Monday, February 28, 2005

New Contacts!

It's just like riding a bicycle, once you know how to put them in the eyes, you never forget. If you do, it must take longer than 11 years! What a joy it has been for me to begin wearing lenses again! Everything is so sharp and clear, especially my peripheral vision. I'm up to 7 hours of wearing. I increase each day by an hour. Thank you, Lord, for the privilege of wearing them again!

Friday, February 25, 2005

Where to begin in response...

Well, where to begin? I guess to begin with we need to understand the purpose of the Church. The ultimate goal and end of every created thing is to bring glory to the Creator (Psalm 100:1-3). All of us exist for the glory of God (Colossians 1:16; Romans 11:36; Revelation 5). As one looks at the previous statements it could be stated that the church needs to "magnify the excellency of a great and marvelous God" (Ephesians 3:10,21).

The church has been created to fulfill two major roles or functions, though they can't ultimately be separated. One role is in relation to itself while the other is in relation to the world. What is meant is with respect to itself, the church functions to promote growth in brotherly love and holiness so that it may reach the "measure of the stature that belongs to the fullness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:11-13), to the glory of God. With respect to the world, the church functions as Christ's witnesses in the proclamation of the Gospel (Acts 1:8; 2 Corinthians 5:20), to the glory of God. By the church assembling together it provides an environment that is specifically suited for the building up of the body of Christ in true love and holiness. This enables the church to fulfill its role in relation to itself. When the church is dispersed in the world, then this is the ideal and primary context for evangelism. It is God's appointed setting for the fulfillment of the church's role in relation to the world.

There are some key ingredients in gathering together with worship of God at the heart of each assembly.

  1. Prayer (Matthew 21:13; Acts 2:42; Romans 12:12; Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17, 25; 1 Timothy 2:1, 8).
  2. Fellowship (Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 14:26; Hebrews 10:24-25)
  3. Singing (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16)
  4. Reading, teaching and exhortation from the Word (Acts 2:42; 11:26; 1 Timothy 4:13; 5:17; Colossians 4:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:27)
  5. The Lord's Supper (Matthew 26:26-30; 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 11:17-33)
  6. Evangelism may happen as the unbeliever observes the reality of God in the midst of the church body (1 Corinthians 14:23-25). God's presence is especially evidenced as the assembly demonstrates a genuine love for God, for one another (John 13:34-35) and for the unbeliever.

The biblical assembling of a group of believers is getting together to do things that only believers can do! An unbeliever cannot worship the Lord in song, he cannot participate in true fellowship with the body of Christ, he cannot engage in prayer, and he cannot understand or appreciate the truths of God's Word (1 Corinthians 2:14). Often times, an unbeliever finds it distasteful or at the very least uninteresting. That doesn't mean that we are to make it our goal to be repulsive to the unbeliever! Just the opposite, we should seek to be as attractive as possible to the unbeliever without sacrificing the biblical nature of the assembly. The assembly is not so much the place to bring an unbeliever to hear the gospel and get saved as it is the place to bring the unbeliever to see and experience the sincere love that Christians have for one another and for God. We must be careful not to sacrifice the biblical doctrines of the assembly in order to be more attractive and/or comfortable for the unsaved.

In the New Testament, evangelism took place in everyday life as believers interacted with the world around them. It was the natural outworking of the believers' life in Christ. So as we mature in Christ, we should desire to "excel still more".

After living here in Utah for over 24 years I am well acquainted with the problems that can arise between Christianity and other religions. I agree that it is important to be able to sit down together and to share and talk respectfully with one another about the differences between one's beliefs. However, as a Christian, your goal is not to just discuss the beliefs but to show another his need for a Savior. All other conversation pales in comparison to this truth. Whereas, it's good to know information about other religions, the real importance of that is not the knowledge, but the facts that are different from the absolute Truth found in the Bible.

Now, returning to the original subject matter, a Christian church has no business bringing on staff, a Muslim cleric, or anyone whose views would be antithetical to that of the church body and Biblical truth.

Thank you to each of you who participated in the discussion. I have to say it was very stimulating!

Thursday, February 24, 2005


What are people thinking? This was passed on to me by a friend of mine.

