Monday, April 26, 2010

Good Sermon at Mars Hill website--or maybe I just needed it

Friday, April 23, 2010

Bold, strong women of the Bible

Hannah's Story
Our pastor has started a study on Wednesday nights in First Samuel. The story of Samuel's mother, Hannah, is such a tender and amazing story, and so pertinent today. I wish our pastor would linger in the first few chapters, but I think he wants to finish the whole book this century.
Hannah is among five special ladies mentioned in the Bible who had problems getting pregnant. Sarah, Abraham's wife, Rebekah, Isaac's wife, even Rachel was barren for a time, (Jacob's wife) and Elizabeth in the New Testament. Sampson's mother, also experienced barrenness but her prayer was answered in a mighty way. Both Sampson's mother and Elizabeth (John the Baptisers mother) would receive specific instructions about what to feed their sons, as they were to be Nazarenes.
We read in First Samuel chapter one, that Hannah is married to Elkanah--an Ephraimite from the same area thousands of years later would come Joseph of Aramathea. Elkanah had two wives. Big problem right there. We are not told why, but God only ordained one wife for one man at a time. And maybe because of what happened here---the second wife, Peninnah "would provoke her bitterly to irritate her" year after year to the point where Hannah would weep and not eat.
Wow---way to go Peninnah---your sin is recorded for all to see. forever. No wonder my mom would admonish me to be nice to my sister and brothers when I was little. On the one hand, we feel sorry for Peninnah, because the Bible records that Elk loved Hannah. Maybe he only used Peninnah. And his not-very-helpful whine: "Hannah, why do you weep and why do not eat and why is your heart sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?"
Maybe Elk liked being spoiled. But, his question indicates he knows Hannah's plight. The men in the other stories are recorded as praying for their wives---Abraham, Isaac, Jacob--John's father, Zachariah, all prayed. But, in Hannah's story---she is the one who goes to the Tabernacle and prays and makes a vow. Eli the priest watches her and thinks she is drunk. And without gossiping, Hannah tells him that she has been praying, pouring out her heart to the Lord, "out of my great concern and provocation."
Hannah is encouraged by Eli's blessing, and the Bible says, she "went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
That is trust. When we have body slammed our problems and concerns on the Lord in prayer, we can get up and face the day.
God answers Hannah's prayer for a son, and Hannah keeps her vow. I cannot imagine leaving my three or four year old son with the pastor's family, let alone some priest who we know had trouble with his own sons. But, Hannah trusted God, and she did not just drop him off. She brought food and clothing for him every year. The Bible says she made a little linen ephod (tunic) for him to wear. And Eli the priest noticed her faithfulness, and Eli prayed for Hannah to have more children. Hannah would go on to have three more sons and two daughters. But, for a few years, I suspect her arms were empty.
Just like Elizabeth, Hannah proclaims wonders through the power of the Holy Spirit and chapter 2 records "Hannah's song". In the New Testament, it reminds me of Mary's song.
I want to copy it here. Some of the words may seem strange to come out of the mouth of a hard working woman who may have been illiterate. She obviously has been listening when God's Word is read at the tabernacle, and she knows God, and serves Him, and loves Him.
Way to go, Hannah. Your name is sweet to us, and we give it to girls to this day. Hannah was strong, and bold, and not afraid to declare what is right even to her own husband. I have to think that she looked forward to seeing Samuel each year. I hope she got to spend a little time with him and explain the miracle of his birth, and her vow, and hear how God was working in his life. Yes, she gave him back to the Lord, dedicating him to the Lord, but kept busy supporting him. And I am sure she prayed for him. Hannah trusted God with her son. Her son would live to anoint kings, teach and preach and even come back from the dead to speak to Saul. His would be an amazing life. Truly used by God to demonstrate and picture the fact that this world belongs to Jesus. But, like king David, there was a period of years where David was anointed but not yet on the throne.

