Monday, November 30, 2009

Back in Town

I can watch for the little white car now. It might be in the first aisle at the grocery store. Or on the way to church. Or in my driveway. My parents returned from their trip to Hong Kong and Taiwan. I'm thankful for their safe travels and a good time with co-workers and friends.

For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. Philemon 1:7 ESV

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Coffee Break

I love how she does that. She flies in. Blesses my grandparents. And takes time out for coffee with my daughters and me. That my cousin. The captain in the Marines.

We thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, Colossians 1:3-4 ESV

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Tribute

I heard lots of stories. Fond memories. With Scripture woven throughout. That's what you would expect at a memorial service of a faithful saint. It was a celebration of nine decades of life lived to the full. With quiet service backed by a strong faith in God. It was a tribute to a family that has impacted the whole community by their selfless care for each other and others. I appreciated the reminder to think about legacy. What am I passing on to the next generation?

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. Psalm 116:15 ESV

Friday, November 27, 2009

Family Matters

Doing everything was off the table. I had to select two out of three. I was tempted to get up early and shop. I could skip my nap and go bowling with the family. Or join friends for game night. The words of Jesus in John 6 helped me decide. What really matters? What is the food that perishes and food that endures? Shop for stuff or spend time with my family? Relationships matter. So I napped in the morning. After I did my Bible study homework. Good choice. And it worked out that I had time for a quick trip to my thrift store to check out their half price sale.

Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal." John 6:27 ESV

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Just Us

It's not what we usually do. But our quiet stay-at-home Thanksgiving was good. Just my husband's parents and us. My mother-in-law did her best to recreate my sister-in-law's mashed potatoes. And brought a winner fruit salad and awesome sweet potatoes. I tried my hand at my mom's one-hour bran rolls since she isn't back from their trip to Asia. I made a ton of stuffing as usual. My husband was in charge of defrosting and roasting the 22-pound turkey. "That turkey has my compliments." High praise from a nine-year-old.

We give thanks to God for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, 1 Thessalonians 1:2 ESV

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Number One Answer

I would have answered differently two months ago. Today the Bible study leader asked us to tell our neighbor what we were thankful for. I have the typical list. Family and friends. Faith. God's blessings. But first on my list? Jesus. Thanks to my study in the book of John. My neighbor had the same answer.

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! Psalm 95:2 ESV

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Banner Night

Get out the welcome mat. A homemade banner will do. Two are on their way home from college. Pray for safe travels. Make sure beds are cleared and made. Stock favorite cereals. Buy milk. Don't wake up Little Sister. It's a school night for her. But only a half day tomorrow for our fourth grader. We can all spend the afternoon and the next few days together. Hooray!

May the God who gives you endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, Romans 15:5 ESV

Monday, November 23, 2009

Frame Love

Talk about sticker shock. We priced custom mats for some artwork. Scratch that idea. Let's reuse some frames with existing mats. My husband used black spray paint for a whole new look. I love how my father-in-law's watercolors look in their new frames. You might check out my internet friend Meredith's advice for spray paint.

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17 ESV

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Filled with Love

We were like kids in a toy store. Each person grabbed a clear box, walked around the room, and filled it with items for either a boy or a girl. Our Sunday School class packed around fifty shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child today. Our friend collects toys and goodies all year long and organizes this collaborative project. Members of our class contributed toys, toiletries, and miscellaneous supplies to bless needy children around the world. I wonder what little girl will open the box my daughter packed with a doll, jump rope, pencils, sharpener, and a few other little treats. We send our love and prayers too.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14 ESV

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mingle for a Good Cause

That was a blast. From the past. We went to a local school bazaar fundraiser today. We saw friends from our former church and present church. My husband saw former students and co-workers from his educational assistant and substitute teaching days. I caught up with some of my children's former teachers and a soccer coach. And met one favorite secretary's "maternity leave." For the record, I did not partake of the donut fundraiser. But I bought my friend one.

So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. 1 Thessalonians 2:8 ESV

Friday, November 20, 2009

Extended Grace

I reached the end of line. Technical support couldn't help me. If the problem had surfaced three weeks sooner I could have gotten help for free. The real kicker was that if I had know about potential problems, I could have downloaded a preventive patch. So armed with my research and buoyed by the prayers of my small group Bible study, I made my case. I handed over my malfunctioning laptop computer. And received a full refund.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15 NIV

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Buckle Up

I'm the official picker-upper. Starting today. For my three-year-old neighbor. So he can attend preschool. His parents are at work and can't give him a ride home. The grandparents don't drive. His first day went well. I'm glad I only have to wrestle his car seat two days a week.

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16 ESV

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Kind of Duty

I didn't really want to volunteer. But my friend said why not. We arrive early for our weekly Bible study anyway. So I got called up for duty. Today was my turn to watch half a dozen little ones while the children's leaders gather to pray. It wasn't hard. Cute little kids. Reading children's books for 15 minutes. I should pop a few favorite read-alouds in my bag for next time.

but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14 ESV

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How do you spell that?

I have one next to my bed. The office is full of them. But when my nine-year-old wanted to look up a word, she had trouble finding the right dictionary. The first one was from my husband's seminary days. I don't think a dictionary of theology has the word avocado. The second try was a rhyming dictionary. Domino? Incognito? I need to find her a good dictionary she can keep in her room. Next to her bed.

