Tuesday, January 27, 2009

In Other Words---The Next Step

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"Take the first step in faith.
You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."
Martin Luther King, Jr.



More than once in the last few days, I've been reminded that delayed obedience is disobedience. I, as a parent, understand that. When I tell my children to do something, I expect them to act quickly and appropriately. But as a child of God, I'm not so diligent.

I hear the call to obey, and I ask for more direction. I see the way to go, and I ask God for confirmation. It is human nature to want to see the path in front of us. And when you couple human nature with a type A, sometimes OCD personality, well...details are required.

But God doesn't always provide details. Just as this quote from MLK, Jr reminds us, God only requires the first step. The step He shows us. Then he expects the next step, and then the next, until finally we reach the result.

I'll never forget visiting Megiddo on our trip to the Holy Land. Our guide took us through a 215 foot tunnel that would have been used to get to the spring for water during times of attack. It was narrow and steep and very dark even with the few lights that had been added for tourists benefit. (I can't find our pictures of it, but if you go to flickr and search Megiddo there are some good pictures. A ramp has been added for tourists since we were there.) Our guide asked us how we would have maneuvered the tunnel with a candle for light and a water jug full of water. Of course, none of us knew. He then explained, the little lantern would have been attached to our feet so our hands were free for the jug. It would have lit the next step and nothing more.



Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Psalm 119:105



We can only ever expect the next step to be lit. We just need to walk in faith.

Father, help me to trust you for the next step. Help me respond quickly to your call. Let me not become disobedient by waiting for the whole picture when you are only giving a snippet. Amen.

Today's hostess is Denise at Shortybears Place. Please join us there.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Promised Birthday pictures

Here are a few of the promised pictures from the birthday party. Think you will agree all had a great time!

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Thanks for looking!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Stitching Post Saturday

It's Saturday again! Time for a Stitching post.

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Here are the girls with the quilted throws I made them for Christmas. Flower can't seem to hold hers the right way for a picture! They love the maps, and it does the homeschooling mama's heart good to hear them say, "Now where was Ecuador?" a few hours after studying the life of Jim Elliot!

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Here is my progress on Flag Sampler. Only 9 1/2 more states to go!

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This was completed for a Round Robin for a friend's sports-mad son.

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Please link to any stitching posts you have made this week. I'd love to see your current projects. Also, please note that there will not be a Stitching Post next Saturday (the 31st) because I plan to be making memories with my family and not turning on my computer. I'll be back on the 7th of February with, hopefully, some finishes and gifts I can show off.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Flower

Four years ago, I missed all the inauguration coverage on television because I had an OB appointment to schedule an induction for my second baby who was becoming quite tardy in making her appearance.

But that induction appointment was unnecessary, because at 8 p.m. it became apparent that she was indeed going to make her entry.

And at 10:21 p.m. our little Flower was born.
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Saturday, she celebrated the day with a bouncy castle and 20 of her friends. It was a glorious day! I'll post the pictures when I get them downloaded off German's camera.

Today, I'm a little melancholy because my baby is FOUR!


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Happy Birthday sweetheart!

In Other Words--Who's in Power?

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"This is my Father's world
Oh let me ne'er forget
That tho the wrong seems oft so strong
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father's world
Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let heaven's ring!
God reigns: Let the earth be glad!
~Maltbie D. Babcock~


Today, a quiet revolution takes place in Washington, D.C. One man steps aside from power, another takes on the mantle. It is truly a remarkable thing every single time this happens because it is a peaceful exchange according to the wishes of the citizens who took the time to vote two months before. Countries all across the world have no understanding of how power can exchange quietly and peacefully. They have only ever witnessed it in violent taking over, not in calm exchange. It amazes me each and every time I witness it. Some elections it thrills me to see the new leader take his place (and in our history it has been his place although I'm open to God calling a woman to that role). Other years, I've watched with some trepidation. But the actual witness of democracy in action amazes me.

But, as remarkable as this day is it is just a day. As historical a moment as it ever is when a president is inaugurated, and even more historical that today the country demonstrates how far from the Civil Rights Movement we have evolved, the president is just a person. As much power as is given to the office of President, that power is still limited. The role of President is important, but the person who holds that role does so with the permission of God. God still holds ultimate control over HIS world. God does not relinquish His power. God does not abdicate His office. And that my friends is GOOD NEWS!

