Friday, September 25, 2009

What do you believe?

As I read the story at the beginning of Luke of the pronouncements of Christ’s conception and that of John the Baptist something came off the page—don’t you love it when God does that?

In Luke 1:6 it refers to Zachariah and Elizabeth, the parents of John the Baptist, as

“……righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances, of the Lord, blameless.”

WHOA! What a description! I cannot imagine someone so dedicated to doing all that God has commanded, and obviously being soooo good at it; blameless! Are you kidding me!?!?
But wait! On over in Luke when the story tells how the angel of the Lord appeared to Zachariah while he was performing his priestly duties, the angel struck him dumb and unable to speak---WHY?

“because you did not believe my words which will be fulfilled in their own time.”

Obviously, Zach was following all the rules, doing the stuff, and he and Liz where thought well of because of their perfect behavior and lifestyle.

This strikes me because even though they followed the law, and fulfilled the commandments they still didn’t believe the word of the Lord when it came to them; they didn’t believe that:

“with God nothing shall be impossible.” (Luke 1:37)

And Liz, even at 6 months into her pregnancy, when Mary arrived for a visit, and the baby leapt within her at the joy of the voice of his savior’s birth, questioned her part in all of this.

“But why is this granted to me, the mother of my Lord should come to me?”

Following the rules, fulfilling all the orders and directions doesn’t enable you to “believe” when the time comes for you to. Even those of faith and following all the rules don’t necessarily see and believe. They may even go so far as to question God in the midst of their own miracle.

Abraham “believed God.......”; he believed God.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Where I'm at right now......

".......we probably differ on some points we once thought were absolute."

Kathy Nickerson on "Mercy Street"

Thank you Kathy

Friday, September 18, 2009

Our State Fair is a Great State Fair!

I received an invitation last week to attend the State Fair with my sister Anita to help her celebrate her birthday. The Gaither Vocal Band was performing; one of her favorites, and her husband had bought her tickets. She invited me to join her so off we went.
I used to go the State Fair almost yearly when homeschooling the kids, and we always enjoyed all the new things we got to do and see; even without kids, it did not disappoint.
We went through every building, checking out all the exhibits, artwork, the butter sculpture, and watched gifted painters paint…with spray paint!
We visited the “nursery” where the cows, sheep, pigs, alpaca’s, were all giving birth, or about to, and saw a brand new Holstein calf (still wet), and baby lambs. Did you know that a sheep can carry four lambs at once? I knew they had twins, but not quads. Unfortunately, only one of them survived, and he was the tiniest little lamb we had ever seen.
Highlights for me included getting to run a long arm quilting machine. I’ve seen them in magazines, but never had the opportunity to actually run one. Fun? You bet, and I was salivating, till I heard the price. WHOA!?!?! I’ll just keep quilting by hand, thank you.
When we went to visit the building that displayed the quilts, and domestic entries, we were probably there the longest. We strolled very slowly admiring all the beautiful quilts, wonder why some didn’t get blues, and others did. We ask aloud, how do they determine with so many beautiful quilts, which one deserves to be grand champion…….then we saw it. I wish I had taken a picture, but my camera phone wouldn’t have done it justice. It was a masterpiece, and upon close inspection realized WHY it was the Grand Champion.
The decorated cake entries were also outstanding, and to realize that all of the decorations are frosting as you stand and admire them makes you gasp. Who knew you could do that with frosting?

We sat and watched a show of trick riders dressed like Gypsies performing many amazing stunts on the backs of some beautiful horses.

We were wondering where they were from, some foreign country perhaps? They had come to the KS state fair from Alaska; from Russia perhaps? But no, upon hearing folks talk to them after the performance we found out they came from Orlando Florida!!!
Talking a mile a minute and eating way to much junk food, we had a wonderful day, capping it off with a great concert by the Gaither Vocal Band. I love a good tenor, and they had three of the best, so it measured up to all expectations.
Anita is a retired teacher, but I had to agree with her when she stated that all 5th graders should be taken to the fair, not to the carnival, but to the fair exhibits. It is a learning experience for every age.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Trip part 2.........the delivery

My trip to Washington held wonderful times, the first being the visit to Leonard in his wonderful setting practically within a stone’s throw of Puget Sound.

