Thursday, September 24, 2009

memories...

last week as we waited for little "Ace" (one of our Gentle Hands hospice care patients) to die after a long excruciating battle with brain cancer, a song came to my memory, an old hymn that we used to sing as children. the verse about the child with an aching head echoed in my mind, and i wanted to sing it in memory of this sweet child whose final days were painful beyond belief. i can hear my dad's voice ringing out on the chorus: 'Christ is all, all in all"...the tune is lilting and Irish, so it really suited his tenor voice. i found the words on line as i could only recall verse 1. what a marvelous old hymn of assurance and testimony that Christ Jesus is indeed our all in all.

I entered once a home of care,
Old age and penury were there,
Yet peace and joy withal;
I ask’d the lonely mother whence
Her helpless widowhood’s defence,
She told me, “Christ was all”.

Christ is all, all in all,
Yes, Christ is all in all,
Christ is all, all in all,
Yes, Christ is all in all.

I stood beside a dying bed
Where lay a child with aching head,
Waiting for Jesus' call;
I mark’d his smile,
‘Twas sweet as May,
And as his spirit passed away,
He whispere’d, “Christ is all”.

I saw the martyr at the stake,
The flames could not his courage shake,
Nor death his soul appall;
I asked him whence his strength was giv’n,
He look’d triumphantly to heav’n,
And answered, “Christ is all”.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

a good message from chuck swindoll

Walk by Faith, Not by Sight

Charles R. Swindoll
Read Job 1:1-12.

Without Job's knowing it, a dialogue took place in the invisible world. As the Lord and Satan had their strange encounter, the subject quickly turned to this well-known earthly man. The Lord calls Satan's attention to Job's exemplary life, and Satan responds with a sinister sneer. “Of course, who wouldn't serve You the way You've prospered and protected him. Take away all the perks and watch what happens; the man will turn on You in a flash.” God agrees to let the Adversary unload on Job

And so, in today's terms, the Lord bet Satan that Job would never turn on Him. Philip Yancey refers to that agreement as the “divine wager.” Satan instigates a sudden and hostile removal of all the man's possessions, leaving him bankrupt. Within a matter of minutes, everything he owned was gone.

This brings us to the first lesson worth remembering: we never know ahead of time the plans God has for us. Job had no prior knowledge or warning. That morning dawned like every other morning. The night had passed like any other night. There was no great angelic manifestation-not even a tap on his window or a note left on the kitchen table.

In one calamity after another, all the buildings on his land are gone, and nothing but lumber and bodies litter the landscape. It occurred so fast, Job's mind swirled in disbelief. Everything hit broadside . . . his world instantly changed.

You and I must learn from this! We never know what a day will bring, whether good or ill. Our heavenly Father's plan unfolds apart from our awareness. Ours is a walk of faith, not sight. Trust, not touch. Leaning long and hard, not running away. No one knows ahead of time what the Father's plan includes. It's best that way. It may be a treasured blessing; it could be a test that drops us to our knees. He knows ahead of time, but He is not obligated to warn us about it or to remind us it's on the horizon. We can be certain of this; our God knows what is best.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

dancing with a lion

i wrote this about ten years ago during a physical/emotional breakdown...

Dancing with a lion

All my life I've known you, God,
Trusted you,
Questioned you,
Dreamed about you,
Talked to you.
I've read books about you
And I've read what you've written
To me.

Now suddenly
None of it seems true.
The hurt I feel is so huge
The hole in my heart so deep
I wonder if you ever were there at all.

Have you heard anything I've ever said?
Have you felt my love?
Have you been there in the dark when I thought I felt
Your presence?

Well, it's darker now,
And I'm not sure anymore.

Have I been dancing with a lion all this time?

Questions. Terror. Loneliness. Sickness.

The ghastly feeling that I've been deceived,
That what you promised is not true.
Why should I believe in You
If you're not real,
If you don't care?

But I can't let go of my childhood trust.
If you're not real, then I must still believe
In what I dream you to be.
Because the dream is worth more
Than reality without You.

Even if You kill me
I will trust you.
A wise man, a desperate man, once said that.

Even a lion can be gentle.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

choices

"I choose to hope.
I will not fear
although the shadow stands so near.

I choose to see
the shining light
that makes the darkness clear and bright.

I choose the joy
of loving life
despite the pressure, toil and strife.

I choose to pray,
for you are there.
"Jehovah Shammah" is my prayer.

I choose to hope,
rejoice and pray.
For You, O God, are here, today."

