Saturday, July 30, 2011
Autumn does not begin until September 23, 2011 at 5:05 am. This means that we have almost two months before the "End of Summer." I know that kids will be going back to school soon, and that Summer vacation is drawing to a close, but this does not signify the "End of Summer." After school begins there will be (depending on your school) approximately five weeks left of summer.
I love summer, and all that goes with it! I love hot days floating in the pool, picnics in the parks (in the shade of course), festivals, long sunny days, ice cream and Popsicles, and the season in general! So, I get a little annoyed when people try to shorten it simply because kids are going back to school. (Which I think they do too early anyway.)
It's fine if you want to start your fall activities in August when it's pushing 90, but I'll wait until October, when I can enjoy changing leaves, ripe pumpkins, and the crisp breeze in the air!
Top Ten Things Every Hoosier Should Know:
10. You don't wash anything! It's waRshed
9. John Deere is not a tractor, but a fashion line
8. If the grass is longer than 6", it's for chewing
7. It's only ever pronounced "Indy"
6. The scent of fertilizer is "fresh, country air." (This is an inside joke.)
5. You have to choose, IU or Purdue (I'm still Ohio State ALL THE WAY!)
4. By living here, you have agreed to the terms that you must hate the Patriots.
3. Knee high by the Fourth of July
2. Two men you may never insult: Bobby Knight & Larry Bird!
And the Number 1 Thing that Every Hoosier Should Know
1. It's never JUST basketball
"So Haman came in. And the king said unto him, What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honour? Now Haman thought in his heart, To whom would the king delight to do honour more than to myself" - Esther 6:10
And now comes the beginning of the End for Haman.
The king decides to honor Mordecai, and when he asks Haman, who by the way was only there to request the life of Haman, he immediately thinks that the king would only want to honor him? WOW! I know the theme of this book has been the dangers of pride, but this is some of the most extreme pride we've witnessed!
Or is it? How often have we thought to ourselves, "why did this person receive something, I deserved it?" More often than we'd like to admit I imagine. I felt this when we were desiring a child. Someone of whom I don't think well was going to have a baby. I remember questioning why God would let that person have a baby when he knew that I would raise my baby to honor Him. That wasn't a very Christ-honoring thought, now was it? It was me-honoring. I was such a superior person that I would make a better mother. This is truly a proud assumption to rival that of Haman's.
I struggle personally with this brand of jealous pride too often. I should learn from Haman, who took a hard fall!
Friday, July 29, 2011
I just want to let you know about a personal struggle I have:
It started on September 10, 2008, the day my daughter was born. She was so little and sweet and precious. She seemed too helpless, and that I needed to protect her from everything. With that desire came fear. Fear that followed me everywhere I went. I woke several times to check that she was breathing. I woke her several times to check to see if she was breathing. Every time I allowed anyone else to care for her I was nervous. I still struggle to leave her for an hour or two with anyone, excepting her daddy, and she's nearly three.
Isn't it amazing how the Lord works? The very night that Haman decides to petition the king for Mordecai's life the king can not sleep. In modern times when we suffer insomnia we usually turn to infomercials. Apparently the king only had the records to help him get his forty winks.
The Lord planned for the king to be sleepless. He knew that Mordecai needed the protection of the king, and that the king needed a reminder of what Mordecai had done for him!
When we look at this situation, it seems that God's working is crystal clear, but, unfortunately, more often than not, this is not the case.
I'm sure that the Jews were feeling frightened and perhaps that God had forsaken them. I often feel this way in the midst of a trial. I feel that there is no way out, but God has already orchestrated a plan to carry me through. Reading this book helps me to see that God is working in so many places at once. He's doing so much that I never see and He's working for my good!
Praise the Lord that He caused Ahasuerus a sleepless night. I wonder how many people He's given insomnia to help me through a trial?
30 Days of Esther: Days 1-15
Thursday, July 28, 2011
This year has moved so quickly, I'm somewhat stunned to be standing on this end of it. As I reflect back on this year, I'm so excited at all the wonderful memories we've developed. It's so surprising how quickly our children become a steadfast fixture in our lives, and it seems as if they've always been there!
I love celebrating her birthday because it gives me a chance to praise and thank my God for being so kind to me and giving me one year of my life with her! Each year on her birthday, I shall continue to thank Him for that one more year I've gotten to spend with her!
I'm not guaranteed to see her second birthday, but I can praise my Lord for this first year of her life, and that he gave me the great honor and privilege of being her mommy this year!