From: The Berean Call
Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2005 8:18 AM
Subject: TBC Today : Ecumenical Echoes
Episcopal Church Hires Muslim Cleric
The newest staff member at St. John's Episcopal Church in Denver, Colorado, is a Muslim Imam. Ibrahim Kazerooni was formally installed on November 14, 2004 as the director of the church's Abrahamic Initiative, a bridge-building effort among Christians, Jews, and Muslims ("Reaching Out, church hires Muslim," "The Denver Post," November 11). This is probably the first time in history that a Muslim cleric has become a staff member in a church. Church representative Greg Movesian said, "We hope this appeals to people who don't look upon people of other religions as a target for conversion but rather potential partners in maintaining a civil society" (O Timothy, Vol. 22, No.1).
[TBC: "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14:12).

Crosses and Evangelism....

This morning, Kim, at The Upward Call wrote about wearing a cross. It reminded me of the story about how the Lord used a cross to bring my grocery checker into His family. In Utah, one does not see very many crosses because the mormons don't like to 'focus' on the cross. Not always, but usually, when you see someone wearing a cross, it just takes a question or two, to confirm that they are indeed, saved.

On this particular spring day, I was in the check out line at the grocery store and the checker, Phyllis, saw my cross and commented on it. She asked if I was Catholic and I smiled and told her, "I'm a born again Christian." She asked which church I went to and I shared that I went to this particular Bible church. After that initial contact, whenever I returned to the store I made sure I went through Phyllis' checkout station. Over the next several months she always had a question or two, or maybe just a comment.

One day, several of the gals were talking about a 'tragic incident.' I asked if something had happened. Phyllis shared with me that one of the ladies that worked there had lost her husband the night before. I agreed that was sad. She looked at me and asked me if I felt like there was a specific time for people to die. My response to her was that the Bible says that our days are numbered and God alone knows how many they are. That is why it is so important for a person to be right with God, because one never knew when they were going to die and have to stand before God. Phyllis shared that she had been widowed some 16 years ago and she felt the same way...that there weren't any "accidents" when it came to a person dying.

On another visit she shared with me how she has a severely handicapped son, along with 2 other children who are older than Brad. I shared with her that I had had a brother who had Down Syndrome. There was talk about finding purpose in all of that and I reached out and touched her arm and told her that there definitely was a purpose for Brad being born. She told me that she couldn't understand what it was. I told her that even if she never knew what his purpose was, God did. I asked her if she had a Bible, to which she replied that she did. "Read Psalm 139, especially verses 11 through 16." I told her that she must be a very special person for the Lord to have blessed her with Brad.

Each time I went to the store I went through her line and over 7 months we had these little divine snippets of conversation. I prayed mightily that the Lord would enable me to give her just the right verse for encouragement. I asked her to come join us for our ladies Bible study on her day off. As the conversations progressed I asked the ladies in my Bible study to begin praying for her salvation. My husband, Jim, began praying, James was praying, my ladies prayer group began praying for her salvation, people at church began praying for her.

Well, right before Thanksgiving (2003) I was picking up a few last minute things and I went through her line. She made a comment to me, "You know, Claire, when one is right with God then everything else falls into place." I was so taken aback! My reply to her was, "Yes, Phyllis, that is true, when one is right with God, things fall into place." Then she said, "I am so glad that I made that decision!" She kept right on talking but I didn't really hear her because I was so fixated on the word "decision." "Decision?" I asked. "Oh yes!" she gushed. So, I sought to qualify, "Was there a specific time, or a day, or date that she could pin point for her decision?" "Oh most definitely! November 10th!" she shared. I just about dropped my bag of groceries as I repeated back to her, "November 10th?" "Oh yes! That's the best day of my whole life!" I looked at her and said, "Phyllis, that is the same day that James' friend and lab partner accepted the Lord! She came out of mormonism!" Phyllis said, "I came out of mormonism, too, and it all began with that cross of yours!!" I then shared that my spiritual birthday was November 6, 1972 at which her eyes got really big and she said, "God has certainly been busy in November, hasn't he? November is the very best month!" I agreed and left the store. As soon as I got out of the store I burst into tears, happy, joyful, tears. And, I called our son first, because Jim was still sleeping, to share the good news, then I began calling all the other people who had been praying for her.