-denie

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

25 things our mothers taught us....I LOVE IT! :)

1. Our mothers taught us TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE ."If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

2. Our mothers taught us RELIGION."You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

3. Our mothers taught us about TIME TRAVEL ."If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

4. Our mothers taught us LOGIC."Because I said so, that's why."

5. Our mothers taught us MORE LOGIC."If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me.."

6. Our mothers taught us FORESIGHT."Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

7. Our mothers taught us IRONY"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."

8. Our mothers taught us about the science of OSMOSIS."Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

9. Our mothers taught us about CONTORTIONISM."Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

10. Our mothers taught us about STAMINA.."You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

11. Our mothers taught us about WEATHER."This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

12. Our mothers taught us about HYPOCRISY."If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

13. Our mothers taught us the CIRCLE OF LIFE."I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

14. Our mothers taught us about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION."Stop acting like your father!"

15. Our mothers taught us about ENVY."There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

16. Our mothers taught us about ANTICIPATION."Just wait until we get home."

17. Our mothers taught us about RECEIVING ."You are going to get it when you get home!"

18. Our mothers taught us MEDICAL SCIENCE.."If you don't stop making a face, it's going to freeze that way."

19. Our mothers taught us ESP."Put your sweater on -- don't you think I know when you are cold?"

20. Our mothers taught us HUMOR."When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

21. Our mothers taught us HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT ."If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

22. Our mothers taught us GENETICS."You're just like your father."

23. Our mothers taught us about our ROOTS."Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

24. Our mothers taught us WISDOM."When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

25. Our mothers taught us about JUSTICE. "One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you."

HAHAHAHAHA!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

nameless

we are not told his name- this "rich young ruler"
who sought the Lord that day;
we only know that he had great possessions
and that- he went away.

he went away; he kept his earthy treasure
but oh, at what a cost!
afraid to take the cross and lose his riches-
and God and Heaven were lost.

so for the tinsel bonds that held and drew him
what honor he let slip-
comrade of John and Paul and friend of Jesus-
what glorious fellowship!

for they who left their all to follow Jesus
have found a deathless fame,
on his immortal scroll of saints and martyrs
God wrote each shining name.

We should have read his there- the rich young ruler-
if he had stayed that day;
nameless-though Jesus loved him- ever nameless
because- he went away. (springs in the valley)

i think of those i know who have left everything to follow the call, and i rejoice that the "tinsel bonds" could not hold them. we did it ourselves...left it all behind and chose to forever be followers of the One who had nowhere to lay his head on this earth. i know that feeling.

but...it's worth it. we may not be famous here, but i believe that our names are on God's scroll as those who chose to follow him. (the cross is not heavy; his burden is light.)

known, not nameless.

we chose to stay.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

my birthday prayer

Far out at sea, at close of day,
A lonely albatross flew by.
We watched him as he soared away-
A speck against the glowing sky!
Thought I: this lordly feathered one
Is trusting in the faithfulness
Of wind and tide, of star and sun;
And shall I trust the Maker less?

O soul of mine, spread wide thy wings;
Mount up; push out with courage strong!
And- like a bird which, soaring, sings-
Let heaven vibrate with thy song!
SPREAD WIDE THY WINGS, O SOUL OF MINE,
For God will ever faithful be;
His love shall guide thee; winds divine
Shall waft thee o'er this troubled sea.

Though dangers threaten in the night,
Though tides of death below thee roll,
Though storms attend thy homeward flight,
SPREAD WIDE THY PINIONS, O MY SOUL!
Though shadows veil the distant shore,
And distant seems the hallowed dawn,
Spread wide thy pinions- evermore
Spread wide thy pinions, and press on.

-Robert Crumley (Springs in the Valley)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

us- 40 years.



to the day. september 5, 1969...september 5, 2009.




yayyyyy!!!!!!! love you, sweetheart. more today than then.

Friday, September 4, 2009

twists and turns of life...

you never can be sure what will happen.

all our married life, dennis and i have never placed too much weight on celebrations of exact dates of things. for instance. usually he's gone on our anniversary and my birthday. his birthday often gets bumped to the week after or the week before. father's day, mother's day, new years...bumped for out of country trips, sailing trips, i'm gone, he's gone, whatever.

some years we have missed many of our special dates altogether- as far as a celebration goes. of course, in our hearts we celebrate- just no special occasion or activity. our lives have just been too subject to flight schedules and ministry.

this year, our 40th, i requested that dennis stay home for the week of my birthday and our anniversary. they are within 5 days of each other. (we often did them together too, for economical reasons). i wanted to go somewhere nice and stay overnight in a nice hotel or something. just because. after all, 40 years is a looooong time and i'm grateful.

he stayed home all right. he's in the hospital.

we will celebrate our 40th anniversary with me crocheting in a chair beside his hospital bed, emma playing around the room or watching cartoons, our grown children visiting or texting/phoning from overseas to see how he is doing.

he will recover. we will celebrate many more anniversaries. but of all the years to miss it. big sigh.

i should have let him plan a trip.

:)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

break of day

Lest I should weep when life tears the heart out of me, ...Lord help me to remember that You come and heal and bind up with your oil and your mercy.

"Earth's fairest flowers grow not on sunny plain,
But where some vast upheaval tore in twain
The smiling land.

After the whirlwind's devastating blast,
And molten lava, fire, and ashes fall,
God's still small voice breathes healing over all.

From broken rocks and fern-clad chasms deep,
Flow living waters as from hearts that weep.

There in the afterglow, soft dews distill,
And angels tend God's plants when night falls still.

And the Beloved passing by the way
Will gather lilies at the break of day."

-J. H. D.