Thursday, August 29, 2013

Just Another Day

 Today has been an ordinary day... with some excitement thrown in. :)

 I've been in the garden all week, and don't know what's going on with anyone else.

 The garden was getting ahead of us there for a bit. Monday I started weeding at the west end, and have been heading east.

 Today's "patch" was fifteen, three foot by thirty foot rows.  Hoeing, raking, hilling, watering.... three huge popped blisters, two sore arms, and a sore back later... haha  I is sore. :P   But the garden looks marvelous now! .....up until the potato patch... that's tomorrow's job.

 Working on the garden... makes me think of God as the great gardener.  How He tends to the plants; sees they have enough water, enough dirt around the roots, no weeds choking them out.   How often do we "blister" Him with our stubbornness to let go of those "weeds" in our lives?

 Thinking about God that way made me feel guilty stopping for a rest... because He never does.  He tends His "garden" day and night. Never stopping. Never resting until it's just how He wants it.  So I didn't take any breaks (my back wishes I had...) and got quite a lot done.
 Stopping for the night, I feel bad because there is still half a garden left to deal with. But I'm thankful that God always completes His work in His time, even when I can't complete mine when I want to.

 As I was hoeing, thinking on these sort of things, I heard a tremendous crash... kind of an exploding pop... coming from the direction of the house.   The one the guys are jacking up to put on the basement.

 When I heard it, I was kind of rooted to the spot for a second, and two things went through my mind - The cribbing broke, and the house fell on the guys. And - Do I want to go and see what happened? I have to... but I don't want to have to tell mom about this...
 Went running over as fast as I could; which isn't very fast, had to cross the garden, go through the barn, across the yard, around the other barn and behind the basement before I could see anything of what had happened.

 When I got around there, my brother is standing there holding a shattered 4x6, his eyes are rather large, and Dad is looking at another shattered fragment. The house was still up. They were still under it... I couldn't figure out what had happened.    Then I saw the jack laying in the ground about five feet away from where they were using it.

 Apparently they were jacking the house, and one of the boards they were using to support the jack exploded. No warning. They didn't even hear it cracking.    The only "injury" was one of the other boards slid and hit my brother on the leg.  

 Somehow I think their guardian angles got a bit of a workout today... ;)  

 All in all, it was a good day. Not to warm. Got lots done in the garden (if it weren't visible, I still feel like I got a lot done. hehe) The guys got the house up another foot or so, and were safe after that mishap.

       God is good all the time!


Friday, August 23, 2013

Daddy's Prayers

 Here I go down memory lane, and I'm going to drag you all along with me.  Just because I can. ;)

 For as long as I can remember, Dad has prayed with us kids every night at bed time.  I took it for granted for many years.  Until recently.

 As a little toddler, I remember running back to my room, diving under the covers, and yelling "Daddy! Come pray with me!!"

 When it was dark, and I got scared, I'd yell out "Daddy! Come pray with me!!" and know that he would be coming soon, and then I didn't have to be scared anymore.

 As I got older, and more ornery, ideas started coming to mind...

 I'd roll up in a ball at the foot end of my bed, under the blankets, and yell for him.  Sometimes it took more than once of calling to get him to come...  But when he did... I'd lay as still as possible, peeping out from under the blanket, and watch him look at the bed all puzzled, and then scout the room to see where I was; when he wouldn't find me, he'd step out into the hall, and look around all puzzled.  Pretty soon he'd come back and look again... that was what I was waiting for.
 As he'd pass the foot end of the bed, I'd jump up, a lump of noisy blankets, and his reaction would be spectacular every time.  It never got old. :D
 My sister even did it on occasion... ;)

 As we got older, he'd finish whatever it was he was doing before coming.  That became my thinking time.
 All the difficult thoughts from the preceding day would come flooding back, and I'd mull them over; often times asking Dad about them when he did show up.

 Prayer time with Dad was my Daddy time.  That's when we'd get to talk some.   A lot of the time he'd get off on some subject, and talk on forever about it.  Usually talking me to sleep. ;)  But I learned from those talks.

 Many times when I wondered how Dad felt about different things, I'd find out by listening to his prayer.
 He doesn't show feeling much... except when he's praying.

 Night time prayer was a sort of bonding time.  

 A lot of times we'd get to goofing around; tickling, and laughing. (Dad and I are both very ticklish)
 Those times were lots of fun. Then we'd hear Mom's voice from the other room "It's getting late, and we need sleep, let Dad go."  That would put an end to the giggling for the night. Only to be taken up again the next night. ;)  (poor Mom, we weren't very nice keeping her up late so often...)

