Archive for February, 2012

On St. Valentine’s Day

True story:

“Time for lunch!” I called, as I served up the gumbo.
Elizabeth walked into the kitchen and began placing the bowls around the table.
“What are these?” she asked, holding up a box of sweetheart candies.
“Those are valentine’s from mom. It’s Valentines Day, you know.” said Darcie.
“It’s Valentine’s Day??! oh boy! Happy Valentine’s day!”
Elizabeth proceeded to run about hugging everyone and wishing them a happy Valentine’s Day.

Someone shoulda told the poor child.

My eyes are not closed, they’re just squinty-weird like that

So Happy St. Valentine’s Day, everyone. If you have a special valentine in your life, do something extra special for them. If you don’t have that special someone, make today special for other loved ones in your life! You never know how a hug from your little sister, a simple “Thanks for being a part of my life” from a friend, or the giving of a sweetheart candy that says “Soul mate” to your 4 yr. old adopted brother will warm your heart (and theirs!).

Today is not about you and how many roses or teddy bears you get. It’s about showing your love for your friends and family. It’s a day to give extra thought to how God showed His love for us, “that He sent his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

But most importantly, it’s about chocolate! Preferably dark chocolate.

I’m kidding. Sort of.

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Kisses cookies made lovingly by mother dearest.


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Promises Not Vain

Rising early, it is a dreary morning
News of another’s loss, it is a darker day
Tears and heartbreak, it is all our loss
Fathers cry, hopes are dashed
Then, thoughts fly Heavenward
There, little ones are safe in love
His promises, called to mind
They will sustain

“O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.”

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January’s Reading List

The stacks of books in my room continue to multiply. (Next to my bed is a stack on the South and there’s another stack on fruit trees. talk about multifariousness)

This is what my nightstand looked like in January
(notice my first euro in the foreground!)

I should probably put Rick Steves’ Rome on the top of the stack so that I will actually start reading through it before April.

The Challenge of Jesus is good, although it takes time to digest everything N.T. Wright has to say. Small bites, people, small bites.

Passion and Purity is super good too. It’s been really helpful.

And I’m still working through Dickens’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Nathan Coulter…well, you should just read my post on that book. Or if you’re just too lazy, I don’t mind telling you that it’s one of my all time favorites. Here’s a good quote. (I just like it, okay?)

“Uncle Burley didn’t own any land at all. He didn’t own anything to speak of; just his dogs and a couple of guns…He’d never let Grandpa or Daddy even talk to him about buying a farm. He said land was worse than a wife; it tied you down, and he didn’t want to be any place he couldn’t leave. He never did go anyplace much, except fishing and hunting, and sometimes to town on Saturday. But he wanted to feel that he could leave if he took the notion.”

Call of Duty, by Steve Wilkins. Everyone should read this, (especially if you’re a guy) but really, I benefited so much from reading this a second time.

Brunelleschi’s Dome by Ross King is fascinating. The more I read about what it took to build Santa Maria del Fiore, the more excited I am to see it when I go to Italy.

And lastly, Putting Amazing Back Into Grace by Michael Horton. It’s amazing. 😉

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The Door

There was a door
Open, inviting, reassuring
I walked toward it
Someone on the other side saw fit to close it
Now I’m left in the dark
Unsure, scared, alone
But wait
There’s a light now
Hope, safety, comfort!
When it calls I will answer
Where it leads I will follow
Patience, confidence, courage
There is a door!

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On Prayer

I’ve been thinking about prayer lately. Pastor Jim Jones preached an amazing sermon on Luke 11:5-13, the parable of the persistent neighbor and “ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

We often have misconceptions about prayer and how God answers our prayers. We think, “God will give me what I want if it is a righteous thing and I promise to be good.”

Or we might say, “Since God loves me He will answer my prayer, whatever it may be.”

“Give us what we want God because you love us.”

Nope. Not at all.

God always answers our prayers. But He doesn’t always answer them in the way we might want Him to.

I like to think of this in terms of a mother feeding a child. He may ask for cake but she gives him spinach instead. Why? Because it’s better for him, it’s what he needs and she has all the best for his health and growth in mind.

So it is with God. Sometimes He gives us spinach-like answers because He knows exactly what we need and when we need it. And when we’re older we may come to understand that it was good for us even when we didn’t like it at the time. We will be thankful that instead of giving us cake He gave us spinach.

Sometimes it’s a long time before our prayers are answered. Pastor Jones compared this to a blacksmith working with iron. He must be patient and wait until the iron has gone from red hot to white hot before trying to shape it.

So God waits until our desires are white hot and pure. Until we can say, “Thy will be done” and honestly mean it. God patiently waits until He has brought us to a mature enough state to accept and handle His answer to our prayers. Just as a father does not give a .50 cal to his 7 year-old son, but waits until he is mature enough to handle it wisely and with care.

Does this mean we only pray about something once and wait for God? Not at all. We must pray, and continue praying. Be persistent like the man knocking on his neighbor’s door for bread. Keep asking. Keep seeking. Continue to knock. When it is the perfect time, God will willingly, joyfully answer you. Sometimes it will be with spinach, sometimes with cake, but it will always be the best for you.

In making your requests known to God, take comfort in Luke 11:13:

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”

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