Zeresh seems like a lovely woman am I right?! I wonder what her motivation is in this verse? Is she truly concerned that her husband has been offended or is she forwarding his status in order to forward her own? Of course, no one knows, and any guess would be pure speculation.
50 cubits high, that is roughly 75 feet tall! This was not merely meant to kill a man, but to send a message. She was saying that you should publicly execute this man and flaunt his humiliation. That would send a message to all who dare not bow to Haman in the future. Then, you can be happy again.
When we've been infected with the disease of pride, how often we want to destroy the symptom instead of eradicate the disease!
We know that:
Haman would never hang Mordecai on those gallows, of course!
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
And the imprints that you make.
Be careful where your foot falls,
and the decisions that you make.
For when the path is narrow,
Or the climb is very steep.
They check the path you've trodden.
And your way they tend to keep.
I have followed just like many,
Down paths other's laid ahead.
They've led me to a Savior,
Through the scriptures they had read.
Their steps have fallen faithful,
For their eyes were on the Lord.
When they reach the realms of glory,
He shall give them their reward.
This poem is dedicated in honor of:
Pastor Merton Bobo
Pastor Bob Brenneman
And in Memory of:
Pastor Cal Eastwood
and, Pastor Rod Silver
Who have already been told, "Well done."
Haman had been exalted above every other man in the kingdom, excepting Ahasuerus. He had riches, glory, honor. Everywhere he went he was revered. Yet, he allowed one man to prevent him from enjoying this.
Obviously, I believe that Mordecai was right not to bow. Even by modern, American standards we wouldn't want someone to go against his belief system in such a fashion. But, regardless of whether he were right or wrong, Haman could have disregarded his affront. When everyone else is bowing to him, why even notice Mordecai.
The truth is that Haman was a drug addict, and his drug of choice was pride. The higher he rose on it, the more he would fall when the high dissolved.
We used to work with teens in our youth group at church, and more than once we helped with all-night activities. The first one we did I consumed as much caffeine as I could, thinking it would help me survive the night. By the end of the evening every part of my body felt heavy. I went home to sleep and the sleep wasn't pleasant, I was exhausted for days. The last one we chaperoned I couldn't consume caffeine, because I was nursing my older daughter, who is very sensitive to it. I thought the evening would be difficult, but I drank water, and noticed that I felt fine by morning. I slept for two hours and got up to play with my girl! What a difference! The first night I was so high that the fall was torturous. So was Haman's pride, he flew so high on it that when he saw Mordecai he fell hard. If he were not sustaining himself on his pride but chose the much healthier option of humility, we may never have had this book of the Bible!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Not long thereafter, I heard, "Mommy, Mommy, MOMMY, MOMMY" I went into her room, and she insisted she needed to potty. While on the potty she continued to say that there were animals in her room. I assured her it was a dream, but I was told it was not! I said, "When we sleep we have dreams that are almost like movies in our mind. But, they're not real, they're just make-believe." She went back to bed, and fell asleep or at least was quiet for a little while, and then, she called again. I came in and she told me there were monkeys and she needed to sleep in Mommy's bed. I stood firm and brought a pillow to camp out on her floor. She finally fell asleep at around five! I was so happy, her breathing was deep. I was sure she was out, so I silently crept from the room and went back to bed. Ah, my bed!
Ten minutes passed, "MOMMY!"
She had broken me down. I finally got three hours of glorious sleep with her right next to me...so much for standing firm! But, at least I'm only moderately a zombie today, right? This morning she hopped out of my bed, ran into her room, ran quickly back into mine & said, "Mommy! The deer is gone!"
It's all about the timing!
I love that Esther took time to fast & pray, and asked others to do so on her part, and then, she prepared herself. She put on her royal attire and went to the king. When he asked her what she would ask of him and he would give it to her, she asked him to a banquet. When at the banquet he sought her request, she extended a second invitation.
She was waiting for the Lord's timing!
I hate to wait for anything! I hate waiting in line at the grocery, at a traffic light, in the doctor's office, even for the bathroom, but this is a necessary skill if you desire to serve the Lord. He requires us to wait, and often, more than we would like!
Who knows what would have happened to Esther and the people of Israel if she hadn't been willing to wait until that second banquet to request of her King. Skipping ahead just a bit, this is the night that the King learns that Mordecai was the one who saved his life, and that he'd never properly rewarded him. Perhaps his heart would not have been so tender toward the Jews before that discovery? I can only speculate, but I believe we would not have seen such an amazing outcome had Esther chosen to go before God's timing!