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
~Romans 13:1-2~

If today is a day that you are thrilled to watch, be careful to celebrate the moment without worshiping the man. Be careful to remember that he is there by the grace of God. If today is a day in which you in hold trepidation, be careful not to bestow too much power to the man. Be careful to remember that God has not abdicated His authority. Whichever camp you are in today, the most important thing any of us can do is PRAY. Pray that the man, our new President, is bestowed wisdom and courage and leadership for the tasks at hand. Pray that his family will be held in the protective hands or our Redeemer. Pray that the people around the Office of President and the Obama family will be people of good character, sound judgment and pure motives. Just pray. That is what we are called to do before God.


I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior"
~1 Timothy 2:1-3~


Loni is our hostess today. Please join us at Writing Canvas.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Spectacular Sins book club---post 1



I am joining in with a book club hosted by Missy and Lisa at The Preacher's Wife. The book being discussed is Spectacular Sins (and their global purpose in the glory of Christ) by John Piper. Mr. Piper is a writer/theolgian that I respect immensely and I am looking forward to this study. However, I do not anticipate it being an easy read. In fact, we have only read through the introduction and I'm already hugely challenged! The main discussion between participants will take place within the comments of Lisa's blog. However, I'm going to also post my answers here each time. So feel free to join us there or here. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this challenging subject.

1. Let's ease into this. I'm a huge quote girl so tell us, what is your favorite quote from the Introduction? What about it resonated with you? (Try to keep the quote to two sentences. I only say that because I find myself quoting entire paragraphs!) "The Great Commission is not child's play. It is costly. Very costly." (p. 13) The things in my life that cost a lot, I am more likely to cherish. They are the things that I give the most care. Yet, honestly, I take the privilege of sharing the good news of the gospel for granted. It doesn't cost me much to share. Maybe a little pride or some of my time but not much else. If I could really take to heart that it was and still is COSTLY to give me the good news to share, I would treasure it more, show it to others more and be much more willing to act.

2. Piper opens the book by describing the most spectacular sin ever committed - that of the murder of Jesus Christ. What does he say the commission of this sin actually accomplished? (p.12, paragraph 2) How do you interpret the phrase, "He made evil commit suicide in doing its worse evil"? He says that it actually accomplished the overcoming of evil. His visual that Evil actually committed suicide is strong. Satan was at his most evil in triumph as Jesus hung from the cross. But that very act of putting Jesus on the cross was what would defeat Satan and death forever. Evil destroyed itself (for eternity) when it murdered Jesus. I find the words hard to create, but the imagery of this thought captures and enraptures me.

3. How is evil defined? (p.12, paragraph 3) How does the understanding that "the apex of evil achieved the apex of the glory of Christ" impact your thinking? How will you allow this truth to shape your thinking when you are tempted to ask 'why' in the midst of calamity? Evil is defined as "anything and everything opposed to the fullest display of the glory of Christ." I dichotomize my thinking too much. I tend to think "Death was defeated on the cross," "God was glorified in the Jesus' death and resurrection because that sacrifice defeated my (and everyone else's) sin," and "Satan manipulated to get Jesus crucified." I rarely think that last phrase in conjunction with the first two. However, that is exactly what this book is calling us to do. It calls us to join together Satan's evil manipulation and the glorification of the Father through the circumstances and consequences of the action. I'm finding that difficult to truly wed those thoughts in my head, even when I can see the soundness in the theology. As I learn to wed those together, hopefully I will begin to be able to answer the "why" questions with a definitive "for the glory of God" answer. I'll admit, I'm not there yet!

4. I was stopped cold when I read, "The coddled Western world will sooner or later give way to great affliction. And when it does, whose vision of God will hold? And also, "Christians in the West are weakened by wimpy worldviews. And wimpy worldviews make wimpy Christians." (p. 13 paragraph 4). Continuing along that line of thought, what false teachings do you recognize as being popular but unable to prepare us for catastrophe? In what ways have you discovered you've been influenced by those those lies? I just see a generation (or two or three) of church leaders who are timid to speak strongly against behaviors and call sin, sin. There is a sense of "everyone really will be okay in the end" even when the message they say they believe is Jesus is the only way to heaven. We have lost a sense of accountability to one another that will help strengthen us against dangers in times to come. There is, in my own experience (so maybe not generally), less emphasis on bringing your Bible to church and reading the passages for yourself. We allow someone else to read to us, not necessarily noting the words or tone of the written passage ourself. This will so inadequately prepare us to have the Word in our own hearts for the day of trouble to come. (Psalm 119:10-11; John 14:21,30-31; 1 Peter 4:12-19)

5. Piper states that the purpose of Spectacular Sins is not "to meet felt needs, but to awaken needs that will soon be felt, and then to save your faith and strengthen your courage when evil prevails." (p. 16) If you feel compelled, share a time when evil prevailed in your own life. Refer back to Question Two and give God praise if He has revealed how that evil served His glory. Also feel free to note any relevant Scripture God used for your healing. I know this will be a difficult exercise for many. Please know we will be so tender with your responses and will pray with you if you are in a place of suffering. I can see times that God has clearly delivered me from things that were intended as evil, yet I don't feel that those things can be discussed in a public forum. I can say that the reassurance that "Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4) is a tremendous source of comfort during those types of trials.

