today that you and I may boldly claim to everyone around us, "The Lord is MY God".


 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Books

I am, and always have been, a book worm.  I love to read, primarily (though not exclusively) fiction.


When I was growing up the one thing I did not like about summer time was the lack of book reports as an excuse to read.

When I was in college I longed for breaks because then I could read whatever I wanted!  That was my definition of pure unadulterated bliss.

There are a number of funny stories in our family about books and my penchant for reading.  I might share one or two of them with you some Monday.

Sadly, we are a house divided on the issue of what makes a good book.  If you live in Alabama, you understand that "house divided" phrase.  Around here it is used to describe a home where one family member is a rabid Auburn fan, and the other a rabid Alabama fan (I know, I know; that adjective is redundant because there is no other type of Auburn or Alabama fan).  The division is almost as strong in our home.  Mr. Marvelous rarely reads fiction.  Bless his heart!  I rarely read non-fiction.

Over the years we have reached an uneasy tolerance for each others' peculiarities of taste.  He accepts that I love fiction (or what he refers to as fluff), and I accept that ~ bless his heart! ~ he does not (with the exception of anything written by Frank Peretti, Pat McManus, and most of Ted Dekker's books).

Recently I ran out of books.  It was a desperate feeling!  I posted the crisis on Facebook and received a few suggestions (thanks, Ladies).  My sister-in-law posted that she was shocked that I was asking for suggestions; I should be the one giving suggestions.  I let that percolate for a while and decided that I needed to add a category to the trusty blog posts: Good Books

Stay tuned!

One of the large cast-iron book alcoves that lined the Main Hall.
The Old Cincinnati Public Library courtesy of Buzzfeed.  Oh, how I wish!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Kitchen Window September 15, 2014

Ever so slowly the view is starting to change.  In the winter it seems that it stays bare forever.  In the summer it stays green (or dry brown!) for eons.  We are about to hit that season, though, when things change daily.





Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Memories Our Family and Books

One morning when Junior was eleven years old, I noticed that he seemed rather sleepy at breakfast.  We had the following conversation:

"Are you alright?"

"Yes Ma'am"

"Did you sleep well?"

"No Ma'am"

"Were you ill?"

"No Ma'am"

"Did you stay up too late?"

"Yes Ma'am"

"How late were you up?"

At this he looked a little sheepish and finally confessed, "I think it might have been until 3?"

"THREE a.m.???!!!!"

"Uhm.  Yes Ma'am?"

"Why in the world were you up until three o'clock in the morning??!!"

"Uhm, well, remember when we went to the library yesterday?  I found a book."

"Oh.  Okay."  What could I say at this point?  He was being just like me!

"Well, what book was it?"

"Ben Hur"

"Ohhhhhh.....I see!  How many pages is that book?"

"I think it is about three or four hundred pages.  I didn't start reading it until after supper and I just couldn't stop and then it was really, really late, but I thought I could finish it, so I did.  And you said I could not watch the movie til I finished the book......"

"It is a good book.  Did you like it?"

(grinning now) "Yes Ma'am, it was great!"

We talked about what he had learned, which included things like,
  1. Was that really what things were like then, or was that just what the author thought things were like back then?
  2. The issue of slavery during the time of Jesus and in the Roman Empire
  3. As a nurse, had I ever had a patient with leprosy?
  4. What was leprosy anyway? 
  5. Could such a story really have happened?
  6. What was the plot of the book (you get that answer by saying something innocuous like, "Tell me about the book; it's been a long time since I have read it....")  
And so we had covered for that day lessons in History, Literature, Health, Social Sciences, and Bible.  He went back to bed until lunch time.  I really couldn't fuss at him too much considering how many nights I have stayed up to do the exact same thing.  I was rather proud of the fact that my son had read Ben Hur in one sitting at the age of eleven.
Just for the record, it is still not that unusual for someone in our house to be up until midnight ~ or later ~ to finish a good book.  We do have a few of them!

Image © Johns Hopkins
Photo Courtesy of Designed To Improve Life.  I just WISH it were my library!


Friday, September 05, 2014

Friday!

Mr. Marvelous and I went for a walk around and about last night.  We found some interesting things.

Have you ever seen these?


I have.  I have liked them and wished for a set.

I discovered that I don't need a set; we have the natural kind.



 The natural ones are much more interesting and imaginative.



Happy Friday!