What do you think?
In the US half of all marriages end in divorce. Dwell on that thought a moment
The truth of the matter is, though, that our culture has absolutely no regard for commitment. That's right, I want to talk about commitment, and not just that of a marital kind. The verse above was a quote from Ruth speaking to her mother-in-law, not to a husband.
Ruth is an excellent example of commitment. She left her home and her family out of commitment to Naomi! Do you know what made Ruth an excellent example? When Naomi offered her the choice to stay, Ruth counted the cost, and chose to go. I see in this verse that she truly understood "forever."
I believe that the reason that people have a problem with keeping a commitment is because they truly don't mean "forever" when they promise it. In fact, they believe in a conditional "forever." Ruth understood that when you make a life commitment, like marriage that it means until you die or in layman's terms, "forever." You see when we get married, we make that commitment before God and swear "til death."
Perhaps we should all take a moment and realize that when we say forever, what the word means is this: Forever
Friday, July 22, 2011
The first thing I notice about this statement is that she is willing to change when she's been shown her error. This is one of the most difficult things to do! To bury our pride and right fighting, but to openly and humbly listen to another's rebuke, and to adjust accordingly!
Next, I notice that even when she realized the right course of action, she asked for prayer, and prayed herself. She knew that even doing right is only possible through the power of the Lord!
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Sometimes God calls on us to do difficult things, things that require every ounce of our being, and even our life. Esther had already shown a willingness to do so. She'd left her home, and given up the possibility of a future with a Jewish husband living a Jewish lifestyle. She'd obviously done so with grace as she shone among the other women preparing to meet the king. However, her reluctance to help her people is a reminder to even those who walk very close to the Lord that surrendering one's will is a daily task. It's necessary to do this frequently throughout the day, in fact.
Though she'd shown her willingness in the past, she was stumbling now. Fear and doubt had entered her mind. I certainly feel close to her in this situation. I've never been asked to risk my life for my faith or to save another, but I've been asked to give up or risk things that I wasn't comfortable risking. Nothing large, but like I said, things I'd rather had not do without. Though on plenty of occasions I have rededicated myself to the Lord, I find that in a situation that requires much from me, it's more difficult than ever to surrender.
They had a lot to choose from that day, and I ended near a kennel with about eight inside. I love calico kitties and saw the sweetest little one. I picked her up and she was the cutest little cuddly thing. I should have run out of there with that little one and made for home, but I didn't. This was my error.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
We'll talk about the first in this post.
Sometimes family asks a lot of us. After all, sometimes we ask a lot of them. But, I don't think anyone could imagine the measure of the task that Mordecai gave to Esther.
He was asking her to risk her life for the life of her people. He knew that though she felt protected in her palace she would not be immune to the attack upon the Jews, and, he, no doubt, was concerned for her life, as well.
We're often faced with requests from others that we feel are over taxing, that will take more than we can give. What is our motivation for accepting or declining these? I won't get to far ahead, but we all know that she'll go through with it. Esther's motivation was a devotion to her Lord.
Who among us have not felt stretched beyond capacity? I'm very familiar with this feeling myself! Who hasn't been asked to execute a task to which they felt unequal? We too are capable of fulfilling them when we rely on the Lord and entrust Him with our future.
And, when we feel annoyed with all those extra requests let us remember:
Starting with the Mommy Hook:
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
So...we made one more trip to the ER. She wouldn't even let me take the bandaid off of her finger, she made me wait and let the doctors do it, because, "the doctors make me feel better."
The doctor said that her sutures look fine and that the bleeding was coming from under the nail bed where there are no stitches. This has slowed the healing process a little.
She's seemed to be doing much better this evening. Even though she re-injured her finger today. She seems like it's least tender this evening that it's been since her original injury on Saturday!
The cause of my father's error (and I use the term very lightly here) is that he simply didn't realize there were scheduling conflicts. Much more seriously the cause of Ahasuerus' oversight is that he was proud. His pride was to the point that he'd lost touch with reality, and that he didn't think that extinguishing a people from his kingdom was a "big deal."
Monday, July 18, 2011
What I find most interesting in this story is that King Ahasuerus so casually agrees to this dastardly plan. He didn't research this people or even ask to what people Haman could be referring! He simply agreed, and he gave him his ring, so that he might seal the decree with the kings seal.
To give his ring to Haman was a sign of great trust by King Ahasuerus. It was as if we might allow someone to sign an important contract for us. This might have been an amiable trait in the king, had he been putting his trust in a better man.
