Saturday, March 31, 2007

Questions to ponder

What dream has God given you?

How do you see God moving to bring that dream to reality?

"the place where God calls us is the place where the world's deep hunger and our deep desire meet."
- frederick buechner


herefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders, and the sin that so easily entangles us,
and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us ...

-Hebrews 12:1-

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Blessed be the LORD,
Because He has heard the voice of my supplication.
The LORD is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusts in Him and I am helped;
Therefore my heart exults,
And with my song I shall thank Him.
- Psalms 28:6-7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.
- Philippians 4:6-8

He knows my requests, He has heard, He will supply His peace.

... and [Abraham] went out, not knowing where he was going.
- Hebrews 11:8b
"Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One Who is leading. It is a life of faith, not of intellect and reason, but a life of knowing Who makes us "go". The root of faith is the knowledge of a Person, and one of the biggest snares is the idea that God is sure to lead us to success.
"The life of faith is not a mounting up with wings, but a life of walking and not fainting. ... Abraham is not a type of sanctification, but a type of the life of faith, a tried faith built on a real God. 'Abraham believed God.' "
- oswald chambers, "my utmost for his highest", march 19

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Remembered Joys

The oranges are blooming!
I was walking outside tonight, enjoying the mild evening and the half moon, when I caught a familiar scent. I smelled the orange blossoms.
The scent of orange blossoms is heady and earthy, exquisitely complex yet simple. It is strong and delicate, a scent that, once smelled, is unforgettable.

Monday, March 26, 2007


The lone tulip in our yard.

A year and a half ago we planted several bags of tulip bulbs, and last year most of them bloomed. This year? Well, .............. we have one (so far)!
A single, lone beauty.

We were starting to lose hope that any would bloom, and then ................. one did! A surprise that made us smile.


"Money is only paper and green ink, son. What makes it valuable is the work that earned it."
-Lucas McCain
The Rifleman

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Happy Birthday To Daddy, Happy Birthday To You!

He turned 50 today!!!!!!
Wow, that's old! Or young, it just depends on your perspective.

We had a party this afternoon, to which some of Dad's oldest friends (or at least, the oldest local ones) were invited.
The main event was a BBQ, and included hot dogs and kosher Polish dogs (with sour kraut), two kinds of hamburgers, and salmon.
Some of the favorite recipes from today were Ambrosia (otherwise known as "5-Cup Salad"), Chocolate Spice Cake and Lemon Meringue Pie. Yummy!

1 cup flaked/shredded coconut
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mandarin oranges
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 cup miniature marshmallows
Combine everything, and let it sit overnight in the fridge. You can mess with the proportions as much as you want (I like to triple the recipe and put in 4 cups of mini marshmallows). Best served chilled.

Chocolate Spice Cake
Grease and dust a 9x13 sheet pan.
Sift together:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
Combine and bring to a boil:
1 cup butter
1 cup water
4 tbsp. cocoa
Pour this over the dry mixture and mix in:
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
Bake at 400 degrees, 20-25 minutes.
1 stick butter
4 tbsp. cocoa
6 tbsp. milk
Add 1/2 - 1 box powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency and 1 cup pecans (optional). Spread on cake while hot.

Lemon Meringue Pie
3 tbsp. cornstarch with
1 cup (scant) sugar in the top of a double boiler. Add
grated rind of 1 lemon,
4 tbsp. lemon juice,
1 tbsp butter, and
3 beaten egg yolks. Mix well, then add
1 1/2 cups boiling water slowly.
Cook over hot water until thick (should coat the back of a spoon).
Pour into pre-baked pie shell.
Beat until foamy
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
5 tbsp sugar (beat in slowly) until stiff and glossy.
Do NOT under-beat.
Heap meringue onto hot pie filling and spread - carefully sealing edges to prevent shrinking or weeping.
Bake about 10 minutes at 400 degrees, or until delicately golden-brown.
Cool gradually to prevent shrinking.

It sounds as if all we did was eat! Not so ................. There was a lot of talking, laughing, and remembering!
We had a wonderful time celebrating Dad and all that he has meant to us.
I do not think that it is possible to overstate the blessing of having a father who loves God, a father who seeks to know God ever better and deeper. Even more, one who prays for his children every day.

