Thursday, April 30, 2009

Is the end near?

Last week I got a surprise visitor. He is someone Jeremy and I knew a few years ago but had lost touch with. So he shows up because he wants to give us a book to read about Islam and the End Times. Since he is a Christian and so passionate about the research he has been doing, I told him I would take a look...yet I hesitate...

First, I am pretty historically ignorant. I'm sure the book will be way over my head. Secondly, do I even care if the End Times are in a few days or thousands of years away? Would it change the way I am living? For me, the answer is no. I know where I stand in my relationship with God and I try to live in a way that if I died tomorrow I would have no regrets. So why should I spend time studying something that will not impact my life?

While it's not a priority, I'll crack the book open as promised and maybe, just maybe, I'll learn something...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Finding My Song

One of my favorite things to do is sing with my husband. Not on stage in front of an audience, but just the two of us with his guitar. But discovering this joy has been a journey...

I've always loved music and enjoyed singing, but sometime in my childhood I lost my confidence and would only sing in complete privacy. Then I surrendered my life to Jesus and slowly found my walls crumbling. I began to worship in church, but only when I was confident that the music and other voices would overpower my own. And then I had to go and fall in love with a singer (who later learned the guitar too). Jeremy would plead with me to sing, but I resisted for a long time. Finally, one day I honored his request, but I made him turn his back and not look at me! After much encouragment, I began to sing with him alone...and it was amazing. My favorite date nights were those spent somewhere outdoors, just us and the guitar, praising God together.

It's sad to say, but after becoming parents this act of worship has been put on the back burner. There is plenty of music in our home, but mostly in preparation for the next weekends church service. So I treasure times, like date night last night, when we get that guitar out just to worship as husband and wife. It is during those times that I'm filled with peace and the world seems just as it should be.

"The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise Him." - Exodus 15:2

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Isaac!

Although I've been saying it for a month now, today it is official...Isaac is 4 years old. He is full of mischief, but is cute enough to get away with it :)

One day I came into the kitchen just in time to see Isaac shut the fridge. I came up and asked him what he was doing. He of course says "Nothing". So I asked him what the white powder was all over his face. "I don't know." Hmm...after smelling it I realized what he had done and couldn't keep from smiling. It was Parmesan cheese! But sometimes Isaac doesn't get into trouble on his own...

Jacob started using Isaac as his scapegoat at an early age. Isaac was about a year old at the time. I could hear that he was awake in his crib, but wanted a little extra sleep, so I told Jacob to go in and keep Isaac happy. I was pleasantly surprised that he obeyed...until I walked in a while later to find everything covered in white powder! Jacob says "Isaac did it". But he left out the fact that he was the one who handed Isaac the open container of baby powder...

And of course since Isaac is the middle child, he can learn from his older brother ways to torment the younger one. There are many days that Isaac is just cracking up laughing, while Brady is screaming due to him taking a toy away (and mom is about to lose But along with the mischief comes an adorable little boy who brings a lot of smiles and laughter into our home. Thank you God for this wonderful gift.

Monday, April 20, 2009


The following is a molecular diagram of Laminin, the cell adhesion molecules that literally hold us together and keep us from falling apart. Need I say more?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Like a Tree

Every time I read the following passage, I long to be like this tree...

"Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit." - Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT)

I'm at a point in my life where things are good. No major concerns or worries. But I know it's only a matter of time. In this life there will be trouble. So that's why I want to invest energy in deepening my roots. I want to be able to stand strong when the heat is turned up. I want to be confident and not worry when it seems that God is distant. And no matter what happens, I want my life to produce delicious fruit.

Sometimes the fruit I produce now is kids could tell you that. They test me like nothing else ever has. It's probably a good indication that I'm not bringing in enough nourishment. Sometimes I feel like my roots are sitting in the water, but not soaking it up. We can read and hear so much, but is it changing us? Are we letting it soak in?

Or maybe I just expect change to happen too fast. I want to be a new woman overnight! But trees take time to grow. Lots of time. So I will just hold onto this vision and be confident that God can and will grow me into this beautiful tree.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Call to Guide

We all need people to guide us. People we can look up to, who will lead us in the right direction. I think that families used to provide this function. Younger women learned from their mothers and to run a household and be supportive wives. Younger men learned from their fathers and grandfathers. I'm sure this still happens today, but many families are broken by divorce and distance. I know mine is. So where does that leave the younger generation to get their training? Too often we look to peers and the culture around us. But I believe we need to be looking to those who are older and wiser, who have walked where we are walking, and can guide us from experience.

