Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sorrows Upon Sorrows

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there will be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Rev. 21:4

My friends, I am so sorry. I feel I need to apologize because it seems I've been often gloomy of late. But it is as God has ordained. It's not for me to know the reason why at this time. There have been sorrows upon sorrows, it seems. But If we name the Name of Christ in truth the above Scripture tells something of our future hope. It has always been a favorite verse of mine. Some day, my dear fellow saints, He will wipe away every tear. And there will be no more of those things of earth that cause us grief. Listen to what someone said who is an old friend to many of us:

"This new and blessed state will be free from all trouble and sorrow. All tears shall be wiped away. God himself, as their tender Father, with his own kind hand, shall wipe away the tears of his children; and they would not have been without those tears when God shall come and wipe them away. All the causes of future sorrow shall be for ever removed: There shall be neither death nor pain; and therefore no sorrow nor crying; former things have passed away." - Matthew Henry

I have read this commentary on this verse over and over. It has always been captivating to think about that. It is as Mr. Henry said. They would not have been without those tears when God shall come and wipe them away. So, we will have all those hurtful things while here on this side of heaven, but not on the other. Hallelujah.

I have just had yet another sweet young sister-friend have her little one take flight to Jesus. To her I say: I hope Mr. Henry's words will comfort your heart, dear. I know that you have embraced these truths already.

And then last night some very hard news came to us. A dear pastor and his wife who served the Lord in in another country were killed. The facts have not been made clear yet as to what happened, but they don't think it was terrorism. We knew these people, know their son and other relatives well. Needless to say, the news is devastating. All of us who are stunned and jarred by the news will have to eventually calm down and find comfort in words such as the ones we have just read in Revelation. Tears and sorrows we'll have now, but not always.

It doesn't matter that you don't know their names. Please pray for my young friend and her family. Please pray for the family, friends, and church family of the beloved couple who I have no doubt are seeing the face of Jesus. And they got there at the same time.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hope on the Horizon

You may or may not agree with South Korean's policy of negotiating with terrorists, but this is a time of rejoicing and hope. Twelve down, seven to go. Keep praying, friends.
In case you haven't heard the news, go here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Children Singing Praise

I have a real treat for you if you have the time. Go over to Melodies and Hymnsongs to see the wonderful video that Cathy posted yesterday. It's well worth your time.

Monday, August 27, 2007

School Days, School Days

Shown above is a picture of my student, Miss Neesie. Today is the first day of classes at our little homeschool. The student and teacher are not jumping up and down with excitement over the commencement of another year, but we're "sort of" glad to have begun. Our official name here is Solid Rock Christian School of [our town name], but in reality we're an official campus of A Beka Academy, enrolled in their video program. It's the most-expensive-yet-easiest-on-the-home teacher-route to take for home educators.

My younger daughter is now a high schooler and that is exciting. She has never gone to regular school, and all but two of her nine (counting kindergarten) years of schooling at home have been as a student in this video program. It's not what I'd recommend for every family, but it's definitely best for us for many reasons. Now that she's in high school, we are enrolled in Program 1, which is their "fully accredited college preparatory program." This is the same program we did with her sister Bev, and it worked out well. A Beka is well known in homeschooling circles for giving quite a bit of work and having a lot of requirements. They work the student hard and expect what some parents consider to be too much. I've heard many complaints about them along these lines. Through the years, I learned to "cut corners" in certain areas, but now that we're doing the work for credit, needing to send much of the work in to them while attesting to the fact that this and that has been completed, we're going to have to really dig in and do what's expected of us. Let's hope it builds character in both of us.

If you complete the work that A Beka gives you and apply yourself, you end up with a good solid education along with your high school diploma. And most importantly, in each and every subject Christ is honored in the textbook and in the teaching. Neesie has a dream of going down to Pensacola Christian College in Florida and graduating with the other students of the A Beka homeschool class of 2011 and getting to meet some of her video teachers. I hope her dream comes true.

