An attempt to declare the Glory of God for what He has chosen to do with our lives. A legacy to leave to my children in the telling of it.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Princess Missions

For nearly half of my life my heart has been given to mothering. I can still remember the awe and the fear of holding that first newborn baby, seeing all at once this beautiful creation right here in my arms and, in a sense, all the way into eternity. As much as my concerns were for her immediate needs, of which I was pretty much clueless, they were moreso for her spiritual needs. It has not ceased to amaze me for the past decade and a half how one little soul could be used to transform me, when I was given the responsibility of shaping her.
With one child in heaven, another one living with one foot here and one foot there, and three that keep me on my knees, literally, begging for their salvation, I continue to understand my helplessness in raising them. But every so often, God reveals a glimpse of His work through us, His vessels of clay.
What started out as another entry on a local Fair form this summer turned into several late, late night sessions of drawing, editing and formatting and ultimately a grand champion prize. Alexis has been gifted in writing, and used that gift this summer to write her first children's book. First, because four months later, after many more late, late nights, she has produced her second children's book; a Christmas story.
Now, as if that wasn't enough of an accomplishment for a girl who isn't even finished with high school yet, she has gone on to aspiring in serving God in other ways. She lives with eternity in mind, always fighting for more godly wisdom, more serving opportunities, more growth; less of herself, more of Jesus.
After much prayer, Alexis signed up to be a part of a missions trip to Peru in the summer of 2013. For several days she will have an opportunity to allow God to stretch her, to serve in a foreign country, to be the hands and feet of Jesus. As part of this process she is required to build up a support team, both prayer-wise and financially.
Already she has earned a good amount of the required fee by herself. It is amazing how God provides when it is His work! Rather than committing her royalties to More Glory Ministries, book sale proceeds will be temporarily applied towards her missions trip. So, if you have a child on your list this Christmas, considering giving in two ways: the gift of the gospel wrapped in pretty paper, and the gift of helping to reach Peru with the gospel.
The financial aspect of missions is sometimes easier to raise than the spiritual. More than anything, this team needs prayer. As a way to keep her supporters informed, I encouraged Alexis to start a blog. I expected updates and pictures, but instead got a peek at her heart, and was overwhelmed again by this God I love. Check it out here (Princess Missions), I think you will be blessed, too.
What a joy it is when God rewards mothers on this side of heaven with answers to their prayers; prayers for children who will glorify Him.

All proceeds from book sales will go towards Alexis' missions trip.

An endearing children's book to introduce young hearts to trust their Heavenly Father, "Remember the Night" is an allegorical tale of a mother and child walking through the dark of the night which reminds us again of the God who walks with us until we see him face to face.

A mother soothes her child's fears of the night by turning the focus to the Creator and remembering to be thankful, hoping at last that her child will look in awe at the God who created all things and holds her in his hands.

$7.00 per book, plus $3.50 shipping and handling.

Click here to order books, or leave me a comment with your email address to arrange payment by check or money order.

Where Were You On Christmas Eve?

A little child discovers the true meaning of Christmas as she follows along the trail to Bethlehem to see who was found in the manger.

$7.00 per book, plus $3.50 shipping and handling.
 Click here to order books, or leave me a comment with your email address to arrange payment by check or money order.

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Good Swift Kick

The house is quiet. Too quiet for 8:32 on a Monday morning when there should be bustling kids getting their day started with Bible reading, school and chores. The boys aren't squirming in their bunk bed yet, starting the brotherly affections of headlocks and tooting contests. The girls aren't whispering and giggling, sharing secrets as the sun comes up.

But a quiet Monday morning house is nice. I see a few floating snowflakes out the kitchen window. The wood stove is going, the coffee has already been drank, the tears have been cried and my mind is overflowing with the word of God as my soul tries to comprehend the realities of it.

Everybody is tired out from a crazy schedule. The busy-ness is a defense mechanism. One that I am good at. Fill the days, keep your hands and feet moving, wait for eternity to begin. And then John tells me in direct answer to desperate prayers to work for the food that will last, not to invest in food that spoils (John 6:27). He reminds me that what Jesus said was true.

And I needed to be reminded. My natural tendency is that if I can't be busy, then I'll stay in bed and doubt, and whine, and complain. Against God. The God of the universe who has everything under His control and the God who only beckons me to press in harder, to hide in Him, to trust and wait.

I can still envision the scene in my mind from this summer when it first began. A camping trip with my sister, and only ten kids instead of eleven. The same campground, the same fishing boats, the same little sunfish ... The tears that haven't stopped flowing, and the indulgent baby steps of entering into the realm of allowing doubt to rule. I am entitled to my pity party. I have a lot to complain to God about. I am only human. My son is dead. So I ventured in, and enjoyed myself.

Like Job, who did I think I was to accuse the Almighty of anything, especially of making a mistake? I am but dust (Psalm 119). A vessel, made of clay of course (2 Corinthians 4:7), but a vessel none the less of a master craftsman (Isaiah 64:8). I cannot fathom how He works, I cannot fathom the glory to come, I cannot fathom the distance between His ways and mine (Isaiah 55:8-9).

I can also still envision the rebuke. The shower room where my heart doubted, the curtains separating the sinks and the shower heads, hiding two hurting hearts and the tears on both of our faces on opposite sides. "Don't ever indulge me in doubt," I finally proclaimed. I don't want to be encouraged to doubt God. His promises are enough. And, thank God, this sister of mine is good at giving swift kicks in the behind.