Thank you, Daddy, for teaching me about the Lord of your life and the world He so lovingly created.
I love you Dad.

Blessing & Praise

I will extol Thee, my God, O King;
And I will bless Thy Name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless Thee,
And I will praise Thy Name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised;
And His greatness is unsearchable.
-Psalm 145:1-3

I will praise, I will bless His Name.
When everything is beautiful.
When darkness overwhelms.
When the light breaks forth again.
In joy.
In sorrow.
In plenty.
In want.
In dryness.
In freshness.
When I can't see His plan.
When He is blessing others.
When He seems not to see me.
When He reveals Himself to be faithful.
When He shows Himself true.
When He shows His righteousness.
When He shows His beauty.
When He gives.
And, yes, when He takes away.
I will praise Him.

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful/
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place/
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out/I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord/
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name/
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me/
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name/On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering/
Blessed be Your name

You give and take away/You give and take away
My heart will choose to say/
Lord, blessed be Your name

-Matt Redman, "blessed be your name" from Where Angels Fear To Tread

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Becoming (best?) Friends

So true! If you had asked me 5 months ago if I had any "romantic prospects", you would have received an emphatic "no". Chances are, you probably did! But ...such is God, Our God forever and ever; He will guide us until death (Psalm 48:14). It seems as if God loves to surprise me; life with Him never gets stale, and I am enjoying every moment.

There was a definite process by which one made people into friends.
It involved talking to them and listening to them for hours at a time.
-Rebecca West

John and I are on our way to becoming very good friends, perhaps even life-long companions. Yes, this involves hours of talking, hours of listening, and multiple hours of conversations. Hours of talking tend to take up a lot of time (!), but I wouldn't want to spend those hours in any other way ...

Friday, March 23, 2007

A Very Grand Thing

"Halfway between Pooh's house and Piglet's house was a Thoughtful Spot
where they met sometimes when they had decided to go and see each other,
and as it was warm and out of the wind they would sit down there for a little
and wonder what they would do now that they had seen each other. ...

- the world of pooh, ch VIII, "in which Piglet Does a Very Grand Thing"
by a. a. milne

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Question From Ben

"Is Ronald Reagan George Washington's father?"

Hmmm. Maybe Ben was thinking of the Bush family .... All those similar names can get confusing!

And, in further news, Ben has declared himself to be "roll-able". He was helping Mom clean the garage and found an old pair of roller skates. Now Ben is in the kitchen, sitting on his heels and scooting around. He doesn't have a care in the world!

Loving Each Other

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

-Romans 12:9-13

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Doing My Best

Math Homework, originally uploaded by Lizi Beth.

"Your job is to do the best you can and leave the results up to God."
- Facing The Giants

That includes everything.
Yes, everything.
Even math homework.

Even when I don't understand or "get" it.

Monday, March 19, 2007

I Corinthians 12:4-8a

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Party For Julia - and Grandpa's birthday

Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday!
Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday!

Today was Grandpa's birthday! He turned 81, a very young 81.

Julia had a birthday party this afternoon, and Grandpa and Grandma came over as well.

There is a verse in Proverbs somewhere says that something to the effect that "children glory in their fathers".
I was thinking about this verse in respect to Grandpa. His children and grandchildren do "glory" in him. He has lived a life of that we desire to emulate, and he continues to do so.
Grandpa taught his sons to be men of God, and now we, his grandchildren, can "glory" in our fathers. None of them are perfect, nor will they ever be, but they serve a mighty God and desire to bring Him glory and praise.
God has indeed blessed our family.

Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

tut, tut! it looks like rain ....

Irish For A Day

The God of Everything

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
For His lovingkindess is everlasting.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
To Him who alone does great wonders,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
To Him who made the heavens with skill,
To Him who spread out the earth above the waters,
To Him who made the great lights,
The sun to rule by day,
The moon and stars to rule by night,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Give thanks to the God of heaven,
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

-Psalm 136:1-9, 28

Friday, March 16, 2007

Psalm 16

I said to the LORD, "Thou art my Lord;
I have no good besides Thee." (see John 6:68)

The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied;
I shall not pour out their [idols'] libations of blood,
Nor shall I take their names upon my lips.