Ahasuerus made a fatal error. He put his faith in one unworthy of it, something to which we can all relate, but his error would mean certain death to an entire race of people living within his kingdom.
First, he said the ER did a great job, and that he wouldn't have done anything differently himself.
Secondly, he thought her finger was healing well, and that it looked good.
Also, He said there was no need for a splint, just two bandaids overlapped so that the pads are over the tip of her finger. That's too keep the stitches clean, and to give padding in case of bumps.
Lastly, he'll see her again in three weeks to check on healing.
He seemed to think it should heal completely! AND, I can wash it normally, soon she can bathe normally again, and go back to being a kid.
I'm not going to lie, Saturday was absolutely the scariest day of my entire life. (Including the day my parents told me my Dad's kidneys were failing, and the day caused a bad car accident.) But, God is so good! He's used this experience to grow me, and to strengthen my relationship with Tabby.
What's more, He's shown me that He chose to send me one spectacular person to raise! I take it as a compliment from the Lord that I get to be Tabby's mom, because, she's pretty amazing! I can't believe He entrusted me with her care!
Saturday, July 16, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
Haman, the villain of the book of Esther, has now entered the scene. He's been promoted above all the other princes by the king. All the officers of the king bow and reverence him, but Mordecai will not bow before him.
This was no sign of disrespect. As we look deeper into Mordecai's character we'll see that he is very respectful. He not only respects authority, but shows due respect for all others around him. However, Mordecai was a Jew and he would not bow down before anyone but his Lord.
When looking at this I'm impressed with his resolve not to respect man more than God. He could have faced punishment, in fact his whole peopl faced annihilation, rather than exalt man.
We are living in an age of human worship. We hang on every article that features a celebrity and follow their lives like children with faces pressed against the glass windows of a candy store.
Do we reverence man more than God? Do we allow the opinions of others to dictate how and when we share the truth of God's Word? Mordecai did not fear man, even in the face of extreme persecution, can we be bold in the face of nothing more than mockery?
30 Days of Esther Days 1-6
Making her way into the kitchen she was thanking the Lord for delay start on her coffee maker, as she could smell the strong brew already hot in the pot! She poured a cup and sat at the table picking up her Bible which resided there throughout the day, unless needed of course.
"Let's see, where am I? Leviticus, oh yes," she said aloud, though no one could hear her, with a heavy sigh. Wearily, she stumbled through four chapters, continually distracted by duties that were popping into her head. Did I remember to put that memo on Jim's desk? I can't forget to pick up pipe cleaners for Sunday School! I wonder if I should pack my lunch or eat out again? When those distractions creeped into her consciousness, she dutifully dispelled them, and continued to read.
*I changed nothing else in my routine. Just tweeked this one step.
My mother and father, I'm sure, would scoff at this more than anyone else, knowing me as well as they do. Especially since I differ from them on some of my beliefs, and that I'm just independent by nature. Considering this, I always find it interesting when people accuse me of inheriting my faith, instead of owning it myself.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
I imagine you've heard the expression, "Be sure your sin will find you out." Or something to that effect.
At the end of chapter two of the book of Esther only three verses are used to tell an exciting story. Esther has been made queen. Mordecai who is some kind of officer in the king's court is sitting in the gate, when he is somehow made aware of an assasination plot by two of the king's officers, chamberlains, who were angry with the king.
Mordecai, doing what was morally correct and what was one more piece in place in the jigsaw puzzle, told Esther. Esther made sure the king was informed and that Mordecai received the credit. These men were investigated and executed.
These men undoubtedly believed that they're scheme was secretive, that no one would find out about it.
Have you ever felt the need to turn off the tv or your computer when someone enters the room? Are you ashamed of the music you listen to or the books you read? Do you need to stop your conversation when the subject of it approaches?
The need to keep something secret is often a sign that it's immoral. But, as we can learn from these men, nothing is secret, not truly.
The Lord knows our thoughts and the desires of our hearts. However Mordecai uncovered the plot against the king, whether they told him trying to acquire his assistance or whether he simply overheard them, it was the Lord who revealed it to Him.
The next time you think that your evil deeds are hidden from the world around you, consider that God sees your heart, and nothing is hidden from Him!
30 Days of Esther: Days 1-5
(Make sure you check out my Curly Gurl page!)