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6 NIV

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sew Not Me

I paused. Turned the package over. Then came to my senses. I did not buy the skirt pattern even though it was my size and really cute. I am not going to be sewing any time soon. Following pattern instructions is not my strong suit. Despite home ec and the best tutors you could ask for. I can't do everything. And I'm okay with that.

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; Romans 12:4-6 ESV

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Little Things

I thank God for the little things. The little reminders that He cares about me. Like providing the perfect shoes. It helps when there are bigger concerns. Like a malfunctioning computer. Or a truck that may or may not start. I can keep praying. And trusting.

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Quiet please, I'm on the phone

Is your computer making a funny sound? No. That's just background noise. And so I spent 90 minutes talking to technical support. And asked him to ignore the garbage disposal, chop saw in the garage, nail gun, dog barking, laughing child, child banging on metal lid, pots clanging, oven timer dinging, and so on. Is my computer problem resolved? Not yet. I have some more phone calls to make.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 ESV

Friday, November 13, 2009

Man in Blue

I never hugged someone wearing a bullet-proof vest. Until today. We are very proud of Oregon's newest police officer. My brother-in-law just completed 16 weeks of intensive training. We took the day off and drove down for his graduation ceremony. Congrats, Officer!

but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. 1 Thessalonians 2:4 ESV

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Technical Support

I have enough difficulties. Of the technical variety. A wireless printer that is not wireless. May or may not print under pressure. Now my laptop computer is going dark. The screen that is. Open and shut the case, wake it up. Take a deep breath and continue what I was doing. But I can't blame all problems on machinery. I cause enough of my own. My procrastination. Lack of personal organization. I can persevere. Keep clearing the clutter. And allow more margins for those technical difficulties.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 ESV

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You for Your Service

It's been a while since I took my grandfather to school for show and tell. I've always been proud of his service to our country. He served in the Navy in World War 2. That's when he started writing poems to pass the time. My grandma is a hero too. She held down the fort at home. Then and now.

On this day I'm also thankful for my two cousins' safe return to the US after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. They continue to serve our country as a captain in the Marines and as a deputy sheriff.

May God bless them on this Veteran's Day.

Photo credit: My aunt's photo of my cousin, my grandparents, and my uncle.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. Psalm 138:7 ESV

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

His Own Words

I'm glad I have a red letter Bible. Especially while I'm studying the book of John this year. It's filled with the words of Jesus. Words of life.

that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. John 5:23-24 ESV

Monday, November 09, 2009

Good Men

I could introduce her to a few. Many, in fact. The woman at the store said she did not know any good men. She doesn't believe they exist. I have been surrounded by good men my whole life. Godly men of character. My dad, my grandfathers, uncles. Friends of the family. I'm thankful for my wonderful husband of almost 24 years. And I'm proud of the two young men I've watched grow up. I am blessed.

I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, children, because you know the Father. 1 John 2:13 ESV

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Keen Love

Pick me up off the floor. These aren't just sandals. My friend at church said she had some sandals that didn't work for her. Maybe they would fit me. So when I saw the Keens of my dreams, I just about fell over. They are perfect.

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17 ESV

Saturday, November 07, 2009

One Week at a Time

I thought everyone did that. Take life's challenges or joys one day at at time. Today a mom of five boys, all ten and younger, told me she takes it one week at a time. If she gets behind one day, she can catch up on another. She comes from a homeschooling perspective. But that could work for me. Set goals. Plan out the week. Get it done. Little by little. One week at a time.

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:17 ESV

Friday, November 06, 2009

Roll up my Sleeves

I know what to do. Skip breakfast. Drink up. Lots and lots of water. Roll up my sleeves and let them try to find a vein. Pray for a successful blood draw. When the first try didn't work this morning I tried something new. I prayed for the technician. And she was in. Got what she needed and I was done. I'm good for six months.

do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6 ESV

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Spring For It

I thought it was toast. Time for a new screen door. Or go without. But my handy husband just bought a new spring for a couple bucks. Installed it in minutes. Now it closes better than it ever did. I love how he does that.

They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 1 Timothy 6:18 ESV

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

On a Jet Plane

Too bad my passport is expired. I wish I could go with my parents today. They are traveling to Taiwan and Hong Kong to see old friends and attend the 20th anniversary of a church they helped start. Some day I'd like to take my children to see where our second son was born.

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Psalm 91:11 ESV

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Start With Dinner

It started with my dinner plan. I can use up the sourdough bread and make French toast. Why not bake some potatoes this afternoon? Grate a couple for hashbrowns. The rest will keep for another breakfast or meal.

Since the oven is hot, why not bake something? And send a care package to my college kids. I haven't made applesauce cake in a while. But my applesauce is frozen. Why not substitute pumpkin? And make muffins and small loaves. Add a dash of ground coriander to the powdered sugar glaze. Cool, glaze, pack and run to the post office. Come home and fix dinner. How about French toast?

She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Proverbs 31:27 ESV

Monday, November 02, 2009

Needs to Be Said

I appreciate how he is willing to say what needs to be said. Thoughtfully. With a biblical basis. Without delving into too much detail. It's worth reading Tim Challies' five articles in a series aimed at young men. Even if you aren't a young man.

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Part Four:

Part Five:

His recommended resources:

For a man's ways are before the eyes of the Lord, and he ponders all his paths. The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. Proverbs 5:21-22 ESV

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Perfect Timing

That was perfect timing. Not too late and not too early. Even with daylight savings. We stopped by my in-laws' home tonight. Without warning. Just in time for soup and hot biscuits. Thanks for adding four to the table!

Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter 4:9 ESV