Come, Read the Bible with Me!

Sunday, December 31, 2006

This year, talk deeply about big things.

Sometime we should sit down and have a big talk. We should look long into each other's eyes and talk deeply about big things. I think sometimes that we talk in greys and light greys and dark greys.

When we talk deeply about big things, we will talk in hyacinth blues and impatien pinks and spring-moss greens; oh, and russets and maizes and lavenders, ...and that really cool dark grey that is almost a blue like a rock in a stream, too.

When one of us says something that the other one doesn't understand, she will say, "I don't quite understand, will you tell me deeper, still?" Then the first will take her heart and put it in the other's hands and then she will understand. Then we can cry and laugh together because we know that we love each other so completely that we just lay ourselves down for each other.

Maybe someday...this year.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Hello, It's Me

Today is Thanksgiving. The turkey has been cooked, and much of it has been eaten. The Lord has blessed Glen and me with a good day of peace and grace with one another and our kids. By this, I don't mean that there have been no conflicts, but these conflicts, I think, have been for our benefit and perfection, and to God's glory.

I take up now the task of clearly and thoroughly conveying how I got from there to here. What better day to do it, or at least to begin it, than on Thanksgiving? What better to be thankful for than for life everlasting and freedom from the burden of sin and despair?

I was born the ninth of ten children (no..eleven, my littlest sister, Dinah Ruth was born when I was 13, and lived only 13 hours: a dear little redheaded girl). From my earliest memories, I was in church. First (that I remember) was a Church of Christ. As I approached ten, the "age of accountability," I anticipated my baptism with enthusiasm. I was very disappointed that my family left that church just before this would have taken place.

While we attended that church, which was about 30 - 40 miles from our home, we spent Sunday afternoons in the homes of other members of the church, and returned to church for evening service. It was a pleasant time to be a child, and I had other "grammies" who loved me and my family. That church, of course was full of sinners and fallen men. In my youth, I wasn't privy to reasons; when we left, we left.

We went to another Church of Christ for a while, and then we had church at home for a period of time. We had communion and everything.

After that, we went to the Methodist church of my mother's family. Here, from about age 12 or 13 I stayed until I graduated from high school. I was active in the youth group, sang in the choir (because I loved certain women who were in the choir), attended Sunday School and church and on Thursday evenings, went to Campus Life (an inter-denominational Youth for Christ group). My best friend in High School went, without her family, to the Baptist church in town. I wanted to get baptized, and I went to her church for that.

Was I converted at that point? I don't know. I know that I was aware of my utter inability to improve myself. I know that I was burdened with the acute awareness of my own shortcomings. I know that I desired to follow and love Jesus with my whole self and my whole life. But... was that the mighty hand of God, or just adolescent self hatred? I really don't know, but I believe that the hand of God was on me, at least from that point on.

I graduated and began college at the University of Michigan, Flint. This is a satellite campus of U of M; a commuter campus. I went one year and dropped. I got a job at a gift shop in a famous tourist town, working Sundays, of course. I continued to try to go to Sunday School and at least part of church in the Methodist church in this town. I soon dropped this attempt because it was difficult, and seemed futile and irrelevant.

Soon after that I moved out of my parents' home and into a trailer with a friend from high school and her sister. From this moment on, I had little or no thought of God. The girls I lived with were faithful Christians.

I quit the gift shop job and got a job closer to my new home. I now sold candy bars, cigarettes, and booze in a convenience store. I was not prepared by my family, church, youth group, or personal devotion to the true and living God for the lifestyle I now found myself exposed to.

I slept little, ate poorly, popped no-doz, and flirted with the guys who came in to buy their beer, cigarettes, and booze. That was what they thought I was there for, and it was easier than being myself. I even accepted a date. A guy named Roger took me to see a movie called "My Bodyguard." Then I took him to meet my family. We then went to his place, and when I refused to have sex with him, he took me home, completely rejected me, and I never, ever heard from him again.

My hope at the time was definitely built on much less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. I could have learned about looking for integrity in potential mates, or recognizing character and speaking my mind with confidence, or not being found alone with a date... But instead I learned what it is that men want, and, why was it that I wasn't in the game, anyways? It is just too hard to play by different rules, unless you are aware that you are actually playing a different game.

So I switched games.

This is much too ugly for me to wrench out of my keyboard. I cannot find sufficient reason to go into details about this, but, since God has allowed it, I am willing to expose my past if it will help anyone.

Suffice it to say, for now, that I strayed further and further from God. I even denied him. At the same time, I sometimes marveled at the pleasures that He created, at His sense of humor (ie: red hair--try getting an evolutionist to explain that one!).

I did not have a rock to stand on. I dishonored my parents. I denied the existance of the God who created me, sustained my very breath, and died for the sins in which I wallowed. I completely humiliated myself for the fickle approval of men. I convinced myself that by doing so, I freed myself from guilt, shame, inhibitions, convention, and ties that bind.

As I look back, I see God's hand in the details. Because of my rebellion and reliance on myself, and not His strength, it was a long, ugly road, but He worked all things perfectly together.

After an ill-advised marriage and divorce, I found myself married again. This time, God graciously opened my womb and gave me a daughter. Then He gave me another. Then, by means not to be exposed here, He put an end to the blessing of children. But these children were a blessing beyond expression, and the blessing of them has not seen its end.

One day, while visiting my parents with my daughters, I was talking to my younger sister. I was surprized to find out that she went to church every Sunday. When I asked why, she said that she wanted her kids to grow up in church.

Yes, growing up in church is a good thing. I would take my kids to church. So after a sufficient period of procrastination, I began the difficult task of choosing a church. I went to the first one (a Methodist church) on Palm Sunday. My daughter wore her only dress, a beautiful white dress handed down from her cousin. One of the ladies cooed over it, and commented that she couldn't imagine what my daughter would wear on Easter Sunday. My heart froze. She never found out!

Next I went to an Evangelical Presbyterian Church that my husband's nephew had gotten married in. I sat down and checked out the pew Bible. NIV...hmm... Don't really recognize Zephaniah, but other than that, nothing suspicious. They had all the stuff that I wanted for my kids, and coffee hour between Sunday School and church. There was a lady who found my kids every Sunday and gave them a piece of sugarless gum. She also came along beside me and helped me learn stuff. She held Bible studies, and she just knew a bunch!

One Sunday, while the preacher was preparing for communion, the words he spoke about the purpose of the table and the warnings about eating the bread and drinking the wine unworthily, were used by the Holy Spirit to convict me. I was unworthy. I was the reason that blood was spilt. I had despised the perfect sacrifice of God, and He loved me. I was undone.

When I got home that day, Glen asked me what happened. He somehow could tell that something was different. He realized more than I did at the time the distance between light and dark. He was afraid that our life together was over. In fact it was. The woman he married was gone, and a new creature had taken her place. From that moment on, God's hand was upon Glen's life, and nine years later, God called him as well.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Basking in the Goodness of God

God just amazes me, His goodness, His wisdom.

He is able to do more than we can ask or imagine.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Princess and The Yogre

AKA: A Really Happy Ending

Once upon a time, there was a princess. She was full of beauty and wisdom. She was friendly and everyone in the kingdom loved her. She was generous and hospitable, and her home was always bussling with guests. She was wise, and many sought her wisdom and confidence.

Then one day, a yogre moved into the kingdom. Like many yogres, when this yogre smiled, it often looked like she sneered, grimmaced, or growled. Because she was a yogre, like her mother and grandmother before her, her countanace was stern. When she laughed, a great "Gur-hoof, gur-hoof, snorrt" could be heard from a great distance, and many in the kingdom slipped silently away upon hearing it.

A yogre knows that she is a yogre, and will generally speak and laugh only with those who do not flee, and let the others go, not wishing to distress them further.

When she spoke, she usually got her words all mixed up, and sometimes made no sense at all. She came from a kingdom much different from this one, and often her speech and manners were misunderstood. She loved this kingdom, though, and so she continued on in it. In it was the air she breathed.

She loved the princess too. From time to time, she would muster up her courage and seek the pricess's wisdom regarding customs of the kingdom. When she did this, she tried really hard to choose her words carefully and not to laugh much so as not to frighten the princess away.