Growing up those with twisty locks are ostracized! You see, curly hair has quite the mind of it's own and if you believe that you can tame its twirls, then, you are sadly mistaken. If you take into account how hard little ones play, parents who don't know the proper way to care for their little one's hair, and the horrors of frizz, you can end up with one messy mop! On top of that, stylist are not trained to cut/care for curly hair, in general. The wave of curly haired enthusiast have changed that and there is a growing trend of exclusively curly stylists, but until recently little girls had to suffer brutal hair attacks at the hands of a hair professional. (Often their poor curls were massacred in the name of a parent's frustration of not being able to "deal with them.")
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Vashti vs. Esther
While both women shared the trait of physical beauty, they're hearts were vastly different. While Vashti was disobedient, Esther was willing to submit herself to the wishes and wisdom of others. Vashti was proud, so proud that she was willing to risk her crown and life to defy the king. Esther was humble, so humble that she was willing to risk her crown and life to confront the king and save her people.
Not only was Esther these things, she was these things under distress. I can't imagine how I would have felt if I were taken from my home along with scores of other women, held in the palace and spent a year preparing to spend just one evening with the king. Knowing that after that evening my future would probably have been to be a king's concubine for the rest of my life, to be permanently denied a husband and the close and loving relationship that would go along with that! But, in the midst of these challenging circumstances Esther showed strong character, wisdom and a firm respect for her God-ordained authorities, unlike Vashti.
Why was Esther such a good example for others? Because she was set a good example by her guardian, her cousin, Mordecai, who had raised her after the death of her parents.
Those of us who were given good examples in our homes can be so thankful for this! But, if you were not so blessed you needn't feel that you haven't the resources to be an Esther, because you have the example of Esther and many, many others. God's Word is there to guide us on our journey to be more like Him. We can find the perfect example in His son Jesus Christ!
I've talked here about using olive oil for a diaper rash ointment. Today, I'd like to share with you the miracle that is honey: Did you know that honey is the only food that never spoils? It's true!
Honey has so many uses. I sometimes use it in my hair, because it is a natural humectant. Humectants draw moisture to them, hence why it's great for hair.
Honey is also a great moisturizer for your skin, though, you'll probably want to dilute it with some other ingredients first: I've read to mix a few tablespoons with 2 egg whites and some flour for a great moisturizer!
Honey is great to use medicinally. Honey helps sore throats and coughs. Many allergy sufferers believe that it helps with seasonal allergies if consumed locally and raw.
You can use honey as an anticeptic. The glucose in honey will slowly release hydrogen peroxide and help wounds heal more quickly!
Do you have Acne? Honey can help with that too! Yes, use it as a spot treatment and the pimples will disappear!
It can be used as a laxative as well, add some honey to warm water.
I couldn't list all the benefits of honey on this one post, but I thought I would highlight a few of them. Maybe you'll be interested in searching out some new uses for this yummy treat yourself?
Click here for some honey beauty recipes!
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
This verse makes me sad! About seven or eight years ago my sister and I got iton a fight. I was so angry with her that all I could do was attack, and I said things that I didn't mean. After we forgave one another I put the memory of the argument away from me, and never thought of it again. Never, that is, until about a year or two later when she casually mentioned a hurtful thing that I'd said in that argument. I had completely forgotten that I had said it, and what's worse is that in my mind, it had been "no big deal." But, the pain I'd caused was a big deal, it was horrible. Consequently, I had that terrible, pit of your stomach guilty feeling! Knowing that I'd caused irreversible damage!
Ahasuerus had that awful feeling in verse one. His anger had subsided and he realized what he had done. He missed his wife, and regretted his actions. This was not a good thing for his advisers. They'd encouraged him to send her away, what if he began to be blame them?
Monday, July 11, 2011
And the Lord said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.
I've been thinking about Moses lately and the message we, today, can glean from his life.
Moses was truly one of the greatest heroes of our faith! However, he was not a perfect man. In fact, he was a murderer, yet he was one of the mightiest prophets ever. Today, we can use the picture of Moses to remind us that it doesn't matter where we've been, God can use any vessel that is totally surrendered to him.
I think of how God brought Moses onto the Mt. Nebo and showed him all of the Promised Land, but Moses never got to enter the land. Don't you think this was bittersweet? Almost like a mother holding her newborn baby when she knows the baby won't be on this earth with her long. She needs to hold the little one and kiss him, but she aches for the future she's denied with him.
There may be a work God had for you that requires your devotion, labor, and maybe the surrendering of your life, but He may never let you experience the fruits of your labor, like Moses. David experienced this as well. He desired to build the temple but the Lord denied him. He prepared, but never got to see the temple.