Later, she shared with me how she had been seeking. In fact, she had asked so many questions of so many people in her search to know Truth. It wasn't until she saw my cross and began asking me questions that she thought maybe she was on the right track.

She has joined our ladies Bible study and just loves it and is growing in her relationship with the Lord. It was such a privilege to be used by God to bring Phyllis into His family!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Seeing the Lord work, personally....

Like you, I am sure that you can name numerous times when you have seen the Lord work personally in your family. We have so many stories. Stories that always point to the faithfulness of God and of His provision.

Something has happened recently which made me think back to an incident that took place back in the early 1990's. My husband was to have the first of two shoulder surgeries and I was quitting work to stay home and take care of him and to be a full time Mom again. It was major surgery, because once they got in, they discovered there wasn't anything holding his shoulder in place. They had to reattach with pins and screws etc.

Well, it took a long time for the disability money to kick in. We were quickly going through our savings. But, Jim had told me that this paycheck that was coming would be enough to pay the house payment. Well, payday arrived and Jim told me his check stub was in his work apron. He went to bed and went to sleep. (He worked the night shift.) I tip toed in and pulled out his 'stub' and returned to the kitchen to make the housepayment. I looked down and the amount is over half less than what I expected. Now, I admit, I immediately sank deep into the "pit." It was so dark but the thing that I remember the most was the smelled like sulfur! I couldn't believe that satan hooked me so easily. Of course, I panicked. I began to moan and cry to the Lord. In my mind, I began to ask questions...such as, "Claire, name one time when I have not been faithful, just one time." Well, I sat there softly crying and trying to think of when the Lord had never been faithful. Right, you've got it! Naturally, there has never been a time when the Lord has not been faithful. Never, ever!!! He cannot be unfaithful!

I finally got up from the table, still not understanding how it was all going to work out but knowing that somehow it would. I slowly tip toed back into the bedroom to replace Jim's paystub in his work apron pocket. As I reached to put the stub back in, I noticed another stub. I looked at the stub in my hand, then back to the apron. I reached for the stub in the apron and pulled out another pay stub!!! The stub I had was from the previous pay day. I quickly crept back out of the room, into the light and looked down at the "new" stub. I'm sure you can imagine the elation and thankfulness as I saw the full amount that would cover our housepayment!! I immediately knelt and asked for the Lord's forgiveness and wept for joy over His provision.

That incident was a "faith changing" moment in my life. I'm sure there have been short moments of doubt, but all it takes is a moment of my recalling the smell of sulfur and I am back, fully recognizing that God is in control, faithful as always. I've come a long way (at least in this area) from that time.

Now, jump forward to the end of March 2001. I gave my two week notice to quit my job (which was a wonderful job if I had to work) because my parents had moved in with us (fall of 1999) and my Dad had just had his hip replaced, and I was needed at home. His eyes were deteriorating so he didn't want to drive anymore and all those types of things that factor into decisions that needed to be made. Well, one week after giving my notice, my Dad died, very unexpectedly. I thank the Lord my sister was here at the time! But, that was a big financial adjustment and, my husband, bless his heart, kept telling me the Lord knows our situation and it will be okay. And, it has been!

Now, this present time....we have found out that because our insurance premiums went up drastically, our present net, take home income has decreased by $250.00 a month! Imagine my shock when we figured out the loss! Now, like most of you, we can't afford a loss of $250.00 in spendable income. The big difference between now and back then is that I am NOT smelling the sulfur!!! I cannot see how logically it will work on paper, however, I do know that the Lord is faithful! He has provided over and over again! Now, when something like this happens, it is actually exciting to see how He will provide!!! Oh, we are making cuts, drastic cuts. My mother is pretty much a recluse, but she does like to go out to eat dinner. We have our favorite restaurants that we make the rounds. But, that has come to a screeching halt. Once a payday, we take her out to eat, not more than that.

Our family has seen the Lord work in such personal ways. Very personal ways. I would not want to trade that for anything! In fact, when we had come into a little money, I told Jim that we needed to really look, each day, and notice how God was working within our family. I didn't want to ever not see His hand in our life! Well, we continue to get our wish! He is continuing to deal directly with us and, as a result, we continue to be stretched and pulled, all for His glory! But, by His interceding on our behalf, we always have something to share with our unsaved friends that points right back to our great and awesome God!

