Ayden Christopher

This sweet baby is my grandson. Why, am I introducing you to him? Well, that’s because I am so thankful for him.  When my daughter was 8 months pregnant with him we discovered he had a heart defect. Special arrangements had to be made because not every hospital can deal with heart defects. Ayden was born August 14, 2010 with Hypo-plastic Left Heart Syndrome. This picture is his birthday. He had to be whisked off immediately after birth. This is the prep he had to go thru.

Ayden lived 12 days due to complications. There are surgeries to correct this and many children live.  He didn’t make it to the first one. Our time with him was precious-howbeit painful. We celebrated his 1 week birthday, we have a pic of  him wearing a college ring (his uncle’s). We savored every small thing!

God is Sovereign and sometimes it hurts. When you lose a baby the grief is different but still enormous. It’s every thing Ayden didn’t get to do, we didn’t get to do with him, all our hopes and dreams we grieved. I’m crying as I’m writing BUT I still smile when I look at sweet face. I cannot wait to see him again! I’m thankful I will, I’m thankful for him! Though his life was short he is loved tremendously!

 

Nothing New Under the Sun?

“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.”
Mahatma Gandhi
(1869-1948)

I had to smile as I read this, why? Well, it’s not the first place I’ve read it; although its possible that many might think this statement is original and credited as such.

Check this out:   Proverbs 23:7  For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

Doesn’t this say the same thing?! The book of wisdom in the Bible recorded this “quote” long before Gandhi!

I’ve actually heard of practices very similar to Christian beliefs existing in unknown native tribes upon the discovery of their existence. I find this fascinating. God loves us so much, we are made in His image, and we can see that imprint! Of course, I’m not saying that our hearts don’t turn away. I think Gandhi and Solomon have accurately stated they can!

So, what are you thinking about?

 

Horses, Chariots, & Man – oh My!

Fears become almost living, breathing things. I say almost because fears exist in our minds. What we are afraid of, no doubt, is often tangible….but it is not fear itself.  We can know this because we may or may not share the same fear but the object remains the same. Hmm, already the weight of a fear is diminished when we  consider others are not afraid of it.

Psalm 20:7 saysSome trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

This is the sure fire way to NOT be afraid – remembering the name of our Lord! Why? because He is with us, because He tells us 365 times in the bible not to fear, because He is for us, because His arm is not shortened, because HE’S GOD! So what does it mean to trust in chariots & in horses? Well, those are symbols for things that make sense to us for winning battles, being victorious, and just plain & simple safe. Chariots would be like tanks and horses, like migs. Yeah, I know, there’s a huge difference, but in bible times they would have offered the same comfort. We want something we can t-o-u-c-h and s-e-e. But here’s the problem – if we can touch and see it, it’s limited. God is not.

The Red Sea parted and the Israelites walked on dry land – only to have the Egyptians swallowed with their horses and chariots on the same ground. The walls of Jericho fell after it was encircled for seven days. Gideon and the 300 men with him defeated the Midianites by blowing trumpets and breaking pitchers. Over and over in scripture we see where the battle is the Lord’s!

Romans 8:31 says: What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

 

Faithfulness

Lamentations 3:22-23
Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

No matter which way the election here went yesterday there were going to be disappointed people…especially in a race as close as this. Yesterday we were divided people. Today let’s be one people. Nothing yesterday, today, or tomorrow catches God by surprise. He is still on the Throne!

Yesterday we voted based on our beliefs and someone has to win and someone(s) has to lose. Many Christians are bummed because of our belief that life begins at conception (Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”). A good many of us have never had an abortion…but we harbor other sin. All sin saddens the heart of God; all sin has to be paid for by a blood offering and for Christians that is Jesus’ blood. Plain and simple, it covers all sin. I’m not saying we should ignore sin-to the contrary! I’m just asking before grandstanding about a particular sin we remember from whence we came and the pet sins in our own lives today. Our hearts may cry ‘but it’s not murder’ but God’s heart says ‘all forgiveness cost the same-My Son’s blood’.

Today, His mercies are new! He is Faithful!

Help. Anyone? Please………….

Have you ever needed help? Who do you look to for it?

I have been moved by the interviews with victims of Super Storm Sandy. Their cries were loud. They were demanding. They expected response. And response they are getting. Churches & Crisis Response Teams are there & others are forming. People want to help. During times of distress we come together, we share resources. We care and we wonder what if.

A couple things come to mind here. First, if Jesus is your Savior, we are told to come boldly into the throne room for grace & mercy in our time of need. This is promised to us because of our inheritance in Jesus. We are God’s kids. He desires to care for us, and loves doing so!

Secondly, everyday there are victims of genocide.  Did you know that? Do think about what they must face each day of their lives? I cannot help but think what impact we would have if we rallied on their behalf as we do in other crisis. We’ll not see one of them demanding someone do something. They accept their lot in life, just doing the next thing next. The media has yet to give coverage day after day, hour after hour, to these atrocities. They have no voice but ours.

In no way do I want to diminish the loss and utter destruction from Sandy. What I want us to consider is the difference manpower can make in the lives of those that need us. One such group is the Nubian, who live in rocks to hide from missiles. No way to provide for themselves….only hide. You can learn more about them at http://www.savethenuba.com.

