Wednesday, January 31, 2007

It's always amazing when one of the kids say something
that is way off the mark, and it is a great reminder
that we can't let them just absorb what they will from
us, but we must be diligent to teach the faith in an
organized fashion.

A few days ago, Kent asked Babydoll Hattie how we can
know what is true about God. She thought for a few
moments and then responded, "We can know what is true
by what our hearts tell us." Whoa! Want a little
post-modernism, there it is for you.

Thank God for giving us the times and opportunities to
teach this little one.

"No, Hattie," Kent came back, "there is only one test for
truth and that is what the Word of God tells us. Our hearts
can speak truth, but we only know that they do if we can
line what our hearts tell us with what the Bible teaches."

How many times do we take the feelings induced by indigestion,
or some over-the-counter medicine as God speaking to us through
our hearts? Hmmm!

II Timothy 2:15-17a
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker
who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word
of truth. But shun profane and idle babblings, for they
will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will
spread like cancer.

I am afraid a lot of, "The Lord told me to..." falls into the
category of "profane and idle babblings."

Certainly I do not say that God does not impress certain things
upon our hearts. But this is an area that requires great
wisdom, and wisdom points in this direction--"God tells us in
such and such a scripture thus and so," rather than, "God told ME
this and that."

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

New From the Farm

I've not given an update in this arena for a bit.
There's not a whole lot happening that would be of
interest. Mainly we just ask the same two questions
on a daily basis.

1. Will there be enough hay to last the winter?

2. Did the hose freeze last night?

Oh, there is one more question.

3. How could it get more muddy than it is now?
I don't know how, but it always does.

Monday, January 29, 2007

This morning I was reading in I Timothy 6 and verse
6 caught my thoughts.

Now godliness with contentment is great gain.

Webster defines the word content in the following
way: happy enough with what one has or is; not
desiring something more or different; satisfied.

A content person is a very comfortable person to
be around. They don't have to prove themselves. They
aren't trying to appear more than what they are. My
MIL said something that, at the time, struck me as
funny, but I have since come to appreciate it. She said,
"I like myself." She is content with her being,
she is satisfied with her personality and gifts.
Would that we were all so.

If we were more content we would find that the Ten
Commandments would become a little easier to follow.
We wouldn't be running after other "gods" for what
they could give us. We wouldn't covet or steal. We
would have no problem keeping the Sabbath.

I desire contentment. I don't just want it in a physical
sense though. I want to be content with my abilities and
with my intelligence and with my appearance. I'm not
speaking about stagnancy. May God cause us all to grow in
His knowledge and grace and into all He wants us to be. I
am speaking of essentials, the deeps of who I am.

Actually, it is trust that brings contentment. We can trust
God for the person He has made us, for the life into which
He has placed us, and for the things He brings our way. If
indeed He is orchestrating all things, what can we lack?

Today is a good day to be happy enough with what I have
and who I am.

Our friends, Peter Li and Yong Liu, had their first
child last week. I have only asked them a dozen or so
times to pronounce her name. It sounds something to me
like, "Eeeyooo sjan." It means-State of Happiness. Her
English name is Maggie (which means Pearl). I asked
Qiang (Peter) to draw her name for me so I could post it.
I did the best I could! Maybe Left Coast Onlooker can
help me with the proper phonetic pronunciation so I can
impress Peter and Yong.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

You know you're from Mayberry when you are driving
down the gravel and Princess Daughter says, "Well,
(sigh)*, looks like the Crow Boys are down."

*There is a sigh that Mayberrians expel that is
unlike any sigh I have ever heard anywhere else.
It is very sharp and has a streak of humor that
runs right through it. Seriously, I would know
a person from Mayberry by that particular sigh
if I met them in Hong Kong.
Friday was Mom's first chemo treatment. I wasn't able
to be there, but Becky gave me the low-down. After
giving her the preliminary meds, they started her on
Taxol (which is derived from the yew bush) and she had
an immediate reaction. The nurse had to stop the Taxol
and give her more benadryl and more steroids. They let
that take effect and then restarted the chemo at a slow
rate. So, by the time they finished the first drug and
then got her through the second it turned into about a
9 hour chemo session.

After pumping her full of benadryl (for a second time),
the nurse (who was terrific) said, "You are going to
get pretty tired now, you are so full of benadryl."

