Sunday, November 13, 2011

Enough....No more.

Hey all. I know, seriously, I know. It was like August. I get it. Thing is, I know you do to. Remember a few months back I posted about needing to get moving. Well I did. I will check in but don't know when. Thanks for being so faithful. Love you. MWA!

Friday, August 5, 2011

See ya' soon!

Can you tell, I figured out how to use my scanner? LOVE IT!

Seven weeks after this picture was taken, Mom went home to Glory. Most years I am just fine when the anniversary of her home going arrives on August 5th. This year I have been a boo-hooey kind of girl. One year I forgot what day it was, and I had been a crank and a half with the whole family.  While doing a load of laundry I remembered that I forgot and cried my eyes out...for forgetting.

No matter the number of years you never get over losing your mom. I've been a bit cranky the last couple of days around here. I promised John that if he goes first, I will be a banshee on his anniversary too. I think it has just been a year of saying goodbye to too many friends that weren't and lots of change. Most of it very, very good change. Even the goodbyes were HUGE blessings.

In the middle of the boo-hoo's this week, there has been a constant smile that has crept up in my heart. He did restore the joy of my salvation...and that is a blessing beyond compare. See ya' some day soon Ma. Mwa!

PS And no, I never got to wear the cap again, except for show and tell!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

So long July...

I think it was in June that I announced there would be a new post every M,T,W....LOL! They are all home! I love it, but they are still all here all the time! People keep telling me my hair looks great and we all know what that means, so at least my health efforts are working...

Football starts on Monday, Liz starts her new job on Wednesday, Swim starts in a week and I am helping with the Potter's House in a more hands on way...so when do I blog? Again, LOL!

I woke up yesterday at 6:45, AHHHHH how I love to sleep in! But it was tooooooo late. John was getting ready for work, and only a few minutes after he left, Jack joined me on the balcony...the still not finished one, but at least I can sit and chat with the Lord and drink coffee on, balcony.

So I hope you all had a blessed July...lets shoot for August? And again, LOL! Mwa!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

...and here we are....

Today is July 7th and that means that tomorrow is July 8th. Like how I know that? Yeah, I am smart. These are tender days for me. A very long time ago, I drove over to St. John's hospital where my mom sat on her death bed. I brought the anointing oil with me...not so I could pray over her, but so she could pray over me, anoint my head with oil, and give me her blessing. I did it both days before I headed into NYC to sit for my nursing boards on the pier. I will never forget the heat on those two days. But I will never forget the peace I had either. Those two days would be the end of my mom's involvement in my nursing career. She would be in Glory by the time I got my results that October, announcing that I had passed. Thanks Mom.

Only a couple of years later, I would be in another hospital, this time on July 7th and 8th...to meet Elizabeth Anne, my oldest daughter. She was very late and very big. Her birthday is tomorrow...and she might just see sweet sixteen if teenzilla makes it.

She has done nothing short of drive me crazy over this party of hers. Being an Irish girl, I don't get the fuss. We just didn't do this at 16. Annie got a stereo, I got to see Duran-Duran in concert. Party? Nope. Sigh...

So I went on strike yesterday in prepping for the party. But something amazing happened: her sisters. One made 108 cupcakes, another put together all of the favors...I went to bed. I smiled as I fell asleep and thanked God for her sisters who loved on her. They blessed her and I am so glad.

Girls and their moms are tough some days. I have no idea where her stubborn streak comes from. Ahem. There is a lot of peer pressure on a kid these days. I've tried to teach her that the Jone's moved to a tenement because they lost the house, the cars and the yacht. But I am not so sure she understood. She will get it, eventually. I hope.

At some point today I will anoint her head with oil and pray with her. It's what a mom does. I will also pray that this very good kid I have, grows in holiness because in the end it is all that matters.

Happy Birthday Liz. As your grandmother would have said, "I love you...in spite of yourself."

Monday, July 4, 2011

"Our Founding Fathers were men of religious conviction. Thomas Jefferson was a Christian Deist and believed that God created the universe, but as a clockmaker - once set in motion, it would run itself on the rational laws of nature. He believed the highest moral code for man existed in the Ten Commandments of God and the Beatitudes of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson believed that man received natural rights from God our Creator. "All men are created equal with certain unalienable rights, among them Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"


We the people. How amazing that this American experiment is still going on. There are those who believe we are in a season of scrubbing the constitution...I don't know. There are days, as an American, I feel completely hopeless over where we are. But I think it was in a correspondence between Adams and Jefferson where one said to the other that this experiment would fail. The other responded that it most surely would...but it will be okay. The people will know what to do.