The princess was kind, as well as wise and beautiful, and always stayed long enough to answer the yogre's question. The yogre thought the princess was also brave, for she thought she saw a look of trepidation in the princess's eye whenever they spoke.

Then one day, the yogre, afraid of frightening one of the peasants away, chose herwords frantically rather than carefully, saying in haste, "I love you, don't flee!"

"GARR-UF!" the peasant heard the yogre say, and fled to the princess to confide in her how the yogre had frightened her.

The princess said nothing of this to the yogre.

Then one day, the yogre was walking on a kingdom path, enjoying the life her King had granted her, when she saw one of her peasant friends walking across a bridge. The yogre had seen many of the kingdom peasants walking on this very bridge, although not all of them took that path. The yogre smiled and waved a greeting at her peasant friend, who saw her sneer and heard her say, "Wheeeefle!" She quickly turned away. She did not flee, but stayed on the bridge. From then on, though, that skittish look came upon her whenever the yogre came near.

The yogre loved her friend, and began to worry that she was living on the bridge, instead of traversing on it. The bridge was sturdy, but was not for residing on. So, choosing her words ever so carefully, she began to talk to her friend about the bridge.

"Grr-gar-hooph! Warr!" the friend heard her say, and scurried away to the princess to confide in her how the yogre had frightened her.

The princess said nothing of this to the yogre.

Then one day, they came to gates of the City of which the kingdom was only a reflection. They went in, and they knew, even as they were known. Their King wiped away their tears, and they loved one another perfectly.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I Hear Voices

I hear voices.

Usually it is my own, and that one drones on in my head endlessly.

Tonight, while I was coming home from Bible study, the radio was on, and they were talking about the weather while I thought of something else. Suddenly, from behind me, I heard, "MAMMA ..." My entire skin contracted from the top of my head on down, and I nearly got in an accident trying to figure out what child was speaking so loudly from behind the seat of the pick up truck. Then I realized that it was a commercial aimed at mothers who felt like they were being pulled in all directions, and needed a quick and easy time with the Lord. Upon realizing that, my skin (all of it) having begun to relax, contracted again. I couldn't believe the effect this had on me. It seriously hurt! I was suddenly physically and emotionally exhausted.

Twice, though I have "heard" answers to deep questions. One was about two years ago, I was trying to figure out what to do. I was racking my brain, and, in prayer, asked God who I could talk to about this. "Glen." "My husband?" I responded, "no, no. I know what he will say." "Glen." So I talked to Glen about my (our) delemma. He gave wise counsel; totally blew my mind.

Today, I was thinking about a problem, and wishing that I had Glen on my side about this, just in this one matter. Why doesn't he see things my way? I pray for God's wisdom for him. I honor him. I submit to him. "But do you love it?" "Love what? You told me to submit to him. I pray for your wisdom for him, and I submit to him." "But do you love it?" "No, I pray for your wisdom for him, submitting to him while I wait for you to change his mind." "Love it. Rejoice in it."

God has given me a husband to lead me. He has given me protection, and my children a father to lead them and love them and protect them. I mindlessly ask God to give me joy in submission and then pray for wisdom for my husband while in my heart meaning, "Make him think like me. (just in this one matter)" This is despising the gift that God has given me. It is puffing myself up as the wisdom of God.

God has given me good. I need to love it, and rejoice in it. My deceiptful heart wants to add, "even if I disagree with it," but that is where I was. That is what I repent of. That is what I want to turn away from. That is what creates bitterness.

I need to see with eyes of faith that God has Glen's heart in His hand, and His ways are much higher than my ways, and His thoughts than my thoughts.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Tuesday, Fish Dinner!

Today, Tuesday, I was not fish-bait, but a side dish in a wonderfull Fish Dinner with a dear sister.

Soft spoken and tender-hearted, and 17 weeks pregnant, Van arranged to meet me at Planned Parenthood. She is the strong one; she is the brave one.

God is good, and it rained, a steady drizzle. Not enough to get really soaked, but enough to show God's glory.

It is the same sidewalk and parking lot as on Thursdays, but not. The parking lot at 10 or so was sparsely used. A woman pulled in and parked and got out. The words stuck in the back of my throat and she walked to the building. So far I have only uttered a friendly "Good Morning" or two. She returned immediately to her car. We asked if they were closed. She said that they open at 10:30.

While we waited we talked, getting to know each other better, and sharing the courage that we gave each other. Three young-looking black people got out of a car, two girls and a boy, but would not respond to our greeting. We moved around to look at the smoking area, where on fine days, those who are waiting for their appointment will sit and smoke, or eat and apple, or read a novel. It is like a place appointed by God to sow seed, or draw them or call them or snatch them from the flames. When it rains, though no one sits on a stone bench and smokes.

We found that when we stood in the alley, they could turn away from us to walk to the door, and thereby ignore us easily. When we stood on the sidewalk, near the privacy fence, we could greet them as they approached the door, and they could see, from their natural periferal vision, that we appeared to be friendly and harmless. To respond to us, in this position, they had to go out of their way. They had to turn, in the rain and come to us, instead of to the door of Planned Parenthood.

I was amazed to see the glory of God in the rain. I was amazed to see a young woman, walk past the entrance and approach us when we called to her. Her claim to not be pregnant and not here for an abortion was her acknowledgement that she knew what we were about. It was her "Peace, peace." We learned from her.

I was amazed to see a young man whom we saw go in alone, turn away from his car, which now was only three feet from him, to approach us and accept an information sheet. He did not offer an explanation about his presense there, and we did not ask. We learned from him.

I was amazed each time someone, in the rain, went out of their way to come to us.

I was amazed when Van called me later, for she stayed when I had to get back to work, and told me that a young woman, with an umbrella and a satchel, whom I had seen go in, but missed the opportunity to speak to her; came out and talked with Van. She listened as Van told her that she herself is 17weeks pregnant. She even waited (if I understood her correctly) while Van called Car, and asked where the Crisis Pregnancy Center is.

God is amazing, and I extol His wondrous works.

I was going to include a neat document that David (Mr. T) in our church created to hand out on campus, but I couldn't get it to stick. I made copies and we handed them out today. It was a very good thing to have, I think. It was something for them to look at while we fumbled for something to say. They were read intently on occasion.

I am greatly encouraged.

Monday, November 06, 2006

My name is So, and I'm a Sower, and I work at a Button Factory...

AKA: Just Tell Me

There once was a button-maker, who made fine buttons. One day she was asked to make zippers. She was one who would help where she could, a lovely woman, so she aggreed. She was given the fabric necessary to make the zippers, and the little metal pieces to make the teeth, and was told to have five of them done in a week. Although she had made a zipper or two on occasion, it was not her specialty, and these ones seemed very complicated, but she was determined to her best, so she worked and worked. She was not going to finish the five zippers in time, so she accepted help from a zipper-maker friend who zipped through the remaining two in no time. When the button-maker gave the zipper-maker her zippers, they were found to be incorrectly constructed, and the zipper-maker had to take them apart and remake them. She refused, however, to tell the button-maker of the error. She thought it would hurt her feelings.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Shake your little fist you little man.

I am on AOL. When I sign on, I have this welcome screen that gives me headlines. That's how I keep abreast of what my culture is up to. AOL gives headines... one day the headliner assured us not to worry if you are not a
perfect parent. Your binging and lying and cheating will not have an
adverse effect on your kids; let them see it; let it all hang out,
baby. It is who you are. (I wish I had the article to reference,
because I'm sure you're saying that I must be mistaken.)

It occurred to me that in the '70s, the trend was moving toward blaming
your parents for all your character flaws. Anything from shyness to
aggressiveness; from anorexia to obesity; from murder to suicide could
be pinned on your parents. They overly protected you or they neglected
you or never left you alone made you go on family vacations, or made you wear hand-me-downs, or they abused you or never disciplined you, or made you clean up your plate. So you can't seem to love another person, or you can't stop using
people, or you can't control your spending or eating or lying or sex

Then in the late '90s it came to be "understood" that most if not all
character deficits were biological or chemical in nature. So things
like alcoholism, rage, all-consuming drive, are chemical imbalances. Also other things fell into this category where a person is deemed inculpable because of a chemical that is present or absent in the brain.