Becky though gave the nurse a heads-up, "You know, my
sister, Laurie, has the opposite reaction to benadryl.
She gets hyper. I'm not sure what Mom's reaction will

Have you ever seen a Chatty Cathy in operation? There
was a living example in the chemo room at Barnes Hosp.
just the other day! Becky said that Mom shared the
gospel, start to finish, with everyone in the room. She
gave testimony, she used the EE questions...she gave
them the whole ball of wax. She was cute!

And in the meantime they discovered that the nurse is a
believer, and the lady getting chemo next to Mom is a
believer too.

So, one treatment down, 5 to go. She starts her radiation
in a week and a half. I think she'll be a sick puppy for
a bit.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Attention all history buffs. You'll enjoy this
interactive map of the Middle East which shows which
civilizations ruled the area from ancient times through
modern times.

A Tip of the Scholars Hat to Chrysalis

Guess who Tyler is dressed as. No fair if you already
Mom had her first chemo treatment today. She begins
the radiation in a week and a half. We planned to go
with her to buy her wig yesterday, but the timing
didn't work out. We were also hoping to meet Dr. Vulture,
but didn't have a chance. We were able to go check o
out Hope Lodge which is the place Mom and Dad will stay
while she is having radiation treatments. It will be
such a help for them to not have the long commute during
traffic every morning.

Mom invited her cancer doctor to come and visit and
float the beautiful Current River after she gets
through her treatments. Her doctor said that she
has visited patients before after they finished their
treatments. If will be interesting to see if she
really does leave The Big City to visit us here in

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Just Snippets

Q. How many Presbyterians does it take to change
a lightbulb?

A. None. If God wanted it changed, He'd do it

Q. How many Baptists does it take to change a


Q. Why do cows wear bells?

A. Because their horns don't work.

On the way home from The Big City this afternoon
Hattie wanted to play a game in the car. We are all
about games in the car. Usually she makes them up.
Lately she's been throwing out statements and they
have to be continued in alphabetical order. For
example-I went to the grocery store and I bought
an apricot. I went to the grocery store and I bought
a banana...etc.

This time she said, "God is almighty," and we continued
from there. Of course, we always let the person that
gets "x" use a word that starts with either "x" or "ex".
After that she started a second round with, "God created
animals." What fun!

After we finished that Kent wanted to start with creation
and tell the Bible story in order. Each person took a
turn and then quit whenever they felt like it and the next
person continued until they got to a good starting point.
It was interesting to see how much Hattie knew and where
the holes were in the midst of that knowledge. She didn't
know about Enoch, for instance.

How I love getting home to my own little nest and unpacking
the bags and laying my head on my own flat pillow for the
night! It is amazing to think of the comfort and nestling
we will do when we finally reach our real home and begin our
eternal work.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

Friday, January 19, 2007

Mayberry Happenings

Honestly I cannot help it. People are SO funny. I
should have the quote by the old Quaker at the top
of this blog. Someday I may take the time to add
it. "All the world is queer except for Thee and Me
and sometimes even Thee's a little queer."

I was in one of the local stores. I noticed that the
lady behind me had only one item and she was elderly.
She was hanging onto the side of the shelves as though
she were quite tired, so I asked her if she would like
to go ahead of me. She did want to and so I moved
aside for her. Then I got back in line. The person
checking out during all this time was an elderly man,
rather tall and a little bulky in overalls. He sure
looked to be the old farmer type.

He finished and left. Then it took awhile with the
lady in front of me because though she had only one
item the cashier (bless her heart) did what most
cashiers do. She gave the lady her bills and then
laid the change on top of it along with the receipt.
That meant the lady in front of me had to put it all
onto the counter, pick up the change, put it away,
pick up the bills, put them away and then pick up
the receipt and put it away. My dad has been on a
crusade for his whole life to get the cashiers to
hand the change back first, allow the customer to
put that in their pocket or purse and then hand
them the bills. He has been fighting a losing battle.

Finally the lady in front of me left. The cashier
(bless her heart) started to check me out. Just then,
the elderly man came back in. He said, "You gave me
too much change."

The cashier looked at him rather blankly so he held
out his hand and showed her, she recounted it and realized
she had given him $5 too much. So she took it back and
put it in the drawer. Then she said, very quietly, so
quietly I don't believe he could hear her. "Thank you."

