Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Dear Family and Friends,

Advent prepares us for the coming of Christ—we learn about the love, peace, joy, and the hope that we have in God. As Roger and I prepare for Christmas, we are excited about the hope that we receive through Jesus. When our hopes and desires are fulfilled, we see and experience God’s faithfulness. Upon receiving Roger and I’s wedding invitation, a friend recently asked me, “How does it feel to know that you have been found by what God has promised? How does it feel to know that you are living in God’s promises?” My answer was simple and immediate, “Amazing!”

FULFILLED HOPES:

  • Marriage
  • Gained parents, brothers, and sisters
  • Roger’s job is now based in Houston
  • Faith ran two marathons with her father, and one with her Uncle Bert

As you read our fulfilled hopes, I challenge you to reflect upon and experience God’s goodness and grace. Christ the Lord is here among us, our Saviour was born on Christmas day! “Light and life to all He brings; Ris’n with healing in His wings…Born that man no more may die, Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birth…”

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Roger and Faith Craig

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas from a Childs POV

I thoroughly enjoyed this and thought you might too! :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Coveting = hard to love

Covet 2.0

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 05:33 AM PST

Long before there were American Girl Dolls, shout out to Kirsten (rest in peace), there were Cabbage Patch Dolls.

They were the Tickle-me-Elmo of the Christmas craze one year. (I just used an old reference to explain an older reference. Let me try that again.)

They were the Wii of the Christmas craze one year. (Still not relevant? Last time.)

They were the Quitter of the Christmas craze one year. Everyone wanted one, much like the book Quitter this Christmas, and people got in shoving matches over these simple dolls.

The story behind them was that the dolls were born in a cabbage patch, delivered by nurses and then brought to your house via a stork. At the Cabbage Patch headquarters in North Georgia, you could actually go see the dolls born and delivered by people dressed as nurses. That sounds a little weird, but kids loved the experience and flocked there in droves.

One day, my friend and her husband brought their kids to the Cabbage Patch hospital. When their young daughters weren’t looking, they bought a doll. Their plan was to hide it in the trunk of their car without their youngest daughter seeing it, then give it to her a few months later on Christmas. Bad idea.

The “nurse” who “delivered” the cabbage patch “baby” walked out to “the” (sorry got on a roll there) car to see the family off. When the nurse saw my friend’s husband put the Cabbage Patch doll in the car, she freaked out.

She ran over and said, “You can’t put that baby in the trunk. She won’t be able to breathe!” Stupified, the dad responded, “Uh, it’s just a doll.” But the nurse wouldn’t budge. “She won’t be able to breathe,” she repeated.

Finally, the dad tore an air hole in the plastic bag the doll was in, appeased the nurse and slowly shut the trunk. Then he walked to the driver’s side of the car and never looked back.

Can we all agree that lady was a little crazy? I mean the kids were already buckled in the car. The “doll can’t breathe” performance wasn’t for them. That’s at least a smidge crazy, and I should know because sometimes I think I might be crazy too.

I bumped into that possible reality recently while looking at Twitter.

I created a list of friends, so that in the melee of thousands of tweets a day, I can specifically see what 10-20 people I know are up to via their tweets.

But in the midst of doing that, I’ve realized something rather pathetic, insecure and crazy of me.

I’m getting really jealous of my friends. As I scroll through their tweets, here are a couple of things that pop into my head:

“Oh wow. That friend hung out with that other friend and they did something amazing together. Huh. Why didn’t they invite me?”

“Whoa. That friend just announced, ‘I had a great time seeing people I love in Nashville, time to fly back home.’ Weird, he didn’t even tell me he was going to be in town.”

Then I sit in this ridiculous pity party, which eventually mutates into me coveting a life other than my own.

I want those adventures.

I want to be invited to those events.

I want to be as cool or as interesting or as funny or as anything as my friends.

I covet 2.0. And in discussing this with my wife, a few things came to light.

1. When I covet my friends, it’s really hard to love my friends.
My friends aren’t doing anything wrong. It’s me and my insecurities. But by dwelling there, I build up all this residual frustration with my friends, and that gets in the way of my ability to love them. I want to be someone who celebrates his friends, not someone who covets them.