The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
Thou dost support my lot.

The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Indeed, my heritage is
beautiful to me.

I have set the LORD continually before me;
Because He is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is
glad and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will dwell securely.

For Thou wilt not abandon my soul to Sheol;
Neither wilt Thou allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay.

wilt make known to me the path of life;
In Thy presence is
fullness of joy;
In Thy right hand there are pleasures

verses 2, 4-6, 8-11

Thursday, March 15, 2007

a day in the life of me, pt. 2

A school day, continued.
I think I left off at the point where I get to the college.
At about 9:00 am.
I have classes all day, with a few breaks here and there, none exceeding 2 hours.
Somehow five classes doesn't seem like too much of a course load, but in between them and homework and meal breaks my day is full, and the last class is over in between 8:45 and 9:00 pm.
A full day and a long day.
Some of my classes seem as if all you have to do is show up and appear to be intelligent, and then there are others wherein your capacity to memorize, I mean, understand (!), is actually quantified. Can you guess which ones might be harder?
Daniel is taking night classes this semester, and he offers to drive me home after school.
His class has been let out 45 minutes to an hour before mine was, and he is graciously waiting in the parking lot when I finally make my way out of the labyrinth of learning.
We make our way home together.
We pull into the driveway.
The car slides to a halt.
I groan as I lift my backpack for the last time of the day (it weighs close to 30 pounds when all my books are in it. Uff da.).
Daniel and I walk through the front door and are met by someone who actually cares about us, someone who is concerned that we are fed, that we are comfortable, what our day has been like, and desires to brew a cup - or two - of tea so we can "tell her about your day".
If nothing else, going to college has made me grateful for the home God has placed me in.
I can agree with Kathleen Norris when she said,
"Peace, that was the other name for home."
I hear about what has happened at home while I was away.
I unwind and tell the things that happened to me today, and things that I saw happen.
Funny things, weird things, sad things.
Most of it gets talked about.
Bed time comes, probably later than it should.
I wash the from the filth of the day, pull out my bed (mine happens to be a trundle), and read a bit.
Find a flashlight so Anna can meet her dreams while I continue to read (Julia's breathing has long since proved that the light wasn't bothering her).
Pull out a journal and document my thoughts on what I read. Or what just happened to be in my heart.
Sometimes the computer is still on, so I come out and type up some of those thoughts.
Stick them in my blog.
Head back to bed, and drift away ...

Morning sun
and morning glories
pouring down the hill,
through the window
I can feel the ocean breeze.

Noisy sparrows
fill the oak trees
swallows can't stay still,
and in the glad commotion
Lord, you speak to me.

If rain clouds come
or the cold winds blow,
You're the One
Who goes before me
and in my heart I know

that this good day
it is a gift from You.
The world is turning in its place
because You made it to.
I lift my voice
to sing a song of praise
on this good day.

-fernando ortega
"this good day"


Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

- william shakespeare

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Session 3: The Power of God's Grace - Kay Arthur (and a few more pictures from the weekend)

My notes from session three of the Deeper Still conference, San Francisco, March 9-10

Appropriate the power of God's grace to take you through the trial - it is sufficient to take you through any fire.

II Corinthians 12:7-10
v. 9 - the law came through Moses, grace and truth through Christ
grace = power (not to sin)
Final answer: "I am not taking away the thorn, My grace is perfected in weakness."
v. 10 - when I am weak, THEN I am strong.

Acts 13:22 - Do I have my heart set on the things of God? Even after I have fallen? Do I desire to be a precious one of God? What is my heart set on?
v. 36 - He served the purpose of God in his own generation.

II Samuel 12:8 - God is sovereign. None can stay God's hand (Isaiah 45, Psalm 103)
v. 9 - "So why have you despised My word?"
v. 13 - David acknowledges his sin.

I John 5 - If you have really gone "too far", God will take you home. Until then you have the opportunity to appropriate the power of His grace. God is a God of grace. David understood this. But David also knew he must go through punishment and chastening, and he went the distance with God anyway because God had his heart.

If you have a heart for God, then you have a heart like God's. If He hates sin, you will too.