After he left she said, "Not many are honest anymore."

I, being ever the optimist, countered with something I
had read some time ago. I said, "Well I read a study
that showed that people in the US are most honest about
returning lost wallets and overchange amounts than almost
anywhere else in the world."

She look surprised and replied, "Well, that's nice to know."

Then she sighed deeply and said, "Not many are honest
We have been anxious to get the path report back
on my mother. Yesterday we got the news and it
is more serious than what we had hoped for and
moreso than maybe we had tricked ourselves into
thinking it would be. She has stage 4B endometrial
cancer. It is advanced and aggressive. They
want to hit back at it aggressively. She will
start her chemo treatments next Friday and then
add radiation into the mix after the second chemo.
She will be a sick puppy.

We trust God, for His ways, whatever they are,
are good.

There was laughter laced throughout the day though.
Becky (sometimes referred to as Philippine sister)
was able to go with my parents to the meeting with
the doctor. My brother, Mike, was listening on
a speaker phone from his office in Orlando. Later
on, as I was talking with Becky, she hit our (hers
and mine)tickle button. She was describing the
doctor that will be doing the radiation. She was
trying to give me a picture of his bedside manner.
At first I thought she meant he had none whatsoever,
but then she clarified it by saying, "Try to imagine
a cross between John Harwell (the minister at my
parent's church) and a buzzard, and that is what
this doctor is like."

"Oh," I was beginning to get it, "you mean he has
a bedside manner, but it is strange."


Not that John Harwell is strange, that is the part
where the manner comes in, but if you add a buzzard
into the mix you have a strange bedside manner.
John, is a terrific man and we like his manner very

Then later I was driving the truck down the gravel,
while doing so I looked over into the pile of junk
piled next to me and saw this wadded up green thing.
It was my nephew's missing jacket which he had left
here over Christmas. I had promised Becky that it
was NOT on my property. I laughed hard. It seemed
so funny to me that it was in the truck, which I
have driven numerous times, though in my defense
I've only been driving it in the dark lately. And
only the day before I found my other sister's missing
coat at church. She though a ghost had taken it.
(She is handicapped.) What a relief it was to her.
Now if I could only find Kent's missing coat.

Miss Read ends one chapter of one of her wonderful
novels with the following. I paraphrase because I
do not have the exact quote.

Oh lovely, lovely life that moves us from tears to
laughter in the space of a moment.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

"Women are more important than men." This was
a statement made at church this Sunday. Then
my wise friend added the following, "That is a
politically correct statement."

Everywhere I turn, both in my circle of Christian
relationships and in my circle of those who aren't
Christian, the idea of women being more capable,
more worthy, and of more importance prevails.

Amanda at Wittingshire has a great post on raising
men. I fear that we are turning into a society that
not only values women over men, but one that also
prepares women intentionally to take the place that
God has given to men.

Tip of the bonnet to Chrysalis.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

This was just too, too good to not give you. After
Bible Study tonight I asked Hattie why it was so
loud upstairs.

She said, "Because Jon Michael was running in the

I looked confused; I know I must have looked very
confused, because she put her hands on either side
of my face and said, "You know, the place where Dad

I looked at Kent, with a smirk, and had to laugh.
"So that's how the congregation looks to you."

PS-I think Hattie was doing her share of running
in the cemetery.
Monday night everyone was going to be out. I wanted
to visit G'ma Opal, but it was cold and windy and the
thought of staying in my warm house was very tempting.
I thought maybe a phone call would do the trick. When
I mentioned it though Kent sternly said, "You need to
go visit her." "Okay," I meekly replied.

We had a wonderful visit. We talked over dreams (as
in nighttime dreams) and gossiped and had a regular
good chat. She said something that just tickled me
a bunch.

It rained a lot last week. It started Thursday, we
had rain that day and night, then Friday and Friday
night,then Saturday and Saturday night, then Sunday
and Sunday night and then Monday morning. But on Monday
afternoon the clouds thinned a little and there were
little moments when the sun would burst in for a few
seconds. Grandma said, "You know I was down because of
all the rain and because of worrying over your mom and
then this afternoon I was sitting in my chair and the
sun popped out gloriously. I just jumped out of the
chair and danced a little jig and then grabbed my broom
and started sweeping the dirt out of the living room."