2. This makes me like a seventh grade girl.
My wife doesn’t struggle with covet 2.0, but says she understands it because she “used to be a seventh grade girl.” In the cafeteria on Monday mornings in middle school, she said it was hard to hear about sleepovers and events you hadn’t been invited to. Why was it hard? Because she was a slightly insecure seventh grade girl. Which is apparently much like me.

3. This isn’t how it always was.
Ten years ago, you didn’t know about all the amazing things your friends were doing. No one called you and 300 other people on the phone and said, “Hey, I just saw an amazing sunset, went on a hot air balloon, got invited to a secret concert and had a brilliant lunch with somebody who won’t return your calls. Just wanted to make sure you knew.” The phenomenon of tracking the movements of all our friends is new. And the weird thing is that, ten years ago, I swear I never said, “I wish I knew what everyone I know was doing constantly. I could see that being really healthy for me.”

4. The Internet is a “Best Life” snapshot.
When you read somebody’s tweets or scroll through their photos on Facebook, you’re seeing a snapshot of somebody’s best life. Sure, some people share raw/honest moments moreso than others, but no one shares everything. (If you share everything and don’t hold back something personal for you or your spouse, you eventually become a “performer,” not a person.) People share vacations and sunsets and parties. And then you sit in your own very normal, messy life with boringness and ups and downs and think, “My life is no good.”

This isn’t a Twitter or Facebook issue. I am a huge fan of social media and have personally seen the tremendous good that can come from both. But right now, in my own life, I’ve turned my Twitter friends list into a place for me to hide and get jealous and covet 2.0.

If you’re my friend, sorry about being so silly. Covet 2.0 snuck up on me, and I’ve spent the last few months acting like I’m in the seventh grade. And since Chess King is closed, Color Me Badd is not on the top of the charts, and I’m not wearing Z-Cavaricci’s right now, I know that’s not where I’m supposed to be.

Question:
Have you ever experienced covet 2.0?

I LOVE the way Jon Acuff puts things, and yes, I thought this too was a great reminder!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Grandma's Plates

My Grandmother passed away a couple weeks ago. Yeesterday I was reminded about the one thing I loved most about Grandma! I remember Grandma Lanning as a woman who loved God and shared Christ to those around her.

This past weekend I went up to NY to help Roger move back down to Texas. While helping Roger clean and pack I saw a Corelle Corning Ware plate with my Grandmothers pattern. As I was helping Roger out I broke down in tears--I was reminded of Grandmas dinner table, a place where there were always three things present:

1) People, lots of them, from anywhere. Family, friends, people off of the street, it didn't matter what you looked like or where you came from, there was always room for one more. :)
2) Food, nobody goes hungry on a dairy farm, especially when with the Lanning's.
3) God, we always prayed the Lanning family prayer--For our food and all our gifts of love, we give our thanks and praise, oh Father who look down from above, and bless us all our days. Amen.

Below you can read the obituary that was found in the newspaper.

April 15, 1917 – October 3, 2011Ollie Dean Lanning went to be with the Lord on October 3, 2011 at the age of 94. Ollie Dean was loved and respected by many. Her caregivers, Juan and Alma Araiza have been a blessing to her and the family for the last nine years.

Ollie Dean was born in Stockton, Missouri on April 15, 1917 to Harley and Nellie Beall. She moved to various locations while her husband, Forest R “Bud” Lanning was in the Navy, but returned to her Missouri roots where the family farmed the home place where she was born on the Sac River. The family moved to southern Oregon and settled in the Rogue Valley to be near her in-laws when the Stockton Dam was built because most of the property was going to be underwater. In Eagle Point, Oregon Ollie Dean and Bud owned and operated the “Lanning’s Mo-Oak” dairy farm. She has been a resident of Oregon for the past 47 years, the last few years living in Canby, Oregon.

On Mother’s Day in 1958, the Prairie Valley Methodist Church presented a Bible to Ollie Dean for being selected “Mother of the Year.” She loved children and raised not only her own seven children but many others. Numerous nieces and nephews came for extended stays on the farm. Her love of children prompted her to lead the 4-H garden and flower clubs and assist leading the 4-H dairy club. She was an amazing FFA Mother encouraging her children to compete in dairy judging, tractor driving and other contests. Local county fairs, in both Stockton and Medford, have benefitted by her volunteer hours.