The deeper you delve into the Scriptures, the less angry you will become with God because you will understand that He is sovereign and He is God.

Faith is not faith until it is tested.

Psalm 51 - "hessed" = loving kindness
God still has a purpose for you as long as you have breath.

Galatians 1:23 - If God can use you, He can use me!
It is only after you acknowledge your sin that God can heal you. He can still use you in a mighty way, you can still go deeper, but you must
acknowledge your sin, repent and claim the power of His grace.

II Samuel 24 - David sins again. Repents. God caused it all to work for good, used the threshing floor as the temple mount where every nation will someday gather.
Hebrews 12:11-13 - Take your discipline and be healed. He wants to use you, but you must take the discipline.

I Chronicles 28:1-6, 8-9, 11-12, 17, 19, 22 - Great gladness

There is recovery if you will appropriate God's grace and go ever "deeper still".

Session 2: II Samuel 7 - Beth Moore

view of the City from the Bay Bridge

My notes from session two of the Deeper Still conference, San Francisco, March 9-10

II Samuel 7:1-11; v. 11 - “I (God) will establish a house for you”, v. 16 “forever”. I Peter 2:4-5

Sovereign Lord – Adonai Yahweh only used in this passage, and used 7 times. Denotes the idea of collapsing before God in awe and gratitude – a “this far” testimony. God gets the glory when no one else can explain what has happened to you. Not a testimony of delay, but DELIVERANCE.

Who am I, and what is my family that You have brought us this far?”

How can I cooperate with God to allow Him to do a “this far” work in my life and for my family line?

  1. Move past our devastation with God

II Samuel 6:1-10 - David does not yet know what has gone wrong. He is stunned, angry, and afraid. He does not know what to do – the God of love and tenderness is going against David’s conceptions of Him.

We get hurt, angry, and cannot move forward when we do not understand why God is doing something unlike what we know of Him. Our hearts get far, we may become bitter. “Are You Who I thought You were?” is an honest question. It is a question every one of us will ask of God at some point, but it is what we do after we ask that matters. We do not understand the mind of God. Every one of us will take the test of offense with God.

Luke 7:18-28

John had no idea what Jesus was up to. No idea Jesus was writing a story, a marvelous story – in the blood of John's martyrdom.

The worst that can happen is not losing your life, but refusing to fulfill your God-given destiny.

Choose to believe through the pain and disappointment. He is a good God, trust Him and get on with it. There will be understanding when we see Him face to face.

  1. Return to whole-hearted obedience

II Samuel 6

Uzzah means “strength” – he walked alongside to support the ark. Ahio means “my brother is Yahweh” – no He isn’t. He is your God.

If you hold onto an offense against God, your heart gets hard and turns to do sin – “If You won’t do what I want, I won’t do what You tell me to.”

You do not want to miss what God is doing, but you will if you hold onto an offense.

Song of Solomon 6:12 - "I knew not my heart; it made me like the cart of Amminidab." We do not have a “new cart” - the same 2 poles bring us close to God – the Word and prayer.

  1. II Samuel 6:12-14 Get back in, withhold nothing

Choose to say, “I will worship” through the pain. The day has come for the "return of your dance". Nobody has the right to take your dance away, but Satan will try his best. Do not let him. Dance with joy and abandon.

II Samuel 7:20-29

v.26 Oh, that people might say of me, “the Lord was her God”.

  1. Joshua 1:9 - Have the courage to see His promises

Monday, March 12, 2007

Julia Pearl turned 11 today!

Breakfast in bed - er, on the floor! When you sleep on the top bunk, the floor is a much safer place to eat breakfast!

Happy birthday to you...
She blew out all eleven candles in one short breath!

a malapropism

Ben just came running in from playing with Julia. He announced, "I need a gun! We are soldiers and we need to offend ourselves!" as he was running toward his room.

Happy Birthday To You ...

Anna Genette Jacobsen

Anna's birthday was yesterday. She turned 19.
19 years of Anna's life, some bittersweet, but all wonderful, and I am thankful for every moment.
Watching her grow up (it sounds so odd to say that, I am only 20 months her senior) physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally has taught me alot. In many ways I look up to her (and not just because she happens to be 3 1/2 inches taller). She has walked through valleys so deep that I cannot see myself ever being in them, and she has come through with a strong and glorious faith. She is far from perfect, and knows it very well, but has an incredibly strong desire to grow ever more like Christ. And she really knows how to have fun (she just might be the camp counselor who helped your daughter put Vaseline on the door knobs). I can hardly wait to see the kind of woman she might be in five years ...