Pray for my student, please, and especially pray for her home teacher.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

ME #5-We Have a Winner!

I have to say that I'm dumbfounded. Did you see what I wrote the other day about this riddle? About no one being able to figure it out other than my daughter? This is unbelievable to me: I posted the riddle late in the night before going to bed on Tuesday evening and when I went to my computer on Wednesday morning, there was the answer right away! And several others came up with the same answer. Yes, the answer is A SQUARE!

Congrats to my new friend Cathy for good working of the old gray matter and being the early bird special on this riddle. And what a surprise that so many others knew it too. I think you folks here at blogland are just smarter than other people! Good job to all of you. And by the way, Barbara, if the piece of paper is in the shape of a square, then you got it too. :)

So the winner this time is Cathy who has a new blog called Melodies and Hymnsongs. I really like what she's doing. She features on her blog all kinds of music, Scripture, pretty pictures and videos. She even has a video of a cat playing the piano! Her site is new to me and I like going there to see what's going on. We are kindred in our love for the hymns, particularly. I'm thankful to have her as a bloggy friend and look forward to knowing her better. So go over and visit her soon as you can. Okay, Cathy, here is your reward certificate that you can pick up to display where and when you want it and I'll be contacting you about your prize.

Here's my explanation of the riddle:

Never am I too short or too long,
All sides are equal-none longer or shorter than the others.

Sections of me always right, not wrong,
All right angles.

Opposites have I that are yet the same,
Opposite sides are the same, of course.

Take one, double twice, a measure will name,
Take one side and double it twice--you get the perimeter!

Four cozy little places, take your pick,
A square has four corners; corners are cozy, right?

Quite plain am I, and not the least bit thick.
It's a plane geometric shape, not solid like a cube.

Sorry for the play on words, but that's what makes a riddle. You know how our language is with multiple meanings and multiple spellings. (I'm soon going to post about that, btw.)

Thanks for those who were brave enough to try and for my dear friends who didn't guess, but left sweet comments.

Enjoy your weekend, all!

Friday, August 24, 2007

No Title

Sorry....I couldn't resist. I don't have time to think of a title, but if you have any suggestions, feel free to tell us!
Answer to the riddle tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mind Exerciser #5

I thought I better post something a bit on the lighter side. It should help me feel better and maybe also lift the heart of someone else. So I decided that it's time for another riddle--it's been quite a while.

The one I'm doing this time has a history to it. I wrote it almost two years ago on a Saturday night. Immediately upon its completion, my then twelve year old daughter guessed the answer after reading it through once. Naturally, I figured it was too easy, but I left it as it was, thinking it would work out well as one of the riddlers in our children's section at the business site. It's been posted there about three times. During those times, I emailed several families to go to the site and take a guess. I've had visitors to my home try to get it; etc. The bottom line is that after that initial correct answer by my daughter, NO ONE has guessed this riddle. Not in all this time. I just don't understand that. I've said before that I worry that a riddle's defective if no one gets it--but Neesie somehow did --right away! So it must make sense.

It's been a while, so I'll repeat the rules on the ME riddles. Take one guess each. First one to guess the correct answer wins. If when you make your comment you see your guess has already been made, feel free to say so but still take another wild guess--it can't hurt anything. I have a nice little reward certificate that the winner takes if he or she chooses. But guess what? This time I have a little prize from Speakable Gifts. We have a few extra paperback editions of The Pilgrim's Progress around, so I thought this would be a good way to get this wonderful book into the hands of some other folks who might enjoy it. Even if you already have a copy of your own, you may find opportunity to give it to someone else who would benefit from reading it.

So jump in and take a stab at it. Don't let what I said about it scare you. Last time, the very first person to guess was right. Because of it's history, this one must be more difficult, but then again, maybe you'll be like my daughter and get it straightway!

Here it is:

Never am I too short or too long,
Sections of me always right, not wrong,
Opposites have I that are yet the same,
Take one, double twice, a measure will name.
Four cozy little places, take your pick,
Quite plain am I, and not the least bit thick.