Ollie Dean loved to read and garden. When offered the opportunity, Ollie Dean ordered a Lifetime Subscription to Reader’s Digest magazine. Gardening books were very practical in nature as Ollie Dean gardened for the beauty and for practical reasons. Cookbooks assisted her as she fed her family with the food she canned, froze and dried. She enjoyed travel books and she enjoyed going to many destinations. She loved to learn and education was a high priority all of her life.

Ollie Dean was married for 51 years. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Forest R “Bud” Lanning, sons Brian and Frank Lanning and granddaughter, Shasta Thomson. Ollie Dean is survived by her children and their spouses, Forest & Barbara of Canby, OR, (Brian) Betsy Lanning of Medford, OR, George & Leslie Lanning of Salem, OR, Alice & Larry Wells of Anderson, IN, (Frank) Mariah Hegarty of Denver, CO, Neil & Alice Lanning of Centralia, WA, Ruth & Tom Thomson of San Antonio, TX, 17 grandchildren and their spouses, 18 great grandchildren and spouses and a great-great grandson, numerous nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her sister and her husband, Mary Ellen & John Nelson of Los Gatos, CA.

Ollie Dean Lanning will be laid to rest with her husband in a private family interment at the Veteran’s National Cemetery in Eagle Point, Oregon. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations may be made in her honor to the Eagle Point Grange, PO Box 252, Eagle Point, OR 97524 or the Eagle Point VFW Auxiliary, PO Box 626, Eagle Point, OR 97524. Condolence cards can be sent to Forest D Lanning at 253 SE 9th Ave., Canby, OR 97013.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What is your Ultimate Purpose?

Exodus 20:1-11

Then God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandment. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.


I LOVE this John Piper quote:

"The ultimate purpose of all things are to hallow (honour as holy, consider sacred) God's name...Jesus came to set it right; He came to vindicate (justify) the holiness of God."

The first video here is a short, but sadly all to true and funny example of what goes on every Sunday during worship.



The second video is the entire sermon that the first video was a clip from. I highly recommend you watch the second 45 minute video. I believe both videos require us to look inward with our actions, and what we really feel our ultimate purpose is as Christians (people who try to be Christ like, followers of Christ). Am I hallowing Christ? Am I glorifying God in all I do? Am I worshiping well? Is my ulitmate purpose to sanctify Christ?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

How does it feel...?

Recently, the following question was asked to me, "How does it feel to know that you have been found by what God has promised? How does it feel to know that you are living in God's promises?"

My answer was simple and immediate, "Amazing!"

Now for a little background information. I was speaking with a friend about my upcoming wedding, and telling him that I was excited that he was going to join Roger and I for our special day. To this he replied with, "How does it feel to know that you are living in God's promises?" Darnell was correct, God has blessed me, and I am living in His promises. I had not thought of it that way. Multiple scripture verses were brought to mind, verses about His faithfulness, verses about His steadfast love, and verses about giving us our greatest desires, and wanting us to be happy.

There are so many little things that God has blessed me with, through Roger! He is passionate, unshakeable, bold, and intelligent. Roger loves children and has compassion on those around him. For years I have dreamed of a man that could sing, play guitar, and play the piano, all of which Roger does. Roger is athletic and challenges me on many levels. I am so thankful to have him in my life. Our wedding is in 34 more days! I am constantly blown away by the generosity of so many family and friends, ready and willing to help us out in any way possible.

My greatest prayer for our wedding ceremony is that Christ is glorified and The Gospel is reenacted. I pray that people come to our wedding knowing that it is only because of God's goodness and grace that Roger and I stand before you. I want people to know that our wedding is a worship service; a picture of The Gospel. The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church,willing to die for her. The wife is to submit to her husband as the church submits to Christ. Marriage is a covenant between God and man. Marriage is for happiness, and more importantly for holiness.

The longer we are married, the more we will understand the glorious covenant God has made with us. We praise Him for His faithfulness and steadfast love! I have one living grandparent, each set was married to their spouse until death did them part. Both Roger and I have parents that are still married. I see Christ in each set of parents; I hope to be like our great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents.