If God has you in a work that seems fruitless, take heart in that you are not alone! If this work is of the Lord have faith that fruits will come, whether or not they come in your lifetime!
The question of the centuries: Was Vashti right or wrong? Were her actions justifiable?
I find this conundrum so interesting. I'm sure you can guess from my previous post that I do tend to sympathize with Vasthi. It's believed that the Persian law was actually in her favor, stating that wives should not be viewed by other men, especially queens. Many have debated on just what level Ahasuerus intended to expose Vashti to these men, but you have to consider that this was an extremely modest culture. The equivalent in our immodest western society might be my husband, while in a drunken state, asking me to model a bikini for his drunken friends. This could have been a potentially life-threatening situation for Vashti. That said: The Bible commands us to submit to our husbands and to the authority of government, Ahasuerus was both.
In the end Ahasuerus if he had actually received counsel based on the laws of his government might not have punished Vashti so severely, but he did not. He listened to Memucan who sought only to please him. You can see that be reading verse 21:
Vashti was tossed aside and disgraced before the whole empire, and to solidify this action, King Ahasuerus decreed that all women should be subject to the rule of their husbands. You can probably tell that I feel for her, but I also love how one can see the sovereign will of God. Chapter one is the beginning of the jigsaw puzzle, God was putting the pieces together that He might perform a mighty work through His child, Esther. It's so exciting to see how He moves and that every decision and change He makes fits perfectly together to accomplish His will.
What puzzle pieces seem out of place in your life right now? Remember that the Lord has a perfect end for you! He knows the steps you take and He wants to accomplish good in your life!
30 Days of Esther: Day 1
30 Days of Esther: Day 2
Saturday, July 9, 2011
Unwise Counsel: Memucan
King Ahasuerus had many a flaw, but in spite of them he strove to be a just ruler and husband. Considering that his word was law, he could have done anything he liked to Vashti and no one would have challenged him. Yet, he sought the wisdom of others, instead of acting in anger.
You can always tell a good leader by the company he keeps. A wise man doesn't trust his own wisdom but consults that of others. This is exactly was Ahasuerus did. He called to him the seven most powerful, wise men in his kingdom. These men knew the law and were in position to give him good counsel. He asked of them what legally should be done to the queen. But, he did not receive an answer to the question he asked.
You've probably worked with one of them, or maybe you've had one leach onto you. That person who says only what others want to hear? I'm not advocating a contentious spirit over a pleasant, agreeable one. But, there's nothing more frustrating than a person who can not express opinions of his own, because he's too busy expressing the ones that he believes will please the person next to him. This is where Memucan steps into the picture. I don't know if it was his regular practice to counsel the king in that manner, but the one record we have of him certainly doesn't show him in a good light.
And yet in all my travels my fears were ne'er allayed.
I searched in places of pleasure, where laughter did abound,
But amidst all the laughter, only misery I found.
I sought through fields of labor, both wide and green,
But the fruits of all my drudgery only emptiness did bring.
I searched at a hill where a rugged cross did stand.
While there I stood, outreached a broken, bleeding hand.
And took upon Itself my burden, my misery and despair.
I went to the cross, and found forgiveness there.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Once she potty trained I thought that my diaper rash blues were over, but my baby had other plans. We try to be frequent changers, and proactive against those nasty rashes. But, every once in a while she has an especially nasty diaper and it doesn't matter how long she's in the diaper. Tonight, she had a doozy of a diaper and a very rough rash on her little hiney.
Whenever I use traditional cream on her little bum she gets welts the cream is just too harsh for her. I've tried different alternatives that others have recommended, but the only thing that works for her is olive oil. It helps much better than anything I've tried. I think it feels nicer too, because she giggles when I apply it.
When we begin reading the book of Esther we hear of a king powerful beyond comparison. The supreme ruler of the known world! His kingdom: Legendary. And, to top it all off, he's well aware of that fact. King Ahasuerus was so proud that he conducted a one hundred and eighty day feast, that's right, six months of feasting, just so he could fluff his feathers for all to see.
The Status Trap
We're living in an a society full of greed, where materialism is the religion of choice. Instant gratification is the drug of our society. I want it and I want it now. During our current "financial crisis" most Americans still enjoy a standard of living that most others in the world wouldn't dare to dream. One of the side effects of our greed driven lust for posessions is the need to exhibit for others, and to make them feel inferior by our superiority!