Don't explain your guess--it might help someone else if you're close. I suppose Saturday will be a good time to tell the answer and announce the winner. (I hope there's a winner!)

Bev's heard all my riddles before, so as usual she can't participate. She's always welcome to comment though, so she doesn't feel left out, poor thing. I can't wait to hear your guesses!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

My Times are in Thy Hand

This has been a tough week. Not so much for me personally, but my mind has been filled with the griefs and troubles of others. Some of these people have been close friends, some acquaintances, some have been people I've heard about from someone else or in the news. It's just another verification of the truth of God's Word. Paul and Barnabas went from city to city "confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith and that 'we must through much tribulation enter the kingdom of God.'" How very true. Through much tribulation. The truth of this is brought home to us time and again.

For this week's hymn, I was trying to find just the right one that would capture what's in my heart today. There are people who read this blog, dear and close friends, whom I would like to have drawn upward to our Lord where they might receive strength. After a bit, I settled on "My Times are in Thy Hand." Actually, it was just last month that I talked about this hymn on my other blog, but for some reason, I think this is the one that God would have for the hurting folks I know or for someone this week. Only He knows. It just was impressed on me that it's the one.

This time, I'm not going to talk about the hymn's author or origin--I'm just going to post all five stanzas. Please, go to the Cyber Hymnal so that you can meditate on the words with the tune playing. Often, the tempo at CH is a little too fast for my liking, but on this one it's just right. (At least for me.)

God bless you dear friends, whoever you may be, as you reflect on these wonderful words--a prayer to our God.

My times are in Thy hand;
My God, I wish them there;
My life, my friends, my soul I leave
Entirely to Thy care.

My times are in Thy hand;
Whatever they may be,
In joy or pain; 'tho dark or bright,
As best may seem to Thee.

My times are in Thy hand;
Why should I doubt or fear?
My Father's hand will never cause
His child a needless tear.

My times are in Thy hand;
Jesus, the Crucified;
Those hands my cruel sins had pierced
Are now my guard and guide.

My times are in Thy hand;
I'll always trust in Thee;
And, after death, at Thy right hand
I shall forever be.

~William F. Lloyd 1824

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Brief Reminder

A reminder from today's Streams in the Desert, for some dear friends at this time of disappointment and sorrow:

In the center of the circle
Of the Will of God I stand:
There can come no second causes,
All must come from His dear hand.
All is well! for 'tis my Father
Who my life hath planned.

Shall I pass through waves of sorrow?
Then I know it will be best;
Though I cannot tell the reason,
I can trust, and so am blest.
God is Love, and God is faithful,
So in perfect Peace I rest.

With the shade and with the sunshine,
With the joy and with the pain,
Lord, I trust Thee! both are needed,
Each Thy wayward child to train,
Earthly loss, did we but know it,
Often means our heavenly gain.

--I. G. W.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Befuddled Brain Disorder

Finally! I think life is getting back to normal...whatever that is. We've reached the end of the various summer activities that have filled time and thought for me and I'm ready to get back to one of my favorite pastimes: blogging. I've made a few spot checks here and there for the past few weeks, but today and tomorrow I hope to get over to visit bloggy friends to see what everyone is doing. I'll need to fit this into a myriad of household duties, while starting to prepare for the coming school year, so I hope to get around to seeing everyone in between. Hope all of you are well! By the way, I got tagged for a couple of different things along the way and ask forgiveness for not being able to fit those in.

In the meantime, I thought I'd poke some fun at myself, via an email I received not too long ago. I've made a couple of adjustments, but for the most part it's just as it was sent to me. Though it's somewhat exaggerated, I'm afraid it comes all too close to many a day I have around here. What about you? I am so thankful that the Lord reminds us in Psalm 103 that He pities us and remembers that we are but dust.

>Recently, I was diagnosed with an age-activated befuddled brain disorder.