In closing, Psalm 39 just really spoke to me as I was thinking of living in days of darkness and waiting upon God to show His glory in His church across the globe. Maybe it will speak to you as well:

I said, "I will watch my ways
and keep my tongue from sin;
I will put a muzzle on my mouth
as long as the wicked are in my presence."

But when I was silent and still,
not even saying anything good,
my anguish increased.

My heart grew hot within me,
and as I meditated, the fire burned;
then I spoke with my tongue:

"Show me, O LORD, my life's end
and the number of my days;
let me know how fleeting is my life.

You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Each man's life is but a breath.
Selah

Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro:
He bustles about, but only in vain;
he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.

"But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.

Save me from all my transgressions;
do not make me the scorn of fools.

I was silent; I would not open my mouth,
for you are the one who has done this.

Remove your scourge from me;
I am overcome by the blow of your hand.

You rebuke and discipline men for their sin;
you consume their wealth like a moth—
each man is but a breath.
Selah

"Hear my prayer, O LORD,
listen to my cry for help;
be not deaf to my weeping.
For I dwell with you as an alien,
a stranger, as all my fathers were.

Look away from me, that I may rejoice again
before I depart and am no more."

Sunday, January 18, 2009

ENGAGE--update 1

This post could have been titled "Be Careful What you Pray For!" To not lose some of the sense of awe of God's moving, I want to record an update on my New Year's Meditation to Engage.

One of the dreams of this year was to be more deliberate in hospitality. Since I wrote that on January 2, here is what has happened:
*I made a deliberate effort to have extra lunch available on January 4 so German could invite a young man he mentors home for lunch after church. Unfortunately that young man was away. While at church on the 4th our house group made impromptu plans to attend a concert together on the 10th.
*On Monday the 5th I emailed the house group inviting them to dinner at our place before the concert.
*On the 10th we all gathered to eat, then had a great time at the concert. In God' provision, there was sandwich fixings left over. :-)
*On Sunday the 11th, a gentleman from San Antonio visited our church. In visiting with him, German determined that he was here for a few months and his wife would be joining him for a few weeks beginning in February. German invited him to lunch, then told me we would have an extra for lunch. Thank you Lord for the extra sandwich stuff! We had a delightful visit, have much in common and are on our way to being friends. His wife and I immediately began corresponding answering questions she has about life in England.
*Saturday (17th) we hosted Flower's birthday party at church. We entertained 20 kids and 30 adults and had a blast.
*The young man German mentors had lunch with us today (in fact they are still meeting). Another chance to pour blessing into his life...and to be blessed by how God is at work in him.
*Later today the house group will meet to begin our next study.

In case you lost count, that is five opportunities to host people in our home (and at the church for the party). And it is only the 18th! I am so encouraged by the people around me. And I'm thrilled God is using this home to encourage other people. It is truly a blessing.

And that concert? It was a child evangelist and Jewel has been encouraged in her seeking by it. Furthermore, the Ladies Bible study is progressing well. What a great start to January!

One more thing. Here is my second memory verse for 2009. May I allow God's purpose to prevail over my flimsy plans.

Many are the plans in a man's heart,
but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21


God bless you all! Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Stitching Post Saturday

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These are prizes I stitched for a contest sponsored on a message board. I don't think any of the recipients come here, so I can show them off.


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I also finished a quilt, but the recipient comes here so I'll wait to post the pics. More next week. Thanks for stopping by!

Please link to your latest needlework project, if that is your thing! I'm sure others would love to see!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thankful Thursday





Iris chose to speak of the possibilities that she is thankful for in her post today. Again, I'm going to follow her theme because it is fitting.

*Last evening, after a lengthy discussion, our church agreed to a trial period of running a concurrent youth service on Sunday mornings. This is a way to bridge the gap between the 30-40 kids who come for fun things on Fridays, 2/3 of which are from unchurched homes, to church attendance. The vision is to have a service that they will be enticed by, and involved in. German and I decided last night that we need to be on this team to ENGAGE with these young people. What possibilities to impact people for the KINGDOM!