...and the truth is, we do know what to do. We stand on the truth that we are free...free in Christ if we are believers and no government can take that away from us. As Americans we stand on the truth written by our founders. Those truths were based on the Word. No one can take that away from us. We are the first nation in the history of man that has "we the people" in charge of our own government. But with that charge, comes a mighty cost. It is dependant on self self control and governing. We are expected to be in control of not just our own moral character but as such, able to govern the elected officials as well.

Today we celebrate our independence from tyranny. By the power of prayer and our votes, with wisdom and knowledge we stand on the wall with a trowel and the sword of Truth.

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's Friday...

My girls are doing a Beth Moore bible study this summer. How awesome for them. When we were on our way home one of them was disparaging her body and the way she looks.
Me, "Being obsessed with what is wrong with your body is just as much vanity as being overtly proud of it."
Girls, "Beth Moore said the same thing in the study tonight!"

Love it. How blessed I am to have a God who would communicate with me and share His heart for my girls. The three of us sat and talked until almost midnight...and we prayed. I got to sit with my sisters-in-Christ/daughters at the very feet of the Creator of the universe.

Anyone need more proof that He is completely wild about me? Nope. Me neither.

Have a blessed weekend all.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Picking on my man...

"Hon, the battery is dead in the car again." She says.
"Seriously? How did that happen?" He asks, completely annoyed and ready to deal with a child.
"Um, you left the lights on when we got home from the movie last night." She explains.
"Oh." He says, not having anyone to blame.
"I attached the portable battery thing you have but it won't turn over." She informs.
"What portable battery? I don't have one of those." He informs back.
"Yeah, you do. It has the cables. You hook it up to charge the battery?" She exasperates.
"I don't know what you are talking about." He exasperates back.
"Hon, you use it every time we have a dead battery. You plug it in, and attach the cables to the car...positive and negatives..." She explains with attitude.
"Oh, you mean the battery charger?" He inquires.
"Yeah, hon. The battery charger." She sighs.
"Oh, good." He approvingly says.
"It's not working." She informs.
"Oh, well it is going to take a few  hours." He informs back....

Okay, why do men not know what we are talking about when we very clearly explain what it is what we are talking about. Seriously, how many battery charging, portable, thingy-ma-bobs to we need in order to get a grasp on this one? I know, I didn't use the correct term. I understand that there could be other battery charging type of equipment in the house, however....

It's like hanging a picture on the wall.

HE:
First he goes to the garge and gets the ladder. Places it by the wall for picture hanging. He returns to th e the workbench in the garage, procures the proper nail for the said job. He finds the tool box, opens said tool box, grabs hammer and returns to wall that needs the nail. Ooops, forgot the measuring do-hicky that has a proper name. After measuring the proper amount of space between floor and ceiling and wall to wall, he marks the spot for the nail. He returns to the basement for the stud finder (I found one and married him! Bwa-ha-ha-ha!) to assure proper placement of that nail. When a stud cannot be found to nail into, he returns to the work bench for one of those bracket thingy-ma-bobs that goes inside the dry wall to keep the dry wall from tearing and the nail from falling out. Picture is placed. Tools are not put away for several months.

SHE:
Procures a vanity nail from the junk draw. Grabs a chair. Removes high heal, hammers nail into wall. Hangs picture. Done.

I don't always know the right tool name and I often have to look things up before I try them....but what is the worst that can happen? Yeah, I know it can go pretty bad, but things usually work out for the best, for the most part anyway. And tooth paste can be used as spackle in a pinch. Heck, I just used this duster thingy with a bendable medal section to clean the gutters out. It worked, no harm no fail.

Some times, our Heavenly Father requires our exacting attention. Sometimes, He just wants us to come. Being a believer is not that complicated. Access to the Word is about all that we need and even that does not have to come in the form of a book. How many believers over the centuries only had the word handed to them by word of mouth. One generation to the next. Faith comes from hearing.

I may be the half of the couple above with the high heal, but I adore the exacting detail put into his projects...and faith. We are very good balance. If we did the ying and yang thing, I would so rock his ying!

Monday, June 27, 2011

MONDAY!!!!!!!!

Maybe I will get this done later? I've gotten six drafts started and nothing that has grabbed me. I will check in later...but Monday may wind up as a Tuesday post! Mwa to all!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hmmmm.....