We celebrated tonight with presents and a chocolate cake that Julia made (from scratch - it was very good). "A good time was had by all."

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Session 1: I Chronicles 14:2-17 - Priscilla Shirer

Priscilla Shirer, Kay Arthur, and Beth Moore

My notes from session one of the Deeper Still conference, San Francisco CA, March 9-10

Uganda – covenanting to God. He moved because He was invited to move
We must first invite Him to move in us, our lives, our hearts.
I Chronicles 14:2 David realized that everything he had came from God moving on his behalf.

  • He is my Source, my Life- Line. He establishes me. What He establishes He will keep together. He will take care of it.
  • David gave God credit for what He had done, knowing that God would take care of what He had started.

I Chronicles 13 – David did not want Israel to be children of God in name only, he wanted the Presence of God (the Ark of the Covenant) in the heart of Israel (Jerusalem) again. Jerusalem was the heart of religion, economy, culture, and Jewish life. David wanted a “God awareness” for Israel (knowing He is near, believing that He is near and right there with you). David wanted the power of God to infiltrate their midst.

  • Things did not turn out the way David planned, Uzzah died. God is not looking for perfection, He is looking for passion. He sees the heart behind the action – and result – and He honors the heart that is passionate about Him, no matter what the result looks like.

Bringing the ark to Jerusalem meant inviting the grace and love of God as well as the holiness and judgment of God into their midst.
If we want to "pull Him close", we need to be ready for the loving tenderness and the righteous rebuke.

I Chronicles 14:8 - “all” the Philistines went in search of David after he had invited God to be in every part of his life. Satan is going to send all of his demons to distract you once you commit to make a mark on the world for God, when you invite the fullness of God to rule and reign in all of your life.
This world is not a playground; it is a battlefield. Satan will use one thing after another to try to distract you. He will try to distract you by causing problems with your money, marriage, kids, ministry.
John 10:10 - Satan comes to steal your attention, kill your dreams, and destroy your ministry.

I Chronicles 14:8b - David went out to meet them, but first he went down to the stronghold.

II Samuel 5:19 - He met with God, inquired of Him.
  • Do we realize how potent a weapon spending time with God is? We tend to say, “You pray, I’ll make something happen”. Praying is the most potent thing we can do. What a privilege, spending time with God.

Your greatest danger is letting the urgent things crowd out the important.”
–Tyranny of the Urgent

Zech 9:12; Proverbs 18:10; Psalm 3 – the Sword of the Spirit. “Hide it”, meditate on it day and night.
“Be still”

I Chronicles 14:10 - David asks the “obvious” question, doesn’t assume that God wants him to engage the Philistines in battle. “I’m not going to do the obvious until You give me permission to engage.” “Do not lean on your own understanding …”
David named the place, “God has broken through.”

  • Record God’s breakthroughs on your behalf, so that all who may pass by will see what He has done.

I Chronicles 14:12 - David didn’t think twice about it, did not play games or ignore them, but burned the idols.

I Chronicles 14:14 – David does not assume that one direction applies to all situations.
  • Often the greatest hindrance to a brand new move of God is the one He just made. We get stuck on what He has done and cannot see what He will do.
  • We learn to hear God’s voice through fellowship – continued, constant, always fresh
God gave new direction for a similar situation. It was unexpected, odd direction
  • Sometimes "weirdness" - the things I don’t think of - denote the voice of God.

I Corinthians 2:14-16 - We do have access to the details. The Holy Spirit allows us to stay connected with God’s voice.
II Corinthians 1:13-14 - The more you know God, the more you will be able to distinguish His voice from competing voices.

Five “m”s of discerning God’s voice –
Message of the Spirit – not feelings or emotions
Live in the mode of prayer
Search out the model of Scripture
Submit to the ministry of Eli (mentorship) – ask them to come along side in prayer and counsel, then submit to their counsel
Expect the mercy of confirmation

I Chronicles 14:16 - David obeyed. The only alternative was disobedience, doing it his way. It was weird, but he obeyed. Unnatural, but he obeyed.