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Kate, at Under The Sky, is participating in the Interview Game and I am the chosen lucky one! If others are interested then here are the rules for the first five to comment:

  1. Leave me a comment saying "interview me."
  2. I will respond by asking you five questions.
  3. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions.
  4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
  5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions. (Write your own questions or borrow some from other sites.)

Okay, here are Kate's questions and my answers!

What two fiction books have affected your life in such a way as to make a difference?

The first book I would list would be This Present Darkness by Frank E. Peretti. It really caused me to re-evaluate the importance of prayer and what an impact our prayers have on the world around us.

The second book that I am listing is Deadline by Randy Alcorn. I read this a little while after my father had passed away. Deadline fed both my mind and my heart. What a perspective of heaven Randy Alcorn has!!

If you could transport yourself into any particular time period, but had to stay there forever with your family, where would you go, and what kind of person would you be?

Wow! What a question! My first thought would be that I would want to go on ahead to heaven! There I would be myself, as I am supposed to be, without that ugly sin nature that always seems to get in my way! And, since my whole family is saved they would be right there with me!

What is one thing that most people do not know about you?

Well, I suppose it would be that I modeled, bridesmaids and wedding dresses, during my highschool days for extra money. I also did 'Tea Room' modeling and some photography modeling.

If you could make a public announcement for everyone to hear, what would you say?

I am very shy so I can't really imagine my getting up in front of people and making an annoucement. If God so moved me, and gave me the words, then I would share about His love and our need.

Why do you blog?

This one is easy! I originally began blogging because I have a nephew who didn't respond to emails unless they were dealing with computers. As I talked with my niece, Claire, (his sister)she mentioned that she checked his blog every few days. I asked what a blog was and she told me. Well, after reading his, I thought, "I can do this! What a great way to stay in touch with family, etc." So I took the plunge, then so did my niece. From there it has just mushroomed as I have visited with so many nice people from all over the world.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Aerobatic solo...

It is so exciting to talk to James! Especially since we have been praying for the Lord to fill his mind with the knowledge, skill and ability to fly that plane! Well, he had his aerobatic solo on Friday and just loved it! He has shared that no one is enjoying flying right now, for many reasons...the stress, the difficulty, they always seem to be doing something wrong and the list goes on. However, I do believe that there are certain times when they do enjoy flying, at least for James, and that is when he is soloing! To be up, going through his loops, his rolls and all his other manuevers, sixty miles away, without an IP (instructor pilot) sitting behind him was just pure elation! He did great and seems to have developed a lot more confidence. You can hear it in his voice! That makes me fact, it brings great joy to my heart, as I have seen God's faithfulness throughout these months. I don't know who's faith has been built up more, James' or his parents! :) I guess it really doesn't matter, does it? The important thing is that the Lord is lifted up!

Friday, February 18, 2005

A Miracle...

I am in awe! Oh yes, I have had an inkling for a little over a year now but it is just now, today, beginning to sink in! It all goes back to when I was 40. That was a very traumatic year for me, health wise, especially my eyes. I had been having some severe problems and had to discontinue wearing my contact lens, which I had worn since my early teens. In the midst of all the problems I was also diagnosed with glaucoma.

Eventually, my doctor retired and I made a switch to a new and younger doctor. He, too, confirmed my glaucoma and kept me on the eye drops that I had been on for years. Because I am diabetic I need to make sure I go in and have my eyes checked every year. About two years ago I was in for my yearly eye exam. The young doctor was taking a very long time, without saying anything, which made me extremely nervous. Finally, I got up enough courage to ask him what he was looking at. He still didn't answer me right away and then he said, "It's more about what I am not looking at." It turns out that he could see no evidence of my glaucoma, glaucoma which he, himself, had confirmed on several yearly visits. Well, I was very skeptical. In my mind, I questioned his credentials. How could this be? So, I made an appointment with another opthamologist and, lo and behold, he told me the same thing. However, he had me continue the drops for several more months and then I went back in to see him, at which time, things still looked great. Hope was beginning to blossom. After my last visit, he said to discontinue the drops and come back in a year. Today was that visit.

He again confirms that there is no evidence of glaucoma and he cannot understand why!! He truly has not ever heard of it reversing itself. Two years now, I am cleared, totally, of my glaucoma!!! I praise God above, who works all things to His Glory!!!

