As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
~ Umpteenth Annual Mother/Daughter Christmas Shopping Trip
~ A lovely Sunday afternoon at the home of my oldest daughter,
~ Two little girls who spoke with British accents. :-)
~ A phone call from across the miles
An opportunity to "visit" with Ryan's family via speaker phone, catch up on each other's news, and hear the sweet little voice of two-year-old Eve as she says, "I love you, Gran!" (Can you hear my heart melting?)
Yes, these simple pleasures are gifts from my Father. And I will praise Him for His goodness to me.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
13 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
14 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. ~Hebrews 13: 13-15
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Hast Thou No Scar?
by Amy Carmichael
Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, or side or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land,
I hear them hail thy bright ascendent star.
Hast thou no scar?
Hast thou no wound?
Yet I was wounded by the archers, spent,
Leaned me against a tree to die; and rent
By ravening beasts that compassed me, I swooned;
Hast thou no wound?
No wound? No scar?
Yet, as the master shall the servant be
And pierced are the feet that follow Me;
But thine are whole: can he have followed far
Who has nor wound nor scar?
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Brian served as Keeper-of-the-Flame.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Never one to let things sneak up on her, Kati has been planning a Jane Austen theme for her birthday for months. The beautiful fan-shaped rose napkins were purchased and tucked away in early summer. The tea bag holders given as favors were selected well in advance of her special day. And for days-on-end, Bekah declared everything either "Jane Austen-y" or "not Jane Austen-y." (For example, "Jane Austen would never wear jeans, Kati!" and "This table looks very Jane Austen-y.")
The day came, and all of Kati's guests deemed the party quite Jane Austen-y. ;-)
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Many of you parents can probably relate to our experience. If you do something once (that's all it takes!), and the children enjoy it, it becomes a “tradition.” That’s how we began such “traditions” as watching A Christmas Carol to begin our Christmas season...or eating dinner at The Olive Garden on the 4th of July! So at holiday time, we are careful about not doing something that we would not want to continue to do for years-on-end. But no one is reluctant to continue this particular Thanksgiving “tradition” .
It is a delight to watch our tree grow with blessings—“my guinea pig”, “God’s protection”, “my nieces and nephews”, “God’s Word”, “my new job”, “family game time”—nothing is too small or too big to include. When we have guests, we invite them to contribute to our tree. We mail leaves to Ryan’s family to allow them to participate from afar. The Thankful Tree reaches fruition on Thanksgiving Day when our extended family gathers and are asked to add their blessings.
When I take the tree down at the beginning of our Christmas season, I do not dispose of those blessings! I “rake” those very special fall leaves and save them from year to year.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
~Randy Alcorn, The Grace and Truth Paradox, Multnomah Publishers 2003, pp. 33-35
Our culture is riddled with a poisonous spirit of entitlement. We always think we deserve more. We’re disappointed with our family, our neighbors, church, the waitress, the sales clerk, and the department of motor vehicles. Ultimately, we’re disappointed with God. He hasn’t given us everything we want.
What madness! If only we could see our situation clearly—even for a moment. We deserved expulsion; He gives us a diploma. We deserved the electric chair; He gives us a parade. Anything less than overwhelming gratitude should be unthinkable. He owes us nothing. We owe Him everything. When you realize you deserve nothing better than hell, it puts a “bad day” in perspective, doesn’t it?
Christians in Sudan—who’ve suffered unspeakably for their faith—are deeply grateful for God’s daily blessings. But us? We whine and pout.
Thankfulness should draw a clear line between us and a Christless world. If the same spirit of entitlement and ingratitude that characterizes our culture characterizes us, what do we have to offer?
If I grasp that I deserve hell, I’ll be filled with gratitude not only for God’s huge blessings—including my redemption and home in heaven—but also for His smaller blessings: sun, rain, a beating heart, eyes that see, legs that walk, a mind that thinks...And because Christ allowed Himself to be crushed under the weight of my sin, I’ll enjoy forever a clear mind and a perfect body...Never believe anything about yourself or God that makes His grace to you seem anything less than astonishing. Because that’s exactly what it is.
Monday, November 2, 2009
“Thanksgiving music?,” I hear someone say. Absolutely!
A couple of years ago, I found a book that falls under the category of you-never-know-what-gem-you-will-discover-at-your-local-library: Thanksgiving: A Time to Remember, by Barbara Rainey. It had an eye-catching Thanksgiving-y cover that attracted my attention and so I pulled it from the shelf. There are beautiful illustrations inside too, as well as the history of Thanksgiving, ideas for establishing Thanksgiving traditions, and beautifully decorated pages for recording your own family’s blessings.
But the real treasure is the accompanying CD! Over and over I listen to these lovely instrumental arrangements of worshipful hymns. Included are “Come Ye Thankful People, Come,” “We Gather Together,” and “For the Beauty of the Earth”—all traditional Thanksgiving songs which I want my children to know (and which we have sung around our table on Thanksgiving day!)—as well as other hymns which inspire worship and gratitude such as “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” and “O For a Thousand Tongues.”
I subsequently purchased this treasure, so I don’t have to depend on someone else not discovering it at my library. Money well spent.