I Chronicles 14:17 - God trusted David with victory and fame because He knew David would turn it all back into praise and thanksgiving.

Thank Him.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

His fullness in my centrality

His grace
His holiness
His mercy
His love
His compassion
His tenderness
His justice
His wisdom
His presence

in my:
financial decisions
entertainment choices
in my inner most being

Pier 39

Welcome to the Pier (Anna took this one)

Mrs. Spruance (Jill), Anna and I spent a few hours wandering around Pier 39 this afternoon (can you believe I have lived in California all my life and never been here? Must have been ... deprived or something). We ate sourdough bread, drank coffee, talked, watched the guys dancing on the street corner, took lots of pictures and had a wonderful time.

Keeping Perspective -Psalm 39

Anna and Mrs. Spruance (Jill) on the bus

I was reading Psalm 39 on the church bus as we were driving to San Francisco this afternoon, and this came to mind (my thoughts wandered around a bit):

Our days are as a hand-breadth and our lives are like a phantom, yet God knows the number of hairs on our heads. We are as nothing, a whisper, in the grand scheme of things, yet we are of incalculable value to our God.
He knows our thoughts, He knows our emotions, He sees the deepest places of our hearts.
God also keeps the universe in motion.
Think about that: He is a personal God and Master of the universe. Could there therefore be anything too hard for Him? Sometimes I think it might take greater wisdom and profounder understanding to be the God of human hearts than to engineer, create and maintain the heavens.

Market Street

If He can do all of this, surely He will come through for us. God sees and cares about the sparrows, He will not fail to care for us. It may not be in the way we want or expect, it may not be the timing that we desire, but God will come through.
He shows Himself to be faithful.
He shows Himself to be God.
Great is our God.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Little Things

Little things, things of no ordinary importance, can make a day seem wonderful - or terrible. A smile at the right time, or a frown at the wrong. An encouraging word, a condemning one. A stubbed toe, a petal falling on the sidewalk. Someone ignoring you, someone holding a door. A snicker, an endearment. Loosing a pen, finding a dollar. They all add up to the sum of your day, and the way you remember them has a lot to do with how you see life.

"It is trifles that make the sum of life."
-Charles Dickens
David Copperfield

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Happy Heaps of Hair

Anna got a hair cut today (the picture doesn't do it justice).
It is shorter and has more layers than before, and looks very cute, and a bit edgy.
We were critiquing it at the dinner table, and Julia said:
"I think it would look better if you brushed it a bit."
Anna replied with:
"Then it wouldn't be avante garde. Don't you like my happy heaps?"

a day in the life of me

A school day, that is.

It starts at 5:45, but then I wait ten minutes.
So I guess it really starts at 5:55.
Anyway, whenever it starts, the alarm on the cell phone beeps (I have resorted to the cell phone, as I no longer hear the alarm on the dresser). And beeps again.
My body tries to convince my eyes (and ears) that it is way too early to be getting up.
My brain intervenes, reminding everything above mentioned of what I will feel like if I don't get out of bed now. So I get up. Sometimes it is really cold in the room, even with two other people breathing hot air. Other mornings it is rather warm and pleasant. Pretty soon it will be HOT, and I will wish I were asleep again ... but that won't be for at least four more months.
After achieving the gargantuan feat of getting out of bed, somehow the coffee maker gets going, and the smell is enough to get my eyes open.
Back to the bedroom for the Bible I should have brought with me.
Back to the kitchen to read it (reading in bed at 6 am is futile, this I know).
After the first few verses coffee is ready.
I get something to eat, and continue to read.
Another cup of coffee.
Watch the sun rise.
Get dressed.
Another cup of coffee.
Read some more.
Pretty soon it is time to wake Mom up.
Oh, dear, it is now 7:30, I need to leave in half an hour, and I am so very not ready! Hair goes ... uh, in a pony tail (maybe next time I'll do something cute with it), and make-up is ... on the light side today.
Lunch, gym clothes, math book, Spanish homework ... do I have everything? Oh yeah, cell phone!
There is something I am forgetting ...
Mom drives me to the bus stop, and we have 17 minutes to ourselves. It is wonderful.
I make the bus with a minute to spare (literally). Put a dollar in the machine and hear a whirring sound as the bus swallows 100 hard-earned cents. I am now allowed to ride.
Put in the ear plugs and pull out the reading assignment for speech ... oh. That is what I forgot.
People get on, people get off.
Some are loud, some are quiet. Most are from the poorer strata of American society, and, as this bus goes downtown, many are headed to the police station or the court house. And not because they were summoned for jury duty, either.
50 minutes after I boarded the bus I get off it.
I walk 2 blocks to the college.
Walking past some of those house is one of the high points of my day, they are so old, well kept, and inviting. The kind of house that makes you want to sit on its front porch and watch the world go by ... The kind of house I could live in all my life and be very content.