Sometimes this pride is based on fact, on achievements we have legitimately accomplished like Ahasuerus, but if we allow pride to be planted in our brains it often grows into a redwood, and perhaps when we're atop a tree with a height akin to a mountain our achievements begin to appear out of proportion?
Little girls who grow up in the rural Midwest often crave adventure and to me, a romantic at heart, the greatest would be to fall in love! The only problem with this was that one day I grew up and fell in love. I realized that, while it was fun to fall in love, that it really wasn't like the books I read, and it was faster than I thought it would be. (I guess that's why the term "fall" is used.) It just wasn't much of an adventure!
Once I did meet my husband, I no longer thought marriage was as boring as I previously suspected. It was suddenly something that I thought would be wonderful. To not have to say good bye, but to get to spend every free moment together was very desirable.
After we did get married, I realized that marriage was the great adventure for which I'd been looking.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
I knew I was going to marry him about one week into our relationship, and we admitted to each other that we fully intended to get married about two or three months into our relationship. When it came time for him to propose I knew a lot of his planning. He can't keep secrets from me at all, this has also put a damper on Christmas each year!
Recently, I had a revelation. I use about 4 different cleaners: Vinegar water, homemade sanitizer, homemade disinfectant, and a homemade scrub.
Here are my "homemade" cleaners:
George Mueller has been a spiritual hero of mine since I was twelve years old. I'm sure many love him and see him in the same light that I do.
The things that have impressed me most about him is that he only ever asked God to meet his needs, never man. He never accepted a salary for his ministering, but trusted the Lord would lay on the hearts of His children the desire to give.
When I was a child we had very little, and we did, in fact, have some George Mueller moments. There were times when the next meal was beginning to look like it might not come, but God provided in mysterious and unconventional methods. He often burdened others to give to my family and rewarded my parents' faith, and utter lack of greed, with the provision He'd already promised in His word.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
This week, we've had a wonderful time! On July 4th we spent the day at Turkey Run State Park (you can read about that here). Yesterday, we went birthday shopping, swimming & ate dinner in the backyard! Today, we've already been swimming and we're headed for church tonight! What a great few days. I say all that so I can ask you this: What are your favorite Summer activities?! I'd love to hear about your lazy summer days, or you warm weather adventures!!!
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I won't insult your intelligence by recounting the backwards logic of this blogger who was trashing Christianity without even the smallest of understanding of it. I will, however, touch on one point that he mentioned. He stated that if someone has faith, then that one does not "know" if there is a God, Jesus, or an afterlife.
God is a God of logic, and someone who does not know Him, has not the capability to be logical. That said, this unnamed blogger believed himself to be presenting a radical, new argument based on the most blatant common sense, and that those who choose to follow Christ had never heard such truth. He was, of course, completely in error.
I find myself, all to often, taking my comfortable life for granted. I have plenty of food to eat. (My sister always jokes that I say I have no food at all, but when she opens my cabinet it's stuffed with food.) I have a modest home, but it's comfortable, and exactly right for my family, and the Lord has allowed us to own that home. I hated renting. He's given me two beautiful girls for whom we are able to provide without my working. Sometimes our finances are difficult, but the Lord has always provided a happy, safe, and comfortable lifestyle for me.
Monday, July 4, 2011
Almost 10 years ago our nation faced one of it's greatest tragedies. I remember that day as one of the scariest of my life I imagine one day my girls will ask me, "Mom, where were you on Spetember 11th?" Just I asked my mother where she was when Pres. Kennedy was killed.<br>
While watching those towers fall was the worst atrocity I have experienced in my lifetime, the aftermath was that of legend.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Suffice it to say, my shower curtain (the clear vinyl liner) was the nastiest looking thing ever. It had some mildew starting to take up residence and the bottom was all rust red, with plenty of soap scum at the top. I know your opinion of me just went downhill fast, didn't it?
I googled "clean a shower curtain" and came up with this site.
What an awesome answer to my disgusting curtain cleaning questions!!!
First, I soaked my curtain in the tub with one cup of bleach.
Then, I washed it in the washer with detergent and one cup of bleach.
Finally, I washed it in the washer with detergent and one cup of vinegar, shook it out in the tub and hung it up!
The difference is amazing. I had never really figured out how to clean those silly things the proper way, so I'm overjoyed for this site!
Like I said, I wish I had taken a picture although you would have thought me disgusting, but here's a pic of the finished product.