*We are still fleshing out what are the possibilities for the future in terms of German's job. Here or somewhere else we are so thankful that God already knows where we are going.

*My Bible Study group is choosing our next point of study. I am thankful for the possibilities of growth and accountability in the studies being discussed.

*Our house group begins a new study this weekend. Thanking God that He is allowing German and me to lead a study we have desired to lead for five years! Realizing that His timing is perfect, I'm thankful that we did not push ahead in this desire when we first began to pray about it.

What are you thankful for today? What possibilities are in your foresight that you need to stop and pray "Thank you" today? Please join us at Grace Alone as we share our thanksgiving with God and with each other.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

In Other Words--Measure Words

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"Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."
~Mother Theresa~


The echoes of all words are endless. Many of us hear the words that have been spoken to us for years to come. We replay the tapes. We feel in our souls the elation or the pain that those words brought. The rippling effect of what is said can last a very long time.

So we must ask ourselves, when the people around us think about us in years to come will they hear harsh words or will they hear kindness? I'm sure we all prefer that our words are remembered as kind. That means we must take the time to measure them today before they are even said. We must sift out the harsh and speak the kindness. Even correction may be spoken with kindness and not derision.

Measure.....Sift.....Speak. Measure.....Sift.....Speak. Measure.....Sift.....Speak.
If I repeat it enough, maybe it will become second nature.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14


Reckless words pierce like a sword,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18




Our hostess this week is Susan at Forever His. Join us there to read more words of kindness.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Stitching Post Saturday

Once upon a time, a long time ago, this blog was started with the intention of talking about stitching as well as a place to be a writer. God changed my focus and I am happy that it is much more about my journey to live as God has called me. However, I am still a stitcher and quilter and don't want to be remiss in documenting the things I make with the talents God bestowed. Since I rarely post on weekends, I've decided to have a "Stitching Post Saturday" where at least most Saturdays I'll post an update of what I'm doing. I know a lot of my fellow "stitching bloggers" have also seen a transition of their blogs from stitching to life in totality. If you guys are interested, I'm willing to make this a weekly meme and add a Mr. Linky to link to your work as well. Just comment and if there is interest next week I'll add a link.

Without further adieu, my first Stitching Post Saturday:
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Some ornaments I completed before Christmas:
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For an exchange on Cross Stitch Crazy

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For Jewel and Flower
Every year I make them an ornament representing something from that year and date it with where we celebrated Christmas that year


A wedding gift I made for friends from church:
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A protea flower for my friend from South Africa (this is a round robin):
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A quilt for a friend's baby:
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My main project the second half of 2008 was this Flag Quilt Sampler. I really wanted to finish it by the end of the year, but fell one and 2/3 stripes short. ;-( So here is my starting place for 2009:
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There you have it, I actually do accomplish some stitching. I have a couple more finishes that can not be posted until they are in the hands of their recipients. Thanks for looking!

UPDATED: Since there already seems some interest in joining me, I'm adding a Mr. Linky! Anyone interested in posting a link to their most recent needlework project of any kind, please join us.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Tagged Meme Catch-Up (Two of them)

I'm really not good at being tagged. So, of course, I've once again let several meme tags slip past me without actually responding.

Kristin tagged me for the following meme with the I (Heart) Your Blog Award. I'm going to answer the questions without passing this on, because I'm so remiss in getting it done. The rules say one word answers. ACK!

1. Where is your cell phone? backpack
2. Where is your significant other? work
3. Your hair color? brown (needs to be colored)
4. Your mother? Texas
5. Your father? (too) far-away
6. Your favorite thing?
7. Your dream last night? none
8. Your dream/goal? write
9. The room you’re in? kitchen
10. Your hobby? stitching
11. Your fear? failing
12. Where do you want to be in six years? wherever German is
13. Where were you last night? home
14. What you’re not? organized
15. One of your wish list items? sofa
16. Where you grew up? Texas
17. The last thing you did? taught
18. What are you wearing? clothes ;-)
19. Your T.V.? off
20. Your pet? none
21. Your computer? notebook
22. Your mood? content
23. Missing someone? yes
24. Your car? none (DH has company car, I have none)
25. Something you’re not wearing? shoes
26. Favorite store? Target
27. Your Summer? gone (If changed to your winter since I'm so late---cold)
28. Love someone? absolutely
29. Your favorite color? green
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? last night

Thanks Kristin, sorry it took me like months!