The other exciting item is that I am going back into contacts! Well, I am hoping to return to wearing contacts. After 11 years he is having me try a sample pair to see how I do with them. You cannot imagine my joy if it is possible to return to wearing contacts! O Glory be!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2005


I was reading another blog several days ago and she commented on how 'daily' a mother's day can be...not monotonous, just daily. I've thought about that quite a bit since I read it because I no longer have any children around the house to keep things 'spiced' up rather nicely. At times I feel like I have nothing to write about because it seems to be the same, day in and day out. Oh, yes, I do get out everyday, it seems, to run errands etc. And I would love to have a day when I don't have to go anywhere but, if it isn't an errand then it is an appointment.

However, as I thought about the 'dailyness' of my day the Lord impressed on me that it still belongs to Him and He is the one who has given me my very next breath in fact! I've known that but I think I just needed to be reminded. Everything I do I need to remember is my worship being offered to my King! Worship isn't just on Sunday when I am sitting in church but rather, throughout my day, each task I do should be done in such a way that it brings honor and glory to Him...."do it as unto the Lord."

One of the verses that I seem to be 'meditating' on this week is "taking each thought captive." I find as I do this it helps me to focus, redirect my thoughts, if needed. I'm making sure that my thoughts are offering worship to my Most High God!

I need to remind myself, also, that I never know when the Lord will involve me in a personal way in His work. The checker at my grocery store, Phyllis, came to know Him as her personal Savior, through our everyday conversations. So, I look, always prepared to share the hope that is within me. And recognizing that my next breath may not come so I want to make sure my last breath was pleasing to Him!

Monday, February 14, 2005

Happy Valentine's Day...

The hearts of family and friends seem bigger than anyone else's to me.
I wonder why that is?
Could it be because you make room for all of my joys, tears and triumphs?
Or could it be the way you listen to me and understand what I am saying,
in special ways, that let me know that God hears too.
All I know is that your love and friendship is a gift in my life
And I count each of you as one of the most wonderful blessings He's given to me.
Just a note to wish Happy Valentines' Day to all my family and friends! I love each and every one of you! May the Lord richly bless your day today!

Friday, February 11, 2005

Exodus 35:30-31, 36:1

"Then Moses said to the Israelites, "See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts..." (Exodus 35: 30-31).

"So Bezalel, Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded" (Exodus 35:1).

My husband and I are reading through the Bible in a year together. On this past Monday we were reading in Exodus 35-37 when these verses jumped out at me. I've read this passage many times before but never under the conditions that 'we' are under now with our son in flight training. I was struck by the phrases "...has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in..." and "...the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work..."

As I reread those phrases I thought, "That's it! That's how to pray for James!" I may not understand all that is required to learn how to fly the aircraft but I know the One who does!!! It was the Lord who enabled the people to follow His instructions. He put it into their minds how to accomplish His work. Well, I firmly believe that it is the Lord who has placed James where he is right now. That being the case, then the Lord knows how to fly that aircraft and He knows the academics that need to be learned....all the things that are required for it all to become second nature to James. So my prayer has now been that the Lord would infuse James' mind with the necessary knowledge for academics and enable James to fly the aircraft with the skill and ability and knowledge which the Lord will provide to him.

I know this will be James' longest year ever in his life, as it is for his father and me! Already it seems like we have lived a lifetime since October! I am reminded daily to pray for him and to continually be lifting him up before our Lord's throne. The stress is unbelievable but I know that the Lord is with James in the midst of the "fire." As a mother, I wish it could be easier. Would that be better? No. And I realize that. And truly, if this is what it takes then I really don't want it any easier. James is experiencing first hand the faithfulness of his Lord in a very real and personal way. No parent could ask for more.

"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm (steadfast), immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord [always being superior, excelling, doing more than enough in the service of the Lord], knowing and being continually aware that your labor in the Lord is not futile [it is never wasted or to no purpose]" 1 Corinthians 15:58. Amplified Bible

Comment Box...