In the single digits of this century, the natural flow of this
reasoning shifted the "deficits" to "diversities". The idea is almost
that there is nothing that is wrong, but if there were something that
was wrong, it could not be your fault, because it is your make-up...the
way you were made. Homosexuality is the primary poster child of this
reasoning. It is clear that it is the way you are made.

The way you were made? By your parents? no, it is not their fault,
because if it were, then you would be responsible for the way your kids
turn out. (this is really funny...)

The way your were made? By whom? By God. It's not your fault, it's
His. (shake your little fist you little man.)

Isaiah 29:16
You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, "He did not make me"? Can the pot say of the potter, "He knows nothing"?

Isaiah 45:9
"Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, 'What are you making?' Does your work say, 'He has no hands'?

Romans 9:19-21
19 One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' " 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

Psalm 2
1 Why do the nations conspire [a]
and the peoples plot in vain?

2 The kings of the earth take their stand
and the rulers gather together
against the LORD
and against his Anointed One. [b]

3 "Let us break their chains," they say,
"and throw off their fetters."

4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.

5 Then he rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,

6 "I have installed my King [c]
on Zion, my holy hill."

7 I will proclaim the decree of the LORD :
He said to me, "You are my Son [d] ;
today I have become your Father. [e]

8 Ask of me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.

9 You will rule them with an iron scepter [f] ;
you will dash them to pieces like pottery."

10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.

11 Serve the LORD with fear
and rejoice with trembling.

12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry
and you be destroyed in your way,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.


Intrepid...another cool word.

in trep id  –adjective resolutely fearless; dauntless: an intrepid explorer.

[Origin: 1690–1700; < L intrepidus, equiv. to in- in-3 + trepidus anxious; see trepidation]

—Related forms
intrepidity, intrepidness, noun
intrepidly, adverb

—Synonyms brave, courageous, bold.
—Antonyms timid.

Resolutely courageous; fearless.

[Latin intrepidus : in-, not; see in-1 + trepidus, alarmed.]

intre·pidi·ty (-tr-pd-t) or in·trepid·ness n.
in·trepid·ly adv.

adj : invulnerable to fear or intimidation; "audacious explorers"; "fearless reporters and photographers"; "intrepid pioneers" [syn: audacious, brave, dauntless, fearless, unfearing]

—Synonyms brave, courageous, bold.
—Antonyms timid.

Isaiah 28:16
So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.

Isaiah 41:9-11
9 I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, 'You are my servant';
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.

10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

11 "All who rage against you
will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
will be as nothing and perish.

Jeremiah 8:9
9 The wise will be put to shame;
they will be dismayed and trapped.
Since they have rejected the word of the LORD,
what kind of wisdom do they have?

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
And to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus says the Lord!”

Monday, October 23, 2006

Three Point Underdogs

The Marching Mustangs were three points short of going to State Competition this year.

Seemed like this year three points dogged us. Three points lost on a technicality... Three points behind Such-a-burg... Three tenths ahead of So-and-so-ville.

But we could dwell on the negative, or we could just take a deep breath and say that this was an exciting Marching band season, and that the kids went through a batch of growing over the last several months.

This year the upper classmen stepped up in a way that is unprecidented in the last 5 years of Edgewood Band. This year Seniors and Juniors were expected to, and did take responsibility that was previously discouraged for them. They failed at times, but they made the attempt.

This year's Edgewood marching Mustangs had spirit and intensity right up to the very end of their season. They worked harder than they have in a while and loved band better than they have in a while.

Low Brass friends...

sharing spit and sweat and poney tails...

More Later...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

So, why don't we do this?

I Corinthians 11

Each time I come to this passage of Scripture, I wonder, "Why don't we do this?" I remember quite a few years ago, I listened to a John MacArthur sermon where he talked about the culture of the time, and I emailed "Grace to You" and asked how we can tell when a passage of Scripture is to be interpreted through the lense of culture and when it should be taken straight up. I explained that I was trying to live a life of faith and integrity before an unbelieving husband and two young daughters whose eyes were wide open. I got a very nice, vague email back; and the next time I came to this passage, I wondered, "Why don't we do this?"

When I started this blog, on the premise that I would ask the questions and that Godly, and wise brothers and sisters would answer them, one of the first questions I asked was, "Why don't we do that?"

In the meantime, those two little girls grew up, and the husband was drawn by the Holy Spirit to the Throne of Grace; to the Cross, where his sins were forgiven and he became a new creation in Christ. (Halelujah!)

Recently, with one of my daughters, whose eyes were and still are wide open, I had a talk about why Christians do some things that are in the Bible, and disregard others. Guess which passage was brought up. Yes, I Corinthians 11.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband asked me to open the Bible and read to him a passage that he would tell me. I did, and he had me read to him I Corinthians 11:1-16. He didn't ask me, "Why don't we do that?" Instead, he asked, "Rachel, why don't you do that?"

Whoa! Well, that's getting personal! I don't do it, because we don't do it. That is the long and short of it.

Well, that was a turning point for me. Glen clarified the issue, that I need to obey God, and follow where He leads me.

It acually was more of a halting point, where I sat and thought, and talked to other people and read USA Today articles and Googled and prayed.

Then I came to the point where I had it settled in my mind, but I had to work out some practical issues. I asked the cousel of a wonderful woman in my church. She is elegant and eloquent, and her cousel is well thought out. I was concerned about not making this a fashion statement, and having nothing on hand to start with, I wondered about whether to make it pretty or plain, about matching outfits and so on. She remembered that she had been in the habit of wearing scarves when she was involved in the opera, so when her heart was convicted of this, she just started using those, because she had them on hand. I don't sing opera because, well, I can't; I don't wear scarves because I am not very elegant; I don't wear hats because when I wear a hat of any kind, I look like my brother; I sometimes will wrap a towel around my hair when I get out of the shower, but I don't think that would be appropriate.

So, I checked out my stash of remnants and messed around with shapes and sizes. I bought more remnants, and covered and tied and looked in the mirror and sighed. A beautiful young woman who recently got married in our church sometimes wraps her hair up in pretty cloths. She looks wonderful. Nothing I put on my head looked wonderful. I did this for two weeks.

While praying one night, the thought came to me that if I waited to obey this strong biblical admonition until it looked cool, I would never do it. If I waited until I wasn't afraid, I would never do it. If I waited until I even completely understood God's mind on this, I would never, ever do it; and then in another six months, or maybe a year, I would come across this passage again, and wonder, "Why don't we do that?"

I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the teachings, just as I passed them on to you.
Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved. If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head. A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head.

In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God. Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.

I Corinthians 2-16

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

There is Hope

I was wrong. There is hope, and it is amazing. This is one of those times when God actually reached into my heart and gave me His peace, which passes all understanding. He washed me with His Word, and gave me a hug from the inside out.

I have to admit that last Wednesday night in Women's Bible I got very discouraged. A man's third greatest need is an attractive wife?! His first greatest need is sexual fulfillment. It was articulated that a man is always a glance or a click away from other, adulterous images. His wife is the only safe, fidelitous image that he can have in his mind, so make it good, sister.

I know that I could spruce it up a bit, but come on!

As much as we think something sounds like it makes sense, or fits our experience, we need to look at it through the lense of Scripture.

On one level, I want to get indignant and say that the man has some responsibility to maintain his own vessel. I know though that that is beside the point and we are not looking at him, but at me. Besides, that argument sounds much better coming from a vibrant, voluptuos vixon. From Mrs. Frumpy, it loses impact.

More than anything, this thought occupied my mind: "I couldn't compete with those images and young beauties when I was 26. These 20 years has not given me the edge." Am I to perm and dye my hair and put on fine clothes? I also was painfully aware of my lack of fashion sense. I'm not elegant. WOE; how I have cheated my husband of an attractive wife!

You can see the despondency into which I slipped.

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow. Praise Him for He alone knows my heart. Praise Him for His thoughts are higher than my thoughts and His greatness is unsearchable. There is nowhere that I can go, but He is there!