Hannah's Song of Thanksgiving
1Then Hannah prayed and said,
"My heart exults in the LORD;
My horn is exalted in the LORD,
My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies,
Because I rejoice in Your salvation.
2"There is no one holy like the LORD,
Indeed, there is no one besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.
3"Boast no more so very proudly,
Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth;
For the LORD is a God of knowledge,
And with Him actions are weighed.
4"The bows of the mighty are shattered,
But the feeble gird on strength.
5"Those who were full hire themselves out for bread,
But those who were hungry cease to hunger.
Even the barren gives birth to seven,
But she who has many children languishes.
6"The LORD kills and makes alive;
He brings down to Sheol and raises up.
7"The LORD makes poor and rich;
He brings low, He also exalts.
8"He raises the poor from the dust,
He lifts the needy from the ash heap
To make them sit with nobles,
And inherit a seat of honor;
For the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S,
And He set the world on them.
9"He keeps the feet of His godly ones,
But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness;
For not by might shall a man prevail.
10"Those who contend with the LORD will be shattered;
Against them He will thunder in the heavens,
The LORD will judge the ends of the earth;
And He will give strength to His king,
And will exalt the horn of His anointed."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Navy and Black

There is something obviously wrong with me. A black tee shirt looks okay with navy denim I suppose, but a black polo shirt worn with navy slacks: yuck. But, my man dresses himself, and he is at the "don't care" stage. As long as it is clean and presentable, the colors do not matter much to him.

The navy slacks had been hidden between some other shirts and slacks, so when he found them, he thought I'd bought him a new pair, and has been wearing them proudly. But, get him to go shopping to get a few more pair whilst we can afford it...even if we happen to be in Walmart for a tool or something manly, he ain't stopping no where no how at the men's department even if it is on the route to the cash registers. So, I either need to purchase a few more black pair and khaki---as they go with about any colored polo he grabs, or hide the navy amongsth the white (safe) polos...

Sure wish there was a verse about wearing black and navy together.

Any ideas, ladies? Help !

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

We are all nursing moms

First Thessalonians 2:7,8

"But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. Having thus a fond affection for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives because you had become very dear to us."

The admonition to love, help, encourage, no matter matter the opposition nor suffering, living your life pleasing God---love, love, love, appears in a ration of 10 to 1 to rebuke. We gotta do a whole lot of loving, and motivated by love and restoring before that one rebuke. Encourage, help, pray for, rejoice, be bold, be gentle for we serve a living God who searches our hearts. Live devoutly, uprightly, blamelessly, well behaved---walking in a manner worthy of God who calls you into His kingdom and glory.
a father's responsibility: implore his own children, exhort, and encourage.

Unblamable, receive instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God. Abstain from sexual immorality. Do not trangress nor defraud. The Lord is the avenger of all these things. God has not called us for the purpose of impurity but sanctification. Only God teaches us to love one another.
Practice it toward all. Lead a quiet life. Attend to your own business. Work with your hands. Behave properly toward outsiders and do not be in any need.
(the next verse does NOT say we are NOT to grieve) Instead, we do not grieve as those who have no hope. Comfort one another with these words! We live in light of the fact that Jesus who died and rose again is coming back with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, with the trumpet of God to meet us in the air (the dead in Christ rise first) and we are to comfort each other knowing Jesus died, and rose, and exquisite details about our future. We are sons of light an sons of alert, and sober. Put on the breastplate of faith and love and the helmet of salvation. Encourage one another, build up one another, appreciate the pastors and teachers and workers--esteem them highly.

Live in peace with one another. Admonish the unruly. Encourage the fainthearted. Help the weak. Be patient with all men. No repaying evil for evil. Seek after that which is good. Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks. For this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Examine everything carefully. Hold fast to that which is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Be preserved complete. Joy comes from the Holy Spirit.
What does your work of faith, labor of love and steadfastness of hope look like? He chose you.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

That panic-ey feeling

I have such a long collection of blogs I visit...and I don't want to lose them.

I need to spend some time and add them here in case my computer acts up and eats my favorites list. With computers, nothing is ever permanent. You can spend all day composing the great epistle and poof---gone. Never to be seen again.

I wish there were a way to copy and paste the favorites list somewhere/somehow.

And I wish I were more organized as in a folder for all things Afghanistan.

Most I just read, a few a comment on. And some are for fun---like

update--- okay. there. I have added new ones up through the Ns. Saved them on this blog in case I lose my favorite.

Rain. We are getting a good soaking rain. we needed it. but, this is the race weekend for north Fort Worth...and a good friend's son's wedding... maybe they can get-er-done between showers. It was gonna be a quick ceremony at the Botanical gardens, anyway.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Whirlwind

I don't think I ever grasped how some sins have consequences you just cannot take back.

And the tongue is the worst. Things said in gossip and anger are like vomitting up the whirlwind. And you can't take it back. And saying, "I'm sorry" will not undo the wreckage you have caused.

