Monday, March 30, 2009

Some Things Never Change!

Husband's prop for his garden tools caught my attention! There stands one of modern technology's tools - along with simple implements that have been used for ages: a push plow, a shovel, a hoe, and a rake. I don't do the gardening, but I've noticed that husband uses the tried-and-true basic tools often. And they do the job well. They also take more effort on the user's part. But the results - come harvest time - are worth it!

In our fast-paced, technology-run world, there are some basics that still work. The message of the Cross will forever be the same. God's Word can still be trusted. Prayer and honest communication with our Heavenly Father still work. Yes, it takes some effort on our part, but the results are abundant and far-reaching. Ultimately, they are out of this world!

Basic . . . simple . . . but not obsolete!
" . . . simply to Thy Cross I cling . . . "

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Easter Lilies and Cacti

Quite a strange combination . . . quite a contrast . . . Easter lilies and cacti in the same flower bed! But it works, as you can see!

When I think of a cactus, I think dryness, heat, desert, painful pricks. On the other hand, Easter lilies remind me of new life, springtime, beauty, fragrance - the Resurrection.

Because of the Resurrection, Jesus offers newness and beauty - even in the desert places of our lives . . . those painful, dry places that seem to sap life from us in the heat of some battle. Then we realize - sometimes ever so slowly - that He is right there with us . . . and hope springs up . . . and peace begins to seep into the dryness and despair of our souls.

It works in my flower bed . . . and it works in my life! I've agonized in the "desert places," but He's never failed to show up. And in His time, He made life beautiful again!

" . . . and life is worth the living - just because He lives!"

Saturday, March 21, 2009


"From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same
the Lord's name is to be praised."
Psalm 113:3
"Majesty . . . worship His Majesty . . . "

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Scriptures, Serpents, and Sweet Abby

I can't think of anything more refreshing than a child who loves God's Word and enjoys memorizing it!

That's our soon-to-be eight-year-old Abby! Seems she has a special gift for remembering Scriptures. Reciting thirteen separate Scripture verses - with their references - in one session of her Awana class is proof of that! Just last week, when asked how she felt about missing Awanas because of a family trip, she replied, "I've learned all my verses, and I want to go to Awanas and say them. And I want to tell my teacher that it didn't take me a long time to learn them all like she said it would!" (As it turned out, she'll get to go tonight and say her verses.)

Of course, I'm proud of her abilities just as any grandparent would be, but even more than that, I am so thrilled that she is hiding His Word in her heart. She'll never forget what she is learning now. Oh, she may not remember every word in the correct order, but she won't forget the Truth of the Words she's memorizing and reciting. By the way, she's very much impressed with her NIV translation as opposed to the King James! After learning a very difficult passage from the KJV, she told me in a phone conversation, "Nana, I had to learn a verse last week that I didn't even understand! Mama had to explain it to me. Let me read it to you."

So she read to me a very hard-to-understand passage, one that I'm glad I don't have to recite from memory!

"Now," she said, "let me find it and read it to you from my Bible."

What a precious conversation . . . one that I am so thankful to be able to enjoy.

You've probably noticed the snake in the above picture. I am reminded that the ancient serpent, as the Bible calls Satan, is slithering around Abby - and all of us - hissing his lies and tempting us to follow him. But if we know God's Word and anchor our lives in His Truths, we can overcome all the devil's schemes.

Abby, keep learning your verses and reading your Bible. God has great plans for you! And just one more thing . . . I haven't forgotten about opening the frig and finding that snake coiled on the top shelf :-)!!

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, a light to my path . . . "

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Who Needs Math?!!

Oldest GRANDchild, a very bright homeschooler, is studying business math . . . and hates it!! As you can see from her protest poster, made to present to her parents, she has her future all planned, and business math is not part of it! Her quickly scribbled note made them smile, but her math lessons continue, of course!

That she needs to learn all types of math, no matter what her vocation, is an understatement. But, that's not the point of this blog entry. I just think it's kinda' neat that a young girl has aspirations to be a wife and mom in today's culture that so emphatically stresses career to young girls. Please don't get me wrong; I'm not against a woman having a career! I am a retired teacher and loved my years as an educator. And I'm very aware that many times a wife and mother must work outside the home. But I still think the greatest and most rewarding "job" a woman can have is that of taking care of her family and all that entails. I'm very sure that Emily understands - as much as any almost-thirteen-year-old girl can - what a stay-at-home wife and mom does. You see, she has had a terrific example . . . her mom!

Em, don't loose sight of your aspirations! But for now, learn all you can - even how to buy insurance, stocks, and bonds! And when you have married the man God already has picked out for you (I know . . . I know . . . you don't want to even think about THAT!) and you get your children raised, write all those wonderful books you have in that oh-so-creative head of yours.