I am fortunate to no longer have just one Mom and Dad, but two now! For the last month I have been living at my Mom and Dad's house (my soon to be in-laws), and I LOVE it! I relish this opportunity to get to know my Mom and Dad. I am treated so well. My Mom gives me hugs, cooks, listens to me, and loves on me. My Dad chats with me, prays for me, and loves on me as well. God has blessed me through Roger, and I hope that you too can see what great things God is doing.

I was struggling quite a bit last week, just with life in general and my mum shared with me the following story. May it also bless you, and serve as a reminder that we are Christs, and he wants us to be happy!

The Terribly, Tragically Sad Man
(Loren Seibold)

Once there was a boy who lived in a big house on a hill. He loved dogs and horses, sports cars and music. He climbed trees and went swimming, played football and admired pretty girls. Except for having to tidy up after himself, he had a nice life.
One day the boy said to God, "I've been thinking, and I know what I want to become when I become a man."
"What?" said God.
"I want to live in a big house with a veranda across the front and two St. Bernard dogs and a garden out back. I want to marry a woman who is tall and very beautiful and kind, who has long, black, hair and blue eyes, who plays the guitar and sings in a clear, high voice. I want three strong sons to play ball with. When they grow up, one will be a great scientist, one will be a politician and the youngest will be a professional athlete.
"I want to be an adventurer who sails vast oceans and climbs tall mountains and rescues people. And I want to drive a red Ferrari and never have to tidy up after myself."
"That sounds like a nice dream," said God. "I want you to be happy."
One day, playing ball, the boy hurt his knee. After that he couldn't climb tall mountains or even tall trees, much less sail vast oceans. So he studied marketing and started a medical-supplies business.
He married a girl who was very beautiful and very kind and who had long, black hair. But she was short, not tall, and had brown eyes, not blue. She couldn't play the guitar, or even sing. But she prepared wonderful meals seasoned with rare Chinese spices and painted magnificent pictures of birds.
Because of his business, he lives in a city near the top of a tall apartment building that overlooked the blue ocean and the city's twinkling lights. He didn't have room for two saint Bernard's, but he had a fluffy cat.
He had three daughters, all very beautiful. The youngest, who was in a wheelchair was the loveliest. The three daughters loved their father very much. They didn't play ball with him, but sometimes they went to the park and tossed a Frisbee - except for the youngest, who sat under a tree strumming her guitar and singing lovely, haunting songs.
He made enough money to live comfortably but he didn't drive a red Ferrari. Sometimes he had to pick up things and put them away - even things that didn't belong to him. After all, he had three daughters.
Then one morning, the man awoke and remembered his dream. "I am very sad," he said to his best friend.
"Why?" asked his friend.
"Because I once dreamed of marrying a tall woman with black hair and blue eyes who would play the guitar and sing. My wife can't play the guitar or sing. She has brown eyes, and she's not tall."
"Your wife is very beautiful and very kind," said his friend. "She creates splendid pictures and delectable food.” But the man wasn't listening.
"I am very sad," the man confessed to his wife one day.
"Why?" asked his wife.
"Because I once dreamed of living in a big house with a veranda, and of having two saint Bernard's and a garden out back. Instead I live in an apartment in a high rise building."
"Our apartment is comfortable and we can see the ocean from our couch," said his wife. "We have love, laughter and paintings of birds and a fluffy cat - not to mention three beautiful children.” But the man wasn't listening.
"I am very sad," the man said to his therapist.
"Why?" asked the therapist.
"Because I once dreamed that I would grow up to be a great adventurer. Instead, I am a bald businessman with a bad knee."
"The medical supplies you sell save many lives," said the therapist. But the man wasn't listening. So his therapist charged him $110 and sent him home.
"I am very sad," the man said to his accountant.
"Why?" asked the accountant.
"Because I once dreamed of driving a red Ferrari and never having to tidy up myself. Instead, I take public transportation and sometimes I still have to clean up."
"You wear good suits. You eat at fine restaurants, and you've toured Europe," said his accountant. But the man wasn't listening. His accountant charged him $100 anyway. He was dreaming of a red Ferrari himself.
"I am very sad," the man said to his clergyman.
"Why?" asked the clergyman.
"Because I once dreamed of having three sons: a great scientist, a politician and a professional athlete. Instead, I have three daughters and the youngest can't even walk."
"But, your daughters are beautiful and intelligent," said the clergyman. "They love you very much and they've all done well. One is a nurse, another is an artist and the youngest teaches music to children."
But the man wasn't listening. He was so sad that he became very sick. He lay in a white hospital room surrounded by nurses in white uniforms. Tubes and wires connected his body to blinking machines that he had once sold to the hospital.
He was terribly, tragically sad. His family, friends and clergyman gathered around his bed. They were all deeply sad too. Only his therapist and his accountant remained happy.
Then one night, when everyone except the nurses had gone home, the man said to GOD, "Remember when I was a boy and I told you all the things I wanted?"
"It was a lovely dream," said GOD.
"Why didn't you give me those things?" asked the man.
"I could have," said GOD. "But I wanted to surprise you with things you didn't dream of. I suppose you have noticed what I have given you: a kind beautiful wife; a good business; a nice place to live; three beautiful daughters - one of the best packages that I've put together..."
"Yes," interrupted the man. "But I thought you were going to give me what I really wanted."
"And I thought you were going to give me what I really wanted," said GOD.
"What did you want?" asked the man. It had never occurred to him that GOD was in want of anything.
"I wanted to make you happy with what I had given you," said GOD.
The man lay in the dark all night, thinking. Finally he decided to dream a new dream, one he wished he had dreamed years before. He decided to dream that what he wanted most were the very things he already had.
And the man got well and lived happily in the high rise, enjoying his children's beautiful voices, his wife's deep brown eyes and her glorious paintings of birds. And at night he gazed at the ocean and contentedly watched the lights of the city twinkling on, one by one.