I just went in and checked again...and lo and behold, my Comment Box is 'normal'. By that I mean, it is just like my niece's. So, I don't feel so 'out there', like I have something wrong with me. How did it happen? I have no idea. This could stress me if I let it, but I'm not going to. Obviously, it is beyond my control. I guess I'm just glad it's Friday and the weekend is beginning! Praise the Lord!


Sometimes I am just plain slow. Now, I smile when I type this because I can hear my son teasingly saying, "Sometimes?" with a grin on his face. I was visiting my niece's blog yesterday and clicked on 'Comment'. To my surprise, a new window popped up from what she originally had for 'Comments'. So I ask her, "Why did you change your 'comment' area?" Well, imagine my surprise this morning when I went to comment on my own blog! My 'Comments' have changed too! And, not like a normal size box but this narrow little thing that I can only type one, two, maybe three words in before it scrolls to the next line. What is going on? How can I change my box to a more 'normal' size box? If anyone has any suggestions (Dan?) then I would love to hear!!! It makes me mad when 'someone' just arbitrarily changes something on me without letting me know or without giving me a choice. I could live with my niece's style of commenting but I don't want to keep what I was given. Thanks for getting me clued in whatever is going on *music of Twilight Zone*.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Nehemiah 4...

I have been thinking this week, as I studied Nehemiah chapter 4, what my reaction tends to be when someone opposes me or a project that I might be involved in. Usually, I tend to get my hackles up or my feathers ruffled. I may even second guess myself. I have my immediate "reaction" then, I pray. Oh how I desire to pray first, then respond, rather than react.

In Nehemiah there began to be opposition to the rebuilding of the wall. The people were threatened...not with just harm but death. Some of the people were afraid. But Nehemiah combined prayer, preparation and planning in meeting the opposition. I love how Nehemiah reminds the Lord of His covenant with Israel. Then he prays for justice to be done by God.
He also takes steps to have his people armed. He grouped them by families...I find this intriguing. Someone may not necessarily defend another person as aggressively as he would if it was someone in his family. Throughout Nehemiah I see a lot of sound psychology!

Nehemiah also reminded the people that God would fight for them. I need to remember this too. When the Lord has called me to do something for Him and there is opposition, He will be there with me. Opposition is a good thing. Yes, it can notify us that we are upsetting satan but it can also cause us to grow. Warren Wiersbe said, "Opposition is not only an evidence that God is blessing, but it is also an opportunity for us to grow..."God had one Son without sin," said Charles Spurgeon, "but He never had a son without a trial."

It was wise of Nehemiah to redirect the discouraged people from their overwhelming opposition to their omnipotent Lord! May I do the same thing. When I am discouraged may I redirect my focus away from my problem to my omnipotent Lord! When I have a proper view of God then all my difficulties are put in the correct perspective! Over the years, I have said many times, "If someone is complaining then they are not praying." And, it is true. How can I complain if I am taking it to the Lord in prayer?

"Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome..." (Nehemiah 4:14)

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


I'm so excited because our plans are beginning to take shape for our visit to see our son in May! Family and friends are truly a gift from the Lord! I know I have mentioned my sister in the past on my blog but I am truly blessed. Not only is she my sister by blood but she is also my sister in the Lord! I cannot fathom a better sibling relationship than that! She will be coming out to stay with Mom while Jim and I make our trip. Then there is Judy who is a dear friend and it is through her that we are able to fly on her buddy passes which saves us a ton of money. It never fails to excite me when I see the Lord provide so personally in such a variety of ways.

Other good news....I've been hobbling around for a week after some laser surgery on the bottom of my foot. I had my post-op check today and now only have a bandaid. Yea!!! I am back in shoes! It has been challenging to get around without one shoe during our snowiest time of the year!

The sun has been shining so brightly today! I have a song in my heart! The Lord is Good!

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Super Bowl

Yea!!! The Patriots won the Super Bowl! I was the only one out of 10 other people who rooted for the Patriots (well maybe Jim did, he did predict they would win). We had a great time, regardless! We were all glad that it was a close game, and on the whole, the commercials were tons better than last year. The house where we watched the game had a fairly new large tv screen with the HDTV, along with the wide screen you felt like you were right there! It is wonderful to watch sports on something like that.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Answered Prayer...

