Monday, February 28, 2011

Dig Deeper

I thought I was handling the stress well. With no job prospects for my husband yet. Living with uncertainty. Wondering what's down the road for our family. I'm thankful we have been scratching out a living so far. With little painting jobs here and there.

But my cold sore outbreak tells me I'm more stressed than I thought. Time to dig deeper. Pray more specifically. Clear out distractions.

Pictured: Tracks in the snow outside the coffee shop on Sunday. Probably left by a sea gull.

He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Psalm 23:3 ESV

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Living Water

The title caught my attention. Out of your heart will flow rivers of living water. So I listened to the whole sermon by John Piper. I like John Piper's definition. "Believing is a spiritual coming to Christ for the satisfaction of the soul."

The sermon connected some of the dots of my life: Last year's study of the book of John. Various sermons about saving faith being more than an academic decision. Discussions with my husband. This year's study of the book of Isaiah. And prayers for the thirsty people around me.

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'" John 7:37-38 ESV

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Comparing Notes

I love comparing notes. I tell my husband what I've learned from listening to Christian radio in the car. Or from my Bible study in Isaiah. He gives me highlights from the sermons he's downloaded. That's one of the perks of being equally yoked. I am blessed.

that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine. Romans 1:12 ESV

Friday, February 25, 2011

Travel Bag

I need a travel bag. Lightweight and portable. So I can carry my Bible study lesson with me at all times. Like today when I was waiting for a friend.

Have blank cards and pens. How many ailing friends did I see or hear about today? Three. With more on my prayer list. I can throw in books to share with little friends. A granola bar or two. But I have to make sure I clean out the bag regularly so my back doesn't complain.

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

Thursday, February 24, 2011

So Many Books

How shall I organize the bookshelves in the new office? I usually try to have categories together, like writing, art, Christian living, parenting, Bible reference, cookbooks, etc. The hard part is thinning them out so they will fit on the shelves. This Youtube video makes me want to organize by color. With thanks to Tim Challies for sharing it.

Pictured: Boxes of books in the hall. Waiting to be organized in the new office.

a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; Ecclesiastes 3:6 ESV

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Crazy Weather

It's one of those crazy weather days. Snow, hail, rain, then more snow. Looked like a blizzard. I'm glad the roads were clear enough for me to make it to Bible Study Fellowship. But I didn't stop for coffee or stay for the lunch fellowship.

I made the earth and created man on it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host. Isaiah 45:12 ESV

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thus Saith the Lord

I haven't spoken King James since my childhood. But while studying the book of Isaiah, a phrase came to mind. "Thus saith the Lord." Or "Thus says the Lord." It's amazing that the Creator of the universe cares enough to speak. To us. To me. Unlike the man-made idols that can't and never will speak.

Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; Isaiah 44:24 KJV

I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, 'Seek me in vain.' I the LORD speak the truth; I declare what is right. Isaiah 45:19 ESV

Monday, February 21, 2011

Holiday Weekend Time

Everyone got something this holiday weekend. Except my oldest. Unless you count dog time, alone time, and work time. My husband and I had a mini-vacation, including one night at a motel.

I started reading my friend's hot-off-the-press novel. My husband and daughters enjoyed swim, hot tub, and sauna time. My daughters had sister time. My younger son got family time and a hair cut.

Not bad for a day and a half.

Pictured: Checking out a used book store.

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, February 20, 2011

Road Trip Weekend

If the kids don't come to us, we'll go to them! We took a road trip to Bellingham today. We'll stay the night and return tomorrow. Works for us.

O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Psalm 34:8 ESV

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tender Servant

I'm reading about Jesus. In the Old Testament. Isaiah 42 speaks of Jesus as the Servant. I love the picture of how He tenderly cares for those close to the breaking point or have just a flicker of faith. We all need that.

a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. Isaiah 42:3 ESV

Friday, February 18, 2011

Skit Night Love

We had some drama tonight. The fifth graders worked hard on their skits. For months. They learned poise, public speaking, and how to entertain a crowd. Bravo!

Pictured: My daughter is in the pink tutu at the far left.

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12 ESV

Thursday, February 17, 2011

No Need to Panic

I tell myself, "No need to panic." When I hit the panic button on my car keys by accident. And scare myself. Startle people and dogs. Same thing when I am tempted to be overwhelmed. Or freak out. No need to panic. Take a deep breath. Pray for God's leading and steadying hand.

