Monday, May 30, 2005

Not Goodbye... Until We Meet Again

We said goodbye to some close friends of ours from the seminary this morning. As we looked at him for what could be the last time in this life-- or at least a long time before we see him again-- my mind flashed back to when we first met him, evenings spent at our home, playing games with friends, hearing his crazy stories, seeing him around school. You always knew that he was a straight shooter and would tell you what he thought. You always knew that no matter how differently he might look at the world that you had a friend always ready to help you when you called. It was so sad to say goodbye-- life seems so full of separation. I am thankful that as he and his wife leave, they go in the arms of Jesus to minister to the world. I know that we will meet again, even if not until the day the trump sounds. Until then, we will miss them very much and pray that the Lord blesses them and uses them mightily.

Saturday, May 28, 2005


Though afflicted, tempest-toss-d,
Comfortless a while thou art,
Do not think thou canst be lost,
Thou are graven on my heart:
All thy wastes I will repair,
Thou shalt be rebuilt anew;
And in thee it shall appear
What a God of love can do.

-- John Newton, To the Afflicted, Tossed with Tempests, and Not Comforted

The whole hymn is beautiful. To see the full text click the link below.

Friday, May 27, 2005


Something has left my life,
And I don't know where it went to hide.
Somebody caused me strife
And it's not what I was seeking.

Didn't you see me?
Didn't you hear me?
Didn't you see me standing there?
Why did you turn out the lights?
Did you know that I was sleeping?

Say a prayer for me,
Help me to feel the strength I did.
My identity, has it been taken?
Is my heart breakin'?

Indeed all of my plans
Fell through my hands.
They fell through my hands.
Indeed all of my dreams
It suddenly seems,
It suddenly seems.....




The Cranberries, Empty, No Need to Argue

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Je m'appelle Idiot

Ok, if you can't read that don't feel bad because neither can I! Oh my goodness, I was such a dunce at French class. As soon as we got there we starting "reading" French words. None of us knew what they meant, but the prof would read them first and we would repeat them. Well, everyone else in our class of six did much better than I did, so I win the dunce cap. My mouth doesn't want to make those noises! My cheeks actually hurt when the class was over. It is from 6-10 every Tuesday for the next six weeks. I am hoping that I'll be ok with that, because I'm also taking Dr. Beisner's Mon. and Thurs. night class and I just can't do a lot of stuff these days. It is really frustrating too, let me tell ya!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Be anxious for nothing

Sometimes God speaks softly in your life. Sometimes He speaks loudly. Anytime that trials come, He is getting your attention. This past week or two God has been really driving a point home for me. The life of a Christian is a life of joy, contentment, and praise.

I met with a friend for lunch and we were discussing our prayer requests. She asked me what she could pray for me about and I answered with whatever the current emotional/medical drama du jour was. "So, you need prayer for joy, huh?" she asked. Yeah. Joy. That was what I was thinking. No, it wasn't. Joy was even on my radar screen as something I was lacking. But the Lord gave her discernment, and through her words, started me thinking a bit about Christian joy. But being human, those reflections didn't last for too long.

This past Friday I was at a graduation party for one of our friends who was finishing up Knox. The house was very crowded and I seemed to be in the way wherever I stood, so I headed for the backyard hoping to find a resting place. I opened the back door to find myself alone with an elderly man who was obviously a relative of the grad. This is going to be awkward, I thought. I sat down and the man started talking right away. He asked if I knew the grad through Knox. I said I did, and he immediately said " I hope you aren't going to be a preacher!" I laughed and shook my head no. Right away the conversation shifted from the mundane to the spiritual. He didn't even introduce himself. He just started talking about the goodness of God, and how there is always a reason to praise Him. "Look at the flowers, look at the trees, there is always something to be thankful for. Stop focusing on yourself and look at God. Then your problems will seem small. God is in control of all of the events of the universe." I didn't know anything about this man, and he didn't know anything about me, but he was speaking words of truth and they fell into my heart like precious balm. How pleasant it was to sit in that garden and feel the breeze and listen to this wizened sage share stories of the goodness and power of God. I thought it was so sad that conversations like this should be so rare when I have so many Christian brothers and sisters in my aquaintance. So often we are content to talk of the mundane, drab world we live in, instead of the beautiful hope that we share. I know that I do not feel bold enough to just speak the truth of God. I am always worried of offending someone-- what if they don't share my interpretation of Scripture? How foolish of me. It is so encouraging to speak of the goodness of God! I was convicted by the "chance" words of this man, and God was speaking to me through him.

Then I go to church on Sunday and the guest preacher preaches a sermon on suffering from Romans 8. Here's a sampling: "For God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God... if God is for us, who is against us?.... But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us... For I am convinced that.... no created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ our Lord." Slow me, I'm beginning to see a theme developing. Are ya tryin' to tell me something, God?

Then my husband preaches on Psalm 113 in the evening service (It is an incredible blessing and privilege to hear my own dear one in the pulpit expositing the Word of God profoundly and truly. To be yoked to a man one loves the Word and loves God and seeks to honor him is a blessing. I always thought that it would be strange and distracting to have someone you know preaching, but I really have not found it to be so. He doesn't preach them to me beforehand, so although I usually know what text he is working through, it is a fresh sermon for me. It is a very sweet thing to be led and encouraged along the path of your Christian faith by one so close to your heart. Anyway, enough of that bunny trail.)