Copyright © Loren Seibold
All Rights Reserved

Isn't that exactly what God wants for each of His children? "'I wanted to make you happy with what I had given you,' said GOD." Since the beginning of time God wanted to make us happy. He planned the Garden of Eden to absolute perfection. He created man in His own image to walk with Him and visit with Him in the evening. He decided it was not right that man should be alone and created Eve to bring companionship to the man. He did everything possible to give mankind the opportunity for happiness but out of love gave mankind the freedom to choose happiness or sorrow.
He gave us the freedom to choose to smile or frown at the world. He gave us the freedom to recognize the beauty of God's creation or be overwhelmed by the patches of gloom we might encounter. He gave us the freedom to accept God's love or to ignore it; to believe in the Savior, Christ Jesus, who laid His life down on the cross to atone for our sins or to overlook His sacrificial love and grace. God has blessed us with every good and perfect thing and calls us to embrace the promise of a glorious tomorrow.
Some will follow the Master in His journey of service to all mankind. Some will believe the message that our Lord taught during His ministry here on earth and will accept His commission to go out and teach all the world the Good News of the Lord. Some will embrace their Father in heaven and will give Him what He wants for each of His beloved children. ("I want you to be happy.") Sadly, some will choose to turn from God, to reject His love, to reject Christ's gift of salvation, and will realize the truth only after their life's journey is over. That's the greatest tragedy of all.
Today, take a minute to look carefully in the mirror. Examine the image with particular care. Do you see the image and likeness of God there in the mirror? Look a little harder because God created you with that unique and special characteristic. Next, look for a smile. It may be hidden deep down inside. There may be many layers of sorrow and sadness that are obscuring it from your view right now, but God put it there inside you to warm your heart and bring joy to your eyes and to your world. Brush aside a few of those memories that cloud your spirit and watch the smile come alive. It may be glowing and bright. It may be lighting up the world. Let's strive to give back to God what He asks of each of His people. Reexamine your dreams and your goals. Look at them through God's eyes. Now turn it all over to the Master. "Father, not my will but Yours..."

