Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Die Die Die

The words jumped off of the page:

A dead person cannot be offended.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

If I am truly dead to myself and alive in Christ, nothing said or done to me will be offensive to me.  Nothing will hurt my feelings.  Gulp.

A dead person does not harbor unforgiveness.

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

Words are said and feelings are hurt over and over again.  Blood is flung over hearts and mud over names.  Whatever wrong has been done to us, we are still to forgive.  Sigh.

A dead person does not get even.

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

It is so easy to react.  It is our nature, our desire, to retaliate so that the one who hurts us will be hurt.  Even if we deserve to lash back, we need to put revenge in the hands of the one who says He will avenge.  Whew.

I don't ever remember Jesus trying to defend Himself.

He didn't yell out at the ones who said things that were not true.  He didn't strike back when He was beaten beyond recognition.  

He didn't come down when He carried the load of my sin.

And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

It isn't easy, this life that requires death.


Linking up today with Time Warp Wife.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Engagement Story

Hugh brought Hannah home after a romantic dinner.  She sat on the couch wrapped up in a blanket and told me about her dinner.  She said maybe she was dumb thinking that he might propose that night.  Even gave him several hints that she was ready.

Subtle hints, she said, like pointing to her ring finger and saying, "I want to be your wife!".

That is how Hannah is subtle.  Hugh is perfect for her because his response was to smile and say "I know you do."

What she didn't know that while they were lost, looking for the restaurant, Hugh had his brother and her sisters and their youth minister decorating the 100 year old white Methodist church across the road from us.  Decorated with candles and tulle and an archway.

Decorated with her great grandmother's pitcher and bowl at the end of the aisle,  and with two brand new white towels.

After we talked on the couch for about 15 minutes Michael got a call from Leah that they were ready so I told Hannah I thought I heard Kayla pull up.  I told her we should go out to help her carry in her suitcase.  Michael met us and we all three walked out together.  As we got close to the driveway, she noticed the lanterns that were placed all the way out to the gate and over to the church.  We started walking down the driveway and her smile got bigger with every step.

When we got to our gate, Hugh's parents, Ed and Donna, met us and continued walking with us to the church.  As we approached the church we could see Hannah's sisters and Hugh's brothers standing at the doors waiting for her.  They opened the doors and Hugh was standing at the end of the aisle.

She came out with clean feet, wet eyelashes, and a ring on her ring finger.

Yes, they are young.  Yes, there will be times that are difficult.

They love Jesus.  They know what the Bible says about marriage and have made a commitment to go by what it ways.

We have made a commitment to help them do that.

We are getting another boy!


Friday, April 19, 2013

Thus Saith the Lord

The boom was so loud at our house that it shook the windows.  Michael and I were in the kitchen getting something to eat.  "Was that thunder?"  I asked.  He had just checked the radar a few minutes before and said that it couldn't be thunder because the radar was clear.  We went outside to look around and wondered if the boom could have been a truck that didn't make it around the turn a couple of miles from the house.

It wasn't until about twenty minutes later I got a message that a fertilizer plant had exploded.  It was 50 miles away.

The news hasn't been good for many of our church members who have family and friends from West.  The phone has been ringing since the news broke.  West and Ennis are both Czech communities with many families sharing the same last name that consists of many consonants with a mere splattering of vowels.

While watching the news last night, a sadness came over me for my kids and grandkids.  The world is so much scarier than when I was young.  


We are strangers in this land.  Just passing through.  There is a whole lot of ugly going on here, but our reality is that Jesus' word is good.  We were never told that there would not be trials and heartache.  We live in a fallen world and it is just not going to get better before He comes for us.  

Until then, He promises us peace and strength and guidance.  It is so sweet to be able to trust that.  To trust Him.  To take Him at His word.  To rest upon His promises.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.  John 14:27

There is going to be ugly.  There is going to be uglier.  There is also Promise.

I have had this old hymn on my mind all day today through the phone calls and the news reports.

Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus
Just to take Him at His Word
Just to rest upon His promise
Just to know, thus saith the Lord.

This is our reality.  


Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Last week Eli had his first T-ball game.  He was telling his Aunt Kayla about it and she told him she was going to go and yell really loud for him.  He looked at her as serious as he could and said, "Maybe you could make a sign."

Maybe you could make a sign.

We all want to be seen.  

Hagar was the handmaid of Abraham and Sarah who was thrown out of the house because of Sarah's jealousy.  An angel found her in the wilderness.  He called her by name and told her she would have a son.  She may have been happy about the baby news, but what seemed to bring her the most joy was that the angel called her name.  She knew that God Himself noticed her so she gave Him a name that means "God Who sees".

The young woman sitting on the bench, tells me of a scary diagnosis.  I tell her how God is the lifter of her head.  With my finger under her chin, I lift her face, and whisper  "He sees you".  Then with hands cupped around her face, I tell her again,  "HE SEES YOU".  The sweetness of that thought makes her weep.  I hold her and we weep.

The little boy standing in a house he has known for less than a week, dares to whisper "mommy?" to a woman he doesn't really know.  He just hears the other kids call her that.  We go out and take pictures and order one for the family wall.

That face.

I will never forget that face when he saw his framed 8 x 10 up there with all of the others.  He didn't know family blood didn't flow through his veins.  From that time on he saw himself as we saw him - ours.  Even if it was for such a short time.

Some days I don't see myself as God does.  Some days it is hard for me to imagine my

8 x 10 glossy hanging on His family wall.  It does.

The scripture tells me in Song of Solomon that He also made a sign for me.  It says that He brought me to His banqueting table and His banner over me is Love.

On days when things just do not go the way they were planned.  He sees.

The days when you are not feeling loved or appreciated.  He sees.

When the pain is so deep you feel like you cannot breathe.  He sees.

He invites you to His table.  

He has a sign with your name on it.