the rest of the day will follow shortly ...

These are days you’ll remember.
Never before and never since, I promise, will the whole world be warm as this.
And as you feel it, you’ll know its true that you are blessed and lucky.
These are days you’ll remember.
When May is rushing over you with desire to be part of the miracles you see in every hour.
You’ll know its true that you are blessed and lucky.
These are the days you might fill with laughter until you break.
These days you might feel a shaft of light make its way across your face.

"These Are Days"
-10,000 Maniacs

Monday, March 05, 2007

heaven on earth

Earth is crammed with heaven
And every bush aflame with God
But only those who see take off their shoes.
-elizabeth barrett browning

For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is His eternal power and divinity have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made - His handiworks. So [men] are without excuse ...
- Romans 1:20


Myrtle Swanbom died yesterday morning.
She was older than I know, and has been a member of our church for longer than I can remember.
As far back as I remember, Mrs. Swanbom has loved me and wanted to know "how I was". She was a dear woman, very frail, and always reminded me of a little white bird.
Some people I know would say, "Myrtle went to be with the Lord, praise God."
As I was thinking about Mrs. Swanbom dying, her husband grieving, and how we should respond, I also thought about how may Christians state the fact that someone died. I thought about how a non-Christian would hear that statement.
First, we do not grieve as those who have no hope.
Second, non-christians are those who have no hope.
Our joy as we grieve is unexplainable, if you do not have it yourself. In fact, our joy could be seen as being downright crass ("thank God she is with Him" can be heard as "thank God she is dead"). There is no reason to smile through the tears, unless you know beyond anything that death is not the end, that it is barely the beginning.
We know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. We know that "precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints".
This does not mean that we do not grieve, definitely not.
It means that though we grieve, we have hope.
Better, it means that we have the Hope.
I listened to a message from this website this morning. It was recorded on 10-1-2006 and was by Gary Rosberg about marriages in America today:

Alot of it was informative, but non-applicable. There were a few parts that stood out, though. Near the end he mentioned three things to look for in a potential spouse (my ears perked up).
1. A teachable heart
2. A broken heart
3. A forgiving heart
Near the beginning he talked about your marital status being your witness, and he targeted Christian couples.

A good message.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

You know your brother trusts you when:

He lets you cut his hair at 11 pm on a Saturday night, after Mom is in bed, and there is no hope of a "fix" before church in the morning.
You know he trusts you even more when he knows that you are still in your "practice phase" of haircutting.
I have a great brother. :-)

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Barefoot In the Grass

Today I want to:
  • run barefoot through the grass
  • make something chocolatey
  • read my stack of "for a lazy day" books
  • pick flowers
  • talk on the phone with people I miss

Today I will (probably):
  • mow the grass
  • bake bread
  • do my math homework
  • pull weeds
  • talk on the phone with people I miss

Putting aside what I want to do and doing the necessary need not be drudgery. Mowing can be very enjoyable, and I do love to knead bread. And with the windows open, it is almost like I am outside ...
I guess I am just tired and really wanted a lazy day, to lie on the grass and watch the clouds drift by. Tonight there will a full moon, and it should be very beautiful. By tonight I should have most of my stuff done, and then I might be able to sit and enjoy for a while. Something to look forward too!

Who knows what today will bring ... maybe I wont get to anything on my list after all! :-)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...