Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In Other Words--Coming Out of the Darkness

“We are only what we are in the dark; all the rest is reputation. What God looks at is what we are in the dark- the imaginations of our minds, the thoughts of our heart, the habits of our bodies; these are the things that mark us in God’s sight. Character is what you are in the dark.
Oswald Chambers
My Utmost for His Highest


A loving wife....or a nag?

A patient homeschooling mom.....or one stop short of shrew?

Full of Bible knowledge....or skipping my quiet time, again?

A prayer warrior.....or someone who sometimes forgets to pray at all?

Faithful friend....or shallow and selfish?

Dependent on God....or totally self-absorbed?

In any given week, I am all of these characteristics. Holding it together in public view, and falling terribly, terribly short in private. But God sees in private. Even in public view, God sees the shallowness of my heart. And that is what He judges--the recesses of the worst of who I am. That is what He must condemn, for it is dark with sin. That is why He sent a Savior--not for the cleaned up version of me that I show the world. Not for my reputation. He sent a Savior for the ugly wretched sinner that lurks in the darkness. For that person, Jesus died. I am so thankful that He rescues that character from her darkness.


"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12


Deborah at Chocolate and Coffee is our hostess today. Please join her to find other reflections on this quote.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Stitchin' Post Saturday--25 July 09

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Another Saturday has come! Once again, my only project is Stargazer. I'd finish this piece this week if the family did not want clean clothes and food. *sigh* Responsibility before fun. I've completed over half the beading on the dress, so hope to finish that this week and maybe add a head (Jewel is quite concerned I'll forget to stitch her head, lol). Then that leaves beading all the stars in the sky.

Here she is at 68 hours:
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What are you stitching this week? Hope you have a productive and content weekend. Blessings my friends.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

In Other Words---So you want to go to Tarshish?

I'm so glad you joined us today for In Other Words! Mr. Linky has become quite temperamental, so I'm not using him anymore. Please leave your link to your post in the comments. I pray that you are blessed today!

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It had been one of those weeks. You know, the kind of week that you are second-guessing all your life choices.

My friend arrived early for Bible Study. I was giving her the low-down of behavioural issues I had coped with this week. I ended by saying "I'm not sure they are learning anything!"

"Should you consider putting them in school?" she asked gently. "Not forever. But maybe they need to see how good they really have it here."

"I've thought about it more than once this week," I admitted. "I don't want to do it, but maybe..."

The doorbell rang and the rest of the ladies arrived for Bible Study. We sat down and began. One of the questions, which I had brushed over in preparation, jumped off the page:

Have you ever considered running to Tarshish when you know you should be going to Ninevah?

Everyone nodded sheepishly. Then the words poured out of my mouth before I ever thought about them, "No I won't put them in school when my Ninevah is to homeschool."

I had never thought if it in that light before. I always think of "going to Ninevah" as some huge evangelistic call. Running away to Tarshish always seemed like a blatant, in your face, I won't do it your way God, no way, no how!

But in that simple question, God got my attention. Right now, my main mission is to care for the little girls he entrusted to my care. For our family, a large part of that mission is home education. My Ninevah is to teach my kids myself. Tarshish, sending them off to school for the majority of the day, often sounds so much easier. It sounds like a little bit of heaven to have part of the day without little people in my space. It sounds like I could get so much more done (for God even!) if I wasn't doing school every day. Tarshish sounds good. But it leads to the belly of the big fish---sitting in muck, ineffective in life. Ninevah sounds hard but it leads to the revealing of God's grace in obedience.

What is your Ninevah? Does it look like more than you can manage? I hope so, because it is in the things that are more than we can manage that God's grace is evident! But are you afraid? Are you tempted to run away to Tarshish? Be careful, you don't know what the path of futility and ineffectiveness brings. It brought Jonah the belly of a big fish. One thing is for certain, running away usually brings unhappiness to us in the long run.

Don't run to Tarshish. Face Ninevah and see God's mercy!

But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish.
He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port.
After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.”
Jonah 1:3


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Stitchin' Post Saturday--18 July 2009

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More progress on Stargazer! Here she is at 61 hours. I started beading, never have beaded before but it is going fairly smoothly. Thanks for looking!


Please link to what you are working on in the comments. Have a blessed weekend!

Friday, July 17, 2009

I'm Hosting In Other Words on Tuesday!

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Do you ever know the thing that God wants you to do, but you just don't want to go there? Need to speak to someone that makes you uncomfortable? Need to take on a ministry outside your favorite gifts? Need to travel when you want to just stay home? Does any of this make sense to you?

Can I get an 'Amen'?

Amen! Yeah, me too.

And we are not alone. Jonah was there with us.

But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish.
He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port.
After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.”
Jonah 1:3


Come join me on Tuesday, 21 July to read about one of my Tarshish moments and some of what God is teaching me. If you are willing to write and share one of your own Tarshish moments, I would love for you to join and link up with us on that day.

Have a blessed day! Focus on Ninevah, not on Tarshish.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In Other Words---In God We Trust...or do we?

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You may have deduced, from some of my not-so-subtle allusions, that my church is about to/considering/pursuing decisions about entering into a building renovation programme. I'll be honest about where I stand: we should have done this years ago! Okay, maybe not years, but the vision and dream has been bubbling for a couple of years and the past few months have brought fruition--as well as brought derision and division. It is sad and disheartening at times. But it is also exciting to see the possibilities.

One of the most maddening statements that I heard leading up to the church presentation to get permission to do some initial surveys was this:


"We should not even present this to the church for a vote until you are sure you have 90% of the vote. If you don't have that, you shouldn't say anything yet."