With A Smile,
Jan and Richard Evans

Thursday, October 13, 2011

PENCILS

PENCILS

A PENCIL MAKER TOLD THE PENCIL 5 IMPORTANT LESSONS JUST BEFORE PUTTING IT IN THE BOX :

1. EVERYTHING YOU DO WILL ALWAYS LEAVE A MARK ....

2. YOU CAN ALWAYS CORRECT THE MISTAKES YOU MAKE.

3. WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS WHAT IS INSIDE OF YOU.

4. IN LIFE , YOU WILL UNDERGO PAINFUL SHARPENINGS, WHICH WILL ONLY MAKE YOU BETTER.

5. TO BE THE BEST PENCIL, YOU MUST ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE HELD AND GUIDED BY THE HAND THAT HOLDS YOU.

We all need to be constantly sharpened. May this parable encourage you to know that you are a special person, with unique God-given talents and abilities. Only you can fulfill the purpose which you were born to accomplish. Never allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and cannot be changed and like the pencil, always remember that the most important part of who you are, is what is you are, is what's inside of you and then allow yourself to be guided by the hand of God.

















Sunday, August 07, 2011

Bittersweetness!

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee,
though the eye of sinful man they glory may not see,
only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
perfect in power, in love, and purity.

I have spent the last two weeks in and out of the hospital, caring for my grandfather. On Thursday, afternoon, Grandpa Thomson went to be with Jesus! He was ready. Bittersweet is the best way to describe how I am feeling after my Grandfather’s death. I am excited that he is in heaven, with my sister, and I will see him again someday. I am sad, that he is no longer here with myself, and all of our family.

Grandpa never lost his humour, nor his dignity, the entire time he was in the hospital. I was positively impressed by his good nature—always saying please and thank you, and never ceasing to make you laugh. At one point Grandpa said he was in so much pain, it was hard not to swear, although he never did. What he did say was, “Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy,” and then when I told him I said “Grrr…,” Grandpa had heard, “girl,” and he said, “Oh girl, oh girl, oh girl!”

Every day when I came in to the hospital I was able to give Grandpa a kiss and tell him that I loved him, and he would kiss me back and tell me that he loved me. This happened upon arrival and leaving his hospital room, #2814, at WCGH (West Coast General Hospital). I relish the early mornings Grandpa and I spent alone in the hospital, as I was able to care for him. We laughed together, read the bible, sang songs of worship, took naps, and I occasionally cried.

Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; because His judgments are true and righteous…Give praise to our God, all you His bond-servants, you who fear Him, the small and the great…Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him…King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
Revelation 19:1-2, 5-7, 16

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Things I love about my Grandpa!

Death is an interesting thing. I have not had many people close to me die, besides my sister. As my grandfather's health is failing, it has caused me to think not only about death, but the life he has had, and how fortunate I am to be his granddaughter.

  • Grandpa taught me both the value and importance of the discipline of having a daily quiet time. I remember spending time with my Grandpa, shortly after his quiet time, and discussing what he had learned.
Some of the extended family
  • Grandpa never quit telling people about Jesus and His love for everyone. This too has had a profound effect on my faith. A couple years ago, Grandpa started inviting some neighbor kids to church. And would you know, they came with him. And love it! I was able to take the neighbor kids, an older friend of Grandpa, and Grandpa all to church while I was there. I went too. What a blessing! These kids will come to know Jesus Christ through Grandpa's invitation. One of the kids, Axton, calls my Grandpa, Bert, like they are long lost friends. As odd and funny as it is, I think it's really cool, that this young child, has so much love and respect for my Grandfather that he comes by to say, "Hi Bert!"
  • Grandpa (and Grandma) supported me both financially and with prayer on many different mission trips. This enabled me to not only further my relationship with Christ, but share Him with others.
  • Grandpa played the violin quite well, and he would play hymns for us, and it was always special when we played with him. Grandpa on violin, myself on piano, my Dad and brother also on violin. Until more recently Grandpa played in a small ensemble.