Then when your books begin to sell, you'll be glad you learned that "useless" business math!!

"Give of your best to the Master; give of the strength of your youth . . . "

Monday, March 9, 2009

Just a Cup of Coffee . . .

Today I was reminded once again that it's an awesome blessing to be an American! Those who know me well know that our military men and women, both past and present, hold a very special place in my heart. My husband is a former Marine (and is still a Marine!) and our younger son is now a Navy officer after serving 11 years in the Marines. So, it's true . . . I really do love our veterans! I was made more aware of my appreciation for them today, and I cherish the opportunity I had to give back to them in just a tiny way.

For a couple of hours this afternoon, my former Marine and I served free coffee and snacks to the veterans at the Veterans' Hospital not too far from our home. What an honor! It was incredible to witness the gratitude of these men and women, some in wheelchairs or walking with the assistance of a cane, as we handed them a cup of hot coffee. Just a cup of coffee! Some told us how they appreciated us serving them; others said the same thing with their eyes and their smiles. Even as we walked to the car, one gentleman remembered us and said, "Thank you for taking the time to serve us." Just a cup of coffee!

They deeply touched my heart - and they made me smile. One elderly gentleman waited in line for his coffee, and when he got close, he said, "I want a half cup of sugar!" At least that's what I thought he said!

I replied, "You want a half cup of sugar?"

He came closer, almost in my face, and put his hand on my arm. With a smile, he said, "I-want-a-half-cup, SUGAR!" Made my day!!

To say the least, those two hours were some of the most rewarding moments of my life, and I look forward to going back next week. It doesn't take talent, or money, or lots of time to say, "Thank you!" to our veterans.

Just a cup of coffee seemed to be enough today!
"I'll gladly stand up - next to you and defend her still today . . .
God Bless the U.S.A."

Friday, March 6, 2009


"I've got peace like a river . . .
And it flows like a river . . . in my soul."

Love thy neighbor . . . ?

Aren't kids fun? Our grandson Aiden stayed with us last week, and for some reason felt the need to "mark his territory" by taping this note (the part written in pencil) to the door of the "kids' room." Shortly, one of the little boys who lives next door came to visit and apparently didn't like what he read. He found a marker and added the words you see in black! I love it!! And you know, there really is room for everybody!
"We have THESE MOMENTS to hold in our hands . . . "

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Little Birdie Told Me . . .

I love watching birds from my kitchen window while I wash dishes! Sure makes my least favorite job more pleasant! I keep my camera close by and try to capture some of their beauty through the window. I've closely observed their behavior, and I think we can learn some valuable lessons from them.

As you can see from the photos, birds of all colors, sizes, and personalities congregate outside my window to enjoy the feed that we put out for them. And the neat thing is: they all can eat together without a big fuss! Oh, sometimes a bossy, noisy bluejay tries to upset their peaceful existence, but you know what? His antics never keep the others from coming back again and again. Um-m-m . . . what lesson can we learn? You got it, didn't you?

I think of author Reuben Welch's beautiful description of all of us - each so very different - coming to eat at God's table. In his book We Really Do Need Each Other, he says: Can you see it? Jesus is at the head of the table and the disciples around the sides. And then I see the wall open up and the table begins to lengthen - and it lengthens out and . . . it comes all the way into our world to where we are. . . believers of all the ages are gathered at the table and we are one table with the Lord. . . and so we come . . . and we are one. If the birds can do it, can't we?

How the little creatures know where to find feed is a mystery, but they do know. It's funny to watch various birds flock to the feeders as soon as I fill them and come inside. Reminds me that we as Christians know where to go when we need The Bread of Life and The Living Water. Just as the birds seem to have some kind of internal "radar," we have His Spirit that never fails to invite us: Come eat; come drink until you are satisfied.

Near our bird feeders are two bluebird boxes, and it's almost time for the bluebirds to start building their nests and making a home for their new brood. I've observed that they are so very protective of their "space," even before nesting season. Just let another bird light on one of the boxes and out of nowhere . . . one or both bluebirds zoom in, wings flapping, and scare away the unwelcome visitor! Even though they are out of view, the pair seems to constantly watch their "home." Another valuable lesson for us: We need to diligently guard our homes - and our hearts, watching for unwanted and unwelcome influences that can so easily creep in.

Finally, I think of the Scripture that says: Not one of them (sparrows) will fall to the ground apart from the will of the Father. . . so don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." Matt. 10:29-31

"His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me . . ."

Monday, March 2, 2009


"Many things about tomorrow, I don't seem to understand,
but I know Who holds tomorrow,
and I know Who holds my hand."