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Friday, July 31, 2009

In My Home Today


This morning I tackled all the paperwork that has piled up for the last few weeks. Whew! I made a large dent in it but have a long way to go. There are recipes to be filed (and tried), letters to be answered, coupons to be cut and magazines to be read.
I keep all of my magazines in a tote bag along with a pair of scissors and an envelope. Whenever I am waiting, especially at karate, I read through the magazines. I cut out articles I need to look over later, recipes, craft ideas, etc., and put them in the envelope. When I'm finished, I put the magazines in the recycle bin. It works for me!

I do have more errands to run today. I will be so glad to get caught up on all my running around! I need to stop at Sam's Club to buy some things for the homeless ministry and take them over to the church. I also need to visit the library to pick up a book I have on hold.
Tonight for dinner we are having bbq ribs, fresh corn on the cob and grilled veggies. I have peaches also but I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them yet. Cobbler? Plain with whipped cream?
I read the following this morning in Elizabeth George's "Life Management for Busy Women":
And if we look a little deeper into our hearts, we also find thoughts like these--"I'll never get it all done....especially if I take time out of my hectic schedule to read my Bible and pray!" But, dear one, the exact opposite is true for you and me as God's busy women, for it was our Lord Himself who said, "Without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).
I hope that will be an encouragement to you to put the Lord at the center of everything in your life and to start your day with Him and His Word!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Back Home

I've been back home since Sunday night and it seems I haven't stopped working since then! There is so much here to get caught up on since I was gone for so long. The last few days have been filled with laundry, grocery shopping and cleaning. I haven't even tackled all the paperwork yet. It's fine, though, because home is my favorite place to be.
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Our church is having VBS next week so this week we did a lot of prep work. Julianne and I are on the decorating committee and also craft helpers. Earlier in the week we decorated at the church--a jungle theme. Tuesday night we had a meeting for all the craft people and we learned how to prepare the crafts, etc. We did a lot ahead of time so it should run smoothly.
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I was finally able to visit a new farmers' market that started this year. It is on Thursdays from 10-3 but this was my first time being able to go. I picked up some peaches to make a cobbler, some green beans and Roma tomatoes. I also brought back tomatoes, zucchini and squash from my brother-in-law's garden in New Jersey. I have tomato sauce cooling on the counter right now!
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I mentioned earlier that home is my favorite place to be but I feel like I've lost my focus. I have been involved in some many things that my heart really hasn't been here at home as it should be. I realized a while back that Julianne will be finished school in 3 years! 3 years! That's not long!!! As I thought about that, my heart was longing for more time. I know this summer has been different because of my dad's sickness and death but even before that I was feeling overwhelmed. To make a long story short, I have been taking steps to be more home-focused. I declined an opportunity to teach a ladies' Bible study this fall and to host it. I have also decided not to pursue volunteering with CEF at this time.

I realized that although those things are good in themselves, they are not excellent (at least for me). I need to be home for my husband and children at this time in my life and theirs. There are plenty of older women in our church, whose children are out of the home, who can lead and/or host Bible studies or volunteer for the many positions available. The Lord has called me to be a keeper at home and I know I have lost that somewhere along the way. I look forward to serving my family with joy; to rediscovering all things "home".

I haven't abandoned the church entirely. I am still involved in the homeless ministry, on the cleaning team, and working the bookstore every other month. We are still going to open our home for our Fellowship Group. That is enough for now. I'm not adding anything new. I want the majority of my time and talents to be used where God has called me: home.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Prayer

I got home from New Jersey on Monday so I could pick Michael up from the airport. He had a wonderful time in Paraguay but came back with a terrible cold.

This morning we are leaving to go back to NJ for my dad's funeral. But......last night my car died (again) so we are going to have to rent a car. My car is our only car because Michael's van belongs to the AP. Anway, please pray that all the details are worked out for us to leave this morning at the decent hour. Also if you think us tomorrow, please pray for an overabundance of God's grace! The visitation is 6-7 and the memorial service is at 7. The burial will be on Saturday morning at 10:30.

Thank you!


Monday, July 13, 2009

My Dad: 1920-2009

My dad passed away peacefully this morning. He will be missed by everyone who knew him. He was a good daddy!!









Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Independence Day


This is the first year in many that we didn't see any fireworks. We usually went to the Richmond Braves game and there was fireworks afterward. Now that the team has left the city, we didn't really have a place to go. Instead, friends invited us over for dinner and we had a nice time of fellowship.
I am hearing fireworks, though, because the neighbors across the street are setting them off. I hope they won't last too much longer because I'm ready for bed!
I hope you all had a wonderful Independence Day celebrating the freedoms we have in this great country. I hope also that you are free from the penalty of your sins through Jesus Christ our Lord! "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:36)

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Trust


Julianne needed to be in several unfamiliar places today so I borrowed Michael's GPS. Using a GPS requires a lot of trust especially when I'm going somewhere I've never been before. I am trusting this machine to bring me to my destination. I like using it except for one thing; I can't see where I'm going. When I use a map or Google directions, I can see my travel route from beginning to end. I know I can keep hitting the forward button on the GPS to see ahead but it's not the same thing as seeing the whole picture. I have to put my trust into that little machine and believe it will get me where I need to be!!

I was thinking the Christian life is a lot like using a GPS. God is in charge and He is bringing me along to my destination--my final destination! I need to trust Him because I can't see where I'm going. I can't see the big picture. Thankfully, the Lord is trustworthy and His guidance is always correct.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your way acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Coram Deo

The phrase, Coram Deo, literally refers to something that takes place in the presence of, or before the face of, God. To live Coram Deo is to live one's entire life in the presence of God, under the authority of God, to the glory of God.

To live in the presence of God is to understand that whatever we are doing and wherever we are doing it, we are acting under the gaze of God. God is omnipresent. There is no place so remote that we can escape His penetrating gaze.

To be aware of the presence of God is also to be acutely aware of His sovereignty. The uniform experience of the saints is to recognize that if God is God, He is indeed sovereign.
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Living under divine sovereignty involves more than a reluctant submission to sheer sovereignty, motivated out of a fear of punishment. In involves recognizing that there is no higher goal than offering honor to God. Our lives are to be living sacrifices, oblations offered in a spirit of adoration and gratitude.
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The Christian who compartmentalizes his or her life into two sections of the religious and the nonreligious has failed to grasp the big idea. The big idea is that all of life is religious or none of life is religious. To divide life between the religious and the nonreligious is itself a sacrilege.

This means that if a person fulfills her or her vocation as a steelmaker, attorney, or homemaker Coram Deo, then that person is acting every bit as religiously as a soul-winning evangelist who fulfills his vocation.
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Integrity is found where men and women live their lives in a pattern of consistency. It is a pattern that functions the same basic way in church and out of church. It is a life that is open before God. It is a life in which all that is done is done as unto the Lord. It is a life lived by principle, no expediency; by humility before God, not defiance. It is a life lived under the tutelage of a conscience that is held captive by the Word of God.

Coram Deo.....before the face of God. That's the big idea. Next to this idea our other goals and ambitions become mere trifles.

::R. C. Sproul, In The Presence of God