AND...

E-Mom at Chrysalis tagged me for the seven things meme with the Kreative Blogger Award. Obviously, not very creative since it has taken me 3 months to respond. But it is an honor since E-Mom is one of the most creative bloggers I know. So here it is (better late than never):

Seven Things I did Before I was a Mom:
1. I went to seminary.
2. I was a psychiatric social worker on a locked unit.
3. I trained child protection workers in how to do their jobs.
4. I read whole books that did not begin "Once Upon a Time" nor end "Happily Ever After".
5. I spent most Saturdays saying with German, "choose a direction" and then driving that direction to see what we might explore
6. I slept through the night without waking and straining to hear if they were okay in the room next to me.
7. I was less anxious when traveling.

Seven Things that I do Now that I Know Jesus Really Loves Me:
1. I want to study Scripture
2. I make a serious attempt to memorize Scripture
3. I pray more valiantly for those who have not yet made that discovery
4. I disciple others so they will have deeper knowledge of Him
5. I often sit and weep at the awe of what that love for me cost Him
6. I spend more time throughout the day in prayer or praise
7. I see His hand guiding us to the place we are currently standing

Seven Things I would Like to Do
1. Read the books sitting on my "please read me now" shelf (some have been there since Jewel was born
2. Learn how to take really amazing photographs with our new camera
3. Visit Asia, South America and Southern Africa (not too bothered by Antarctica, but want to see the other continents)
4. See my children baptised and know that they are growing in their faith
5. Finish half the cross stitch projects and quilt projects on my current dream list
6. Grow Old with German and know that he is pleased with the wife I am able to be
7. Write a book

Seven Things that Attract Me to My Husband
1. His Faithfulness
2. His Loyalty
3. His Love for God
4. His Love and Care of our Family
5. His Trust
6. His Ability to Make Me Smile
7. His Integrity

Seven Favorite Foods
1. Anything Mexican
2. Thai Noodles with extra chilies
3. Strawberry Cake
4. Shortbread
5. Sweet Potatoes
6. Lasagna
7. Pulled Pork with BBQ Sauce

Seven Things I Say Most Often:
1. Stop Whining
2. Time to Go/Get your shoes on/Find your coat
3. We are eating.....
4. Someday (to the constant questions of "when can we...")
5. Stop arguing with your sister
6. I need to write about that
7. I love you!

Seven People I Wish to Pass this Award Along To:
think I'll not tag anyone, since I'm months behind on this

Thankful Thursday




Iris wrote of being thankful for the Precious Word of God today and sharing some of the verses for which she is thankful. I think I will stay with her theme and share a few Scriptures that are amazing me at the moment. As an avowed news junkie, it can get pretty depressing. There is not a lot of hope broadcasted in the name of news. But the GOOD NEWS of Scripture is that there is so much more than what we see in the temporal. So, today I am thankful for the precious HOPE in Scripture that allows us to not despair as we watch what is happening in the world.

*I the LORD do not change. Micah 3:6a

*He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes. Psalm 112:7-8

*Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith.
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.
Isaiah 26:2-4

*Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.
Lamentatiions 3:22-26

For more posts of what other's are thankful for today, please visit Iris at Grace Alone.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

In Other Words--Hope in Times of Trouble

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"Real life in the real world is a tough, nitty-gritty journey that every pilgrim on planet earth must make. Moving to Disney World is not an option. There will be tribulation; Jesus said so. But be of good cheer. He's still in the business of guiding and strengthening and healing and overcoming."

~ When the Glass Slipper Doesn't Fit by Claire Cloninger and Karla Worley~


We have friends caught in the financial crunch. One, laid-off in May has yet to find a job. Another worked her last day just before Christmas when the company suddenly decided "we can't afford to pay anyone anymore." For so many of us, times are just tight. People are making choices that they didn't expect to have to be making. Real world, not Disney world.

We have friends who are walking such difficult paths with their families. A strong-willed child testing their wits and their courage. Adult prodigals who have left parents at home weeping and praying. Marriages fighting to stay together. Marriages that have given up the fight and are just existing together. Couples desperate to have a baby to be disappointed month after month. Single friends who believe a spouse would solve all of their problems. Real emotional devastation, not Disney elation.

We have friends who are in the midst of a health battle. Life and death choices have to be made--for themselves, for a spouse, for a child. Treatment or no treatment? Quality of life or quantity of life? They face another day of constant struggle. Real physical pain, not Disney anesthesia.