I do like her. I would like her even if she wasn't my
very own G'ma Opal! I hope sunshine makes me dance a
jig when I'm 96.
I've not yet continued my series on homesteading
modern style, but I thought I'd go ahead and post
this little bit of information on what it is like
to heat with a wood furnace.

Of course, I grew up visiting my grandparents and
great-grandparents and they heated with wood
stoves. My grandparents had one in their living
room, and my great-grandparents had two stoves. One
was in their living room and one was in the kitchen. As
I grew older my great-grandma would move her bed into
the kitchen in the wintertime so she could stay
warm. It was a good thing she did. One year her
house was hit by a tornado and the only room left
standing was the kitchen, and, even it had one wall
torn out, so the roof fell in that corner, but she
was protected by the other walls from the ceiling
landing on her as she slept. But, I wander, that is
a story for another post.

When we first began this adventure we purchased a wood
stove at an auction. It did a good job of heating our
home. We also had gas as a backup heat source. We loved
our stove; we loved cuddling up to it on frosty mornings
to dress and we loved to snuggle by it to read. However,
we didn't like the amount of soot that had to be washed
off the walls come springtime. Plus, our house and
clothes always had a slight smoky smell, and it took up
a lot of indoor space in our little home. So we decided
to put in a wood furnace outside. Ours is in a little
shed that is attached to the side of our home. To get
to it you have to go out the back door and walk a few feet
to the door of the furnace shed.

So, now our house is warm (unless the electric is out,
then we can't light a fire without ruining certain parts,
believe me, I speak from experience...I didn't KNOW it
would ruin certain important parts to light a fire when
the electric was out!) But, our house is warm, it is
soot and smoke free, and the mess of dragging wood into
the house is eliminated, however there IS one drawback.
Since you can only get to it from the outside, someone
has to go outside during the night to reload the furnace.
That someone is me.

You may be thinking, "Well that's not fair. Here she has
all these big men around, why does little Laurie have to
load the furnace at night.?" Really, that is quite a good
question. The answer is just as good. We divide the
workload. The guys gather the wood in the summer. They
keep the wood box filled; they empty the ashes; they usually
are the fire starters; and they help keep it loaded in the
daytime. It is not their fault that they don't have the
nose thermometer I have been blessed with. When my nose
gets cold, I wake up. It seems rather silly to me to then
punch Kent and wake him also. So I slide out of my warm
bed, shuffle to the back door, slip on my slip on shoes,
pull on my work gloves, pick up the flashlight that is
there, and sidle out to the furnace room. I open the
door, throw in wood, come into the house, put gloves,
slip ons and flashlight back in their spot, shuffle back
to bed, crawl in and immediately fall asleep again. It
takes maybe four minutes tops. That is not a bad price
to pay for a warm house. And it get the satisfaction of
knowing my family is warm and cozy because of my little

Monday, January 15, 2007

I am still working my way through the book
In the Steps of Moses. Some writers have a magic
way with words, and Louis Golding is one of those.
The pictures he creates are so beautiful that I
often go back and reread sections just so I can
retaste his delicious wording. He writes about
a place in the desert, Petra, and describes it
with the following words:

"There are moments when, gazing round a little
helplessly, you declare Petra a city of
claustrophobiacs. Intoxicated by those wild
draughts of color, the encircling summits pressing
home upon their skulls, they hacked and hacked
away at the mountains with the desperate re-
peatedness of madmen, making one facade and
another facade--facades only; they were not
interested in interiors, which they left meager
and monotonous; they moved on to the next mountain
and the next facade.

But, that mood over, you realize the Nabataean
impulse was, in fact, something grimmer and more
controlled; controlled, for you do not produce
such ordered beauty in sporadic frenzy; grim
enough, for all those carved mountains, or most
of them, were houses of the dead.

Dad by day the sun illumines them with gold and
fire, adn in its season the moon visits them with
pale terror. The tombmakers have gone long ago,
but the tombs seem likely to endure till the next
buckling of this planet's crust."

This reminds me of something Jesus said to those
who thought they were spiritual.

Matthew 23:27
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed
appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full
of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even
so you outwardly appear righteous to men, but
inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness."