What can I say about the first day of summer vacation? Probably much. I have too many words to use on my family every day and that is why God created blogs.

I just spoke with another friend who's going through the heart ache of facing the end with a parent. It is so awful. I've often cried when I hear from friends going through it. Not because of any other reason except that I know the pain my friends are in.

It just brings a heart to tenderness when you see that someone is walking on the road you've already been on. My brother and I were so young when we lost mom. Mark was only 28 and I was only 25. Yes, we were grown ups and I would never minimize someone who is orphaned as a child. That is a horror I don't know. Thanking God right now for that.

But what I've discovered in my "old age" is that we are never old enough to be with out our parents. There is a kinship with others who are traveling the same road. Sigh. I am just tender on this subject I guess.

How much more I need my Heavenly Father now that my natural parents are gone. How important it is to cultivate that relationship. Think about it: if we have regrets when we bury our mom or dad once tehy are gon, there is nothing we can do to change the past...I have never met anyone who does not have some regret over the relationship they have/had with thier parents, even if they are not sensible regrets, the enemy will do everything he can to impose guilt into our season of grief. Always remember, he hates you and wants to steal, kill and destroy you

But our Heavenly Father's mercies are new each morning! That means that it is never to late to start again with Him. There is never a moment, as long as we draw breath, when we can't turn to our Abba. And when we do that, while the enemy may try to remind us of our past, we have the advantage of reminding that enemy of his future. God's Word tells us that there is now, no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. There is nothing the enemy of our soul can do to separate us from Him. Read that very important word once again: NOTHING.

I won't pretend to have all the answers and if you read this blog, you already know that. But I know the One who does. We have access to the heart of our Father. And like a very good Daddy, He adores you. He is waiting to comfort you, smooth your hair and just love you. Start your summer off on that good and perfect will. Let me tell you, it may be the only thing I have ever done right and I have banked my eternity on it. I think I will rest on that thought today, as I pray for my friends in this season.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Barth and Bonhoeffer....

About three years ago, I got a book for some light summer reading called "The History of the Jewish People." Ahem. What made me think that I would get through that in the summer with the entire clan around? It went something like this:

Get self settled in lounge chair, open book, Start to read the first sentence, "In the beginning..."
Child number four, "Mom?"
Hold finger in place on page.
Me, "Yes?"
Child number four, "What's for dinner."
Me, "Food."
Child number four, "Okay."

I would take a sip of coffee, re-open book. Where did I leave off? Oh, yes. Right here:
"...when..."

Child number three, "Mom?"
Hold finger in place on page.
Me, "Yes?"
Child number three, "Watcha' doin'?"
Me, "Pretending to read. Why?"
Child number three, "Just wonderin'. So, okay. Have fun with that.By the way, what's for dinner?
Me, "Ask child number four."

Open book. "the Jewish people..."

Child number one, "Mom?"
Close book, lose place.
"Yes?"
"Can I have a ride to the mall? And what's for dinner?"

Put book away. Try again when no one is around...maybe in September 2028. From what I gleaned from that tome, the Jewish people have been around for a very long time.

So what made me think reading a biography about a "simple" guy like Bonhoeffer would go smoothly. Bonhoeffer studied the works of Karl Barth and wrote his doctrinal dissertation at the age of 21...Seriously, have you ever tried to study Barthian theology with a Maggie running around, much less a Mona or a Maghoo? Not an easy task to say the least. Given the fact that I have lost my reading glasses about ten months ago, reading is way harder now days. It takes a minute for my eyes to adjust back to the page and even longer for me to find the correct arm length to attempt reading at. I suppose I could go get new glasses but that is on my list of things to do this summer, and it is only the first day of summer here. I got me some time on that one.

Why the Barthian theological interest? I think it satisfies the Pharisee in me. I like knowing stuff. I also think it is perfect for the times we live in. Of course you will have to google Karl Barth to figure some of this out yourself. I am just starting to get a grasp on some of this my own self.

But from what I have grasped thus far, this study has shown me how nothing I am with out Him. His hand on me, takes me from nothing to the status of Princess. And not one who gets to sit around on my laurels. His royal protocol is not full of man made honor. He expects each praise to mean something. I cannot force His holy Hand to act. I can only trust His will. Oh, I get to tell Him anything I want...and I think that pleases my King. But I cannot get Him to behave in the way I would like.

