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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hasta Luego, Amigo

Marsha is going south of the border. She worked half a day today. She will be gone for a half a day short of two weeks. Marsha doesn't like me.

I got this idea to give her a Bible to take on her trip. I almost got up the courage to give it to her. I thought of what to say, and I thought I would do it, but then I looked at the Bible.

I have had this Bible for over a year. I have it to give away. One day, though, at Planned Parenthood, I took the plastic wrapping off it, because I forgot my Bible. It is hard to read a Bible with the plastic wrapping still on it.

I always carry my bag with me. It has a stick figure on it, holding a stick Bible, and the caption reads, "I beieve." On Sundays I have my Sunday School stuff in it, and my scarf. On Wednesdays I have my WWEBS stuff in it (I haven't yet come to the conclusion that I should have my scarf on Wednesday nights, since it is Women's Wednesday Evening Bible Study), and on Thursdays, I have my Planned Parenthood resource notebook and hymnal in it. Always, I have this Bible. You never know when I might be able to give it away.

So one day, in the car, I had my Bible, my purse, my bag with the Bible in it, and a softdrink (a big one). This fountain pop had a small enough bottom to fit into the cup holder, and a big top. Around the corner I went, and over the pop went, right into my bag. I was upset to find it, and there was little enough damage for such a large pop to dump into a bag.

The Bible however has tainted edges.

Marsha doesn't like me because I have tainted edges, I think. So when I got the courage up to give her the Bible, and had a notion of what I would say, and I would be really friendly, I saw those tainted edges.

I don't trust God, I guess, to use tainted edged Bibles to make a new heart in someone like Marsha.

She's gone now.

Doesn't God get tired of me?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Anger @ Planned Parenthood

Psalm 37:1 Do not fret because of evil men
or be envious of those who do wrong

In whom is my trust? If I go to Planned Parenthood, is it to speak my mind? Is it to make myself heard? Is it because I want to be noticed or because I think that I might convince someone to make a different choice? If this is the case then I might be justified to become angry or frustrated, for I am just a woman, trying to change the behaviour of other women, and men as well.

Psalm 37:5 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.

My way, my words, my heart I commit to God. They are His way, His words, His heart. If this is true, then they will shine like the dawn, like broad daylight in the darkness.

Psalm 37:7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;...

Do I trust God to act in His time? Do I trust Him to act in the perfect time? Do I trust Him to deal with those who despise Him? How about those who despise me, eh? What do they get? Do I trust God with that?

Psalm 37:7... do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Why? Why not fret? Is it not evil that they do? Is it not righteousness that is squelched and wickedness that is exhalted. Is it not justice that is ignored and mercy despised? Is it not the helpless who are slaughtered while those with influence, money, voices are protected, and comforted?

Psalm 37:8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.

Why refrain from anger? God says to.

James 1:19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

Everything that God does is just. If He gave us this command, and nothing else, it would be enough. God is merciful, though and remembers that we are dust.

Psalm 37:10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.

Psalm 37:13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he knows their day is coming.

Psalm 73:1-2 Surely God is good to Israel,
to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;
I had nearly lost my foothold

Thursday was the second Thursday in a row when Planned Parenthood's parking lot was packed. There was snow everywhere, it had been a rough week, weatherwise. Did God bring the snow and the freezing rain? Yes, He did. Was this parking lot packed by God's design? Yes, it was. Finally, someone pulled up, and the guard and escort decided that they could get the driver to pull into a space that would fit that car like a glove. They had to let the girl out first, or she would be stuck in the car. Instead of going in, she waited for the car to be parked. (How much higher are your ways than mine, Oh Lord. The number of your thoughts are too much for me! You are amazing and your acts are mighty in my eyes!) They were there by God's design. They were there to hear that the child growing in her womb was a child, and that what they contemplated was murder. They were there to hear that there was another alternative. They were there to hear that Jesus died for their sins. He did! They were there to hear about sin and judgement and mercy. They were!