Paul writes to Titus about the need for the church to guide future generations. He says "Guide older men into lives of temperance, dignity, and wisdom, into healthy love, faith, and endurance. Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up neither gossips or drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don't want anyone looking down on God's message because of their behavior. Also, guide young men to live disciplined lives. But mostly, show them all this by doing it yourself." Titus 2:1-7 (Message)

This passage first impresses upon me the need to live my life in a way that will set a good example for those looking up to me. Not to be fake and pretend to have it all together, but to be real with my struggles and show how God can provide and be my strength where I fall short. I need to invest my time in those younger than me, especially young women without anyone else to guide them.

And it is also the desire of my heart to find a mentor. Someone who will push me, encourage me, and speak the truth in love. Someone who will take time out of their busy schedule to invest in me. Don't we all need that? I had a mentor in college who guided me during my "baby steps" as a Christian, but many life changes and distance separates us now. So I'm looking to you, women at New Hope. I'll be watching you. Teach me well.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

What Easter Means to Me

When I was a kid, Easter was all about an Easter basket filled with candy and going on Easter Egg hunts. And of course getting dressed up really nice to go to a church service. But that was just something we did, not anything that seemed to have real meaning. Why do I celebrate Easter now? This song says it all...

As a parent, I wonder how I can convey the truth about Easter to my kids, while at the same time giving them the enjoyment of the candy and Easter eggs. Please post any ideas or traditions you use in your family to keep the focus on the real reason we celebrate.


Ever wonder if you're good enough to get into heaven? We saw this video in church a while ago and I loved it. What a great illustration of the grace offered to us through faith in Jesus Christ.

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Drawbridge

God’s sacrifice reminds me of the story of a man who operated a drawbridge over a bay in a small ocean town. Every day he would walk up to the office next to the drawbridge, where he could control the lever. He would pull up the lever, the drawbridge with the train track on it would rise, and enormous ships would glide through. Then he would push the lever down, and the drawbridge would lower so the train could cross safely.

Almost every day his little boy would go to work with him – he loved to watch his dad raise and lower the drawbridge. One day when they were there together, the dad was radioed that a nonscheduled train was on its way and he needed to lower the drawbridge. He glanced out the window just as he was touching the lever, and he saw his little boy outside playing in the huge gears of the drawbridge next to the shore. He yelled for him, but his son couldn’t hear him with all the commotion and noise near the water.

The man raced out of the office and ran toward his son to try to grab him and pull him to safety, but then the horrible truth struck him. If he didn’t push down that lever right away, the train would plunge into the sea, and hundreds of people would die. But if he lowered the bridge, his son would be killed. At the last possible second he made his terrible decision, raced back to his station, and pulled down the lever, falling to his knees in agony as his little boy was crushed to death. With tears streaming down his cheeks, he looked out and saw the train racing safely over the bridge. He could see in the window of one of the dining cars that people were eating, drinking, and laughing, totally oblivious to the great sacrifice he had just made so they could live.

The sacrifice had to be made. The least we can do is recognize and appreciate what was done on our behalf.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Unknown

I love getting good news, and I can handle bad news, but what drives me crazy is the unknown.

Our dog, Freddie, disappeared today. He was outside with Jeremy while Jeremy was working on our roof. This is pretty typical...having Freddie outside without a leash. He sometimes gets curious when people or other dogs walk by, but has never wandered far from our yard. We've even accidentally shut him out of the house before for over an hour and when we open the door he's on the front porch waiting :) So it's strange that he would have just wandered off, and even more strange that he hasn't returned. Did someone see him and hold him for safe keeping? Did someone pick him up with the intent to steal? Is he running around the neighborhood for fun? We've reported his disappearance to the police in case someone calls in. Now we just have to wait and see if he returns. I hate waiting. My imagination goes wild with possibilities. I would much rather know what happened, even if it's bad news. My heart goes out to parents with missing children. I can't even imagine how horrible that would be.

So what do I do while I wait? Worrying does me no good...I have no control over this. I just have to leave the outcome up to God. Lord, please take care of Freddie, wherever he may be.