I do not want to be all fur and feathers. My prayer
is that God would develop within me a true and
living following after Him. All I have to do is
think over what I read daily in His Word and I
know what it is He desires.
A gentle and quiet spirit.
A tongue that speaks sparingly.
A faithful and obedient wife.
A woman who looks to the ways of her home.
A compassionate friend to those in want.
A student of the Word.
I do not want to concern myself with facades. I want
to put my focus to the interior of my being. May it
not be meager and monotonous, but may it be a rich
garden for the King.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

This is by far the best family portrait we've ever
had taken. And, no, it is not is a real
life moment.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Odes for a wet and wetter day.

One misty, moisty day, when wet was the weather,
I chanced to meet an old man dressed all in leather.
He began to compliment and I began to grin,
"How do you do?" and "How do you do?" and
"How do you do?" again.

It rains and it pours,
I've got too many chores,
There's the cleaning and baking to do.
I'd rather be out
On a wild, wet hill
Laughing and dancing with you.
Everyday living has been rather full lately,
but here are a few points of interest from
up and down the gravel.

1. My mom came home yesterday. I cooked her a
pot of vegetable soup, and we took it over and
ate it. It was yummy and warming on a wet and
sloshy night. She looks really good and is as
sassy as ever.

2. Why, I wonder, (life is full of difficult
questions) do the road graders always grade the
gravel and leave loose dirt and gravel on it
right before a three day rain that is bound to
wash all that loose stuff off and into the ditches
leaving a washboard road behind again?

3. I've not had a lot of time to visit with G'ma
Opal in the past two weeks, but I did pop in for
a minute a couple of days ago. We had a big pig
of a cow that we had butchered. She wouldn't and
wouldn't and wouldn't get pregnant. We gave her
all the time a sane little farm family could. Plus
last year she had a difficult birth and Kent and
the guys had to pull the dead calf out. There is
a saying among cattle farmers, "You either produce
a profit or you become a profit." Well, in this
case we decided to go for the freezer rather than
the profit. And, so, we had this cow butchered,
(you can't imagine how delicious this meat is,
plus it is free from steroids etc.) and we have
a LOT of meat. I was running around delivering
bits of it to the relatives up and down the gravel.
After I gave a bit to G'ma Opal, (she only wanted
a few pounds and some soup bones) I was ready to
walk out the door, but I did think to ask how she
was doing on mice this month. "Four," she replied,
"one each for each of the first four days of January."
Wow! Now that's a great way to start the New Year
for my granny, don't you think?
Psalm 119:89

"Forever, O Lord,
Your word is settled in heaven."

I will rest me in the immovableness of God,
His word, and His ways.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Okay, I do have a question over all this with my
mother. It is not actually a new one though, but
one that has simmered in my mind for about 23
years now and I just can't keep it contained any
longer. Why, oh why, must these doctors come in
and ask loudly, across a room full of people, the
following question. "Have you passed gas yet?"

Here you are, looking like a zombie, feeling like
a dirty dog, trying to look sweet, but failing
miserably, and this man has to yell this question
to you. Why can't they let the nurses quietly
sidle up to you and mouth the question and let you
give a small nod or shake in reply.

I mean, really. In our family we don't even use the
f*a*r*t word. We just toot. And my children were
not allowed to use the b*u*t*t word. We have
bottoms or bottom ends. Those things are just plain
crude. I can handle a good, solid, English d*a*m*n
as the Scarlet Pimpernel says at the end of his book,
but crudity is a no-no for me. And, really, passing
gas is very crude and not the thing I want my doctor
to ask me as I am recovering from surgery. In fact
it is probably the reason I had to stay in the
hospital so long after my c-sections. I was reeling
from having to answer that question.

Patients of the world unite with me in the fight to end
crude speaking by unfeeling doctors! Maybe a petition
is in order. I'll think on it.
I did not actually step off the edge of the world, but
I did just meander off the edge of normalcy for awhile.
I walked out of the holidays and into the Missions
Conference where we had our dear friend Oscar with us
for a little over a week. What a blessing from God.
He is answering years of prayers by opening minds and
hearts to the need for light that this dark world has.

And then there is my mother. That has been a story in
and of itself. We went into the surgery thinking we had
a battle on our hands and found that we were rather in
the midst of a full-blown war. Our world was turned
a bit topsy-turvy when we headed into Friday thinking,
"Stage one, contained," and ended the day hearing the
words, "Advanced and agressive."

But, a night of staring the monster in the face and
resting the the presence of God Almighty brought the
whole family in line to face this war.