I've been wanting to share a few of my favorite Psalms. This is definitely one of them, because I love the word picture it presents. (Being a lover of literature I can appreciate a picture painted in words so much more than one constructed of mere paint and canvass!)I love the idea that the Lord is a shield. He is the buffer between me and Satan. Satan can never actually reach me, because God is between us, and every fiery dart that he flings my way, the Lord absorbs the brunt of the sting.
The second point is that when we trust in him, we are helped. What a comfort! I love that Lord is gracious enough to help a poor sinner like me! I can't imagine why He loves me so, but for some reason He just keeps doing it and rewarding my trust everyday. (That is those days when I'm spiritually strong and am trusting Him!)
Lastly, for such love, help and protection our response is naturally to rejoice and praise our Lord? Have you given the Lord your song?!
Praise Him, Praise Him,
All ye little children.
God is love, God is love.
Friday, July 1, 2011
A marriage is a partnership with two equal but different roles. We can't both do the same jobs or 50% of the work will go undone. My husband pays the bills, because an accountant I am not! I do a terrible job with the checks and balances and am thankful that he's better at it than I am! I do the cooking, because Paula Dean he is not. I had to teach him how to make spaghetti-o's. (I'm not exaggerating!)
What I love about the Bible is that it's ancient in age, but timelessly relevant. It is literally a guide to what God's plan for every situation in our life, and I've yet to come to a circumstance in which the Bible could not point me to where I needed to be. That said, the Bible is the perfect guide for marriage. If you've had bad examples in your parents of a relationship, or you didn't go to premarital counseling, that is no excuse. If you can read your Bible you can know how to have a proper marriage.
Marriage is the only thing that survived the paradise that was Eden. The institution itself has never fallen, just those who enter into it. God created it, and knows how it should be done. He created Adam and then created Eve to be his help meet. If you don't think this is true how many times have you had to find something in the refrigerator for your husband?
The roles of marriage are easily and clearly defined in God's Word. Makes it simple. The husband pictures Christ and is the head. Not the boss or the tyrant, but a loving leader, shepherd. He is to love his wife as Christ loved His church. Which means he should be willing to die for His wife.
The wife is to submit her will to her husbands. Plain and simple.
This doesn't mean we can't share our opinion or that we can use "My husband told me so" as an excuse for sin. But, if you'll notice this is probably the most self sacrificing thing we can do. Sure, a woman would die for someone, because we know that person would feel guilty forever and then we'd have the upper hand. Whether we lived to enjoy it or not. But, we can't give over our own will to others. It's crucial that Christians say, "Not my will but thine" to our Lord and personally, I'm thankful he gives me my husband to practice that difficult task. I need lots of it!
I say all of that, so I can say all of this:
Now, I'm not an expert on matrimony, I've only been married for six years, though they've been good, it's not enough to write a book. Just a blog. However, I am an expert on my marriage, so without further ado:
Why I Joyfully Submit to My Husband (Husbands take note)
My husband works long hours.
My husband works around the house when he gets home.
My husband runs errands for me.
My husband watches our girls a lot!
My husband lets me sleep in on his days off, if I choose.
My husband takes the trash out before I ask him to do it.
My husband fills my gas take before I notice it's fallen below a 1/2 a tank.
My husband holds me whenever he can.
My husband and I have a standing date everyday during naptime.
My husband praises everything I cook, even when it's burnt!
My husband encourages me to write, even though I don't think I'll be good enough.
My husband hates it when I stay up late.
My husband wakes up early when he works to spend time with me.
This is a small sample of the ways in which my husband makes a conscious effort, everyday, to show me how much he loves me. Not all husbands have the same list that my husband does, but he knows that these are ways he can show me how much he loves and appreciates me. When I see evidence of his love for me all day long, I find it easy to submit my will to his. Well, easier, perhaps!
I love my country, and am so thankful for those who fight to protect me and my family everyday. I'm not just saying that, either. I feel a tremendous burden upon my shoulders when I think that there are those in battle right now to protect Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness!
While I love my country, I'm greatly saddened by it. Especially when I think of where it is in comparison to where it was when I was a child, even. I can remember when living with someone outside of the bonds of marriage was scandalous. I can remember when teenagers in media were virgins. I can remember when someone had the right to take a moral stance against unbiblical practices such as homosexuality.
I challenge you to pray for your country this holiday that Lord would cause a great revival. That Christians would be bold for the gospel and that they would reach those who are searching with the answers they seek: The death and saving power of Christ. That those hearts would be prepared by the Holy Spirit and willing to believe on Him! That they may celebrate true independence, Independence from Sin.