Somewhere between the last sentence I have read in the Bonhoeffer biography and His holy word, I am finding my heart to serve a Holy God who has a plan and the amazing thing is that His heart is to actually share it with the likes of me.

Happy Wednesday all!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Seriously?

"You hair is different!"
"Did you cut your hair?"
"Did you do something different to your hair?"

Yeah, I gave it a neck instead of a chin and shoulders and a una-chest.  If I had known that no one would notice that I have dropped over 25 pounds, I would have had the baconator, a hot fudge sunday and gotten a perm.

Of course that is not why I decided to get this extra weight off. I did it because I knew my clothes had shrunk in the closet and I wanted to catch up with them. It is working too, because they stretched a great deal and I now find myself wearing them again.

It is the last Monday before the very end of school. Hurray, we did it again! I love this time of year, before the summer doldrums set in and I can look to a day with all my chicks in the nest. Now, to get them to work around the castle!

So where is House Me From the Wind in the grand scheme of things? Nice of you to ask. Not sure. Let's ask another hard question: What is House? Ahhhh. Not so sure about that either. I have discovered that is the question God has on my heart. I love that when Jesus was asked a question by the Pharisees, He answered with a question back. So when I sought Him about what this ministry is, what direction it is, He simply posed it back to me.

Is this my "what's it all about Alfie" moment? No, not really. I am just not so sure you go ahead in a ministry that is either undefined or ill defined. Is this a "me" ministry or this a "He" ministry? Who is it for? Why? Do they want it?

Both the book and the blog started as a call to serve the care giver generation. I am confident of that. The blog and the ministry warped into what we have now....and while I love my blog, what is the definition of the blog? Why is it important? Is it? Is it "kissed by God" or is mearly me trying to get Him to move?

Not looking for affirmation here. As a matter of fact, comment moderation is off. These are the things I am before God on right now. I do know that He has called me to and placed me on "The Highway of Holiness" as  Isaiah writes about. Of that I have no doubt. No one can steal my steps, or redirect my path. I am firmly on that Highway.

So for now I take steps on this Highway to Holiness and attempt to live out John 3:30: "He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less"

Friday, June 17, 2011

Dear Ed....

If I were to write a letter to Dad, it might just say this....


Dear Ed,
I know, I should always call you Daddy. Or Poppy. But so often in the strange relationship we had, you were just simply Ed. God help my kids if they ever start to call me "Mair" 'cause I am not going to play. I guess calling you Ed was on the mild side of things I may or may not have called you over the years. Lets fact it, you had been called so much worse.

My favorite and only big brother, Mark and I have talked about how hard it is to go down town now, with out the possibility of running into you. How strange that must sound. In a city as big as Manhattan, it seemed that whenever we went, we always ran into you. In Time Square or Grand Central, there you would be, in what was simply your town. Because of you, we were never tourists in the city that never sleeps. We never owned a single thing that said, "I heart NY" in our lives. For the record, I still don't!

Our kids think we (Mark and I) are strange for not wearing T-shirts that say things...."Why be free advertising for a company, on top of paying for the shirt!" as you would say. Yup, still don't own a single thing that says GAP...although your grands have abandoned the faith on that one!

Speaking of faith, I heard you. Did you know? In the years that Mom was sick, I use to hear you in the living room, on your couch, mumbling your prayers. I heard you ask "Our Lord" to bless her and me and Mark. I heard you share your simple faith with a not so simple God.

You were a tough man to love in many ways...and I adored you. I know you believed that Mommy was the good one and you were the bad one. But I preferred you, maybe because of the way our family worked. I know we fought like crazy with each other. I should have honored you better when I was young....but I tried real hard to make up for it when I became a mom.

John is so very different from you...My dad the thief and my husband the cop. Funny right? He adored you too. I love that he made you not tell stories unless the statute of limitations had run out on what ever you had done, first. The one thing you and John had in common is the love you give. I never doubted that I was the apple of your eye...and I have that same security in John as well. Not a bad trait to find in the man I love. Thanks for showing me that.

As for your where abouts these days? It is just like you to leave us wondering where you are nights. I know where I want to see you some day. I know I want with all my heart to arrive in Paradise and to see you. And you know, if I see you first, I am going to have to double check just where I landed. Don't be offended, just being practical here.

I miss bantering with you. I miss knowing I should run after I made a comment that was below the belt with you. How we use to laugh together. The kids miss you like crazy. Maggie does not remember you, but she is still Poppy shopping. She always finds the oldest gentleman at the scene and has them wrapped around her finger in a matter of moments. Being only seven it is still awful cute....but there will come a point when, well, not so much! I am on it.

