Have you ever done something that seemed insignificant at the time, only to find out that the significance is really an awesome touch from the Master?
Last week we went to church at Boys Town. After church (which could be a whole blog subject) Simon, Steve and I were walking to the place where Jon and Betsy were working.
Simon saw an oak leave and had to pick it up. He gave it to me and I slipped it in my Bible and told him that every time I saw it, I would remember him. Then he found one for Mazie, Jon, and Betsy. Then he picked up one for good measure. All of the leaves went into my Bible.
This morning I was doing my devotions and there was the leaf. I saw it as a gift from God. Because of that one little leaf, I thought of the leaf walk that we had taken and that I told Simon that I would think and pray for him when I saw it.
That leaf brought back many memories and here are some of them:
* Simon telling Poppa..."I am so glad that you came to visit us.
* Simon asking us...why can't you live here.
* Simon's eyes when his dad or poppa threw him into the pool.
* His squeals when his dad came to the door and Simon knew that he would be tickled and wrestled with.
* His eyes when he went to school. He was so excited that he was going to start school.
* His rapt attention when we read stories and his desire to "read another chapter."
* Sleeping with him and having him play with my hair.
* Watching him jump and scream when he got his camera..."I love it. I really wanted this. I got a camera."
* Listening to his vocabulary and his stories...some real and others from his fantastic imagination.
* Cuddling with him before nap and after nap time.
I could go on and on with the memories that flooded my mind just seeing the leaf that was placed in my Bible by a little boy in a seemingly insignificant act. So, thank you Simon for the leaf. Thank you for all of the wonderful love that you have given us. How I praise God for you. My prayer for you is that you will grow to be a man who is not afraid to kneel before the Savior and humble yourself before your God.
I could go on and on because there are complimentary memories of Mazie. Then there are all of the memories of my girls when they were growing up. God is so good. It was the beginning of devotions. I was set to praise Him for the wonders that He has given to us...and then, He gave me a leaf.
God is amazing and awesome.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
As we studied, I had to wonder what it would have been like. What would Steve had done when the king's men knocked on the door and required our daughters to come with them? What would have happened had I answered the door? Would I have shut the door and denied them access to our home?
It was a different time. There was no option. What did they see in her? They saw her beauty. It was deeper than that. They saw that beauty in the king's harem. Esther was given a special place and servants were chosen to be with her. There was something significantly different about her. She stood out above the crowd. Her physical beauty (enhanced by 12 months of beauty treatments) was one thing, but there was something else about this woman.
I wonder what people see in me. Do you ever wonder what people see in you? What do they see when you are frustrated? How about angry? Do they see the inner strength and beauty that Christ has placed there?
Too many times, I think that my circumstances should dictate my behavior. Esther's behavior was enhanced by her circumstances. So what was so wrong with her circumstances? 12 months of massage, make-overs, and pampering? Does that sound awful to you? Now think about being in a group of up to 400+ women all clamoring for the same thing...the Persian Queen's crown. What do you think that environment would be like?
God gives us wings to stay above our circumstances. He knows the situations that we will be facing and that we will be tested and pressed. It is His Spirit that He desires to be what is evident in our lives.
I love watching eagles. They don't seem to be impacted by the weather. They fly higher than the turbulence. They seek to be above the weather yet they can focus their eyes on their prey.
Today, as you fly through your day, soar above the tedious, mind-numbing, daily "grind" and fly to greater heights. God has something for you to do. What is it? Maybe it is just that someone who is watching you, needs to see the strength and dignity that comes with being engulfed in the love of the Savior. It might be showing the love of Christ to the one who is not so lovable.
Father, make me an instrument of your love. Give me the courage to stand up for you when it would be easier to cave in to the pressures of the group. Lord, help those around me to see your presence in my life. Jesus, help me to be the one that can stand out in the crowd and that people will see your face, your love, and your cross. In your precious name, AMEN
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
We loved cuddling with Simon and Mazie. I got to sleep
in this bed with everyone who is in the bed right now...and ME too!!! We were
Could you say no to these faces? Not much. We had a great time in Omaha. We had little sleep over buddies while we were in the motel.
