Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Worry.  If I had a hankie in my hand I would wring it.  Worry is wringing every last "what if..." out of every possible scenario, crossing every bridge to nowhere, and trying to see into the future.

"A day of worry is more exhausting than a day of work."
Sir John Lubbock

"Worry is belief gone wrong.
Because we don't believe that
God will get it right.
But peace,
But peace is belief that exhales --
Because you believe God's provision
is everywhere -- like air."
An VosKamp
author of "One Thousand Gifts"
(our fall ladies study)
"God's piecing together the puzzle of your life,
And He's filling in what's still missing with His peace."
"O beloved, I plead with you not to treat God's promises
as something to be displayed in a museum, but to use them
as ever day sources of comfort;
And whenever you have a time of need,
Trust the Lord."
C.H. Spurgeon
Gail Meecham in her book, "Spirit Hunger," talks about pretend prayers...
"Dear Father, worry, worry, worry, worry...In Jesus name, Amen.
What I often whisper as prayer is a sliver of faith wrapped in a blanket of panic.  What ifs...
It's not only wrong to worry, it's infidelity.
No more cheating on God.
I'll ask instead of worry...
I'll seek instead of fret...
I'll knock instead of run..."
"Two conflicting forces cannot exist in our human heart.
When doubt reign, faith cannot abide.
Where hatred rules, love is crowded out.
Where selfishness rules, love cannot dwell.
When worry is present, truth cannot crowd in.
Billy Graham
"...seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything
pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us
by His own glory and excellence.  For by these He has granted to us
 His precious and magnificent promises..."
II Peter 1:3-4
"If you are sure of omnipotent aid,
what can be too heavy for you?
Begin the day joyously,
and let no shade of doubt come between thee
and the eternal sunshine."
C.H. Spurgeon
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He will make your paths straight."
Prov. 3:5-6

Monday, July 29, 2013

Through a glass darkly...


  "Now I see through a glass darkly, but then face to face..."

"When I was a child, I used to speak as a child,
think as a child, reason as a child;
"when I became a (woman), I put away childish things..."

"But these things remain..."


and love,
These three;
but the greatest of these is love."
I Corinthians 13:11-13

At the end of the day,

 it is not about the housework.  It is about the faith, hope, and love.
 I want to leave a legacy of these three things.  The greatest of these is love.
Let this be at the top of your to-do list today.
My imaginative granddaughter Grace declared she wanted to go mountain lion hunting.  Well
actually, she wanted to be the decoy, to dress up in a girl mountain lion costume to lure a boy mountain lion...hmm.


Advice to a Princess...
"Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket."

"A real woman avoids drama.
She knows her time is precious and
she's not wasting it on unimportant things."
"The woman who doesn't read good books
has no advantage over the woman
who cannot read at all."
Mark Twain
("man" changed to "woman")


"Dance with God and He will let the perfect man cut in."
"You may not be the girl that everyone wants,
but at least you are not the girl everyone has had."

"You don't need someone to complete you.
You only need someone who accepts you completely."

Make it a goal that when a guy looks at you, he will notice the light of Christ in your eyes,
and the radience of your smile."

"Make sure your knight in shining armor is not a jerk in tin foil."

"Maybe your Prince Charming will come...
Maybe he took a wrong turn, got lost, and is too stubborn to ask directions."

"Someday your prince will come. 
He may not be riding a white horse or have a big castle.
But he will want you and only you,
and that will be better than any fairytale."

My grandmother Annie Fairy Stovall with her new husband Marian Francis Meredith
(Alcohol turned a fairy tale into a nightmare.)

"I am a princess.  All girls are. 
Even if they live in tiny old attics,
Even if they dress in rags,
Even if they aren't pretty, or smart, or young,
They're still princesses.
All of us.
Didn't your father ever tell you that?
Didn't he?

Here is what He said...
"How beautiful you are, my darling,
How beautiful you are!
Your eyes are like doves
behind your veil."
Song of Solomon 4:1

"It's not that my standards are too high,
it's just that my daddy set an amazing example for how a man should treat me."

"Don't marry a man unless you would be proud to have a son exactly like him."

A real man never stops trying to show a girl that he cares about her,
even if he already has her."

