Knowing God better, figuring out marriage, investing in my kids, exploring the Scripture, discovering truth, savoring life's joys and writing about the journey . . . visit a while with me.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Because of His resurrection, all the earth rejoices.
We sing songs of praise to You, O Lord.
You are the Victor; Life has triumphed.
Children are like blooms, you know.
Fragile and sweet,
they steady grow.

In my heart are planted four.
Seedlings at birth;
but pledge of more.

Each spring I'm amazed to see
The growth in them;
the loss in me.

Blossoms for my Easter time,
The planting God's;
the tending mine.
-- VQ

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lessons from the incubator......

Spring is not my favorite time of year. (Gasp!)

There, I said it. However, I am desparately wishing for it to arrive about now.

It's not that I don't enjoy green, growing things and warm breezes, for I do. I think it has something to do with the fact that spring is not "full-blown" -- it's a wispy, fragile season. Lovely, but not "all the way there yet."

Spring is seeing my grandmother's crocuses clawing their way through the sodden ground. Spring is trying on the pattern-pieced fabric of an Easter dress with a few straight pins poking through. Spring is a jacket on a school morning and wadding it up in your book bag on the way home. Spring is hearing the birds chirp as they build their new nests.

Fun things, but not completed things. The flowers aren't in full bloom, the dress is not finished, the day is only half-warm, and the baby birds haven't been born.

Ok, a little odd.....or call it impatience. The complusivity to have the blooms and skip the buds is something of a hindrance at times. It's difficult to enjoy the process, since one is fixated on the finished product.

Yet, God's Word and God's World teaches us about metamorphosis. Seeds die, germinate, bud, and produce their fruit. Caterpillars spin cocoons, hibernate, and wiggle out transformed. People surrender to God, are adopted into His family, and start a growth process that never stops. The season of spring is supposed to teach us the art of persistence.

To me, one of the most frustrating aspects of spring is that it is halting -- one day is sunny, the next three are rainy. It's 70 degrees for one day and then 40 degrees for a week. Let's get this together already!

Well, thankfully, God has more patience than I. He brings spring around every year to remind those of us antsy souls that there is a purpose for every season. He makes everything beautiful in its time, says Ecclesiastes 3:11.

While I'll probably never prefer pastel yellow over watermelon red or pumpkin orange, I can remind myself that "driving time is also part of the vacation!" Skipping the incubation time leaves an egg that will never hatch new life. Pretty in the Easter basket, but serving no purpose.

Hail, Spring. We await your life-transforming lessons.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Life Worth Emulating

Elisabeth Elliot is one of my heroines. I admire her skillful writing and more than that, admire the Christian life she has lived which has produced that spiritual depth in her books. Hers is a walk with God that is worth emulating. I was privileged to hear her speak at a women's conference in Birmingham, AL in 2001. This picture was taken at the book table. (Notice, these were the days of the "poofy hair." :-)

Her story began long before her 1st husband, Jim Elliot, and 4 other missionaries were martyred in Ecuador. When one delves into her writings, you discover that the foundation for her remarkable life was laid by unusually insightful parents and her own zealous quest to know the Lord personally. I don't want to recap the many details of her life, but I urge you to learn more about her -- it is a fascinating tale of life, love, and service.

The themes which she speaks and writes about so eloquently are the unpleasant ones, the seeming "negative" aspects of life -- self-denial, submission, suffering. Yet, she presents them as "normal life" -- and they are, though we don't like to be reminded of it. Sooner or later, each of us will be faced with these facets of human existence. She speaks as one who has met the challenge and shares with the reader the lessons she has learned the hard way.

Her books are numerous. I have not read them all, but enthusiastically endorse the ones I have. I recommend you read as many as possible. They make great devotional books to use in your quiet time. A few of my favorites are:

Let Me Be a Woman (notes to her daughter about marriage)
A Chance to Die (the biography of Amy Carmichael)
Discipline: The Glad Surrender (thoughts/tips on personal surrender)
Keep a Quiet Heart (compilation of brief articles on various topics)

Check out http://www.amazon.com/ for prices on new and used copies of these books.

You don't often get the chance to met your heroes. I'm glad I was able to. And, someday, I will see her again in the Father's house where I can tell her how her service to God challenged my heart to push the limits of the soul as a wife, mother, and seeker of righteousness.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Settled in stone

Defeat is stunning in its intensity. You might recognize the possibility, contemplate the probability, and agonize over the advancement. Yet, the reality in black print takes the emotions over the cliff, plummets you towards numb disbelief.

Such is my initial reaction about the events that have unfolded in the primary elections tonight and Governor Huckabee's subsequent withdrawal from the presidential race.

While I deeply regret that a man of such principle and oratory has had to make the difficult decision to step aside, I remain committed to my earlier statement on this blog: I do not regret standing for principle and voting for a cause I believe in.

Candidates will come and go with the decades; principles will remain. Politicians wield the adz of national influence -- each will determine where he carves his niche in the crags of history. But the values that hold America fast are etched into the very bedrock of the soul. And this is the fight that is forever with us. Some things will always be bigger than life and settled in stone.

A wise person said "There is no great loss without some small gain." At the least, I will get a little more sleep tonight! And I won't have to wonder about the outcome of this particular contest any longer. Not exactly a consolation prize.....but I'll take a cue from Mike Huckabee who graciously reminded his supporters that he would rather lose an election than lose the principles which got him into politics. I agree. And I think that sentiment is rock-solid.
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