Our days were pretty much the same:
Eat breakfast...go nimming (swimming)...see Jon and Betsy...nap...nimming....eat....nimming...time for stories and bedtime. As grandparents we did fail a couple of times...huh...getting our kids to bed at 11:00+. We were just having such a good time AND they were so good.
Omaha has started decorating for Christmas and this was our late night shopping trip. We had to pose for a picture.
They truly are Monkey 1 and Monkey 2.
Monkey 1 does a sad face...
Not to be outdone...Monkey 2 shows off her sad face...
And this is either shock, surprise, happy...you can decide!
Shock? or just another silly Mazie face?
Simon started school.
Jane and Andy came for the weekend.
We celebrated all of the fall holidays.
And yes, I cried when we had to say good bye.
God is so good. It is wonderful to see our children and grandchildren
seeking to follow the God of Creation.
There are many stories to tell and praises to sing.
For now...I am so thankful for our family!
Friday, November 7, 2008
This was the admonition that Mordecai gave to Esther regarding her role in the plot that Haman had devised. He told her that God WOULD raise someone up to do the task if she didn't do it. She called the Jews to fast for her. She bravely entered the court room knowing that in doing so, she could lose her life. It wasn't an easy step. It wasn't a minor step. Yet, she knew that she was to step up and speak for her people, the children of God.
Ever wonder what your "such a time as this" would be. I have wondered when I have responded to God's call, if I wouldn't have stepped up to this, who would have gotten the blessing instead.
We are called to be a light. To set our lights on a hilltop and never to hide our light. As you go through your day, notice what your light is shining on. Your children? Your mate? Your friends? Your coworkers? Who is God calling you to shine His light on today?
We are not always called to step before a king or to make a decision to follow God even if it means that you may lose your life...today. But I believe how I respond to the little tasks that He has given me, will give me the strength and the faith to respond to the larger things.
As dusk turns to the blackness of night, the light from the light houses appear to get brighter. Actually, the light has not changed; it is the darkness that allows it to shine brighter. Wherever you are in your walk today, your light can shine. For such a time as this, you were called to walk before Him today. Praise Him for the path that He is leading you on and preparing you for your time to shine for Him.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Solomon in his wisdom realized that everything had a season. Life and Death, joy and mourning...everything that happens in our lives happens with God's full knowledge.
I am studying Esther and just the introductions to that book is amazing. It is the one book in the Bible that God is not mentioned but you can see his hand on everything that happens. He is not mentioned, there is not a prayer to Him, yet His presence is felt. His plan is accomplished.
Each spring, when the land seems so dead and the long winter has caused us to wonder if we will ever see another warm day, God awakens nature. Flowers bloom. Nature sings praises to His name. Soon the land is filled with the bright colors of summer. Then, the fall comes. It is a time when nature it seems is bursting forth with more color. But in our heads we know that soon we will experience the cold of another weather.
It is easy when life is predictable. Just like spring is always preceded by winter and summer is guaranteed to follow spring; fall will come. We can count on it. We try to predict it. (Good Morning America even had peak fall color maps on their morning show each day).
Fortunately, our lives are not so predictable. We cannot predict what will happen this year. We can't expect that today will look exactly like today. Thankfully we can't because life would be boring. The one constant thing that we can count on...GOD IS PRESENT IN OUR LIVES even when He may appear to be silent.
We have had some major changes to our country. We have a new president-elect. Some of the other offices have been filled in the various states. Washington passed a law approving assisted suicide (wasn't just a while ago that we were appalled at the methods of Dr. Kevorkian?)...for some of us those changes make us happy, others are sad. God has made many promises to us...some are visible like the rainbow...others are quiet promises that we know...He will be with us. He loves us.
The thing that we need to do right now. We need to pray for our leaders. Nebuchadnezzar was an ungodly man and king of the Persian empire...God moved on his life and Nebuchadezzar realized the power of the Living God. It took
That is the same God now. He is the One True God. He can work in our lives so that we see what He is doing OR He can silently be present in our lives. Once we accept His free gift of eternal life...He is actively changing us each day.
Pray for our country. Pray for our leaders. Do not be part of the voices who cry out against and spread evil and rumors. Pray. Humble yourself and pray to the Son of God...We need His peace and covet His presence in our land.