28 March 2009

Come. . .

. . . now is the time to worship!

It’s been a week.

Five children were sick from Sunday evening through Wednesday morning. Some kind of nasty stomach virus I think. I’ll spare you the details. You should thank me.

A good friend from Michigan committed suicide on Wednesday. He was also my favorite chiropractor. A man with a wife and 2 small children. Everyone in town knew and loved him. 

This week I learned that a sweet friend lost a baby at 18 weeks. Nearly halfway through a pregnancy. I cried with her.

A dear first nations friend from Northern Ontario went to be with Jesus on his birthday. Our birthdays are only a day apart and we used to share smiles and birthday wishes. He stayed in our home on the Reserve many times. His ministry was wide.

Daniel and I looked at our own finances and personally, I thought we should qualify for a bailout the way things are looking.

And then, the Spirit swept in, reminding me of this song. . .

Come, now is the time to worship
Come, now is the time to give your heart
Come, just as you are to worship
Come, just as you are before your God

One day ev'ry tongue will confess You are God
One day ev'ry knee will bow
Still the greatest treasure remains for those,
Who gladly choose you now

I find that God has brought this song to me often. Most times it’s when I feel least like worshipping. But now is the time.

Time to worship.
Time to give Him my heart.
Time to come just as I am.
Time to come before my King.

Whether I feel like it or not.

But ironically, as I come to worship, I find that the pain and difficulty and turmoil of those days fades into the background. I have “fixed my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith, Who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising its shame, and is seated at the right hand of God's throne.” (My own paraphrase of Hebrews 12:2) Everything comes into perspective. I have right-sized God.

Do I still have questions? You bet I do. Will life still have crazy days? Yup. Will things still happen that are totally out of my control? Yes. 

But in answer to those three questions I choose to remember that 1) God knows the answer to all my questions. 2) There is peace in Heaven. 3) God is the All-powerful One Who is in control of EVERYTHING! (Don't worry. Be happy!)

The question is: will I choose to worship and keep right-sizing God?

That feels pretty big, and it will certainly have to be a daily choice for me, but yes, today I will worship. Today I will right-size God.

How bout’ you?

27 March 2009

Quote of the day

If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, 
how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice? 

-- David Livingstone

I'm so over-ready for spring. Here are a few shots from this week. . .

26 March 2009

Spring Creativity!

Some days I feel very "crafty" and other days. . . not so much. But after reading this blog post at Nesting Place, I felt "crafty" indeed. Or maybe just creative. So I set about to create. And here is what happened: 

Stop one: Dollar Tree. There are many interesting finds here. I purchase my favorite lip balm here. Two in a package for a buck. Also a big box of sidewalk chalk for a buck. Adorable scrapbooking stickers (that I rarely use for scrapbooking, just other fun projects), again, for a buck. And it's the place of choice for children to spend a dollar from Great Ma. I don't shop there often, but when my creative juices started churning, I knew Dollar Tree would have just what I needed. I spent a grand total of $2.12.  For these.

Yup. A plain ordinary plate. And a plain ordinary candle holder. But when you glue the candle holder to the bottom of the plate you get this:


A very sweet little pedestal cake plate for spring. The sweet-friend-I've-never-met at Nesting Place used a white plate and a white candle holder she had on hand so she saved the $2.12, but I didn't own anything that remotely resembled anything to create such an adorable centerpiece so I had to settle for the shelves of Dollar Tree, but they didn't let me down. 

Oh, and I tried hot glue. It was a personal disaster. I quickly switched to super glue. Yup. It worked. For now. If it fails, I'll try something else. My sweet husband says I need some really great waterproof glue. But I don't carry any of that around in my hip pocket. 

So far I've used it for Mint Brownie Pie (I took it to a friend's house when we were invited for supper). And this morning I used it for cut up fruit at breakfast. It would also be great for cupcakes. I think I feel a batch coming on. . . 

Girls!!! Baking time!!

20 March 2009

Cheap thrills. Very cheap.

Here I present quite possibly the best $1.97 I have ever spent at a thrift store in my entire life. My entire life. Nope, not the boys in the picture. Not the gun in the holster (although that was a great thrift store find as well). 

The Playhut. All $1.97 worth. 

I went online to price them. I found one nearly like this one and the original price was a whopping $31.50. Which means that quite plainly I saved exactly $29.53. 

Two smallish boys at our house (ages 5 1/2 and 3 1/2) have spent literally hours playing in their "tent". So far it has served as a tent to sleep in. A tent to hunt wild animals from (wildebeests and "b' giraffes" --Tristen's current word for giraffes). And many other unique adventures this mama hasn't even heard about or imagined. They LOVE the playhut. 

I'm really not sure how long it will last, but I do know it's been worth every $1.97 of hard earned cash we payed for it. 

19 March 2009

We're well.

Thanks friends for the wellness wishes and prayers! A few of us are still trying to shake the sniffles and coughs, but this too shall pass. 

We loved the "unseasonably" warm weather yesterday. We celebrated by cleaning out flower beds and trimming off the dead heads of perennials. We burned leaves. We burned dead heads. We burned loose branches lying around the yard. We burned pine cones. We burned dead ornamental grasses swaying in the breeze. Now that the dead is gone, the new green shoots can raise their heads. 

Such a reminder as I've explained to the children how God sends "fires" into our lives to burn away the deadness. Once the deadness is gone God can grow new things in our lives that the deadness had been choking out. The "fires" are painful indeed, but on the other side is the beauty of greenness, and the flowers and fruit we know will come later in the season. And so rather than cursing the "fires", can we rejoice in them, knowing that God will very carefully watch the burning and make sure the fire burns only where He intends it to burn? Only what is dead will burn. Only the certain places He chooses will feel the heat. And He never leaves the "fires" alone. He stands by. Very close. Because this is a controlled burn. And thankfully, HE is the One in control. Not me. 

Then I think of Job. "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him." And then Hebrews 12, starting at verse 3 and moving on through the chapter. 

"It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it." (7-11)

And so today I'm thinking about fire. Fire to consume the dross. Fire to burn up the deadness that keeps me cool toward the Father. Fire that clears out the old and makes room for the new. 

So if you're facing the fire, lift your eyes and see the Father. He's standing very close, watching the burn. He won't leave you alone. He'll make sure the fire doesn't leap to places it shouldn't. But He's allowing the fire so that new growth can appear. The pain is for the moment, but it will allow greenness, and new fruit. Look past the pain and the burning. The Father is watching. The Father is loving. The Father is YOUR Father. 

And spring is just around the corner. 

09 March 2009

Quote of the day

All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt!

Lucy Van Pelt (in Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz)

Sorry I haven't been around lately. The flu has come to our house. And it's hit us rather hard. It started out with two children, and then a third. Then my sweet Mama got it (she and Dad were staying in our home while Dad preached/taught at our church-- on relationships). Then I got it and then two little boys got it. So far my dear husband is the only one in the house who hasn't caught the bug yet. It's been fever and achy-ness, followed by a nasty cough and head cold. This too shall pass. . .
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