I told them these things. I told them these things, and then I think I kept talking. Maybe I started using my own words. Maybe I started to expect that they would be changed before my very eyes. I'm not sure. I just looked around, even while I realized that I was witnessing a miricle; the work of God's hands, and saw that parking lot just chock full of cars that had come for the purpose of killing, and I became angry.

I became angry with man's anger. I was very angry. God forgive me, and may He be pleased to use the botched efforts of His servant to glorify Himself, and may I not shame Him again!

A couple of other things that happened Thursday:

A car sat for some time, parked perpendicular to the sidewalk. The escort had given up hope of protecting this person from us, because she just stayed in her car. There were two in the car: a woman and a teen-age girl were eating doritos. I went and stood in front of the car, and offered a flyer with abortion/unborn child facts on one side, and sin/salvation facts on the other. The temperature was probably around 10 degrees, and this woman got out of her car, and took the paper from me. As I walked back to the alley, I saw the teen-age girl reading it.

A volks wagon bug pulled up, and not finding an empty space, parked in the realtor's parking lot. A young woman got out, and asked if something was going on here. I told her that there was. They were killing children at Planned Parenthood today. She hardened her face and picked up her pace and refused any further exchange.

The escort, who is there regularly, as it turned out was parked right by where we were standing. When he was done with his shift, we gave him plenty of room to get in his car and go, but we were there. Calmly and, I think, respectfully, I pronounced a blessing on him. Pray with me that God would recall to his mind the things his ears were unable to block out, and that God would remind him, even in the dead of night of the cries of the children that he refused to hear.

Psalm 37
Of David.
1 Do not fret because of evil men
or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.

3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

4 Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

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.

9 For evil men will be cut off,
but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.

10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.

11 But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy great peace.

12 The wicked plot against the righteous
and gnash their teeth at them;

13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he knows their day is coming.

14 The wicked draw the sword
and bend the bow
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose ways are upright.

15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken.

16 Better the little that the righteous have
than the wealth of many wicked;

17 for the power of the wicked will be broken,
but the LORD upholds the righteous.

18 The days of the blameless are known to the LORD,
and their inheritance will endure forever.

19 In times of disaster they will not wither;
in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.

20 But the wicked will perish:
The LORD's enemies will be like the beauty of the fields,
they will vanish—vanish like smoke.

21 The wicked borrow and do not repay,
but the righteous give generously;

22 those the LORD blesses will inherit the land,
but those he curses will be cut off.

23 If the LORD delights in a man's way,
he makes his steps firm;

24 though he stumble, he will not fall,
for the LORD upholds him with his hand.

25 I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.

26 They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be blessed.

27 Turn from evil and do good;
then you will dwell in the land forever.

28 For the LORD loves the just
and will not forsake his faithful ones.
They will be protected forever,
but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off;

29 the righteous will inherit the land
and dwell in it forever.

30 The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom,
and his tongue speaks what is just.

31 The law of his God is in his heart;
his feet do not slip.

32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous,
seeking their very lives;

33 but the LORD will not leave them in their power
or let them be condemned when brought to trial.

34 Wait for the LORD
and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land;
when the wicked are cut off, you will see it.

35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man
flourishing like a green tree in its native soil,

36 but he soon passed away and was no more;
though I looked for him, he could not be found.

37 Consider the blameless, observe the upright;
there is a future for the man of peace.

38 But all sinners will be destroyed;
the future of the wicked will be cut off.

39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.

40 The LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ice and Snow and some "stolen" pictures

I borrowed Lydia's camara to take some pictures this morning of the ice (since my boss decided that we shouldn't try to open the office until noon!).

Disregard the puppy picture which is our yellow Lab, Sunshine.

Let me try that again...

...Dog-gone it! Confound it all! I can't do this...Why Why?


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Snow..Snow...Bea-U-tiful Snow!