It is so exciting to me when I see answered prayer! Our prayer for our son before he ever left home in October was for the Lord to provide another Christian young man, one who is actively walking with the Lord and has things in common with our son. Well, a couple of Sundays ago, James went back to one church he had visited in the past. He attended the singles class, the worship service and went back for the Sunday evening service. In the singles class he met two other officers who are in UPT (Undergraduate Pilot Training). Steve is a few weeks ahead of James in the program while Ryan is a few weeks behind James. After church they went out for pizza and met up with some of the others from that singles class. Steve talked about a Bible study/prayer time that he was trying to get going.

Yesterday while James was working out, his SRO (Senior Ranking Officer) struck up a conversation with him. From my understanding, it began with mormonism but turned into just a plain religious discussion with Luke asking questions of James. They are all struggling with the pressures of being in UPT and the incredible demands it makes on them. Luke is looking for 'something more' out of life. Anyway, it was an exciting time as James was able to share some of his faith with Luke. Later, Steve (from Sunday school) called James and said the Bible study was going to meet for the first time that night (last night, Friday). James called Luke and asked him if he wanted to come. He said sure.

Well, James said there were four Christians that showed up along with Luke and a friend he brought with him (also from UPT) named Kevin. James believes Kevin is a Christian who is struggling in his walk, waffles back and forth, not living for the Lord. Finally, before they got too far along, Steve's roommate, Jared (who is actually in James' UPT class) came on down and joined them. They began sharing where they were and what they wanted out of this group.

James shared that he had been reading in 1 Peter 2. He began with how the Lord had really impressed on him several verses out of chapter 2. Verses 1 -3 state "Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good." Also, verse 9 says, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." And then, finally, verse 23b: "Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly." James shared how these verses had struck him---in verse 1, 'all' meaning all, not just partial, not just some. That he should be striving to rid himself of 'all'. James also shared how acutely aware he is that it is God who has allowed him to come this far, it is God who has placed him where he is today. And, it will be God, and God alone, who gets James through UPT. James acknowledged that they are there, learning to be pilots and eventually to be pilots, but truly, as a believer, he is there for an even higher calling, that is, to be a witness for God in the pilot community (vs. 9). Finally, he is very open in class or giving a briefing, admitting that he doesn't know or understand something completely, and is willing to take the consequences for that, trusting that the Lord is in complete control of the whole situation. For James knows that Capt. ---- cannot do anything to him unless it has passed through the Lord's hands first (vs 23b).

They also shared how they were all desiring a prayer time, where they can support and uphold one another during the difficult times. No one understands what they are going through, unless one has already been through it, or, are going through it themselves. They feel the need to lift and encourage each other through prayer.

After the get-together Luke went out to James' car with him and they continued talking. Luke continuing to ask James questions and James directing him back to the Bible with his answers.

It is so exciting to be involved (by prayer) in our son's life as he seeks to serve his country, but more importantly, as he seeks to serve his Lord and Savior. Will you join with us in prayer for Luke, as we see the Lord pulling him to Himself. Pray that his heart and mind would be open to the Holy Spirit and may his ears, eyes and mind begin to comprehend his need before God. Pray that satan would be bound, not able to snatch the Truth which James is sharing with him and pray, too, that Luke would have a hunger to be in God's Word. Also, pray for Jared. I don't know if there is any interest there, but he did come and join them and since I don't believe in coincidences but in God-incidences, then, there was a reason for him being there too. And, pray for Kevin, that he will be convicted to stand firm in his faith, desiring to live for the Lord in all areas of his life. Finally, would you please pray that this group would be faithful to meet once a week, and faithful to uphold one another in prayer. It would be so easy to say they don't have time or something else is more important. May the Holy Spirit cause them to see the bigger picture...that being, if God is number one in their priorities then all the other will fall into place.

"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." (Ephesians 3:21)

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Time with the Lord...

Have you ever noticed when you love someone all you want to do is spend time with them, or talk with them for hours on end? You cannot seem to have enough time together, ever. When someone else calls to do something, you have to check your schedule to see when you are supposed to have time together with the one you love. The one I love takes precedence over everyone else. If that is so, then why does it seem so difficult sometimes to 'find' time to be with the Lord? Do you ever have that problem? Where the 'jumble of life' seems to crowd out the important things? He is my all consuming passion but, I have to confess, there are times when I feel like it isn't so. Those are the times when I have jumped up and begun my day without meeting with Him first. Oh! The whole timbre of my day is off when I do that. If Christ Himself met with the Father to pray, how much more do I need to? There were times when Christ prayed all night! May I always put Him first and foremost in my life, ahead of all else!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Love Tips...Explained by kids

This list came in a brochure from one of the Christian radio stations that I listen to. Seeing that this is February and Valentines Day is just around the corner I thought you could use a laugh or two.