 

Ashes…..now what?

Storms can leave behind rubble. The TV, internet, and twitter has been full of updates and pictures. Those whose reality this is likely cannot view the exposure they’ve been given. They need help and it is in the helping, standing alongside, hugs, kindnesses that healing begins.  How beauty births out of ashes. As followers of Christ, it is a healing – restoration ministry we have been given. This often is when the world accepts the church, rather than trying to limit, control, and even persecute her.

Emotional storms leave rubble behind also. The chances of having that rubble exposed to the world  is a little more narrow; there are exceptions of course, but the vast majority of us escape it. Does it change our loss? Not at all. More than likely we feel isolated though, there aren’t throngs of others experiencing what we are…well, at least not that we are aware of. This is one of the reasons Father said not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. (Hebrews 10:25) It is there we find the helping, standing along aside, hugs, kindnesses that nurture healing. Jesus wants to bring beauty from our ashes….but we have to let Him. He eagerly awaits our invitation, to carry us, to bring peace to us, to comfort us. It is He who is the Healer….no matter where our storms come from. You have all His attention-turn to Him.

Anyone Else Thinking About Storms…..

Sandy has everyone’s attention. If you are not on the East coast, you still are met with reports of her size, prediction of landfall, and current destruction. Lots of preparation has led up to the day of expectation. Store shelves have emptied of supplies, houses are boarded up, schools & businesses are closed and many have evacuated their homes. Preparation.

There are other storms in life. I’m wondering about the preparation for those storms. How does one weather them? Someone once said to realize the worth of the Anchor, we need to feel the stress of the storm. If you don’t know Jesus you are missing your Anchor, the One who will never leave you or forsake you.

Hunker down. One thing is for sure – storms are coming……

What About ME?

This is a post from the peaceful wife. Her heart is godly marriages and she has earned the right to speak from her own experience. I recommend reading her blog. Today, push thru the pain of what she is saying to hearing the opportunity of increased intimacy with our God! Hear what He has to say. Oh, He loves you so!

The Peaceful Wife

So, a LOT of wives are working daily on trying to respect their husbands and not control them anymore, trying to follow Christ and do the whole marriage thing His way. That is AWESOME!

But MANY wives are getting stuck at the beginning of the journey – wondering, “What about ME?”  “What about what I want?”  “When do I get MY way?”  “Why do I have to be the only one forgiving, changing, respecting and cooperating?”  “What about HIM?”  “Why doesn’t HE have to change?” “What about MY needs?”

THE FIRST PHASE IS HARD!  IMPOSSIBLE, REALLY ON OUR OWN.

This is a LONG process of growth and learning.  It is not an instant flip on the light switch and you are suddenly a godly wife.  It’s a painful process.  The beginning is especially painful because that is when you begin to die to self.

Dying is PAINFUL.  Killing self…

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Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Does it? Does absence really make the heart grow fonder? I started thinking about it because there are quite a few blogs I follow. Really good, insightful thoughts out there and I like to ‘like’ the post when I read it and do. That was how I started this blog in the first place – I wanted to ‘like’ something I read. You cannot do that unless you are a blogger….

Back to the issue at hand; for days now I cannot like anything! Zip, Nada. Thus, this post is an experiment; I want to see if I can ‘like’ something after breathing life back into this thing! 😉  Now, apparently absence does not make WordPress any fonder of me – rather, it choses to ignore me (pending experiment, of course).

How do you react? Does your heart grow fonder thinking about the one whose missing? My hubby and I had a long distance courtship. I couldn’t stop thinking about him 🙂 We didn’t settle for absence; we were on the phone for hours and driving most every weekend to be together. Maybe that’s how it works — we worked at our relationship because we had to in order for there to be one (thus growing fonder because of our investment?). It was alot easier to fall in a rut and take each other for granted, I suppose, after we got married. I remember complaining that before we were married my hubby could finish my sentences, always knew what I was thinking, and could call me at the exact time I needed him. Why was that a complaint?? Because after we married he lost the ability to speak my language (and I, his I’m sure); he didn’t seem to know me at all! All these misunderstandings and unmet expectations. UGH! We had stopped thinking about the other and started focusing on ourselves.

Now, there’s a stink that will rile any stingbug!!  Instead, let’s do an experiment – wake up that blog! put your mate first!  grow those hearts fonder!!

I could not help but repost this from the peaceful wife. She explains God’s design for marriages with skillful annointing. Many of our marriages are in ashes and God longs for them to be beautiful! Thanks April!

The Peaceful Wife

We took a marriage class last winter by a man I have known and respected for 25 years – Rev. Harold Weaver.  He spoke a lot about authority during our semester: God-given authority, spiritual authority and the needs of those leaders who are in authority over us.  And I HOPE that one day I have the chance to take his class on spiritual authority.  But one thing he talked about that fascinated me was the two types of authority in marriage.

The husband has “positional authority” – God has given him spiritual authority over the marriage and family.  This is similar to the positional authority of a king, president, manager or CEO.

And the wife has “influential authority.”  The type of influence a wife has at her command in marriage is the same type of influence that a Vice President  (or cabinet member) would have over a President…

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