On my way home from work, I sobbed, "How can this be... (and He began to answer me out of the the whirlwind, and through His precious Word) ...that as a woman gets older, and fatter and wrinklier and stiffer, how can it be that her husband will rejoice in the wife of his youth...that her breasts will always satisfy him and he will be captivated by her love. (from Pr.5)

And God said, because I said so. And He called to my mind Sarah, whose child I long to be. Abraham was afraid for his life because of her beauty, but it was the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. He talked to me about how He has the hearts of men and kings in His hand. He brought many scriptures to my mind and washed me, and I rejoiced.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Eph 3:16-21)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Marching Mustangs in Regional Competition

I am so caught up in this. I might consider this trip to Jeffersonville High School as just another competition, but it is not. It is the end of an exciting season, or the climax of it.

When I get back, I will post the results and, hopefully, pictures (in color).

I will also write about some things that I need to write about:

There is Hope (thank you Erica)
Response from Bloomington City Councilman
A Good Wife

See you on the other side of ISSMA Regional Competition!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Throwin it Down!

Here is my daughter Lydia and her peeps. It's in black and white because Mom doesn't know how to use Lydia's camera. (...or because it's twice as cool in black and white!) This was at Ben Davis last week. It was the first time this year I saw the show from the stands while they were wearing uniforms. Kinda cool. I will put in more pics later (I hope).

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

No Hope!

...and it just keeps getting worse!

Men's top five needs:

1. Sexual fulfillment.

2. Recreational companionship.

3. An attractive wife.

4. Peace & quiet

5. Admiration.

I just can't win.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

If you give a mouse a cookie...

Second verse, same as the first...

Some time ago, I bought some ziplock sandwich bags, only to find out that they were snack size. I wondered at the store why there were more of them in the box than the others for the same price. When I got home and opened the box, the reason was suddenly clear.

I started using them to make up individually portioned snacks and dessert treats to keep our portions in perportion. It was working quite well, but I had bought a certain type of cookie that didn't go over very well. The last of the pretzells were gone, and I had no more of the snack bags. I thought that all the snacks were gone, until I bought some more cookies and pretzels and bags and went to package them up. When I got the designated shoe box down from the refrigerator, I found, to my dimay, a snack baggie with two of the nasty-cookies in it. There was a bite-shaped portion missing from it, and the bag was torn suspiciously.

For just a moment, becuase of the shape of the bite, I wondered who would have taken a bite out of that cookie (which was nasty-old) and then ripped the bag open from the bottom to put it back...odd.

Sometimes you have an epiphany; they usually make my scalp hurt. Suddenly I saw that the way the bag was torn, making a small hole through which, not a big bite, but rather small nibbles were taken in an ark to form the shape of a bite. A-a--ahhh! It must be a mouse.

I showed Lydia, who smiled and rolled her eyes. I left a note with the cookie for Glen, wanting him to experience the same epiphanal sensation, I just hinted, "Who would have taken a bite like this?" His response was, "There's no mouse poop."

Well, there's just one way to find out, then. Watch the milk, because when you give a mouse a cookie...

BTW: The rest of the cookies went into the refrigerator. Holly spotted the mouse on top of the cupboard last night while burning the midnight oil. It was fast as lightning, and, she reluctantly admitted, cute.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Tuesdays; Fish Bait

You might remember that I said that I would go to Planned Parenthood on Tuesdays ...

What's the deal about Tuesdays? My understanding is that on Tuesdays, Planned Parenthood does their preliminary evaluations. Does this mean pregnancy tests? Does this mean pre-abortion counseling? I don't know. I do know that they are quite busy on Tuesdays, and there are no guards, no escorts, and no protesters. Planned Parenthood gets the floor, and there is no rebuttal.

People are faced with their sin and Planned Parenthood whispers in their ears, "Peace, peace." No one plants seed on this furrowed ground. No one proclaims the truth of God when hearts are tender. We wait until Thursday, when the ground has hardened.

Well, every thime I have been there on Tuesday, there has been an opportunity to speak to someone; without exception. Last Tuesday I didn't go. I decided that if I wasn't going to get out of the car and speak when an opportunity was presented, then I wasn't going to go, because that would be blatent disobedience. Why go, after all if I am unwilling to do what I am called there to do?

Have I forgotten?

All that God has taught me at Planned Parenthood?

...and more?

Unwilling... Disobedient... Afraid of man rather than God... Fish bait.

If God has called me there, then I go. I have nothing to say, and that's the good news. God, forgive me for those for whom you had a message, and I did not deliver it.

Where is it that we are told that we are equipped for every good work?

Where is it that we are told that in our weakness, His strength is made perfect?

Pray, dear one, pray for those who need to hear from God, that the beautiful feet will stand firm; that the seed will be bountifully sown on the furtile soil as it is tilled on Tuesdays.

Blog-it-all, anyways!

I thought about making another blog just so that I could do the personal day-to-day stuff so that if someone knew me, but didn't want to hear about my God, they could go there. (I had in mind certain family members, friends, etc.) I could write about sewing flags for the band, or what happened at competitions. I could write about shopping and what a heck of a day I had at work today, and trying to budget and stuff.

And if someone wanted to read about my God, but didn't want to read about how I would respond to life at the BMV, they wouldn't have to. (really can't think of anyne who would only want to read about my theological wrestling matches.) I could write about submission issues and trusting God and struggling with the concept of covenent children.

I could even have a third blog about the really edgy subject of Planned Parenthood. There I could really be alone with my thoughts.

Then I thought that I am who I am, and I am not without Christ. The life I live I live in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

So, being the one track mind type of person that I am, I am sticking with one blog. This way, when I talk about my struggles with various sins, it is in the context of the things that God teaches me as a soldier in the struggle in this world with powers and principalities, as a mother, as a wife, and as a sister in Christ. In a separate blog, I thought, I might be tempted to make much of my kids, my writing, my hobbies, or (most likely) my love of grumbling against the shortcomings of others.

I couldn't do it (two blogs are too much for me to keep up with) and I couldn't recommend it to myself (two blogs are too much temptation to hide my gods from each other in separate boxes).

I want my whole self to be exposed in one place so that I don't come to think of myself as all right, too right. If only people with this or that interest go to blog A they may not see that what is there is sin, because the root is exposed only in blog B.

Psalm 141:5 for me:

5 Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness;
let him rebuke me—it is oil on my head.
My head will not refuse it.
Yet my prayer is ever against the deeds of evildoers;

6 their rulers will be thrown down from the cliffs,
and the wicked will learn that my words were well spoken.

Monday, September 25, 2006

If a woman does not cover her head...

I Corinthians 11
4Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. 5And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved. 6If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.

Every time I come to this passage, I wonder... Am I in rebellion? Why can I disregard this teaching and adhere to others? More and more, lately, I am coming to think that to disregard this is rebellion.

People say that this passage is speaking to the culture of the day, and that in that culture, women were claiming a higher place and lording it over their men by shaving their heads. However, this passage speaks not just to the time in which Paul lived, but...

8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; 9 neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.

This was the order from the time of creation...
10 For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head.

...and the reason for the covering of the head from the start.
Because of the angels...
For this reason...

What reason? because woman came from man, and was made for man. That is from the beginning, not in the first century.
...and because of the angels

The angels of the first century? These angels, worshiping with us, and watching us. Would they be offended if they saw how we dishonour our head?

Here's an interesting note:
I Corinthians 11 goes on to say, "14 Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15 but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. 16 If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.
Matthew Henry says of this passage, "'...The woman's hair is a natural covering; to wear it long is a glory to her; but for a man to have long hair, or cherish it, is a token of softness and effeminacy.' Note, It should be our concern, especially in Christian and religious assemblies, to make no breach upon the rules of natural decency." (emphasis added becausse it comes from a time of men with, and from the mouth of a man with long, lovely locks)

I welcome your input. I do not wish to draw attention to myself, but I desire to learn from God and walk in the way pleasing to Him.

Tonight, while I was trying to find other places that spoke of this issue, I came to Isaiah 2:3 and Micah 4:2
Many peoples will come and say,
"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths."
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Finally, sister, from Isaiah 2:5
Come, O house of Jacob,
let us walk in the light of the LORD.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Tricotta 2006 Marching Mustangs!

Aarg! Why can't I do pictures!!!


There are the Marching Mustangs... It' not just a Tric-otta eye!