 Getting older I wouldn't yell for him to come anymore, but ask him before heading off.  He would always come.

 At the end of each prayer, he said the same thing. All growing up, he prayed the same prayer.  I got so used to it it seemed odd if  he forgot it once in a while, but I never really thought about it much.
 That thing was "...may she grow in You, with a gentle and quiet spirit..." sometimes that grabbed my attention, and had me thinking for a long time.

 That's one thing I've always known that Dad wanted of me.   And these last several years I've really been trying to be that... but finding that I can't be on my own.  It has to come from God.  And He has been helping with it. Slowly, but surely.

 Even when we were gone, staying the night somewhere, and Dad wasn't there (which wasn't often) he would call and pray, over the phone.

 The few occasions where he couldn't, or forgot to come pray with me... I knew it. Everything was thrown off for me.

 Those prayer times with Dad have gone from my Daddy time, to family prayer time each night.

 Thinking back, I miss those times.   All that was learned in those times.  All the fun we had.

 Prayer time with Daddy is a treasured memory now.  And I can't help wishing that every child had what I had growing up.... The most awesome Dad in the world. :)

                                            Serving the Father, because of my father

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dear Brothers (part 2)

 I know I've already "written" you all... but I just don't want any of you to go without encouragement. 
 You have no idea how special it is to have brothers in Christ who really care, who make an effort. 

 You guys are so special! It's such an honor to know you, to count you as brothers.  

 Never give up on the great work God has for you.  It does get hard, at times it does seem easier to just quit. Never quit!  We need you men out there fighting! And we girls are here to back you, and fight along with you. 

 Maybe we girls can't be out there wielding a sword along with you; but we're here to keep them sharp, and fight for you in our prayers. 

 As I type this, certain of you come to mind, and compared to the "skuzzy" guys in the world, you're like a breath of fresh air.   When I see these quirky guys that really don't care for anything more than video games, I turn the pages in my mind and find the pictures of you guys. It's something good, and refreshing to think on. 

 This work that we are called to is a great one. It takes so much time and energy. We may not see the end of it. But future generations will, and they will be thankful.  
 We need you men leading.  We're ready to come along side of you, back you, and support you. 

 When you think about the things the world has to offer (which isn't anything really) and the things the world says are important... it's so empty, or crass. 

 There is so much more!  God has so much for you to do. "Keep the faith, fight the good fight" you've got back-up. :)

 Think of the music culture that needs reforming. The movie industry. Children's books. Text books. Even the church!  There is so much to be done.  And it takes real men to do it. 
 That's not to say we girls have nothing to do with it.  We've got much to do too.  But the men are to lead.   We need you leading us. 

 To quote my mom... "Get this in your head!" You are so needed. We need you men in this great work. 

 Have courage. Never give up. 

 Joshua 1:9
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

 Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

 Joshua 1:7
Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.

 Joshua 23:6
Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left;

 2 Samuel 10:12
Be of good courage, and let us play the men for our people, and for the cities of our God: and the Lord do that which seemeth him good.

 1 Chronicles 19:13
Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the Lord do that which is good in his sight.

 1 Chronicles 22:13
Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the Lord charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed.

 1 Chronicles 28:20
And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.

 Take this as from us girls...
 Ezra 10:4
Arise; for this matter belongeth unto thee: we also will be with thee: be of goodcourage, and do it.

 Keep your focus on Him. He will see you through. 
 Psalm 27:14
Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

 Psalm 31:24
Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.

 1 Timothy 6:12
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

 Thanks for making a stand, and being real men.  And thanks for being my brothers. 

  Stay awesome.  You are greatly appreciated. :) 

                                   Your sister


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Faithfulness, and Saying Goodbye

 Been internalizing again. Which is good a lot of the time... but sometimes it gets too much.

 It's so hard to say goodbye to someone you've loved deeply your whole life.  Especially when you promised to be their friend forever.

 Saying you'll always be there, always be a faithful friend... and to have to say goodbye? Forever?  How do you deal with it?

 I don't know how to deal with it. I don't deal with it.  But God can, and He does.

 There are days when you feel nothing. There is so much to feel, but you don't feel it.
 There are days when the simplest thing brings tears to your eyes.  Memories pop up, and your heart is wrung anew.

 When does it ever end? Will it ever?