For Father's Day, I wanted to bless your memory. I still miss you and I so miss your credit card....I had such a good relationship with that card. Okay, Dave Ramsey would not agree, but...never mind. I miss you more. That was just the kind of dig that would have gotten me running! Your showed me mercy when I deserved none and grace when I deserved it less. You are the reason I trust this Heavenly Father so deeply and why I have never doubted His love for me. Thanks Daddy. Hope I see you soon. I desperately hope, I get to see you soon. And above all, I trust in our God of mercy and grace and justice.

Love,

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I am well aware....

...that it is now 8:47 pm and I said I would post on Wednesday...and technically it is still Wednesday. Did you know that "Wednesday" is one of those words I always have to spell check. For the life of me, I can never remember how to spell it. Silly but true.

When the alarm went off this morning at O'Dark-O'Clock, I rolled over and went back to sleep. I am desperate for the school year to be over. By the time I got up, the coffee pot had already turned itself off and I was left with warmish java to try and jump start myself into mommy mode. I hate waking up late and having to be ON. I want to drip awake like my coffee maker until I am ready to serve my family some hot mama!               

And of course, around noon I thought to myself, "Self, go write your blog..." But Self was trying to tame a holly push away from the new front steps so I could stain the wood and of course the husband arrived home soon after. It was our last chance to have a date, alone in the day time for the summer.
One child or another will be home from this point on and I have no doubt our carpenter will be back tomorrow, for sure. So this was it. I love when we can just sit by the pool and be John & Maryellen  for a few hours, in our own yard, dreaming about our lives and enjoying where God has brought us this far. Just being lazy in a hammock that falls apart way to easy and makes you spill your ice tea...and brings tears to your eyes with laughter.

And soon enough children arrived....and needed to be fed...or picked up...or dropped off...or fed....or...or....or....or....just listened to...or just loved on...or...or...or...

Now it is almost 9:00pm and there are only three more loads of laundry to do, a few bills to pay, and dishes to dry. Lord where did the day go?

I got to actually sit on those pretty new front steps this morning for just enough time to read Isaiah 40. I could not wait to share it with you...and than the rest of the day showed up. Verse 11 tugged at my heart more intently today and makes it all fall into place: "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young."

"He gently leads those that have young." Come on, does that not just about make a mommy weep. The idea that He gathers these little lambs He has lent to me, alone makes me want to praise Him all the more...Glory.

 He knew the day that waited for me, even as I turned off that alarm clock. How much more tender His Word is to an over worked mama...way more so than my coffee.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I know, I know...

In theory, I know that I can't paint or stain in the rain. But I want to. The balcony is being done...well it is being done when it is not raining. But since parts of it are being painted and other parts are being stained, I want to get the work done before the carpenter comes back...but you have to let the wood dry out for "about three days" from what I am told. Sigh.
That of course means that whenever the carpenter comes back, he will go about sawing and nailing together the balcony, unpainted or stained. The who thing will look lovely, except of course now I will have to carefully paint and tape and stain. Grrrrrrrrr. It would have all been so much easier if I could have done my part first.

Kind of like real life huh? How? Seriously? Okay, come on.

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matt. 7:24-27)

Notice Jesus didn't say that there would always be sunny weather. He very clearly tells us that the storms come, the wind will blow and the waters will rise. In the house built on the firm Rock or sand. But only the one built on the Rock stands...the other is washed away.

Now here is the question for the ages: Can you come back? Lets say you built your McLife on sand, and you turn to the only real Builder and beg for mercy in rebuilding...will He tell you that you are on your own to clean up?  Have you met my Builder? Seriously? Is He a just God? Of course! But He is equally full of mercy towards His kids.
So if you have built an area of your life on sand, even while your faith is in that Rock, don't ya' think He will Daddy you through it? If you were defiant in one area and are reaping the pain of it, are you assuming you are on your own to rebuild? Seriously? Maybe if you tell Him what you have done, maybe if you confess, maybe if you admit that you can't fix the McDisastor that has been washed out to sea...maybe you will get to see the hand of the Master Builder at work.

The deck will get painted and stained...but now with all this extra work. If I had prepared a little bit more in advance, the whole thing would be done when the carpenter is done, whenever that may be. It may require work that could have been avoided, but I know in the end there will be a masterful job completed.



PS and the balcony will not be orange with purple poka-dots!

