Sunday, August 22, 2010

Join Me In Worship

Let me start by saying, please join in with me! Take the time to comment and let's worship together.

Adoration, worship, praise...our God is holy and worthy. I was listening to the radio a few weeks ago, and the person they were talking to talked about starting our time with God in praise. She challenged listeners to spend 20 minutes in worship. One of the "tools" that she gave was to take the alphabet and praise God for a character quality that begins with each letter.

I sat down the other morning, before coming into the hospital (and although I didn't take 20 minutes), I did try to come up with at least one character quality for each letter. I just went off the top of my head, I did not pull out my Bible and really do any looking, so for some of the letters I don't have anything, and I may have missed some very obvious ones ~ I am just a little scattered mentally at this point.

Please feel free to comment and add character qualities of God that are different from mine, or share how a particular character quality has touched you or drawn you closer to God.

A- Almighty, Awesome
B- Beside me
C- Constant, Comforter, Counselor
D- Diety
E- Everlasting, Exalted
F- Faithful
G- Great, Gracious
H- Holy
J- Just
K- Kind
L- Loving
N- Never ending
O- Omnicient, Omnipresent
P- Present, Powerful
R- Rock
S- Steady, Sovereign
T- True
U- Understanding
W- Wonderful

There is my incomplete list. Even at that, what a great and awesome God we serve! I look forward to reading what character qualities that you have come up with.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Day at Home

Today I get to be home. :-) This is getting to be a rare occurrence. It seems as though my days are filled with being gone, and I have come to cherish time spent at home. Although Jethro is almost 6 months old, I still have not really found a rhythm yet here at home because we have been gone so much. My plan is to think and pray about how the days need to flow while we are in the hospital next week. And then, when we are home once again to implement whatever I have come up with.

Yesterday was spent in town. Jethro's INR needed to be drawn and we needed to do some shopping for the house. Today my Beloved is down at the farm, working on the house, and I finally have what I need to get some raspberry jam made. I bought jars and pectin last week, but have not had any cheesecloth ~ which apparently is now a difficult commodity to find! I ended up buying game bags to use because I couldn't locate just plain ol' cheesecloth.

The rental where we are living has a nice an overgrown raspberry patch, that in spite of itself is blessing us with beautiful berries. So, I have been overtaken by the jam bug! The girls are now in the process of washing dishes and tidying the kitchen so that we can proceed.

Today I believe supper will be ham. I bought a lovely ham on Sunday, but lost track of time, so we didn't eat it. It should be big enough to provide at least 2 meals for us, possibly more. So, supper shall be ham, potatoes ~ I may just boil them, but perhaps I will broil them with butter, garlic, oregano, basil, pepper and seasoned salt, fried onion and zucchini, and green salad. A good dinner for my men folk who will have been working hard today.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Quiet Heart: Trusting in God's Sovereignty

This morning, as I read "Keep A Quiet Heart", I was struck by this quote:

"All of the past, I believe, is a part of God's story of each child of His - a mystery of love and sovereignty, written before the foundation of the world, never a hindrance to the task He has designed for us, but rather the very preparation suited to our particular personality's need.

"How can that be?" ask those whose heritage has not been a godly one as mine was, whose lives have not been peaceful. "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter" (Proverbs 25:2, NIV). God conceals much that we do not need to know, yet we do know that He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. When does this begin? Does the Shepherd overlook anything that the sheep need?" Elisabeth Elliot, Keep a Quiet Heart (emphasis, mine)

I take much comfort in the sovereignty of God. I believe that it is one of His characteristics that can do much for His children to have a quiet heart. No matter what comes my way, I know that it has all passed through the hands of my loving Heavenly Father. That doesn't mean that it's easy to walk through, that it doesn't cause me much pain or sorrow, but it does mean that I can take comfort that whatever it is ~ affliction or joy, my Father has chosen it for me. I don't walk through life with random things happening to me.

I read something recently that caused me to once again realize and give thanks for my views on God's sovereignty. It was from a mom whose child has some very serious health problems. She was fretting over going on vacation (with the child), and had checked out the local hospital and printed out medical histories, etc. She then went on to say how she lives in fear every day of something bad happening to her little one. She cries every day. She basically lives her life in sorrow ~ losing out on the joy of the blessing of her child.

It made me so thankful to be walking the path of "heart mom" as a child of God. A child sure of the sovereignty of her Father. There have been times of grieving that he won't ever be "healthy" or "whole", mostly before he was born, but certainly since then I have had times of being knocked off keel. But, for the most part, I am able to peacefully walk through all of it. I know that God is in control. I know that He loves Jethro far more than I do, and that He is watching over him. I know that God's "got Jethro's six." It doesn't mean that I am not concerned and that I don't diligently watch over him, but it does mean that I am not consumed with worry and sorrow over him and his heart condition.

This applies to other areas of our lives. As I watch my children grow, I pray for them. I pray that God will keep them safe, I pray that He will bless their endeavors, I pray that He will enable them to make good decisions, I pray for their future mates, etc. I hope and pray the best for them. I do my best to teach them and show by example how to live a godly life (though I often fail). However, in the end (or maybe beginning!), I have to turn them over to God. I have to trust that if they are going down a path that I think looks all wrong, that it is part of God's sovereign plan for their life, and that He will use whatever it is to bring glory to Himself.

I have had the privilege of listening to some amazing testimonies by young adults this summer. Some of them only 14 or 16 years old. It would break your heart. Such heartache and pain for ones so young. So much garbage in their lives. Some brought on by decisions they have made, some brought on by decisions of others. And yet, they are living for and loving the Lord. What looks like horrible, nasty, stinky garbage, drew them closer to their Father and gave them a passion for Him that they likely would not have had otherwise. Only God can do that. Only God can take the ugly and make it beautiful. Only God can take the worthless and give it the highest value. He *will* do it...will you trust Him?

I don't know where you're at today, what you are struggling with, or rejoicing over, but I challenge you to take it all to the feet of Jesus and trust Him. Look into His face and walk forward with a quiet heart.