  • Grandpa has taught me what to look for in a husband. He has been married to my Grandmother for 64 years. He has taught me love, compassion, and the importance of humour.
  • Grandpa was and is a father, to my father, who is one amazing Dad! I am blessed to have learned many things through my own father, who learned them from his own Dad. One of my favourite things to do with my own father is play cribbage. I also enjoy playing with my Grandma and Grandpa. They love each other greatly, yet rile each other on, keeping their love and romance alive. It was my Grandpa who taught me how to count cards quickly, as I was WAY to slow.
  • There are always yummy vegetables in Grandpa's garden--peas, my personal favourite, carrots, lettuce, and many other yummy treats, oh and cherries to pick from the tree.
  • As Grandpa's health has been failing, my Aunt Sheila, one of his daughters made the following comment..."One of us will share in his graduation! We are sad, but Dad has clearly told everyone he knows where he is is going, and if he doesn't see you here, he will look forward to seeing you there (in heaven)!" This is one of the best parts for me personally, I know I will see Grandpa again! God is good!

Friday, July 08, 2011

Does this bother you? Part deux

For the past couple of mornings, I have woken up, rejoicing, singing the following words...

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
S. Trevor Francis, 1875



For even though they knew God, they did not honour Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonoured among them.
--Romans 8:21-24

Um...ouch. Once again, God gave what was asked for, even when it was not in the best interests. In my last entry, I spoke about an example in the Old Testament, where God gave the Israelites a King; we now see, God giving into requests in the New Testament.

I love that God does things willingly, and will use it for his glorification, even when we are stupid. I still struggle with the fact that God gave them over, but then I go back to the knowledge that God does this out of love, a love that does not insist His way, one that allows us to choose Him.



Esengo (Glory)
Vs. 1

Esengo, esengo, esengo mingi (Repeat)
(Glory, Glory, Glory to those)
Esengo, esengo, esengo mingi (Repeat)
(Glory, Glory, Glory to those)
Ezali na ba oyo ba ndimi Yesu
(Who’ve accepted Jesus as their savior)
Ezali na ba oyo ba ndimi Yesu
(Who’ve accepted Jesus as their savior)

Vs. 2
Mawa, mawa, mawa mingi
(Sadness, Sadness, Much sadness)
Mawa, mawa, mawa mingi
(Sadness, Sadness, Much sadness)
Ezali na ba oyo ba boyi Yesu
(To those who’ve rejected Jesus)
Ezali na ba oyo ba boyi Yesu
(To those who’ve rejected Jesus)

Vs. 3
Longwa, longwa, longwa Satana
(Get away, Get away, Get away Satan)
Longwa, longwa, longwa Satana
(Get away, Get away, Get away Satan)
Na lingi ko salela Yo, Yesu Masia
(The work has been finished by Jesus Christ)
Na lingi ko salela Yo, Yesu Masia
(The work has been finished by Jesus Christ)

V. 4
Mumalembe, mumalembe, tu kwenda na
(Slowly, Slowly, We move forward)
Mumalembe, mumalembe, tu kwenda na
(Slowly, Slowly, We move forward)
Malembe, malembe tu kwenda na nzila zulu tu kwenda na
(The road to heaven we are slowly going to)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Does this bother you?

"The Lord said to Samuel, listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them...Now then, listen to their voice; however you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who will reign over them"...Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, "No, but there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles." The Lord said to Samuel, "Listen to their voice and appoint them a king.""
Taken from 1 Samuel 8:7-22

Whoa, does this not bother you? Look at this again... God gave them something they asked for, even though it was not in their best interests.

God willingly gave the Israelites a king. He knowingly gave them what they asked for, even though it wasn't the best. God allowed the Israelites to have a king because it was within His permissive will. In His sovereignty, God allows evil deeds we commit to accomplish His purposes. God permits sin and evil; He cannot commit evil, nor does he effect it.

We know from 1 John 4:8 that God is love. We also know from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 that love does not insist. Therefore, one can conclude God is love, and love does not insist. God knows what's best, and He will not be insistent. He will use our evil deeds for His glorification. That means, when we continually ask for something, He may choose to give it to us, even though it is not in our best interests.

Sometimes when I pray, I pray insistently for things, that never happen. Why does God "give in" to some requests and not to others?

I leave you with a great hymn and couple final thoughts.
  • What are you asking God for, and how do you perceive or intend Him to use what you desire, for His glorification?
  • Can you think of something that you asked for, that God chose to give you, even though it was not in your best interests?

Take My Life and Let it Be, by Frances Havergal, February 1874

Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.