"Women of God can never be like woman of the world.
The world has enough woman who are tough;
we need women who are tender.
There are enough wormen who are coarse;
we need women who are refined.
There are enough women who are rude;
we need women who are kind.
We have enough women of fame and fortune;
we need women of faith.
We have enough greed;
we need more goodness.
We have enough popularity;
we need more purity."
Margaret D. Naoauld

"A gracious woman attains honor."
Proverbs 11:16
"Sometimes loneliness is God's cry
for...time with you."


Sunday, July 28, 2013

The myth of evolution reduced: slime to monkey to caveman to early civilization to sophistication to higher education.  I guess you have to get to higher education to believe we evolved from slime.  I'll be a monkey's uncle, but it just ain't so. We have been so brainwashed to think that the previous centuries produced those who were less intelligent while we stand on their shoulders to look down on them. Just because we have the advantage of living in a time when we can enjoy the combined knowledge of all that has gone before us, doesn't make us automatically smarter.  Try reading Shakespeare if that's what you think.

My cousin, an optometrist, says that in Darwin's chapter in describing the intricacies of the eye, he deduced that there had to be a Creator.  Science has found out so much more on the delicate and amazing ability of the uniquely created eye since he wrote his book, but no evidence has been found to add to the theory of its evolution.  None. Nada.

As for a more sophisticated society, one doesn't have to look too far back in history to see the horrors of Hitler or even the atrocities of the Civil War, American against American, or war in general, or slavery, or sex trafficking, or racism, or the 11 day old baby found dead in our local hotel along side his mother's needles.  If we had achieved a more lofty evolution, our streets should have become safer by now. Did you watch a recent television show on finding one's ancestry where one singer traced her roots back to a great-great grandfather, a Civil War prisoner?  It so disturbed me to ponder the crimes described, that I decided to read up a little on the prisons of the Civil War.

Andersonville, Georgia was the worst in the Civil War, so bad that the Confederacy investigated it themselves and tried and hung the commander in charge for his war crimes against humanity, torture.  Up to 44,000 men were corralled in a log fortress with no provisions for shelter or sanitation, or, for the most part, even food.  One third died.  It was literally hell on earth. Survivors were reduced from 175 pounds to 75 pounds looking as bad as the walking corpses of the German concentration camps.  There were terrible times in prisons on both sides, but the worst was unimaginable.

I'm grateful for our soldiers who are brave and honorable, but war is the brink of a yawning hell.  There have always been killings and war, brother against brother, since the first siblings Cain and Able.  Who bought the lie that it will ever be any different in this world?  I am thankful for every ounce of peace we embrace at the great cost of those who have laid down their lives so we can enjoy our freedom, but we always will have an enemy around the corner who seeks to destroy us and our way of life.  It  really is about the heart of man, darkly stained with sin, evil. That is why God provided a Saviour who by His shed blood we might have peace and forgiveness and right relationship restored with Him.  We have been set free.  Why would anyone want to go back to the enemy, to be imprisoned again?

"And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world (think of the walking corpses), according to the prince of the power of the air...But God being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions , made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 2:1-6

"If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed."
John 8:36

One of my favorite hymns, "And Can It Be" by Charles Wesley
"Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature's night.
Thine eyes diffused a quickening ray.
I woke; the dungeon flamed with light.
My chains fell off; my heart was free.
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee.
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God,
shouldst die for me?"
"I dearly love a laugh..."
Jane Austen

I haven't played games in years, over thirty years.  I gave up playing games when my kids had colic and seldom tried after that.  This week my grown daughters had a get together.  In order to make up for their damaged childhood with a mother who did not play games with them (even though their dad did), they were insistent I play: so I beat them at their own game!  Ha!  Did I mention that I am competitive?   (You should have seen me play PAC MAN with an attitude, and I'm not proud of it.)   However, last night we kept interrupting ourselves laughing and telling stories.  It wasn't about the games.  It was about being together and enjoying each other's company.  Everyone wins, unless someone lets out the video of the Just Dance competition.  I didn't say I won that one, me the one who's never danced since jr hi P.E. square dancing ("do a little Tennessee wig-walk.")