"Well, I said I was sorry" they huff and puff. But, the tornado-ic damage their rage unleashed will not rebuild the house nor barn anytime soon.

Thankfully, I lead a quiet life. Boring to most, I'm sure. I am happy with reading, knitting, a little laundry, a little cleaning. And while I have had to bite my tongue from saying some outrageous things, I chalked it up to hormones, or that time of month or something, and prayed God remove the insane thoughts.

But, the words come back---and those verses about gossipy tongues afire burning down whole forrests...please, Lord, guard my tongue. Help me to persevere to the end.

What sins unleashed are like the tube of toothpaste---blurped and squeezed out, but hard to put back inside, if not impossible. What sins burn down the house, and the barn? What sins wreck beyond repair? What sins murder the soul and spirit and respect? What sins shock and awe?

We tremble. And desire to guard our peaceful life from the drama.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Gift of Friendship

Three friends---

One helping with a newborn. One a new widow and dealing with extended family problems. One with the wedding of her youngest on Saturday. . .

Three friends. We are all grannies now. We have walked with each other through grade school, high school, college, and our birdies leaving home. Weddings, births, jobs, The death of parents. We are scattered across the country.
We know the names and ages of each others' kids and grandkids, and cute stories.
Thank You, Lord, for my three friends. Thank You, Lord, for friendship, and laughter and tears.
I know for certain that all three are Christians, so I hope we can all sit together someday in eternity and marvel at this gift of friendship. Thank you for phone calls, and letters, facebook and emails.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Israel has a future

Today, Israel does not see Jesus in the Passover...yet. Someday, they will. Oh, happy day. It will be a rocky end...the end of the tribulation. whoa. Glad I won't be here.

Yet, comforting. Because on Sunday, we saw the Passover seder meal explained, and it seemed so sad that the Jews are missing what is right under their very noses.

Jesus talks about the last days. Jesus prophesies warnings. 144,000 Jewish evangelists will indeed reach every tribe and bring into glory converts both Jew and Gentile.


Last week, it was spring! It got hot, and we used the AC. And I was thankful for the AC.

Yesterday, it tried to rain. It tried real hard. There was thunder and everything. The car got a good wash at the grocery store, but when I got home, the drive was dry.

Then this wind out of the north started blowing. Had to close the windows on the north side of the house. We went to Wednesday night Bible Study. The wind kept blowing and it got colder and colder. Hey, I was about ready to wash the jackets and coats and put them away until next winter. What is this? The leaves are all leafed out. The pollen strands fall like rain. Everyone's ears are plugged, and we are all snorting and snuffing. We were hoping the rain would wash the air, but alas.

And now cold again. It is snowing north of Dalhart. Yikes. Snow in April. It has gotten down to 31 degrees on yesterday's date once before. The weatherman used the frost word in low lying areas. At least the wind has died down. Planes are still landing to the north.

NO rain in the forecast until Monday or Tuesday when it lumbers down from Alaska. A line of storms formed, but to our east, so someone is getting good spring rains stretching from Louisiana up to Indiana.

It is colder this morning in Dalhart, Texas than in Anchorage, Alaska.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Pondering Lessons from Yesterday's Christ our Passover

On Sunday, our friend from Israel came to our church and did the Christ in the Passover presentation. I had seen it a few years ago---and was tasked this year to gather the ingredients. For weeks, I have had the list and instructions taped to the door, and Bob helped me do the set up on Saturday, so that everything was ready except the chopped apple (motar).

The Passover celebration is such a visual teaching aid, and part of the observance is to teach the children, and once a year remind everyone how God miraculously brought His People out of bondage, out of Egypt. And the elements all point to Christ, our Passover.

In the Passover celebration today, there is a mixture of old and new customs. Since the Temple has been destroyed---they no longer sacrifice the lambs for the meal. In strange irony---they are not suppose to anyway, as Jesus is the Lamb of God. To continue to sacrifice lambs says they reject Jesus as Messiah. Many of the Jews have turned it into an elaborate ritual, and yet they miss the meaning behind it.

To understand our present day, Lord's Supper, I believe you need to understand how it came about, and the echos of Passover in our celebration. Because, if you did not see the connection between Jesus's Last Passover and His command to DO THIS IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME,(Luke 22:19) you might miss the fact that it is to be done with unleaven bread, and that bread is to be shared, broken, eaten together, with thanksgiving...a blessing.

We need to strip away the traditions, and get back to the orign. I believe our church does it wrong by just setting out pitchers on the tables and having a plate of cut English muffin or yeast bread.