The Word of God is Powerful

Pastor Stephen Baker is teaching a series of lessons on Becoming a Missional Church to our adult Sunday School class. I am so glad, expecially now that the school year has started, that the adult Sunday School lessons are available online. On my birthday, we got to watch a movie in class called "The Gospel Blimp". This is a period piece based on a book by my pastor's father, Joseph Bayly. In it, some men decided to do evangelism with a gimic. They got a blimp, and put verses on it and threw messages out of in onto their neighbors. In the mean time, one of them, who was thrown out of the group spent time with his neighbor and through that relationship, the neighbor was introduced to Christ, and he was saved.

The idea was that the blimp was impersonal and irrelevant, or something. This made me very worried about my behaviour at Planned Parenthood. To go there, and read Scripture and pray and sing praises to God...what is that? Wouldn't it be better if I just stayed home? Why fill the air with my incessantly irrelevant droning?

Three Thursdays ago, I was swayed by a personal downfall and by my insecurity in my method and purpose. I didn't go.

Two Thursdays ago, I went, and found two other CGSers there, Josh and Veruna (sp). I expressed this wavering in my heart to them, and they encouraged me to continue, and to also speak to the people there at Planned Parenthood. So, I prayed and began to read Isaiah. An 18 year old girl was there with her mother. Her mother was being seen by the abortion doctor. She was being closely guarded and "comforted" by an elder male escort whom I had never seen, but later was told that his wife regularly escorts there. When I began reading, this girl stood up and moved slightly toward me. She talked to the escort and listened. I moved to another location to be better heard and continued. This girl continued to inch toward me. The escort moved with her and kept his back to me and attempted to stay between her and us. When he went to offer his protection to a new arrival, we greeted her and she came over and stood with us and chatted.

Although I am less confident in my words than in God's Word, I hope that God gives us words there. I hope that we do not mingle our reasoning with God's truth. I think of all the things I failed to say, and all the things I fumbled.

Last Thursday, Josh held a sign with a picture of an aborted baby on it. A car drove up and parked right next to him. An older woman emerged disgusted. She said that she wished we just wouldn't bring pictures. Asked why, she said that they are offensive. We explained to her that it is necessary, because many people do not realize that Planned Parenthood is killing real babies like this one. She said we shouldn't bring them because they are so disturbing, no one wants to see that.

Last Thursday also I had some wonderful discussions with Veruna about how God's truth and great wisdom is revealed to us throughout the world, if we would only look.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Tuesday, the morning after?

I said some time ago, that I would be at Planned Parenthood from 10:00 to 11:00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Well, I have been there on Tuesdays, but I did miss a Thursday. I have been being Jonah instead of Ezekiel.

So on Tuesdays, I have been chicken, like when I first started going to Planned Parenthood. Since no one else is there, I get to park right in front of the building, but I have been staying in my vehicle. I get there and doubts begin to swirl in my head.

What's the deal about Tuesdays? My understanding is that on Tuesdays, Planned Parenthood does their preliminary evaluations. Does this mean pregnancy tests? Does this mean pre-abortion counseling? I don't know. I do know that they are quite busy on Tuesdays, and there are no guards, no escorts, and no protesters. Planned Parenthood gets the floor, and there is no rebuttal.

People are faced with their sin and Planned Parenthood whispers in their ears, "Peace, peace." No one plants seed on this furrowed ground. No one proclaims the truth of God when hearts are tender. We wait until Thursday, when the ground has hardened.

Let's say that on Tuesday, a woman's pregnant condition is confirmed. She is faced with the consequences of their behaviour. She is face to face with the fact that because of what they have done and despite their own plans, they have a child growing in her womb... no, no a growth of tissue... because God has opened her womb and gave life for His own purpose... no, no it's because they didn't use a condom, properly... and that that child is therefore deserving of their protection and providence of a nurturing family, and if they're not willing, someone else is... no, no this problem is easily disposed of, and there's no more reason to fuss about this mass, that about that hang nail you clipped last week.

Three Tuesdays ago, I sat reading Ezekiel, and a young girl, quite young came and, after checking in sat outside on the stone bench and read a novel that she carried with her. When they called her, she went in. What did she find out, what did they tell her, what was the burdon on her heart?

Two Tuesdays ago, I sat by the river of Kebar, with the hand of the Lord heavy upon me, a young woman, driving a Mustnang, went in and then left immediately in her Mustang. Then she came back, and sat. She sat on the stone bench and smoked. When they called her, she went in. Is/Was she pregnant? Was her heart tender for the gospel of Jesus Christ?

Last Tuesday, a young man crossed the street (as is his custom at that time of day on Tuesdays and Thursdays this semester) put his skateboard on the sidewalk in front of Planned Parenthood and began to pump and glide his way down College Ave. As I watched him in my rearview mirror, I noticed a young woman coming the other way on a bike. They passed one another, and my eyes followed her. My mind was on my daughter, and how we sent her to college with a bike. After passing me, she turned in the driveway of Planned Parenthood. A short-cut, I thought, but then she appeared with her bike behind the fence by the stone bench. She disappeared inside for a moment then sat on the stone bench, immediately opening her satchel and pulling out a green apple and a cigarette. She pulled the produce label off the apple, and took a bite. Amazingly, she was able to light a cigarette while chewing her apple. She was not at peace. She finished the apple and the cigarette, and waited. Finally they called her in. She didn't stay long, but came out and hopped on her bike. She took off across College, then across Second. She was out of my sight, but around the corner where she went was a Kroger, a Wendy's and an ATM machine. There's a whole world beyond that, including the Church of the Good Shepherd office, but somehow, I didn't think that Planned Parenthood had referred her there for counseling.

Minutes later she reappeared, parked her bike and went into the building. Again she didn't stay long, but came out, lit a cigarette, opened a flat palm-sized package, pushed a pill out and popped it into her mouth. Then she popped another one out and that one went into her mouth as well. With an attitude of accomplishment, she put the small, flat box in her satchell, shouldered her bag, got on her bike, lit a cigarette, and left the way she had come.

Is this the morning after?

Hear the Words of the Lord to the prophit Ezekiel:
4 He then said to me: "Son of man, go now to the house of Israel and speak my words to them. 5 You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and difficult language, but to the house of Israel- 6 not to many peoples of obscure speech and difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you. 7 But the house of Israel is not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for the whole house of Israel is hardened and obstinate. 8 But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. 9 I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house."

10 And he said to me, "Son of man, listen carefully and take to heart all the words I speak to you. 11 Go now to your countrymen in exile and speak to them. Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says,' whether they listen or fail to listen."

12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a loud rumbling sound—May the glory of the LORD be praised in his dwelling place!- 13 the sound of the wings of the living creatures brushing against each other and the sound of the wheels beside them, a loud rumbling sound. 14 The Spirit then lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the LORD upon me. 15 I came to the exiles who lived at Tel Abib near the Kebar River. And there, where they were living, I sat among them for seven days-overwhelmed.

Warning to Israel
16 At the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me: 17 "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked man, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.
20 "Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 21 But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself."

Ezekiel 3

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Morning After

Planned Parenthood says that the over the counter sales of the "Morning After Pill" "would sharply reduce the nearly one million abortions performed each year in the United States." (The Herald Times 8/25/06 A9)

(Here was supposed to appear a picture of a package of morning after pills, but I couldn't get it to work.)

They say that if teens could also get it without a prescription, then there would not be an increase in adolescent sexual activity, there would not be an increase in unprotected adolescent sexual activity; just a decrease in ABORTIONS.

Let's try to follow their logic...

You're a teen, and you like this girl. Your parents are preoccupied with life in the fast lane, or just timid about talking to you because you're so abrasive. They don't know that you like this girl or what you did last Friday night, or what your plans are tonight. (strike one)

They talked about it at school, like a million years ago, and it was totally random and boring, and hey, who do they think they are anyways? Besides, you got the idea, "(Do what you want, but) don't get...anything!" OK, so you inserted that first part, but they never said otherwise, at least you don't remember that part. (strike two)

So you go to the drug store, you know, just in case because you really, really like her. But those things are a little more than you're got in your pocket, and besides there's this really cute girl behind the counter, and you don't want to give her the wrong impression... Hey! There's that stuff you read about! That Morning After stuff. If you strike out, you're not out anything; and if it does happen, she can just stop by the 24 hour pharmacy on the way home, broh. (strike three)

Planned Parenthood, I just don't follow you.