 I thought time fixed these things.... but somedays the thought of going on through life without this friend... it's too much, and the tears start to come.

 It's too much for tears... you want to cry, the tears try to come... but they can't, they don't.

 Giving it to God daily is the only thing left, and it has been given daily... but the hurt is still there.  The crushing pain comes back at times.  Sure, not as much as before, but still.

 How is saying goodbye being faithful?   When they are going wrong, it's not being faithful to go along. That never helps anyone.  But oh how hard it is to make a stand against the wrong when the time comes!

 Faithfulness isn't easy! It never will be.  But we're required by God to remain faithful to the end regardless.

 Being faithful to God is being faithful to friends. More so than staying with them through everything, right or wrong.

 Sometimes the pain goes away, and I think maybe it's over.   God won a long time ago, but maybe He's seen fit to take away the pain now...  then someone posts a song, and that song brings up pictures of days gone by; days that will never be again... then the sudden rush of pain, and tears wanting out comes again.     Why?

 God has something to teach through the pain.   We may not always know what, but there is always a reason for it.

 Anymore, He's been teaching me through the memories.

 This quote says it best... "We'd never been close, and yet we'd done a lot together...  and we had grown older together.  It is a sad thing to leave a friend behind, to find one you've admired changed."

 Remembering how things used to be, and what I learned through the friendship before it crashed... what I'm learning through the crash...

 Seriously, there were things that I would not have learned without that friendship.  Things that were said, things that were done, that helped to form what I was two years ago.
 Then because of those things, and the "crash" I've learned stuff that has made me what I am now.
 The current pain is forming what I'll be in the future.

 I don't know what the future holds... but through this, I know better the One Who holds the future.

 Praise God for the pain!  There is so much to be done, and so much to be learned in order to do it; things we would never learn without the pain.

 To quote a song that has really helped me through all of this.... "The Arms that hold the universe are holding you tonight. You can rest inside, it's gonna be alright" 

 It's not the best grammar or anything, nor is it my favorite style. But that song has really helped me to realize just how personal of a relationship we are to have with Christ.  A relationship made stronger through pain.

 "You can never know the Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have."
 "Look around and be distressed. Look within and be depressed. Look to Jesus and be at rest."  ~ Corrie Ten Boom

 "To love Christ more - This is the deepest need, the constant cry of my soul." 
 "To learn Christ. This is life!" ~ Elizabeth Prentiss

                                  Learning Christ...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

It's War!

 I love war movies. 

 I've always been captivated by war. (no pun intended) War greatly interests me.  

 Now, before you think I'm some horrid, blood thirsty, sicko.... here's why I love to hear stories, and watch movies about war.

 There's just something about it that draws me in... not because I like blood and gore; I can handle that just fine, but don't like it.  It's that being a warrior at heart, I can relate to them in ways, and feel deeply for them. I want to help them.  I want to take part in the fight, and help them to win. 
 When one is killed, I want to comfort the others, and help to care for the wounded. 

 You see, not only am I a warrior, but I'm also a healer.  War is something necessary to accomplish the ultimate goal.  It's the end goal being achieved that I like.  But along the way there are wounds to heal, and hearts to prepare for peace. 

 Most war movies, and stories that I have seen/heard have been about certain things:
 Loyalty. Undying loyalty to comrades and commanders.  
 Obedience to orders, to the point of losing ones life in an attempt to obey. 
 Surrender. Not of one army to another, but of the soldier's will to the commander's will.
 Courage.  Courage to make a stand for what you believe is right, and be willing to die for it. 
 Patience in waiting for orders.
 Love for family, friends and country.
 Sacrifice. Willing to sacrifice ones life to protect their country/others in their care. 
 Team work. Working together toward the ultimate goal. 
 Forgetful of self. 

 But war goes beyond the physical.  War is an inner struggle. It's battling the sinful human nature, and gaining victories for Christ.   It's also fighting for the Kingdom, which is physical in many ways. 

 To me these movies/stories are a picture of what we, as children of the King, are supposed to be doing.

 We are to have undying loyalty to Christ, and His cause. 

 We are to obey Him in all things. Even to the point of losing our lives in the fight. 
 Philippians 1:20-21

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

 We are to surrender our will to that of the Father, committing ourselves entirely to His care, and letting Him have His way, no matter what. 
 Matthew 7:21
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

 We are to have courage in the face of difficulty. 
 Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

 Joshua 1:9
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

We are to be patient, and wait upon the Lord. Wait for His direction. Wait for His time. 
 Psalm 27:14
Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.
 Psalm 69:6
Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord God of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel.