No, there is no room for doubt. Did Jesus doubt? What does doubt accomplish? For me it creates uselessness, for myself and my family. It creates despondency, and wastes the precious moments that I have been granted here, of the fleeting shadow of my days, which are already flowing as grains of sand through the hand, of which I will give an account for before this Holy God who has opened my eyes to Him.

If I say I believe, then I better be believing. There is much Kingdom work to be done, and it won't be accomplished while I am crying in my bed.

Jesus said, repeatedly actually, that He was telling the truth (John 5:19a, 5:25a, 6:26a, 6:32a, 6:47a, etc, etc, etc.). The prophets even testified to His promises and foretold of a time to come, a glorious time, when all would be made right.

Jeremiah 31:16
 This is what the Lord says:
“Restrain your voice from weeping
and your eyes from tears,
for your work will be rewarded,
declares the Lord.
The puppies are awake and the kids are getting noisy, which means Monday morning has officially begun. Here we go again, one day closer to eternity. What treasures shall I store up today?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Poodle Pies

Normally all of our critters are contained in the great outdoors in some kind of shed or fence that is intended to keep them away from the corn fields. That was until several weeks ago when a couple of the barn cats decided to have kittens during the coldest week of the season, and Lady decided to have her pups within days of the little felines who were being kept warm on their heating pads in the dining room. Since then we've felt like we live in a zoo.

One momma cat comes in, another momma cat goes out. Lady Dog needs in, Lady Dog needs out ... for some reason always at three-thirty in the morning. And then the baby critters got big enough and started escaping their pools and laundry baskets ... and seven poodle pie pups need to go out, and seven poodle pie pups need to get back in ... several times a day. And then six various colored kittens need to go out, and six various colored kittens need to come back in.

Tomorrow .... tomorrow is the day ... the pups are ready for their new homes: Old Dan, Little Anne, Muscle Man, Ralph, Rosie, Ruthie and Rebecah ... unless of course I can talk Rob into keeping the little runt.

They have been a joy, but sleeping through the night and not waking up to poodle pie messes will be a joy, too.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Chickens, in Sepia


I was going to do a post about chickens. Because we have a cute little chicken coop, with windows and curtains and a covered porch and fancy chickens to lay their brown speckled eggs in it. And those chickens perch on the recycled rafters and scare the heebie-jeebies out of me every time I go down too late in the afternoon to do chores and have to collect eggs underneath them as they decide whether they should send a little present my way, or if dive bombing the unsuspecting farmers wife in their quest for their supper would suffice.
But then Obama won, again. As we sat watching the polls, rooting out loud for our candidate, and then came back after some chips and a book, to the shocking announcement that we are in for a repeat of the past four years. Our hearts sank as we watched what America was celebrating, what she has chosen as her gods. Our "golden calf" has appeared from the fire after a day of electoral votes. Surprise, surprise.
And then my feathers were ruffled again when I read another sermon outline for our group of young students that focuses more on man than on God. I have been accused of being a little bit too passionate about the gospel; that I am only so fervent because my son just died.
I am passionate about the gospel because my son just died.
I don't think we will be disappointed in God's glory when we see it first hand. I don't think we will think that sin is a small deal when we face our Maker and have no where to hide and no good excuses to ignore Him.
We desperately need to know that we are sinners and will one day stand before a Holy God and give account for our lives, some of us sooner than others. Scripture is primarily meant to reveal who God is, and secondly to reveal that we as a creation are sinful and have no hope aside from Jesus' atonement on the cross. There is a great danger to focus on ourselves and primarily about living a good life here, rather than being prepared for eternity.
I challenge you to read some of the Scripture verses that God led me to, as I was in His Word studying for tonight's lesson, that talk about who we are as mankind:

We are sinners: Romans 3:23
We are dead in our sin: Ephesians 2:1
We are God's enemies: Romans 5:10
We are the ones who crucified Jesus: Luke 22:63-23:43
We would rather turn away from God than have Him: Romans 1:21-23

God said that He will not yield His glory (Isaiah 48:11), and that glory will ultimately be revealed through Jesus (Heb 1:3). If we are Christians our whole lives will be pointing to that glory, especially through the gospel message (the grace and forgiveness poured out on sinners through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross), as the Holy Spirit is working in us towards that same reason. If our lives are not portrayals of Christ, as seen by our longing for Scripture, obedience to God' word, and repentance of sins, it is because we are not saved and we have God's wrath to fear on judgment day. Salvation is only found in Jesus Christ and His work on the cross to forgive sinful mankind.
I was talking to a Christian friend the other day who looked at me like I have a hole in my head when I tried to convey to her my difficulty of living here, and how everything seems to be so insignificant compared to eternity.
What goes with us? What matters? How does that look lived out?
To live like we believed what God said, to store up treasures in heaven, to count our days ... I don't know how that looks. I know that Trent knows, and I know that God said His word will endure forever, and I know that one day I will stand before Him to give an account. Even as a Christian, He will demand an account (1 Corinthians 3:12-14).
The minas are His (Luke 19:11-27), the talents are His (Matthew 25:14-20), the days are His (Job 14:5). Even this election, and those chickens, are His.