I don't want to do life like I am tempted to play games.  Rather,
"...make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."
Philippians 2:2-4
My beauties!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

La crème de la crème
Why can't I remember to take a picture of food before I eat it?
Martha Steward doesn't live here.  Neither does Martha Washington.  It was time to tie one on as in put my apron on and finally try to made crème brulee like we had at the Gadspy's Tavern in Alexandria, VA, like General George ate. The closest recipe I could find is not that close.  First, if you cook anything at 200 degrees like the recipe said, it will not set up (Try 300 degrees).  Secondly, if you put in 8 egg yolks, it will taste like egg yolks.  But it finally set up and looked pretty after four or five hours of adjustments: it tasted so eggy that only my husband was pleased.  I guess we'll have to wait till we go back to Virginia to eat la crème de la crème!

There is a perfection once tasted that nothing else satisfies.  Sometimes it is the smell of a baby after a bath, or a day at the beach, reading an exceptionally good book, or tasting the best dessert ever found in a steam bath.
"Oh! I am delighted with the book! 
 I should like to spend the whole of my life
in reading it."
Jane Austen

Did you read the "Augustus" children's books growing up?  He liked to talk about the "genuine, simuline" thing! (Here's a hint: the word's not in the dictionary but "simulate" is.) In other words, don't pay the full diamond price for a cheap imitation.  Counterfeit Christianity's shine is a little off,  without the sparkle that can't be counterfeited.  We may not reach human perfection in this world, but perfect love in the heart for God is priceless. 

A picture of perfect love...
"God looks upon the purity of the heart,
the singleness of the eye
and the loyalty of our affection."
Samuel Logan Brengel of the Salvation Army

Gadsby's Tavern was built by a Mr. Wise. 
Wise was my mother's maiden name.
P.S.  Hank returned from camp and confided in me,
 what the kids really missed was their mom's cooking.  Ahh!

Friday, July 26, 2013

"By the time he carried out his horrific plan...(he) had not only committed adultery and exercised elaborate deception, but topped it off with cold blooded murder of a trusted and innocent associate.  It is a sordid story of a very good man going very, very  bad.  And he thought he had gotten away with it..."  Is this a murder mystery in a best seller?  Yes.  It's in the Bible, the story of David. (as described by Major Allen Satterlee in the Salvation Army.)
It's shocking!  Heartbreaking.  Sigh, take a deep breath.  Pretend it's not there.  Pretend God can't see it either.  Pretend that it's normal.  It's okay.  It's as lukewarm as spit.  I've decided at my tender age of looking forward to senior discounts, it's still okay to be shocked by sin.  I'm shocked that the Christian community isn't shocked, looks the other way, rationalizes, considers it normal, allows those living in sin to be leaders.  After all, wasn't David a man after God's own heart? ...not when his heart was lusting after Bathsheba, not when he was plotting murder to have his own way.  A heart after God is a heart in repentance with sorrow for sin.  David' sin cost his own son.  David's sin cost God His own Son: my sin, your sin.  Scandalous grace with a heavy price tag.  It' shocking.   

"But God being rich in mercy,
because of His great love with which He loved us,
even when we were dead in our transgressions,
made us alive together with Christ
(by grace you have been saved)...
in order that in the ages to come
He might show the surpassing riches of His grace
 in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
For by grace you have been saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves,
it is the gift of God;
not as a result of works,
that no one should boast.
For we are His workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand,
that we should walk in them."
Ephesians 2:4-10

As a moth beats against the glass...

"Doubt whispers, 'thou art such a blot
He cannot love poor thee.'
If what I am He loveth not,
He loves what I shall be."
George MacDonald
"And He said to them all,
 If any man will come after me,
let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,
and follow me."
Luke 9:23
"Take kindly and heartsomely with His cross,
who never yet slew a child with the cross."
Samuel Rutherford
"Was it for crimes that I have done He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown! And love beyond degree."
"At the Cross"
Pictures from Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home
and Mt. Vernon, Washington's home

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

"Thy words were found and I ate them,
And Thy words became for me
a joy and the delight of my heart;
For I have been called by Thy name,
O Lord God of hosts...
Therefore, thus says the Lord,
'...Before Me you will stand;
And if you extract the precious from the worthless,
You will become my spokesman."
Jeremiah 15:16,19