And I wanted to scream back at the person, "Where is your faith in this?" I chose to smile and quietly say I disagreed, but that was only being polite. Really, if we can't proceed until we have gotten enough votes to ensure that we get our way, then we are not trusting God at all to be the giver of the dream or the provider for the dream. As it turns out, the leadership did present the vision. Ninety minutes of heated discussion later, where in my heart I was sure that the dream died here, the vote passed by a clear and standing majority. God moved in the decision.

Surveys are being conducted to give the architect info to provide real options. Of course, we have already heard the next non-trust question come up:

"Should we start anything until we have raised all the money needed for the project?"

Leadership is reminding folks that if God is leading, he will provide (although we are reminded he will provide from our own pockets to start). A committee is already looking at how to fund the project, if drawings are approved and planning permission obtained. Again, however, the issue is do we trust God to lead and provide or do we want to keep it within our visible means?

Personally, I can't wait to see what God is going to do. I am hopeful that what he is going to do is provide for a building that will minister to our growing youth programme and will be a bridge into the community. But if it isn't a building that he is giving a vision toward, I pray that what he will give us is a bigger vision and understanding of Himself. That growing sense of Who He Is is an amazing feat that only he can give.

“If all you ever attempt is that which you know you can do, or have the resources for how will you ever discover what He can do? ”
My Jesus is . . . Everything
by Anne Graham Lotz


Nina, of Mama's Little Treasures, is our hostess for In Other Words this week. Come and be blessed.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Stitchin' Post Saturday--11 July 2009

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Another Stitchin' Post Saturday. Stargazer is still my only project. Here she is at 45 hours. Not as much time to stitch this week, and a few mistakes that had to be frogged, so didn't get to the beading part. Maybe next week.




Thanks for looking! Let me know what you are working on in the comments.


Blessings.....

Monday, July 06, 2009

Marriage Monday--Traveling with your Spouse

I love this Marriage Monday topic because it combines two of my favourite things--my husband and traveling!

My husband and I, surprisingly, travel very well together. I say surprisingly because our personality differences could easily lead to incompatibility in the travel department. But somehow we make it work to our advantage.

From our early dating days a great day out was choosing a direction and making a road trip to "whereever we end up" in that direction. We would pop in one of the traveling cds, grab a bag of sour gummy candy and away we would go. The occassional mishap would occur since he absolutely refuses to believe that any direction I give could possibly be correct--I have been known to mix up left and right a dozen or a hundred times. SatNav has all but eliminated that problem, lol.

Seeing the part of the world in which we live has always been a priority to us. In Washington that meant seeing as much of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and southwest Canada as possible. In Alabama we saw most of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and the Florida panhandle. Now in England that means seeing not only England and Scotland but as much of Europe as possible.

We have traveling together down to a routine. I do the packing. He works into the wee hours of the morning we are leaving trying to ensure that we won't be interrupted by the office while away. We try to travel early in the day while the girls are still agreeable and that gives us time to orient when we arrive. German likes to know as much about a place we are traveling as possible so our days are already planned. Although I am more apt to think a holiday is seeing what appears next to do, I have found that doing the research and the planning definitely makes for a less-stressed, more-fun German, so I do the research!

We like to balance days of historical or cultural attractions with days of doing very little of anything except resting and visiting. I think that is what I love most about traveling together, especially in the car, is that we have the most uninterrupted time together to talk, to dream or to just be quiet in each other's presence. That re-charges our relationship. I can't imagine not our life without the travel.

What about you? Do you enjoy traveling with your spouse? What is good or even not so good about those times? If you wish to join in the Marriage Monday fun, write your own post about traveling with your spouse and then link up via Christine at Fruit in Season.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Stitchin' Post Saturday--4 July 2009

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Another Stargazer update! Here she is at 40 hours. Still loving this piece!

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What are you stitching on or crafting? Share the link in the comments please. Have an incredible weekend!

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Honduras

Those of you who read my blog know that I am not political here. (Those who know me in real life will differ with that statement). However, today on my blog I am going to make an exception and post politically.



You may have heard in mainline media about a coup taking place in Honduras. You have probably heard that the President was removed illegally and that our country has taken a strong stand against what is happening.



YOU WILL NOT HAVE HEARD THE WHOLE STORY (as if we can ever hear the whole story)!!!



Please visit this blog of someone who lives in Honduras and what they are really seeing.



Please visit this Wall Street Journal article for a different perspective than is being broadly portrayed.



PLEASE PRAY for the country and take note of what is happening. The reprucussions of a "president for life" are huge!



This weekend we will celebrate the freedoms we hold so strongly in America. Please pray for those freedoms to be upheld other places as well.



Now, back to a non-political blog status.

Thank you for reading!

Edited to add (3 July 2009): The past 36 hours or so has seen a more balanced picture (according to those who are in Honduras) being painted in mainstream media. For that they have expressed gratitude. Since I have friends who work as journalists I wanted to convey that as well. This is one of those reminders that we really must question how much details of a situation we are being told and what the bias may be. PLEASE keep praying, my friends there say that makes a considerable difference. Bless you!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Goals--July 2009

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Revisit of June goals:
1. Complete 50% Stargazer--yes
2. Work on Bent Creek Season Row--Summer--no
3. Finish 3 blocks for sampler quilt and pin top--no
4. Prep T-shirts for T-shirt quilt--about 25% complete, will finish when weather turns cooler as most of these are in the loft!
5. Quilt Around the World quilt (already pinned)--didn't quilt at all during June
6. Complete closet clean-out (have done mine and girls, need to do German's closet)--uhmm...no

July 2009 goals:
1. Complete Stargazer!
2. Complete Bent Creek Season Row--Summer
3. Finish 3 blocks for sampler quilt and pin top
4. Finish revamping header and blog look (watch this space!)
5. Meet a Cross Stitch Board friend for the first time! ;-)
6. Complete closet clean-out (have done mine and girls, need to do German's closet)