(this senario, of course is all that is wrong, and doesn't talk about all that could be...)

Monday, August 28, 2006

A Barnyard Tale

Once upon a time, three little sheep wondered into a barnyard. There were other sheep in the barnyard, as well as some goats and chickens and such. Many of the sheep gathered around these strangers. Strangers are interesing and fun. New friends are fun. "The more, the merrier," some of the sheep uttered, and welcomed the new sheep into the flock. Each time they saw them, they would say, "Co-ome with u-u-us! We lo-o-o-ove youuuu!"

One of the new sheep thought this was wonderful! "At last," she thought, "these others are like me, and they love me." With that, she kicked up her heels and bounced off into the flock and dissappeared.

The second sheep thought this group of sheep was peculiar. For weeks, while settling into the barnyard, and finding comfort in the new surroundings, and developing trust for the farmer, the old sheep would say, "Come eat with us!" While she appreciated the offer, she wasn't quite comfortable yet, and she said, "Not today, I have other plans." The very next week, the old sheep would say, "Come eat with us!" Although she wanted to, she still wasn't quite ready, and she said with a kind smile, "Not today, I have other obligations." After several weeks, the old sheep went back to inviting one another to eat. They were friendly to the new sheep, but they stopped asking her to eat. This little sheep, having become comfortable in the barnyard, having come to trust the farmer, and having become quite fond of the other sheep was determined to become one with them, and reminded them to ask her again.

The third sheep had never met such peculiar sheep. She had met some goats that pretended to be sheep, and even met a wolf once who looked and acted like a sheep. But she thought that she was a smart sheep, and she bleeted seldom, and offered little encouragement to their advances. She was afraid, maybe that they would not like her after the novelty wore off. She may have been worried that they were not the sheep they pretended to be, so she stood back and waited for the truth to be revealed. She was not mean, she just wanted to get comfortable in this new barnyard and test their motives to see if they were good, and safe. They would say, "Come eat with us!" She just was not sure what they were eating; if they were wolves under those curly locks, it might just be her! Why else would they want to eat with her? So she would smile politely and say, "Not today, I have to run to that yonder tree and pick a flower for my mother." The next time they saw her, they would say, "Come eat with us!" Still not sure whether it was safe, she would say, "Not today, I have to go to the stream and wash my shoes."

They would sometimes ask her to run with them in the meadow, but she was always busy. Soon she began to become more comfortable in the barnyard. She knew where everything was, and she was used to the farmer, and his words. She knew all the sheep by name and they all knew her. She had become quietly fond of some of the other sheep.

But they had stopped asking. When her mother made her go to the meadow, they didn't talk to her. When they gathered in the barnyard and the farmer talked to them, they pretended she wasn't there.

They always knew she was a little different after all. They have been in this barnyard since birth. They rode on the farmer's shoulder when they were young and couldn't find their way back from the meadow. This little sheep was different. If she were like them, she would bleet joyfully like them. If she were like them, she would want to eat with them. If she were like them, she would kick up her heels like them. If she were like them, she would want to run in the meadow like them. If she were like them, she would remember when they rode on the farmers shoulder when they were young and couldn't find their way back from the meadow. She is obviously not like them.


Well, I promised to get sappy, and then I neglected to do it.

I packed a couple of boxes of tissues for Holly when we took her to Purdue, because I thought I would cry, a lot. I didn't cry at all. I have a great deal of peace about this.

When we got there early, the students who were moving Freshmen in were fresh and ready to go. We checked in and then went to the dock. Within 3 minutes, the van was empty, Holly was accompanying her stuff to her room, and we were on our way to find a parking place. By the time we parked, Holly was coming to meet us. We took her bike to the bike registration station and then locked it up and went to check out her room.

The loft was delivered, but short of the "installation" we had expected. Thank God for Dads! Bathroom break! Well, when they made this a women's hall, it just seems like they would have exchanged those urinals for toilets! blah blah, we purchased her ethernet connection, and found that the connection was on the other side of the room. Thank goodness for that huge roll of duct tape that Glen bought Holly for a going away present! Blah blah blah, we met her roommate and her family. blah blah blah, then we went to WalMart to get some more power strips and extra plugs and stuff. Tried to get her settled in as much as possible, but left some for her do as she had time.

It was a very busy day, and I did not feel sufficient for the task. It has been a long process coming to this point of separation. It has been a task for which I have not been sufficient. There are many ways that I have failed, spiritually, physically and emotionally as a mother and wife, and servant of God. I trust that in my weakness, His strength is manifested perfectly. I trust that seeds sown in faith may find fertile ground according to His good pleasure, and to His glory.

I entrust my daughter to His loving care, knowing that He teaches sinners in His way (Psalm 25) just like He does me.

From the creation of the earth, she was in His plan. From the day she was born, her soul was in His hands, and although He let me hold her, I was powerless in shaping her destiny.

Who knows where the Lord will take her? Only He who sees the beginning from the end; only He who looks on the heart; only He who works all things together for good for the one who loves the Lord, for the one who is called according to His purpose.

Do I worry about my "little girl?" Yeah, a little. I know her too well not to worry some. I also know her too well to worry too much. She has her head on straight, and I am thankful for that. It's a great big world out there, and she's been itching to get out in it; but greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.

I'm not scared for her. I am excited for her, because I know in Whose hands she is.

Friday, August 18, 2006

A Good Wife

Do you ever get those emails that have been forwarded, and that make you go, "Hmm?"

Got this one:

(This was as large as I could make it. Click on the image if you can't read it to make it larger)

The subject line for most of the forwards was: "FW: Ah, Nostalgia, yeah right!!!" Some of the comments were, "Times have changed!" (from my son-in-law, Jeff), "Seriously." (from someone unknown to me) and the subject line was changed when my step-daughter, Jill sent it to me, "this is so funny."

Yes, this is a very strange idea in the year 2006 after how many years of "women's lib"? I can completely understand the disdain of today's men and women. I would like over a period of time to take apart some of the points. Some are debatable.

This should be a good discussion starter. Please don't clam up. I have been on both sides on this.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Want to reach more people?

The Hook:

The message:

Brief Prayer Meeting:

When: Thursday mornings @ 9:00 am and @ 10:00 am (watch for added times)

Where: Planned Parenthood @ 421 South College Ave. (Church of the Good Shepherd College Ave. location)

Why: Commit our words, our ways, and those whose paths we cross to the Lord. To seek His face and His will.

Please come and worship and pray with us. Stay briefly to join us in prayer, or stay for worship and evangelism.

At the BMV for License Plates

Monday, I was off work and our license plates expired on Tuesday, so, being ahead of the game I stopped off at the BMV.

They were closed.

Tuesday, I went to the BMV on my break to get my license plates. I went to the one in E'ville, since everyone says it is quick and easy. Well it looks like everyone had the same idea and I took #81 when they were serving #40. I bought a Sunday paper from the machine down the sidewalk, since we were out of town on Sunday and let our neighbor have ours.

I called work to let them know what was going on, and I gave them my cell phone number in case I was needed. Someone at the BMV told me that the wait was expected to be one and a half hours.

I called Glen and left a message letting him know where I was as well.

I sat down to read the paper, and noticed that a columnist had submitted a piece expressing the need for the BMV offices to be privatised.

Glen returned my call about 35 minutes later, just after #44 had been called. He told me I was crazy and that there was a machine in the lobby of the BMV on Liberty Drive and that no one ever uses it and there would be no wait. I gave my number to someone else waiting in line, and went to Liberty Drive.

After reading the instructions on this machine, including the expletively discourtious amendment, I looked at the screen for a "start" button to push. Instead I found a "temporarily out of service" button. A BMV employee happened along with some brochures, and I asked him about it. He said it is out of service, and that the online service was also not working. He said that it was hard to say how long the wait was inside. "Hours, days....weeks," I prompted. He smiled. "No, if you're in the door, you'll be served before we go home."

I walked out the door and called Glen. He told me not to worry, he knew of a machine in Indi that he could use on his way to work; so I came back to work and he picked up our paperwork on his way out of town.

As it turned out, the whole system is out and he was unable to renew our license plates at all. Now we are late.