You are what you eat.  Let's see, a blueberry or strawberry waffle with whipped cream (or hey, why not both?), leftover roast beef and fresh green beans, some cherries or green grapes, a Dove dark chocolate ice cream bar, and perhaps a little popcorn later on...all on a good day.  On a better day, it's a portion from the Old, a serving from the New, with a dash of devotional thrown in for good measure.  One thing's for sure, when you've had something wonderful, you want to share it.  Have you shared God's word lately?  Have you found the precious words, separated them from the worthless ones of this world and become His spokesperson?  "Taste and see that the Lord is good."(Psalm 34:8)  Galloping Gourmet, that was good!

"Come and dine."

As I lay reading and resting on my bed, at the sound of a growl, my dogs leaped to my rescue barking ferociously ready to defend me to the death.  They came back sheepishly finding no dangerous foe.  Alas, the growl was my stomach. 
"Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.
Your adversary, the devil,
prowls about like a roaring lion,
seeking someone to devour.
But resist him, firm in your faith..."
I Peter 5:8-9
Fortunately, if Christ be in us, Satan has no taste for the blood of Christ.  It cheated him on the cross of his victory, so he is fully aware he is no match for Him. As with Daniel in the lion's den, so it is with us: the mouths of the lions are shut, except for the growl and the roar. 
"There is a legend of Luther, that during a serious illness, the Evil One seemed to enter his sick-room, and looking at him with a triumphant smile, unrolled a vast roll which he carried in his arms.  As the fiend threw one end of it on the floor, and it unwound itself with the impetus he had given it, Luther's eyes were fixed on it, and to his consternation, he read there the long and fearful record of his own sins, clearly and distinctly enumerated. That stout heart quailed before that ghastly roll.  Suddenly it flashed into his mind that there was one thing not written there.  He said aloud, 'One thing you have forgotten: the rest is all true; but one thing you have forgotten,--'The blood of Jesus Christ his Son
cleanseth us from all sin.' (I John 1:7) As he said this, the 'Accuser of the brethren,' and his heavy roll of 'lamentation and mourning and woe,' disappeared together."  
There is the clever little moral tale of the boy who said, "I don't care," so often that when a lion pronounced to eat him, he still responded, "I don't care."  When rescued like Jonah from the whale, the boy suddenly found he really did care after all.  That is what it means to be sober and alert, not nonchalant with the enemy of our soul.  In reality, lions do not tend to swallow bad boys whole, but rip and tear and devour bite by bloody bite.  If a devil bites your toe, don't offer him your heart.  Resist him.  You can't flirt with a lion and come out alive.
"Submit therefore to God.
Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded."
James 4:7-8
Once again, it is the most profound truth of Scripture, that the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin.  That alone puts a bad taste in the mouth of the lion.
Finally, there is another story of another boy who killed a lion...and a bear...and a giant.


The hunted become the hunter.
National Art Gallery, D.C.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ezra, the mini guard
My grandchildren came over in dress-up clothes ready to play.  Noah was a dwarf and Laura was a princess whose love was being thwarted by a bad guy.  Hank was the guard.  He is always willing to dress up at a moment's notice if it involves a helmet and weapons.  They chose to play in the heat with the dwarf smartly making his dwelling under the shade of a butterfly bush. 

Doesn't imagination stun you sometimes?  When do adults lose that ability to play with abandon?  We turn to reading or some of us to writing, or to other bigger, more expensive toys to compensate.  God challenges us to use our imagination about when He comes to rescue His beloved, to take us to His kingdom which is more than we can think or imagine.  Keep that joy and hope that will not disappoint in your heart. 

"We are living out these lives of ours too much apart from God.  We toil on dismally, (Hi Ho!...) as if the making  or the marring of our destinies rested wholly with ourselves.  It is not so.  We are not the lonely, orphaned creatures we let ourselves suppose ourselves to be.   The earth, rolling on its way through space, does not go unattended.  The Maker and Controller of it is with it, and around it, and upon it.  He is with us here and now.  He knows us infinitely more thoroughly than we know ourselves.  He loves us better than we have ever dared to believe could be possible."
 William Huntington

"Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us..."
Ephesians 3:20
Imagine that!