The original Passover was to be a family affair---each house was to take a lamb, roast it, eat it with travelling clothing on, break no bones, eat unleaven bread made in haste, and mark their doors with the blood of the lamb so that when the Death Angel came He would see the blood (obedience/faith) and Pass Over that house. Houses without the blood of the lamb lost their firstborns. did Pharoah's house, and with this 10th plague, Pharoah let the people go, although he had second thoughts and sent out chariots later, hence the Red Sea miracle.

So, the whole idea of needing to slaughter the lambs at the Temple was something added. And leave it to the Jews to add rules to rules, and Jesus had to clean the Temple of their "money-changing" because they had invented a rule where you could not purchase a lamb for Passover with foriegn coinage.

While the Jews were busy selecting their lambs for that last Passover---Jesus was entering Jerusalem on a donkey. And as Jesus and His disciples ate their Passover meal the night before most folks, after sundown, it was technically the true Passover. When the rest of the city was preparing to sit down for their Passover, Jesus was hanging on the cross. His body was taken down and buried before sunset so that laws were not broken.

During that Last Passover, that Last Supper, Jesus's Last Supper before the cross, Jesus, being Jewish, probably ate roasted lamb, (and I wonder if the blood of that lamb was put or painted upon the doorway?). Jesus washed His disciples feet, demonstrated servanthood, and then reclined, as was the custom---we do not recline at table today, but we need to picture the intimacy, the relaxed and close picture because Jesus breaks the Passover tradition at cup four---and breaks bread giving each a piece, and giving thanks said: This is My Body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me. (Luke 2:19)

Jesus was reclining/relaxed, close enough to reach out and give each a piece of
broken bread--
broken UNLEAVEN bread, which is like a big cracker
He prayed--giving thanks/a blessing
He instructed them to eat it together in memory or remembrance of Him.
He was starting a new tradition. Yet one born out of the old.

We need to know the old so that we can do the new correctly, in my opinion.

possibly after a meal where everyone has been served, satisfied, well fed
but, there needs to be a break---a time where whoever is leading
breaks conversation, so that everyone is listening/together/hearing
give thanks
breaks the UNLEAVEN bread and shares it
(I guess in a larger crowd, the bread/matzah/unleaven cracker can be pre-broken and served by decons or ushers)
and then the leader repeats what Jesus said: Do this in remembrance of me. Eating this bread and drinking this cup---you proclaim the Lord's death until He comes. (Paul says in I Cor. 11:23)

and in I Cor. 10:16 bread we BREAK. and verse 17 one bread, one body ---we all partake of the one bread.

restoration--a time of confession/relationship smoothing---like washing of feet
relaxed setting
thanksgiving--prayer of thanks
repeating Jesus words and actions
breaking the bread and giving a piece to each person
sharing the cup---or in our case, giving each the pre-filled little cups

songs at the end. hymns to leave by?

I Cor. 5:8 says: celebrate the feast NOT with old leaven nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness but with the unleaven bread of sincerity and truth.

I need to think of an acrostic to go with all the elements--to keep it simple:
confession, thanksgiving, breaking bread, giving each a piece, sharing the cup of the fruit of the vine, repeating Jesus' commands, and what Paul said about how not to do it. hymns.

It can be as quick as twenty minutes, or as long as a long, drawn out supper where eveyrone is satisfied, and the elements taken together, with even foot washing, too, or as long as a Passover---to see whence the tradition came. Two hours, or more.

Sunday, April 4, 2010



Today, we celebrate Jesus Risen. Resurrected. Alive. Not on the cross ever again.

Before 4am this morning, a mocking bird started singing his repretoire...and he is still going strong. It is still dark. All our windows are open. What does he know that we don't? We can't see him...yet. Only hear his loud, clear song. Chirps, chips, beeps, tweet-er-tweeter, caws, whistles, car alarms, trills, complicated little bars of notes, screeches, combinations, frogs, sparrow's songs, scissors, high and low, clear and soft and loud, questions and chugs.

What happens to a pregnant lady at the Rapture? Resurrected into a new body, does she then hold and behold her baby all grown up at her side?

The mocking bird took a five minute break at 5am. He has started his songs and song pieces again. It was just and encore. He stopped after five minutes.

3pm----grilled chicken and steaks for lunch with corn. and rolls. And it was good. little coffee ice cream for dessert.

