Thursday, March 26, 2009

Along the Way

"He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. Like one from whom men hide their faces; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted" Isaiah 53:3. (Ravi Zacharias, A Slice of Infinity, Upon Holy Ground)

God Incomprehensible. Lord how great is our dilemma! In Thy Presence silence best becomes us, but love inflames our hearts and constrains us to speak. Were we to hold our peace the stones would cry out; yet if we speak, what shall we say? Teach us to know that we cannot know, for the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Let faith support us where reason fails, and we shall think because we believe, not in order that we may believe. In Jesus Name, Amen. (A.W.Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy)

"I'm learning that people who get mad and upset do because of pride - I'm learning that from my own reactions." (Klinton VanWingerden)

Mount Redoubt volcano erupted for the second time this morning [THURSDAY,TODAY] with a huge explosion at 9:24 that sent a cloud of ash to 65,000 feet above sea level, higher than any explosion yet. With ash drifting east, Alaska Airlines has already canceled a flight from Anchorage to Fairbanks and is considering canceling more. 11:30 AM (ADN.COM)

In a hospital's Intensive Care Unit, patients always died in the same bed, on Sunday morning, at about 11:00 am, regardless of their medical condition. This puzzled the doctors and some even thought it had something to do with the supernatural. No one could solve the mystery as to why the deaths always occurred under the same circumstances, so a worldwide team of experts was assembled to investigate the cause. One Sunday morning, a few minutes before 11:00 am, all of the doctors, nurses and other experts nervously waited outside the ward to see for themselves what the terrible phenomenon was all about. Some were holding wooden crosses, prayer books, and other holy objects to ward off evil spirits. Just when the clock struck 11:00, Kenneth Roberts, the part-time Sunday sweeper, entered the ward and unplugged the life support system so he could use the vacuum cleaner. (My E-Mail, from Sandi)

I hope you're having or had a better day than those patients did!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Twisty Kink

Ashlee, our granddaughter.

Cleaning and scrubbing
Can wait 'til tomorrow
For babies grow up
We've learned to our sorrow
So quiet down cobwebs
Dust go to sleep
I'm rocking my babies
'Cause babies won't keep.

That used to be a good reason to put off some cleaning back in the old days. "As long as your kitchen and bathroom are clean then that's good enough" was advice Mom gave to me once when I was so busy with little ones. You've also heard that "cleaning up with little ones around is like shoveling snow before it's stopped snowing." My little ones have grown up long ago! I never thought it would ever happen, but it did! I can clean and clean and clean but still the dust/dirt/cobwebs ends up winning.

Yesterday I pulled off the bedding and stuffed my down pillows into the washer. I've done it before and they've come through very nicely. Yesterday, I sat out on the deck in the sun with Mom (51F!) and I completely forgot about sticking the pillows into the dryer. This morning my back is a bit twisted. Thanking God for Tylenol!

The twisty kink in my upper back could be from the missing down pillow (I used one of the firm pillows that Doug likes) or it could be from trying to shake the heavy down comforter yesterday. Anyway, I slowly sat up this morning and groaned.

Spending time with children is better than trying to keep a perfect home when they are young. They grow up and are gone, but the house is still here waiting to be cleaned! Learning them how to help with the cleaning is a very good thing though. When I heard my kids say - "I am bored!" I would ask them "Would you like me to help you find something to do?" Boredom did not last long in our home!

Can you guess who this scripture is referring to?
"So the child grew and became strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his manifestation to Israel." (The Gospel According to Luke).

Monday, March 23, 2009

Thar She Blows!

Mt. Redoubt on March 15, 2009.

Mt. Redoubt has vented. Here in Big Lake I have not noticed any ash fall, so that is good. Skwentna has some fallout I've heard. Not sure who, where if any else are being affected by Mt. Redoubt's eruptions last night and early this morning. Keep track of any other activity here. NOAA

If you get ash on your vehicles you have to clean it off or else the acidic ash may wreck the finish. So the guys in my family are very interested to keep track of which way the fallout is heading. I am watching. Doug has a truck out there (covered with a protecting layer of snow); my car is safe and snug in the garage; Klint, Kris and Marie keep their vehicles outdoors too.