Wednesday did not look any better. I called the office in E'ville, and the wait was in excess of two hours. The Liberty Drive office never got past the busy signal. I told him not to worry, I would just camp out at the front door of the BMV on Thursday morning and get it done before I came to work. Surely if there are not 40 angry people ahead of me, I would be able to get in and out quickly.

I told my office manager about my plan and she, being in the same boat, told me to keep her informed.

I dropped Lydia off at school, and got some gas, and was in the BMV parking lot at 7:30...all alone.

I haven't read Pride and Predjudice in probably 35 years, and since I saw the new movie production of it recently, decided to dig it out and read it again. I was enjoying reading this book when people began to show up at about 7:45. The BMV opened at 8:30, and since I was enjoying the book, and the cement steps looked cold and uncomfortable, I just kept reading. At about 8:00 a woman came and sat down on the steps. Annoyed with the interuption, but just selfish enough to be cordial, I went and sat with her. Several people still sat in their cars. She had a similar story about the BMV, but her plates were good until the 31st.

We went and stood by the door when others arrived on the sidewalk; every new arrival had a similar DMV adventure to tell. Shortly thereafter the employees started showing up. I was surprized that they didn't have a back entrance. They made no eye contact until they were greeted cheerily. We were all really quite jovial. We either were joyous because we beat all the other suckers who would arrive later or because misery loves company.

When the door opened, the first three of US took seats at the counter and the other seven took numbers. Number 40 was to be the first number to be served today. I was out of there within 15 minutes.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Tuesdays and Thursdays at Planned Parenthood

I have been thinking much about Planned Parenthood on Tuesdays. It seems to me that that is the time to be there with a message of hope, love, compassion. Why do they give them a waiting period before killing their child? The waiting period is supposed to be so that they can change their minds and consider their options. However, it seems to me that that period of time is when the heart becomes hardened. How can any seed grow from Tuesday to Thursday unless it is planted.

Tuesday is the time when Planned Parenthood plants the seed of deception, that this is not a child, and it is beneficial to YOU to end this thing. Then comes the hardening time.

Tuesday is furrowing and sowing time. I will be there from 10:00 to 11:00 am. Won't you join me?


Holly is going to Purdue

We are taking the ...

I was going to just write a little note saying that we are going to take Holly to college tomorrow, and that I will come home and be all sappy and philosophical then. But then my eyes welled up and I thought about the little baby girl that God gave us, even before we loved Him...

I just don't have time to be sappy right now, so I won't. I will write and cry when we get back.

I will be Joyful in God my Saviour

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,

18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.
For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.

Hababkkuk 3:17-19

Won't you join me in extolling God's mighty acts. Won't you praise Him all day long with me! Come, let us worship the Lord.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Cat Fight!

My dear friend, Carole has had a rough, spiritually and emotionally difficult month. She is back and I saw her truck today at Planned Parenthood on my way to work, so I stopped by to encourage her.

While chatting, I noticed that she had eye shadow on one eye, but not on the other. Knowing that she would want to know about an oversight such as this, I asked her about it.

As it turned out, it wasn't eye shadow, at all. It seems that she had a run-in with a certain cat. Now, I've had words with this cat myself, but although I lost a little blood, I didn't walk away with a shiner! Yah, a TKO!

What was the cat's name? Was it Sugar Ray Leonard, no I think this one floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee. Wow Meow!

Here, kitty kitty kitty!

Here Comes That Rainy Day Feelin' Again (doo doo du BOP bop)

Today was a very rainy day at Planned Parenthood; very much the same and yet totally different from that other rainy day in April.

That day I went late because responsibilities at work prevented me going early; today I went late because those of us who go, agreed to stagger ourselves to have a witness there for a longer period of time. Apparently abortions happen all day long at Planned Parenthood on Thursdays.

That day I was physically alone. I sang alone to the empty wet air. I read Psalms to God alone and Isaiah to the fallen rain. Today, when I got there the parking lot was full, but the sidewalk was empty. As I surveyed the property, Josh, who teaches Greek and makes beautiful music on Sunday mornings drove up in his car and rolled down the window and said, as the rain splashed his face, "I'll be right back!" He drove around the block and parked in front of the Board of REALTORS and came along beside me and held the umbrella for me, and sang with me, and held a sign showing a baby at an early stage of development.

He was there for me. He heard that I came later, and didn't want me to be alone.

That day, people came, but hurried quickly into the building. The rain was steady and constant. Once, someone could be seen looking out the window at me from the second floor. Today, the guard watched me for a while from behind the privacy fence, but when it began to rain again, he got in his car to stay dry. About four or five gathered where they could see us and smoked cigarettes, but they all rushed into the building, almost in a single movement when it began to pour. Maryanne, the elderly escort, left shortly after I got there. (I heard her say something about not being able to sleep "that" late.) A man and woman who had come before I got there came out to their car, and then went back in. Several women who were by themselves came and went.

By now, anyone reading or standing with me knows what I do on Thursdays. Anyone might also know the doubts and misgivings I have about my purpose and strategy. I don't know what I am doing. I do, hwoever believe that God calls me there, and so I trust Him.

That Thursday in April, I left a little early because I became disheartened after a large man escorted a small, young woman to his large pickup truck, glancing at me quickly and recognizing that I was nothing to worry about.

Today, I as I was reading Scripture a couple of women got out of a car and walked across the parking lot in front of me. I broke from reading Isaiah to ask, "Are you contemplating murder in your heart? It is not too late to turn around." She looked at me and continued to walk. I returned to my reading.

Today, I left early, too. I was very grateful for Josh being there. I appreciated his sacrifice on my behalf, but I felt very uncomfortable with it. ...and I felt like a fool, reading scripture and having little or nothing to say of my own.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

What is in a name?

Before my family went on our trip, some brothers and sisters met to discuss our pro-life strategy in the community and church.

One of the things mentioned was a name for our organization. One sister mentioned that the term "pro-life" is old and well-ignored these days. She said that the Monroe County Right to Life organization is dead and that we should not attach ourselves to it. (If I am misrepresenting anything said that night, I apologize; my kids like to pretend that their Mom's memory is slipping as the years rush by.)

So I thought that while I am on my trip, and my time is not being purchased by my employer, I would be able to search the Scriptures and find something catchy and appropriate.

The posts on this blog would support the notion of not using a pro-life theme for a name. That would limit the group to pro-life rallies and abortion clinics and stuff. Not only that, but on these occasions and at these functions and events, such a name would limit its purpose to proclaiming the preservation of physical life.

While I will not back down from the proclamation of the sin of killing a human being based on God's Word, that is not the only truth that I think needs to be proclaimed or the only sin that needs to be rebuked. Therefore, I would not suggest any name that limits us to that issue. We do not proclaim the Pro-life Gospel.

The brother who is apparently spearheading this movement, for instance wants to take our message on campus. There we might not have the opportunity to be pro-fidelity, or pro-integrity if we were simply "Pro-life".

What is some of us wanted to demonstrate at the local strip club up the street, or the local "adult" book store down the street. Would we need to change our name?

What are we doing, anyways on Thursday mornings? Are we saving lives? Are we witnesses for Christ? Are we informing the public? If the latter, then of what?

If we are there to save or protect lives in danger, then our actions and tactics will reflect that. This is shaky ground. We could go the route of the "fanatic" placing our bodies in the way of danger, and spend some time in jail as a result. We could shout slogans and attempt to coerce with logic or worldly wisdom and statistics; or tug on heart strings with emotional messages or shocking rumors. We could think that pictures will turn their heads and hearts to make the right choice.

The very basis of the term pro-life is what? On what is a pro-lifer dependent for their cause? In fact, what is the pro-life cause?

If, however, our message, our purpose, our name is to proclaim the truth, we cannot depend on man's wisdom or our own words to convince or coerce. We would stand on the only firm foundation for any cause. We could go anywhere we are called under the same banner, and proclaim the message that we are called there to proclaim:

Psalm 37:5-8
5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:

6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.

I have to admit that I couldn't think of a name that didn't sound idealistic or adolescent. Proclaim has been taken. Procaimers for God sounds like some Awana club. Righteous Rebukers is ridiculouss.