This is a typical day:
>I decide to water my garden.
>As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide
>my car needs washing.
>As I start toward the garage, I notice that there is mail on the porch
>table that I brought up from the mailbox earlier.
>I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.
>I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage
>can under the table, and notice that the can is full.
>So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the
>garbage first.
>But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take
>out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.
>I take my checkbook off the table, and see that there is only one check
>My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house
>to my desk where I find the can of Pepsi that I had been drinking.
>I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Pepsi
>aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over. I realize the Pepsi is
>getting warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator to keep
>it cold.
>As I head toward the kitchen with the Pepsi, a vase of flowers on the
>counter catches my eye--they need to be watered.
>I set the Pepsi down on the counter, and I discover my reading glasses
>that I've been searching for all morning.
>I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to
>water the flowers.
>I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with
>water and suddenly I spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table.
>I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I will be looking for
>the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I
>decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.
>I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the
>So, I set the remote back down on the table, get some towels and wipe
>up the spill.
>Then I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.
>At the end of the day:
>- the driveway is flooded
>- the car isn't washed,
>- the bills aren't paid,
>- there is a warm can of Pepsi sitting on the counter,
>- there is still only one check in my check book,
>- I can't find the remote,
>- I can 't find my glasses,
>- and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.
>Then when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really
>baffled because I know I was busy all day long, and I'm really tired.
>I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for
>it, but first I'll check my e-mail.

The person who wrote this is unknown, but I have little doubt that it was a woman. And I am quite uncomfortable with the fact that I have so many symptoms of this disorder. Is it really age-activated? I don't know, judging how many of the same symptoms were present when I had small children--and I had a horrible flareup during the mom's taxi years. I'd love to hear if any of you are ever symptomatic.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Beautiful Sounds

Well, the whole week went by and I didn't make a post. VBS and other things have filled my mind. This evening will be our last session of Vacation Bible School and I must say that it's been a blessing for us all. The children have loved singing their Ten Commandments song, doing their crafts and games, eating their snacks (of course!), learning their Moses lessons, listening to a special missionary continuing story every day, and GIVING. Tuesday was penny day, Wednesday nickel day, Thursday dime day and today is quarter day. Let me tell you, these little ones have dug deep and I was impressed by the amount of money which has been given so far from such a few--all to send to help an orphanage being built in Zimbabwe, a project which is special to our church. Obviously, there are quite a few orphans there who are being helped by some people who are dear to us. Pray for this work, please.

It's a beautiful sound to me--the sound of children singing. I love hearing the children sing at church, but it's a precious and sweet sound wherever they are and whatever the language when they sing about Jesus. I found this video of orphans in India who were getting up at five in the morning every day to have devotions. What can I say? Listen and be blessed and please pray for the orphans in Zimbabwe, India, and all over the world.

I'll just let this take the place of my hymn for the week, even though I am overdue

Edit Note: For some reason this video was not working as of Saturday evening. I embedded the code again several times, so I imagine there is a problem at the God Tube site? Sorry! I'll leave it here in case it works again.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Vacation Bible School!!!

It's Friday? Already? Where in the world did the week go?!!!!

I'm excited--next week is VBS at our church and we ladies are getting ready for it. It's our first one since 2003, because of a flood in 2004 that necessitated a lot of repairs to our building and which destroyed many of our supplies. But we're trying to get going again and no, we're not doing Noah and the flood (get it?), we're doing Moses and the Ten Commandments.

Many of you know how it is with VBS. I think this is the first year that I'm not a teacher or teacher's helper--I opted for nursery duty as a change of pace (can you guess why?) and providing the teacher's visual aids, so I may have more time than usual during VBS week. That means that hopefully, I'll be able to post. We'll see.

Pray for our efforts, even be they small, that the Lord will use them in the life of young folks.

Most perfect is the law of God,
Restoring those that stray;
His testimony is most sure,
Proclaiming wisdom's way.

The precepts of the Lord are right;
With joy they fill the heart;
The Lord's commandments all are pure,
And clearest light impart.