Yes, Lydia had her long awaited snow day today (first one this year), and as a result, got to watch some amazing episodes of Sponge Bob Square Pants, cleaned out her closet and organized (!) and missed out on one more amazing game in the 15-0 season of the Edgewood Mustang Boys Basketball! What a day!

Holly had a "24 hour dispesement of classes" at Purdue (first one since 1990). She had already had her Japanese test this morning though, before classes were canceled for this afternoon, but she is happy to be out of the snow for a time.

I had my first snow day since high school (actually since teaching high school). My boss actually told us to stay home. I was quite surprized, and because of it, I got to learn more the joy of submission, and the power of God through a praying husband. I also got to exercise and help my husband clean out the linen closet. I also started to sew a dress. I hope it turns out, I could really use a success story right now.

All of the trees around our house are coated with ice. The Bradford Pear in our front yard is the only one in the neighborhood that hasn't been broken by weather. It is about due. (Although my husband has been good about pruning it, which I think has strenthened it.) I am concerned about our little Weeping Willow. It is just several years old, and is bent to the ground. It was just starting to look interesting last year. Ah, well, like myself, if it doesn't break, it will be stronger for the trouble (James?)

Glen had a snow da... Hey wait a minute, he's retired. I don't think this counts as a snow day for him. Although, he was going to get tires for the van today, and that errand was called off due to snow... It counts.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Filthy Rags

All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away. --Isaiah 64:6

I have had many things pass through my mind recently that I would like to blog about. Then I log on, read what I have written, and think, "What foolishness! What trash! How harsh this is! How can I stand to write this? What do I hope to accomplish?"

Compare to the clear and humble logic of Jiho Kim (the last column in the last page of his own blog role set-up); or the clear and gentle logic of David Talcott (click on the post regarding the Emergent Church to get a feel for the gentleness with which he engages an opponant); or the gently, quiet wisdom of Anne Wegener, who with sacred gentleness exposes her weaknesses and shares her strengths. All of the links on my sidebar are to those places better spent reading than here.

A cloud without rain.
Unworthy of paper.
Just a speck in the heap of cyber trash!

But the Word of God is true, right, good. It is living and active.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. --Philippians 4:8

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Whoze Da Fool?

I have read about them. I have seen them on TV. I have talked to people who have seen them. I have never, never seen one before...before today!

Today, I listened to a sidewalk preacher. He was actually in the parking lot of Planned Parenthood. Steve was preaching when Glen and I arrived. He spoke clearly, plainly and with conviction. The fear of God was upon him.

I do not know when he started. He told me he would be preaching from 9 to 10, but when we arrived at about 10:08, he continued for some time.

It used to be that I was scoffed at there, and it was appropriate. They used to smirk at me, but I haven't felt their disdain in a while. I have become a rather quiet one of late.

Today, they made jokes...loud jokes. Today, they scoffed. They did not, though, leave. They stayed and the Word of God was preached in their presense. They heard of God's creation, and the beauty of it. They heard of the gift of life, children and the privilege that women have to bear and raise children. They heard of the pressures men, fathers, mates, and society place on women to disdain and destroy this privilage. I am certain that this was the first time that some of them heard these archaic words.

They heard of the Holy God's displeasure with the murdering of these children. They heard of His great power, and frightful judgement.

They also heard of His long-suffering and mercy. They heard the invitation to seek refuge from the coming wrath in the Son of God, who died for even these sins.

Oh, God, our Heavenly Father,

I repent of my reluctance to speak and proclaim Your truth with all boldness. I confess that I have been afraid of man; in fact the good opinion of my fellow Christians I seek, above the proclamation of your truth and obedience to your commands.

If I plan to NOT speak thus, let my bones waste away within me. May your hand be heavy upon me, and your words burn in my mouth until I speak them.

Do not let me rely on the wisdom of man, or on my own ideas of a compelling arguement. But let me stand on your Word alone; and make my feet, then, firm wheresoever you lead me.

In the name of your Son, my Lord, Jesus Christ,