Mom took awhile to recover from the surgery but is now
a hoot again, so that part is going well. The path
report is not yet in so we don't even have a name,
but will know in a few days what to expect as far as
treatment goes.

The hymn Immortal, Invisible which is based on
I Timothy 1:17 has been running through my mind a lot
the past few days. The second verse reads thus:

Unresting, unhasting, and silent as night,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might;
Thy justice, like mountians,
high soaring above Thy clouds,
which are fountains of goodness and love.

Those two words, unresting and unhasting, are filled
with more meaning than a thousand modern Christian
songs and books. God is involved in our lives, He is
unresting, but He is also unhasting. He is not in a
rush to fix what we have messed up; He doesn't need
to run in and try to put a bandaid on some problem we
have; He is not caught off-guard. He is the author of
time and He lives outside of time. I will trust Him,
and not just to work things out the way I want. I will
just trust Him period. May I be Joblike and able to
say, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him."

Friday, January 05, 2007

I've not given an update of our time with Oscar, because
we have kept him so busy. He said today that he was
rather exhausted with the change in culture and the
need to be constantly thinking and speaking in English.

He spoke this morning to a group of Christian teens in
the local high school. He assured them Spanish was easy
to learn. Even young children in Mexico can speak it.
That really tickled Princess Daughter. She laughed out-

May God give us His vision for His world.

When Farm Husband is away, Farm Wife will play!
Yesterday I went to Mayberry for my weekly errand
day. It was the first time I had had a regular day
in town since before all the holidays began. Nothing
of significance happened, but it was refreshing to
be waited on by familiar faces and smile rather
tiredly at each other. I appreciated small town life
all over again.

Well, actually, one interesting conversation did occur.
When I was at Fred's the lady in front of me had a can
of gravy. So, of course, the checkout lady, and the
woman checking out got into a conversation over it. I
joined in, who wouldn't?

Edie Sue (checkout lady): "I hear that is really good
gravy. I always make my own, but I hear that is good."

Customer: "Well, I thought I'd try it. There's nothing
like good gravy."

Me: (You must understand, at breakfast, where we were
eating biscuits and gravy, my FIL was telling about being
a child and having an uncle fix smoked ham and black
gravy for him.) "My FIL was telling me today about his
uncle who fixed smoked ham and black gravy for him when
he was a child. I've never heard of black gravy."

Customer: "Maybe he meant red gravy."

Customer behind me: "We called that red-eye gravy, it has
coffee in it."

Me: "Could be. I think I'll google it and see what I can

Customer behind me: "My grandma used to make chocolate
gravy with biscuits. It was delicious."

**This conversation has been modified to fit my memory as
much as possible. If I have slandered anyone, please forgive

PS--I can't find a black gravy recipe. Maybe it was red-
eye gravy. Doesn't that sound yummy with ham. I'll have
to give it a go.
Today is the day that my own dear Marmee is having
a hysterectomy because of uterine cancer. She is at
the best cancer hospital in the US, which is a comfort
to the heart, but what is far more comforting is knowing
that she is one of God's own and He holds His own in
His hands. We are to hold onto this world and the things
in it lightly, but He holds us fast.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

This year I want to dare to be a sinner.
(Resolution #3)

I snookered this from JOLLYBLOGGER who stole it
himself from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's book Life
Together. The last chapter begins thus:

"Confess your faults one to another" (Jas. 5:16).
He who is alone with his sin is utterly alone.
It may be that Christians, notwithstanding
corporate worship, common prayer, and all their
fellowship in service, may still be left to their
loneliness. The final break-through to fellowship
does not occur, because, though they have fellowship
with one another as believers and devout people,
they do not have fellowship as the undevout, as
sinners. This pious fellowship permits no one to
be a sinner. So everybody must conceal his sin from
himself and the fellowship. We dare not be sinners.
Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real
sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous.
So we remain alone with our sin, living in lies
and hypocrisy. The fact is that we are sinners!

But it is the grace of the Gospel, which is so hard
for the pious to understand, that it confronts us
with the truth and says: You are a sinner, a great,
desperate sinner; now come as the sinner that you
are, to God who loves you. He wants you as you are;
He does not what anything from you, a sacrifice, a
work; He wants you alone. "My son, give me thine
heart" (Prov. 23:26). God has come to you to save
the sinner. Be glad! This message is liberation
through truth. You can hide nothing from God. The
mask you wear before men will do you no good before
Him. He wants to see you as you are, He wants to be
gracious to you. You do not have to go on lying to
yourself and your brothers, as if you were without
sin; you can dare to be a sinner. Thank God for that;
He loves the sinner but He hates sin.