I was in Togiak with the Alaska Freedom Band two Sunday's ago. I went to high school with others from Togiak so it was fun to see this village/town way out in West Alaska. Boy was it COLD! "The day before you got here was so warm we were out smelt fishing without our coats on." I had a hard time believing that! The wind was blowing and I felt like if I stopped moving for very long I would freeze solid where I stopped! We had some great times of worship and sharing. Thanks to Paul and Laura Frost for their hospitality!

Anyway, I took some pictures of Mt. Redoubt as we flew past on our return from Togiak. She was only steaming (March 15). Last night she finally blew off some pressure! Just like we all do sometimes huh?

Out comes the pent-up frustrations and everyone in the area knows it too. After that rumbling and venting we have to take a look-see around to see where the 'ash is falling' and THEN the hard part --- gotta try to clean up the mess before it hurts any deeper!

I've been physically tired and emotionally worn. I sit down and fall asleep and sleep really hard! I've never done that since I was pregnant! I've thought maybe it's because I am old. ha But no, I've had a full plate lately - learning to get along with a new person living in our home has been a challenge for me -- for us all.

There are many aspects of that challenge, not only the daily change of having my Mom in my house day and night. We also have to deal with my siblings that chose not in years past to be part of my family or my life but now because Mom is here I hear from them. Certain ones more than others - strong opinions of Mom's care; the things that have gone on with with Mom that are wrong - helping her to see it as wrong; the fact that my relationship with my children is being adversely affected by the troubles Mom has is very hard on me. I'm learning that dealing with a troubled elderly parent coming into ones home will affect every aspect of life! I consider it all invasive! I didn't expect this ever in all my life!

Dealing with Mom's physical problems is much easier than dealing with family/sibling issues. My family (my own siblings) issues can be like the acidic ash that is falling out there. Words that are spewed into our hearts are not so easy to clean up. So we hurt and we struggle.

But Christ...

is faithful!

I am learning to put my burden back on Him for He cares.... again! And again! And again!

Doug shared with me that one his drive home on Friday he listened to Alistair Begg speaking about the unexpected cross that Simeon was called on to carry for our Savior as He was being led to Calvary. (Do Not Weep For Me, Part A) Luke 23:26-31. Simon had been making his way to Jerusalem to worship God at the Temple and he was chosen from the crowd to carry this cross for Christ. It was unexpected, it was hard, it was heavy. I would imagine that Christ's cross was covered with His blood, and I would imagine that Simon was cleaned-up and ready for visiting the Temple. So unexpected. So it is for some of us in this world. We are called on to carry a cross sometimes, like Simon did, unexpectedly.

What cross have you been struggling with? Even though it may have been unexpected, hard, messy and heavy you can determine to carry it in such a way that it will bring praise to Jesus Christ. Listen to the sermon by Alistair Begg, it will encourage your heart like it did mine.

"Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus."

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Musicale, Gathering, Ravi Zacharias

(Sorry I don't know the name of the worship team.) What a busy week and a half of meetings and messages. It was refreshing. Sixty miles of riding back and forth in snow storms, slick roads, and through car after car in the ditches was exhausting!

The Anchorage Native Musicale went by so fast! Alaska Freedom Band was scheduled to be the very last group on the very last night. They had problems. It became funny. First, our lead guitar (Steve) got messed up on his guitar solo; my brother (Don) sang his solo all wrong (a new song written by a good friend of ours); then Doug's solo voice just disappeared! My son Kris was playing drums that night and he said he was waiting for his drum sticks to go flying through the air next, but he held on to them! lol Through it all, I believe Jesus Christ was still glorified. I tell everyone that mentions the troubles they had that night that they always sound exceptional in my basement!

I was able to make it to the Anchorage Leadership Gathering for two days of the three and enjoyed the messages by Lance Kramer. We went home with a booklet with a test to see where our spiritual gift, gifts are. I am still filling it out.

Oh my goodness, how wonderful it was to be able to sit under the teaching of Ravi Zacharias, especially to see him in person! What a brilliant man of God! As he began to speak I actually wondered if I was going to even be able to understand him, I did and he was edifying. It is always a wonder to me how the Holy Spirit leads our teaching shepherds to build on each others teachings. It was good and so was the musical worship prelude.

I know I have been quiet on blogging lately. Personal relationship issues squelch the sharing urge and my heart is just not into writing - I only seem able to sit quietly, recover, and heal.

So it goes with us all from time to time, right? I do not wish to run away from anxieties but ask that God will strengthen me spiritually, draw me closer to Him each day, and make certain that there is no place for bitterness.

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.Romans 5:3 - 5