When I left his house on Sat. and flew to Kenniwick, the culmination of many months of work was about to come to a wonderful conclusion.

I am the kind of person that when life seems to be spinning out of control, I usually grap for the first thing to hang onto that will give me some semblance of order back. When my sister-in-law died suddenly 21 years ago and I watched helplessly as my brother in law began life as a single father with three small children. To stay that feeling of helplessness, and sorrow, I tackled the entry way in our old school house home, texturing the walls, painting, and staining them (I was way ahead on faux finishes), all in the hopes that the uncontrolled feeling of life being altered in such a radical way would be brought under some form of control.

I’m sorry to say, I haven’t changed much in that regard in all these years. When Mother died two years ago, after three and a half years of almost daily care, I was lost. We got Miss Lily, and she has been a buddy, but I needed something productive to do, I needed to feel like I was "doing something".

My sister Alane and her husband had made Roger and I a generous gift upon Mothers passing as a thank you for the time I had spent in those years of care giving; it was greatly appreciated, and a wonderful surprise. One day while in a thrift store, I found a north woods embroidery pattern. I immediately thought of Alane and Steve’s wonderful cabin in the woods in NE Washington. I would buy the pattern and make them something as a thank you. I did buy the pattern and began the project that was the catharsis to my healing process.

As the work progressed I knew there wasn’t any way that I was going to be mailing this gift to my sister and her husband—no it had to be hand delivered and while in WA I had the joy of seeing their faces when they opened the package.

After tears and hugs, (yes we had a group hug), it was studied and gently folded and will cover them with our love every time they are at the cabin curled up in front of the fire.

My travels were purposeful, and I came home feeling healed and rested. The best kind of trip to take.

The Trip part 1.............Reconnecting

I spent 10 days traveling the state of Washington. Visiting friends and family was on the agenda, but the ultimate purpose was to reconnect with a DEAR family friend, and make a delivery.

Both went off without incident and I am so glad that I went, even though it meant leaving Rog and Lily behind.

A dear family friend, Leonard Deets, moved out to Stanwood Washington three years ago to be closer to his daughter Anne, and leaving his Kansas home of 87 years. Talk about a step of faith!?!
Leonard and his wife Katherine lived across the road from my parents when we all lived in the country on the farm. He and Katherine had actually attended High School with my mother at South Haven. For the full story of the history you can read it at Nestin and Restin blogspot pt 2” by my sister Anita.
Leonard celebrated his 90th birthday last Dec. and since Mother passed away everyone encouraged me to go see him, knowing that it would be a balm to my soul; it was.
We talked, shared stories, memories, and had devotions every morning together. There are some people who God brings into your life that there is absolutely no doubt of their purpose, and Leonard’s role in my life is abundantly clear.
When Daddy died, Leonard and Katherine were the first people to come to our house. They arrived early and stayed late for many days immediately following, helping in any and every way. Of all the things I DON'T remember about those terrible days, I DO remember Katherine putting me to bed those first few nights, and sitting there with me till I fell asleep. Later when I needed a “father” to fill a void at Sunday school, or a school event, Leonard was my surrogate. I watched these two people live out their faith in front of me all my life, and when the reality of Jesus Christ became a choice, I understood it because of their example.
Leonard was instrumental in both my Dad’s and I’s salvation and other’s in my family as well. He means the world to me, and is the closest thing to my real parents I can remember. Seeing him, and spending hours talking about the father I never really knew, but only had images of was a priceless time and one that will never be duplicated in any way. Laughing about the memories of my mother in her last days, and sharing those with him and his daughter and son in law were the “medicine” that this heart needed.

Some trips are necessary and complete a circle. This was one of those trips. If I never see Leonard again in this life but have to wait till heaven for one of those kinds of “sit-down” visits, I’m satisfied…………so satisfied.

Next, “The Delivery"