I just keep thinking of Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 2:3-10
3 He said: "Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their fathers have been in revolt against me to this very day. 4 The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says.' 5 And whether they listen or fail to listen—for they are a rebellious house—they will know that a prophet has been among them. 6 And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words. Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house. 7 You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. 8 But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you."

9 Then I looked, and I saw a hand stretched out to me. In it was a scroll, 10 which he unrolled before me. On both sides of it were written words of lament and mourning and woe.

Ezekiel 3
1 And he said to me, "Son of man, eat what is before you, eat this scroll; then go and speak to the house of Israel." 2 So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat.

3 Then he said to me, "Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it." So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.

4 He then said to me: "Son of man, go now to the house of Israel and speak my words to them. 5 You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and difficult language, but to the house of Israel- 6 not to many peoples of obscure speech and difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you. 7 But the house of Israel is not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for the whole house of Israel is hardened and obstinate. 8 But I will make you as unyielding and hardened as they are. 9 I will make your forehead like the hardest stone, harder than flint. Do not be afraid of them or terrified by them, though they are a rebellious house."

10 And he said to me, "Son of man, listen carefully and take to heart all the words I speak to you. 11 Go now to your countrymen in exile and speak to them. Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says,' whether they listen or fail to listen."
12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a loud rumbling sound—May the glory of the LORD be praised in his dwelling place!- 13 the sound of the wings of the living creatures brushing against each other and the sound of the wheels beside them, a loud rumbling sound. 14 The Spirit then lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness and in the anger of my spirit, with the strong hand of the LORD upon me. 15 I came to the exiles who lived at Tel Abib near the Kebar River. And there, where they were living, I sat among them for seven days-overwhelmed.

Warning to Israel
16 At the end of seven days the word of the LORD came to me: 17 "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked man, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for [a] his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.
20 "Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. 21 But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself."

22 The hand of the LORD was upon me there, and he said to me, "Get up and go out to the plain, and there I will speak to you." 23 So I got up and went out to the plain. And the glory of the LORD was standing there, like the glory I had seen by the Kebar River, and I fell facedown.

24 Then the Spirit came into me and raised me to my feet. He spoke to me and said: "Go, shut yourself inside your house. 25 And you, son of man, they will tie with ropes; you will be bound so that you cannot go out among the people. 26 I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be silent and unable to rebuke them, though they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak to you, I will open your mouth and you shall say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says.' Whoever will listen let him listen, and whoever will refuse let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house.

Monday, July 10, 2006

There's no place like home, there's no place like home...

And no matter how far away you roam...there's no place like home.

Where's home? Where the heart is, where you hang your hat?

...But then again, you can also never go back, can you?

We just got home from our family vacation. We went home to visit our families in Michigan. It is so good to be home. Home where all my STUFF is. Home where I am the Mother Hen. Home where I am not an intrusion, but rather I am part of the surroundings.

Going to visit family has never been like this year. I have been watching my daughters grow up for the past seventeen and a half years, and this year, things have definitely changed. This year my sister's little girl is planning to elope and she is contemplating buying five acres and a match box for $50,000. My other sister's little girl also graduated and has moved in with her boyfriend and (apparently) all his friends, and a mouse.

This year, I heard my sister praise my parents for the good childhood they gave us, and marvel at how they did it. It truly warmed my heart.

This year also was the year I became the dark ewe to my Mom. Usually, I am the complacent one, and there are others who tend to thwart her well-laid plans, or break her heart. This year it was me. She was more gracious to me than I expected. I am grateful for that.

This year, my Dad and I had a deep conversation about God and what He is all about. Numbers 31 (God's vengeance on the Midianites) caused him to stumble many years ago, and he has never come back from it. Now he sees God's hand as one of injustice and cruelty. This year I found out that a childhood friend's brother was in a auto accident some time ago, and is a paraplegic. He struggled with his faith as a result. My Dad used this as an example: Why would God do that to someone who loves Him? I asked him what Byron is doing now, expecting to hear that he is on the street of Detroit begging bread, and shooting up. He said that Byron is now a minister in his wheelchair.

He who has eyes, let him see.

This year, upon parting, I pleaded with my mother-in-law to seek the Lord in her struggles, but lost my nerve as I hugged my father-in-law. His blood is on my hands.

Well, it is good to be home, and on my way home...

Monday, June 26, 2006

Whoa! God Blows my Mind!

Walking through the cafeteria after church yesterday, looking for Glen. I see him in a hale and hardy hug with the pastor. I'm thinking, "Aw! Glen needed that" when the pastor says, "Glen, if it comes down to you, don't run, don't run."

I had to write this down somewhere, or I will later think it never happened. Even now, my mind questions my memory.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I stand convicted

I stand convicted by the Holy Spirit by means of Bloomington City Councilman Stephen Volan.

Yesterday, I planned to go to the City Council meeting. On the agenda was the allocation of funds to Social Service agencies who have requested funds from the city. Planned Parenthood was on that list. I planned to go, but I did not plan to speak. Then I went to to check out their links to their merchandise on (I tell you all of this because it is the way God takes me where He takes me; I did this to find that but I found what God wanted me to find instead) because I was checking it out for my daughter who wants to merchandise her Crabsterware. One of the Pyromaniacs, James Spurgeon, posts clips from C.H. Spurgeon's sermons periodically. This one, "Turn or Burn" completely captivated me.

I became convinced, through the recent Sunday School lessons and Ptr. Currell's sermon about wielding the Sword on 6/4/06 (, and my restlessness at Planned Parenthood, and reading this Spurgeon sermon before everyone else arrived at City Hall, that I may be there to call the council and Bloomington, America and us to repentance. Also I heard a brother behind me say that it would be good for more people to come forward to speak if only to say that they opposed the using of public funds to fund Planned Parenthood.

So I sat in the City Council meeting last night, my face flushed, my heart pounding in my ears; I may have been sweating, I don't know. I rehearsed many senarios in my head, remembering from time to time that Jesus told His disciples not to plan what they say when they came before the authorities.

As an intern gave a report on the research he did into the history of the Bloomington City Council, I thought about defending myself, "I realize that I appear to be a fool to you... but I'm not." (when they take you before the council, do not worry about what you will say...) As someone did a report compiled by an intern about properties that are petitioning to continue their tax abatements, I thought about flattering the council, "I can see that you are wise and concerned about the plight of the needy." ( not worry about what you will say for the Spirit will teach you what you are to say at that time.)

Finally they got to the issue of concern. They went through the list of organizations that the committee had decided to present to the council for approval. Then they asked for public comment. I heard Scott Tibbs go forward to speak. Scott often attends and speaks at council meetings. He seemed very at ease, speaking. Then David Canfield spoke. He also spoke well, if not as comfortably as Scott. David Talcott, who must be used to speaking in front of groups while teaching at IU, spoke also. He was calm and quiet and had a well-thought out presentation. Carole Canfield also spoke at the podium. She expressed her disagreement with funding an organization that kills children and that although Bloomington is safe and civil, it is not on Thursday mornings for children in their mother's wombs.

At some point in there, a woman unknow to me came forward to speak. She indicated that she came to Bloomington as a student and stayed. She applauded Planned Parenthood for their contribution to this community and how they help women in distress.

The council asked if there were any other comments. I had decided, sort of (it may have been a ploy to delay the decision), that if I were to call people to repentance, it ought to be after the deed was done (I think I am wrong).

Then the council members made their comments. Some of them were thought provoking and provided material for rebuttal. One mentioned back alley abortions in the same tone that my mother in law does. One said that although this council does not have the power to fix the wrongs of this community/world, (God does...nope) these organizations can fix them. One of them said that Planned Parenthood was not the only controversial organization on the list, and that there was one that helped people get off drugs that was equally controversial (??). Stephen Volan, not once, but two separate times, said (was he looking right at me the second time?) that it is everyone's responsibility to come forward and speak at these events.

Then they voted. It was unanimous. All the petitioning organizations were approved.

Then I thought I would raise my hand and ask to speak. The the head guy started to speak about the next issue on the docket and still I thought I would speak; and then all of my brothers and sisters started to get up and leave. And ... still... I thought I would...speak up...

Then I got up and left too.

Hear the Word of the Lord from Ezekiel, and tremble:

Ezekiel 33:7-9 (ESV)
"So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.