Q. What is the proper age to get married?
A. "Once I'm done with kindergarten, I'm going to find me a wife."--Tom, age 5

Q. The Great Debate: Is it better to be single or married?
A. "It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. The boys need somebody to clean up after them!"--Lynette, age 9
"It gives me a headache to think about that stuff. I'm just a kid. I don't need that kind of trouble."--Kenny, age 7

Q. Why does love happen between two people?
A. "No one is sure why it happens but I heard it has something to do with the way you smell. That's why perfume and deodorant are so popular."--Jan, age 9

Q. Is love truly the most important thing in the world?
A. "Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too."--Greg, age 8

Q. What is it like when you are falling in love?
A. "Like an avalanche where you have to run for your life."--Roger, age 9
"If falling in love is anything like learning your spelling words, I don't want to do it. It takes too long."--Leo, age 7

Q. Are good looks important in falling in love?
A. "It isn't always just how you look. Look at me. I'm handsome like anything, and I haven't got anybody to marry me yet."--Gary, age 7

Q. Why do people who are in love hold hands?
A. "They want to make sure their rings don't fall off because they paid good money for them."--Dave, age 8

Q. Where do you find love?
A. "Love will find you, even if you are trying to hide from it. I have been trying to hide from it since I was five, but the girls keep finding me."--Bobby, age 8
"I'm not rushing into love...4th grade is hard enough for me!"--Regina, age 10

Q. What are the qualifications necessary to be a good spouse?
A. "Sensitivity doesn't hurt."--Ava, age 8

Q. What is a surefire way to make people fall in love with you?
A. "Yell out at them at the top of your lungs that you love them--and don't worry if their parents are standing right there."--Alonzo, age 9

Q. "What are most people thinking when they say, "I love you?"
A. "The person is thinking , 'yeah, I really do love him, but I hope he showers at least once a day.'"--Michelle, age 9

Q. How was kissing invented?
A. "I know one reason that kissing was created. It makes you feel warm all over, and they didn't always have electric heat or fire places or even stoves in their houses."--Gina, age 8

Q. How does a person learn to kiss?
A. "You learn it right on the spot when the gooshy feeling gets the best of you."

Q. When is it okay to kiss someone?
A. "If it's your mother, you can kiss her anytime. But if it's a new person, you have to ask permission."--Roger, age 6

Q. How do you make love endure?
A. "Don't forget your wife's name...That will mess up the love."--Roger, age 8

Q. What is a love ballad you can sing to your beloved...
A. "Hey, Baby, I don't like girls but I'm willing to forget you are the one!"--Will, age 7

I am reminded of my son and his favorite babysitter. Her name was Julie and she loved bugs and stuff, as well as rats and snakes etc. When my son was about 5 he gave her the highest compliment there was, "Julie is the next best thing to being a boy!" That's love!

Seven consequences of sin...

Psalm 51:1-17 "Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. / Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. / For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. / Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. / Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. / Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. / Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. / Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. / Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. / Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. / Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. / Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. / Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. / Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. / O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. / You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. / The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."

As I read through this passage again this morning I am reminded of consequences of sin:

  1. Sin soils your soul and body (vs. 1 and 2)
  2. Sin saturates your mind (vs. 3)
  3. Sin stings the conscious (vs. 4)
  4. Sin saddens the heart (vs. 8, 12)
  5. Sin sickens the body (vs. 8)
  6. Sin sours the spirit (vs. 10)
  7. Sin seals one's lips (vs 13, 15)

It would be much easier to go before the Lord with a sacrifice, I think. We poor humans are conditioned to 'do' something to make things right. How much harder it is for me to offer God my broken spirit and repentant heart. To me, that is much harder to do, I guess because it means humbling myself before the Lord and acknowledging my sin and weakness. All sin has some element of pride in it, don't you think? May I continually call on Him to sustain me and give me the power to flee from sin!