The problems are real. They won't go away with the wave of a wand. But the good news is, God is real, too! And, He never goes away. He gives the grace for the moment and scoops up the tears. He is the only Hope in the real world of tribulation.

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
Lamentations 3:22-24



Bonnie is the hostess for In Other Words this week. Visit her at Ink It Blog and be blessed!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Marriage Monday---Humour

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis
Want this button?


This month's topic for Marriage Monday is Humour in Marriage. I'm finding it a very difficult topic to tackle. My marriage is full of humour; it is almost a lifeblood of a marriage to allow us to cope with the mundane and the catastrophic forces against marriage. But, at least in my marriage, much of the humour is private and would not be understood out of context. It is the teasing that takes place to diffuse a situation. It is the quiet references to past antics that always bring a smile to our faces, but confusion to others' if said in company. It is movie dialogue badly quoted. It is sly looks that can mean only one thing (and not the thing you just thought).

You would not get it if I said, "You'll never take me to Disney," but he would, and he would laugh.
You would not get it if he said, "Keep hope alive," but I would and I would smile.
"Why are you wearing your slippers?" to you demands an answer, to me causes the giggles.

Quiet, private humour is part of the glue of our marriage. It is the shared moments that no one else needs to understand. It is our language to navigate the sometimes rocky terrain of marriage. I don't believe that we are alone in that. I've been with couples who I believe have solid, strong marriages and not understood all of their references--and in my heart I knew they were speaking their language of laughter. Before I was married that would have made me feel left out, but now it makes me smile to pick up on those references. It is a glimpse into their private glue, and it is encouraging. Couples need a private language, and often it is spoken in humour.

Other wonderful ladies will be writing of the humour in their own marriages. You can find those links with Denise at Shortybear's Place. Please join us. More importantly, add a little glue to your marriage today--take some time to laugh with your spouse.

Friday, January 02, 2009

New Year's Meditations

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As I've been reflecting on my dreams for 2009, I've been praying for a theme for this year. I've always had topics I wanted to work out during the year, but never a theme for the whole year. One word continues to come to the forefront of my dreams, so it will be my theme for the year. That word is:

ENGAGE


I believe that God is calling me to:
*ENGAGE in my marriage. This year will call for changes in German's work. It will probably mean a new account which could mean a new location. I need to intentionally engage with him to make the transition seamless as well as keeping the pressure off at home.
*ENGAGE with my children. This includes more engagement in activity for their education. I'm great with the factual education stuff, but hands-on is not my favorite way of learning. But it is theirs, so I need to engage with them in learning in a meaningful way for them. I also want to be more engaged in their spiritual development. Jewel is at an age where she is beginning to ask many questions about God and why Jesus came, and I want to take full advantage of this time. Finally with both them and with German I want to be more engaged in memory making. Whether it is in building traditions at home, celebrating milestones, or traveling, I want when they look back on these years for them to be able to recall parents who were fully engaged in their lives.
*ENGAGE with Scripture. I've felt the need to commit Scripture to memory for a couple of years. This year my dream is to do that. To that end, I'll be participating in the LPM memory challenge where we are to learn 2 verses a month. I like this plan, because each participant chooses the verses that God is laying on their hearts so it is applicable to day-to-day. I also want to engage Scripture in my personal Bible Study as well as the Ladies Study which I lead. As 2009 comes to an end, I pray that I am able to say that I've gone deeper and learned much. 2009 is also the year that I pray I will find a mentor for me. I've mentored many young Christians, but I am feeling somewhat empty in that pursuit. God has led me to two older women in our church (fairly new to the church) that I feel may be the mentors He has ordained. I'll be approaching them soon to see if they would meet with me, study with me and serve in that capacity.
*ENGAGE with ministry. My ministry at the church has been curtailed for various reasons this year. The Ladies Bible Study and the house group that meets in our home are wonderful opportunities, but I believe God has something new and "more" for 2009. I'm prayerfully anticipating what that might be.
*ENGAGE with others. I'm feeling led to be more intentional in hospitality, especially with non-believers. Just as I'm seeking a mentor, I need to seek someone to mentor this year. And I want to engage others in this blog. I continue to pray that this is a place of hospitality, encouragement and support. May 2009 see that come to even more fruition.

Bless you for visiting me this January 2009. I pray that you find God at work in your life throughout this year. My thanks to Lori for hosting this wonderful opportunity to reflect on dreams for 2009. Please visit her place to find meditations of others.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Colossians 2:6-7
(my first memory verse of the year)