But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. Isaiah 43:1 ESV

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Through the Waters

It's not about how high the water is. Or how fast the current is moving. It's about Who holds my hand. I can trust and not be afraid.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Isaiah 43:2 ESV

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Glad to Help

Some days I miss my cane. Just for a moment. Like today at the grocery store. I couldn't reach the box of breakfast cereal on the top shelf. I saw my aunt a couple aisles over, but she's not much taller than I. A nice gentleman in a motorized cart had the perfect cane with him. And he was glad to help. I kind of think it made his day.

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

Monday, February 14, 2011

Heart Bagel Love

What happens when your doctor's appointment falls on Valentine's Day? You stop for lunch at your favorite bagel shop afterward. My husband and I shared a heart-shaped pizza bagel. With pesto, ham, and fresh tomato. Works for me!

Pictured: Best friends.

We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. 2 Thessalonians 1:3 ESV

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Baby Dedication Love

I love baby dedications at church. All those cute babies. Wiggly siblings. Proud grandparents in the audience. But I wonder, if married couples can renew their vows, can parents renew their dedications? I can renew my commitment to pray for my children and love them unconditionally. Before God. If not in front of the congregation. I can do that.

Pictured: Our son's dedication in Taiwan, 21 years ago. My dad is on the far right.

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:9, 10 ESV

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Counting on Him

Life is like a math placement test. The more you figure out, the harder the questions get. But that's okay. I have God's promise to lead me. Even when it's dark and I can't see where I am going. And the path gets rough. I can count on it.

And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16 ESV

Friday, February 11, 2011

Great is His Faithfulness

We can sing it and mean it. Great is His faithfulness. No matter what.

Pictured: Love the harmony at our community group tonight as we sang hymns with our dear friend Mary.

Here's the link to the Youtube video:

Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! Psalm 115:1 ESV

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pray for Water

I want to pray for water. With faith. He can provide. Satisfy. God is just waiting for me to ask.

When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the LORD will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. Isaiah 41:17-18 ESV

Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." John 4:10 ESV

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

See the Hand

I try to pray thoughtfully. Be specific. Then I can know when my prayer has been answered. I'm also learning to pray that I, and others, will see the hand of God.

that they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it. Isaiah 41:20 ESV

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Redeem This Time

I don't know what's next for my husband. But I can see how God can redeem this time. Between jobs. My husband is available. He can be there to support our friends who are going through a hard time.

Pictured: I love this picture of my husband and my niece.

He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. Psalm 25:9 ESV

Monday, February 07, 2011

Hold My Hand

I like to pray in word pictures. I found a new one in Isaiah 41. I can ask God to hold my hand. Help me along. Take away my fears. He can do that.

Pictured: My mom holding my niece's hand at a family reunion last year.

For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, "Fear not, I am the one who helps you." Isaiah 41:13 ESV

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Incredible Shrinking World

My younger son toured our house and saw the changes we've made. Observed how his cousins have grown. Got to see what he was missing for dinner. (Not his favorite, thankfully.) Talked sports with his dad. All from his apartment in Bellingham. His computer to my daughter's laptop.

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8 ESV

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Happy Sister Day

My youngest niece doesn't like coffee cake. But she sure liked it when I called it "breakfast cake."

It was great to have my sister and her three darling girls here all day. Glad my older daughter could come home for the weekend too.

Pictured: With two of my nieces.

with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, Ephesians 4:2 ESV

Friday, February 04, 2011

Thank God for Comfort

There is comfort. Comfort in knowing that God is in control. Comfort in having a group of believers gather for fellowship and prayer. Comfort in singing hymns of praise. Comfort despite our friend's pain with the cancer spreading through her body.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 ESV

Video: Singing at Community Group tonight.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Power Source

I think my friend is stuck at verse 27. He feels disregarded by God. Isaiah 40:27: " way is hidden from the LORD."

But Isaiah's message is still true today: Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. Isaiah 40:28.

But wait, there's more: He gives power to the faint, to him who has no might he increases strength. Isaiah 40:29.

but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 ESV

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Lift Up Your Eyes!

Add one to the favorites list. Verses in Isaiah 40. Love what I am learning in Bible Study Fellowship this year. I never noticed this verse about the stars being numbered. And named!

It goes along with the lyrics to the song we sing at church, "You Alone Can Rescue" by Matt Redman.

Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing. Isaiah 40:26 ESV

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Switch Things Up

It works on multiple fronts. Gives us a guest room. The chance to "clean sweep" the office. Organize books. All because our youngest is moving back into the office. Eleven years after it was a nursery. The former girls' room will be the new office/guest room. Works for all of us.

Pictured: Our daughter's room before and after.

a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; Ecclesiastes 3:6 ESV