 We are to love God, and love others. Not respecting persons, but loving them because Christ loves them, and died for them.  Willing ourselves, to give our lives for them. 
 Matthew 22:37-39
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

 We should be willing to sacrifice all we have, all we hope and dream, in order to be of service to Christ and His people. 
 Philippians 1:21
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

 We must work together for the advancement of the Kingdom. No one can do this great work alone. We're one family, in Christ, and must work together as one. 
 Matthew 12:50
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
 We are to forget self, and do the work of our heavenly Father. Part of being selfless is being humble. 
 Proverbs 15:33
The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.

 Proverbs 18:12
Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility.

 Proverbs 22:4
By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honour, and life.

 And finally, when we have all of those, we are sure of victory. 
 2 Corinthians 2:14
 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.

 1 Chronicles 29:11
Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.

 Psalm 98:1
O sing unto the Lord a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.

 Isaiah 25:8
He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for theLord hath spoken it.

 1 Corinthians 15:54-55
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

 1 Corinthians 15:57
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 Victory comes because the soldiers have faith in their commander.
 1 John 5:4
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

 So now, who will fight with me?  

 Prayer is not passive. Prayer is a battle that we fight in secret.  Who will join me? 

 The battle is the Lord's! 

                           Fighting for the Kingdom. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

To Parents - From A Daughter

 As a daughter who has been observing parents her entire life, and with a keen interest in the subject the  last several years, there are some things I've seen, that I shall attempt to share my thoughts on.

 I'm sure most (if not all) of what I'm addressing has been thought of, and considered by my readers; but this is somewhat for the benefit of future parents as well. :)

 Many parents go on as if their children pick up on things by osmosis.  Seldom do you see parents really engage the child, and teach them from the heart. Much of the time the parents do their thing, and wonder why the children don't follow in their steps.

 It seems there is an idea that once you are a parent it's now your time to be heard, and the children "should be seen and not heard".  That's good... to a degree.  But children need so badly to be heard, and mostly by their parents.

 So often you hear a parent complaining that their child runs to their friends for everything.  Is it any wonder?  When the parents are too busy, or don't seem interested, or have more important things to do than listen to their child; the child will naturally go where they can be heard. Which many times is their friends.

 Listening is an art we all need to learn.

 Children need it so they can learn... but parents need it too. Parents need it in order to understand the blessing, and responsibility God gave them.

 How many times have you heard a parent, broken hearted about their child going so different from the paths they, themselves have gone?

 How many times do you suppose that could be avoided?

 Sure, there are many times the parents did right. They invested much in their child. It's the sinful human nature rebelling against God given authority.

 But what about the times when the God given authority is abusing the authority they've been given?

 God commands that parents teach their children when they rise up, when they lie down, when they are about their daily tasks, when they are traveling... they to teach always.

 But how can one teach when they don't take the time to listen, and find out what needs yet to be learned?

 As my Dad always said. "God gave you one mouth, and two ears. That's because you're supposed to listen twice as much as you speak." He's right.   Listening to someone (even in the smallest matters) for ten minutes, goes much farther than ten lectures at times.  

 Sure, talking has it's place. Lectures are much needed.  But everyone needs to be heard at some point. Children are no exception.

 Age makes no difference either.

 We seem to like to hush small children, because they don't know what they are saying.  But how can they know what they're saying is wrong, if no one will hear?

 Little children say some of the funniest things, and we miss that, because we hush them so much.  Many times the little ones have some simple, yet profound truth that we miss, because we hush them.

 Just this spring there was a situation I was in, and no amount of what I said, trying to get others to do right, did any good.  But a little girl, standing by innocently, made one small remark. By the looks on the adults faces, I could tell that little gem of a sentence she let drop went right to their conscience; unlike the many words I said on the subject.  "Out of the mouths of babes" And we don't hear it much of the time, because we haven't learned the art of listening.

 When a child is hushed from little on, by the parents, who should be the ones listening to them the most; is it any wonder when they grow older, they go to their friends, and go a different way than their parents tried to teach them?

 Distrust of parents starts at an early age.  It starts with not being heard, from little on.

 I've lost count how many dear people come to me as a friend, and when I ask about what their parents think, it's always "They don't care. They never listen." Never listening is always - almost without fail - the first thing listed when asked why the parents aren't trusted/included.   That alone should speak volumes. 

 Matthew 13:43
Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.