Pslam 113 is all about giving God continual praise everywhere because of who He is and what He has done. No matter what my circumstances, I can always praise God honestly for His character and attributes and for the work that He has done in creation, in redemption, in my own life, and what He has promised to do in the life to come. I wholeheartedly reject the idea that when tragedy strikes, the Christian is to praise God at that moment for that pain. Instead, I believe that the Christian's praise in those times is to be God-focused and not circumstance-focused. He is good all the time, our circumstances are not, though He does use them for our ultimate good.

At any rate, I say with David:

Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord.
Blessed be the name of the Lord
From this time forth and forever.
From the rising of the sun to its setting
The name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is high above the nations
His glory is above the heavens.

Who is like the Lord our God
Who is enthroned on high
Who humbles Himself to behold
The things that are in heaven and in the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust
And lifts the needy from the ash heap
To make them sit with princes
With the princes of His people.
He makes the barren woman abide in the house
As a joyful mother of children.
Praise the Lord!

May the Lord grant that I learn more about contentment, joy, and praise through this illness and barrenness then I learn about longing, sorrow, and petition. He is good, the very definition of good, and is alone worthy of praise. Praise the Lord!

Off to French Class...

Brian and I are taking begiining French to start his preparations for docatoral work. He has to learn French and Latin by next year. So here we go!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Power of the Spoken Word

The tongue really is a fire.

I've been reflecting on that lately because a person that I deal with professionally quite a bit has been rather short tempered lately. I'm sure that she has no idea how much her tone and words have sunk into my soul and affected my outlook on life. I know that I tend to be a bit of a brooder, but this experience has really made me wonder how words that I toss out casually to my acquaintances effect them. The Word does say that we will be judged for every idle word, and likens the man who says "I was only joking" to one throwing flaming arrows. I know that I will quickly forget this lesson, because that seems to be my MO, but I really I hope that I learn to think a little before I talk. I am so quick to speak-- I even interrupt others to throw out my pearls of "wisdom". I pray the Lord would make me a wiser, quieter woman.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

What to do?

We have three options before us regarding children and my health:

1. Standard adoption with Adoption4Kids.

Virtually guaranteed success for our money.
No medical poking or prodding.
No hairy ethical decisions.
The comfort of working with professionals who are believers.


It won't help my health.

2. Embryo Donation through Snowflakes

An opportunity to rescue unwanted souls from frozen limbo.
An awesome testimony of redemption and the value of a person, no matter their size.
Possible relief from the pain and nausea of the scar tissue.
The support of working with believers, at least on the non-medical end.

We will get 6 embryos, but the chances that even one will survive are about 30%.
It requires a lot of expensive medical treatments.
We can't be working with an adoption agency at the same time.

3. Embryo Donation through our clinic, SFIRM

Same as the first three in option 2, less some $3,000 expense.
No adoption paperwork is required.
We don't have to stop the adoption process with Adoption4Kids.

Same as the first two in option 2, plus:
Working solely with people who believe these children aren't children, but cells.
Fewer embryos are available than with Snowflakes. The doctor is checking to see what she has available now.

So there you have it. A quandry in a nutshell. Keep us in prayer and we'll keep you posted. May this struggle be a testimony to the awesome power, majesty, and love of God.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Mother's Day Thoughts

Sunday Morning Catechism Question:

Q. 79. Which is the tenth commandment?A. The tenth commandment is, Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.

Q. 80. What is required in the tenth commandment?A. The tenth commandment requireth full contentment with our own condition, with a right and charitable frame of spirit toward our neighbor, and all that is his.

Q. 81. What is forbidden in the tenth commandment?A. The tenth commandment forbiddeth all discontentment with our own estate, envying or grieving at the good of our neighbor, and all inordinate motions and affections to anything that is his.

God is pretty amazing. At the beginning of Sunday School every week, we read the shorter catechism.We've been doing this for about a year and this was the question that just "happened" to fall on Mother's Day.

I confess that I am guilty of this discontent and envy, Lord. Help me to be completely satisfied in You forever. Thank you for gently reminding me of My sin and steering my away from the paths of bitterness. Help me to think on you You more than myself and to seek to please you. How wonderfully you have blessed me; how foolish it is to meditate on that which you have not granted in your wisdom. Father please help me to serve You truly all the days of my life.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Black and Blue and Sad All Over

Some days are like that, you know. Some days you are fed up and disgusted with life. I'm just being honest. So I want to know what scripture has to say to someone like me. Someone who is tired of it all. (Lest you be alarmed, nothing horrible has happened to me this week. I've just had two days of good, stiff pain and we're still in limbo-land as far as what path to take for the future.)

Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Mt. 11:28-30

That is comforting. Sometimes I wonder if God is angry at me for failing so much. But that is the beauty of this passage. Jesus has carried that burden for me. That's why following Him is easy, even when it is hard. Sometimes my heart is cold and that doesn't quite sink in. But no matter what, there is someone who loves me and has compassion for me. And that Someone is the Creator of the Universe.

O, Lord, rebuke me not in Your wrath, and chasten me not in Your burning anger. For your arrows have sunk deep into me, and Your hand has pressed down on me... For my iniquities are gone over my head, as a heavy burden they weigh too much for me.... Do not forsake me, O Lord, O my God, do not be far from me. Selections from Psalm 38

How I long to end this wearisome toil, and rest in heaven with Him. The struggle with sin is so difficult. I have to remember that ultimately that battle has been won. I'm just fighting a few skirmishes-- it's like the Civil War. They had battles for two weeks after Lee's surrender because the word hadn't gotten out yet. I know what the end result is. I just have to patient and rest in Him, and not try to contol the universe.