Cap-tip to Jollyblogger

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Yesterday the guys, and Princess Daughter, loaded
our biggest hog, I mean cow, to take to the butcher.
We are all aquiver to get some fresh beef. It is
the best. I wish I could invite all of you to a
nice BBQ to try some.

Oscar got to help load her. I wish I had been here
to take pictures. It was definitely a new experience
for him.

The butcher asked us over the phone, ahead of time, to
estimate her weight. Kent said, "Oh, I think at least
1100 pounds." She weighed in at nearly 1600. This
particular butcher doesn't usually take cows that
large, but, since we had her there he went ahead and
kept her, however he did say, "That's the last time
I ask you to estimate the weight of a cow!"
Things and lots of things make me feel cluttered
and nervous, but objects of delight are a comfort
to my soul. This year I received objects of
delight as gifts for Christmas.

My fun and feisty MIL, who does not like Christmas
(or any other) shopping, none-the-less pulled this
rabbit out of the hat this year. She bought it
in Williamsburg. Isn't a beauty?

My own Mumsie, knowing that Kent and I are trying
to replace some of the Java we drink with herbal
and green teas, gave us this cheerful teakettle. It
has a great whistle. The first morning I used it
the whole household was awakened by it. There is
just more ambience about heating your water in a
teakettle vs. heating it in the micro.

G'ma Opal gave us a quilt. I can't take a picture of
it because it is the wee hours of the morning and people
are still snuggled under it (DH and Princess Daughter
because she woke up with a bad dream). I'll post the
picture later.

G'ma said to me as I was looking at the quilt, "Now
I've given quilts to 5 out of my 6 grand-daughters."
I whispered to Mom, "Do you think she's trying to
communicate something by giving away all her quilts?"
Mom replied, "No, she's just afraid of the mice ruining
her quilts."

Monday, January 01, 2007

It is exciting to see my children grow into caring and
compassionate persons. Each of the four has their own
way of responding, but each has a heart for people.

One is a giver. One has a strong gift of helps. One
looks out for the down and out and wants to help them.
And one wants to do it all.

This morning I read this blessing from Paul to the
Thessalonians in I Thessalonians 3:12.
And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to
one another and to all,...

What a wonderful nightly blessing to speak to the children
as I glide into their rooms tonight.
I told you Oscar was coming. He is now here! Billy, Tyler, Steve and
D.Jay went to meet him at the airport.

Billy wrote about their adventures in getting to Little Rock here.

And here is their first picture of Oscar; he is glad to be back on
firm ground again. He left from Little Rock to drive to Kansas City
for a conference.

Last night he finally arrived back in Mayberry. We fed him a sandwich
and then dragged him off to a New Year's Eve party. He loved the food
because NO VEGETABLES were in sight! After his long drive and the
loud and crowded party I asked him if he was tired. He said, "Tired?
No, I'm numb." We are so excited to hear him speak this week, and
we have all sorts of Mayberrian American experiences for him to join
us in.

What causes us to grow as believers? We can mention
relationships, we can speak of worship (and I say that
in the narrow sense of corporate singing time), we may
think of big events like retreats, camps and concerts,
but the one and single guide for life that we have gives
us a different answer.

What enters our life in such a way that we are changed in
our behavior? What can bring about new attitudes and actions?
What is it that actually propels us along in our journey
to become Christlike?

Psalm 119:9,11 give us a clue.
How can a young man cleanse his way?
By taking heed according to Your word....
Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.

Without the Sciptures we have nothing, so my third resolution
for the New Year is to hide God's word in my heart, to study
it, to ponder it and to act on it. I want to learn better
than ever how to understand the intended meaning of what God
is saying to mankind.

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of god is living and powerful, and sharper than any
two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit,
and of joints and marrow,...

There is work involved here. Any of us can say what we think God's
word is saying, or what we've heard our family say as we were
growing up, or what we rather want it to say, but to get to the
actual meaning takes both work and time.

2 Timothy 2:15
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who
does not ned to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.