The Jews for Jesus presentation went well---brought back home our pillows, glass dishes, candles. glad its over--as it was weighing me down to remember all the details...and the church secretary had no idea I had been tasked to get stuff until almost time.

Using the AC today for the first time this year...Easter Sunday

Friday, April 2, 2010

Bumper all fixed !

Wow---the bumper is all new and shiny, and no more hole! And the van is cleaner than when I left it. How nice! No more nicks and scratches---when Bob first lowered the garage door upon the longer minivan, it left a pair of little angel wings. They are gone. We re-applied all our magnetic bumper stickers to the back door. And brought 'her home. wow. $500 poorer. Hopefully, our insurance company will get the $250 out of travellers. subrogation.

Pollen has put a green patina on everything.

Bob's car is missing the two-blue-star magnetic flag. I can order another over the internet. I need another Army one, too.

Magnetic sheets sold at Michaels or Joanne's for $5 make three magnetic bumper stickers. It is so easy. Just keep the magnets away from your credit cards and ATM cards.

Wow. they really did the two day estimated job in three days. I was thinking they'd put us off until tomorrow or Monday...being over a holiday.

Amber and James this morning

What we did on our anniversary

so that a year from now I can look it up and I just did last year's.

Bob scheduled the day off. On Wednesday, March 31--we went to Bible Study after eating steaks for supper that were kinda tasteless when we got the call from James and Amber that James will be deployed in late June, early July. Our thoughts and prayers are with Amber, as the rumor/warning came true, and they will spend their first anniversary on different continents/time zones/hemespheres.

Thursday morning, April 1st, we enjoyed coffee, banter, being lazy---I pulled little pancakes out of the freezer for our breakfast. Bob thought they were so cute. I think the technical term for them is silver dollar sized. Then some steak and peas and a very ripe avacado for lunch, after Bob shaved my legs and we took congratulatory calls from Suzanne. The only card this year was from my folks--I will have to kid Barbara. With facebook, email, twitter---the card industry has to be hurting. I hate buying expensive cards, and like to make my own. But, I barely send out birthday cards anymore, let alone anniversary cards.

We enjoyed Pastor Mark Driscoll's message from Mars HIll Church on legalism. He has so much fun with the crazy traditions people protect in their religions. The "no picnicing" sign at the site where Jesus fed the 5,000 is the ultimate in irony. Fun to hear Pastor Mark Driscoll laugh! And to learn about the danger of legalism and anit-legalism: the crowd that won't lift a finger 'cause Jesus said it is finished. What a wide range of extremes---to folks who make rules about the rules.

And we heard Pastor Tommy Nelson's latest---it was finally up from last Sunday. And the live Brietbart TV. I did a little laundry. Now I know why some people go to a hotel or take a trip on their anniversary---to get away from the laundry, cooking, dishes, and anger when something on the news ticks you off.

James and Amber got here about 10:30pm. Bob had just enjoyed another Twilight Zone adventure. And we had watched the news and heard the dire weather warnings for "Good Friday". What a strange name for the day. Stock market is closed. But, the place putting the new bumper on our toyota is open---and supposidly will have the car done today.

The pollen count is breaking new record highs---and we have had the windows open 24/7 for days...and when you run your hand across the counter, it feels gritty, and there is a green dust on the cars. Rain approaches from the west. Hopefully, it was wash the air.

I spent the day with Suzanne on Tuesday, and gave her the knitted dishrags I had made up. Five more now are ready for her.

Bob and I did a McDonald's run for supper last night---frappes sounded good. I ordered one of each (mocha and caramel). They are very sweet. Bob and I went to a McDonald's on our honeymoon---so I should have requested McDonaldland cookies---the little animal cracker cookies from our honeymoon.

Next year, our anniversary will fall upon a Friday. But, it will not be anywhere near Easter, and I wonder if James will still be in Afghanistan on our 33rd??!!

This blog has become my diary. I use it to look up what happened as my memory ain't so good anymore. I am so thankful for Bob humoring me by taking a day off work and just being with me. Shaving my legs and trimming my toenails---why, its a homemade spa experience. And with a huge bowl of cuties (clementine oranges) so sweet they taste like candy, and a game of Scrabble where I laid down: SUBROGATION, I think Bob had a good time, too. He won the Scrabble game by 26 points.

the top picture is a possom. ...a possom walking away along the phone cables over the crepe myrtle tree... Bob caught and released two the animal in the trap/cage is a the second picture