Friday, June 10, 2011

TGIF!

Ack! It's Friday...and I said I would have a post...and I forgot to write one until this morning...on Friday...okay, let us see what we can come up with....

The end of the school year push is on, as teens have parties and banquets and parties. Little kids have field days and picnics and field trips as well. Husband has a kick butt class that only lasts for four weeks. I have a carpenter working on the balcony who can't work because of heat index here in NY this week. Don't blame him at all! I love what I see so far and he will finish when he finishes!

So life in Schlusserdome is lived at the usual break neck speed for sure. But what of my time with the Lord? Well, funny you should ask. This past Sunday our pastor had a point about making a habit. There was more to it than I can remember but the bottom line to it was, Sow a habit, reap a destiny. I suppose that is the point the Lord was trying to get across to me.

I got me some habits for sure. Some of them are no good and I still love them. I can finally come to the Lord and admit that. I think that is because of the depth He has brought me to in the last few years and certainly in the last few months. No point in pretending on anything, He already knows.

These past six months have been busier to my life than I have ever been. Not so much with the run but with the combination of loss and needing to figure somethings out before Him. But that busy season didn't leave a lot of time for just being still before Him. It was more a time of consolation before Him.

Something amazing happened this past week to push my heart towards the habit of prayer time. Not just on the run or intercessory time but real time with Him. "Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." Psalm 51:12

HE DID! As I walked around and prayed that psalm, stuck in my head were the words "Restore to me the joy of my salvation...." and He did just that! He did! He did! He did!

I can't explain it better. I am not talking about being happy, I am talking about being free in Him. The King James translation of Psalm 51 explains the "willing spirit" as a "free spirit" and I think that is exactly where I am. Perfect? Not by a long shot! But JOY, the joy of my salvation has been restored. That may just be something to write home about...and I guess I just did. Be blessed all. Happy Friday!


PS My friend Trish just posted the quote our pastor used on Sunday correctly. Same point but the whole thing! Thanks Trish!
"Sow an act...reap a habit; Sow a habit...reap a character; Sow a character...reap a destiny." ---George Dana Boardman :-)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"It looks yellow to me!"

I know this cop, actually, he is a retired cop...he is also my room mate. Anyway, once upon a time, he was a newbie on the police force in the city he worked for. At the end of a day tour, he came in to headquarters and was chatting with a not so newbie (in other words the other guy's class graduated a year before him. Kinda like a freshman to a sophomore, but we don't tell that to them) that he gave a ticket to someone for blowing past a school bus.
The not so newbie asked the newbie what color the bus was.
"Um, yellow. Duh." Said the pretty sure of himself newbie.
"Look it up. And if you sit in front of judge so and so, make sure you answer the question correctly or the ticket will get thrown out." Said the older and wiser not-so-newbie.

Sure enough the ticket went to trial and sure enough, Judge So-And-So was on the bench. Officer Newbie gave his testimony. At the end of his testimony, Judge So-And-So asked Officer Newbie,
"And officer, what color was that school bus?"
"International School Bus Chrome, Sir. But that bus sure looked yellow to me!"

Fortunately, Judge So-And-So laughed and the ticket held. Well fortunately for the newbie, not the driver of the car that blew past the international-school-bus-chrome, bus.

Point? Like I don't have one. Duh. Just because we call something by a different name, does not mean what it is has changed. You can stand on your head, convinced that the sky is green and go on to tell everyone you know that the sky is green...and the sad things is, some may just believe you.

"Well, she has good data."
"Who said it wasn't green anyway? I mean who made that decision?"
"How can we deny her right to call it what she wants. Go Green!"

If you tell the same lie over and over again, you may just convince not just yourself, but others as well. It has worked for thousands of years. It worked for Saul when he went after David. It worked for the Pharisees when they went after Jesus. It worked during the Crusades. It It worked for Hitler when he went after the Jews. And it works today as radical Islam hopes to "push the Jews into the sea."

As the dialog changes to "Israeli occupation" make sure you know your history. As Netanyahu so eloquently put it, Israel does not have a problem with a Palestinian State...The Palestinian State has a problem with the existence of an Israeli State. Faithful or not. Believer or not. As an American, how can we not support the only true democracy in the Middle East? "Isreal is not the problem, it is the solution."

We are promised that God will bless those who bless Israel. That He will protect us and prosper us. Pray for the peace of Jeruselum, even though we know that it will not happen this side of the rapture. Do it becuase He said so.




Monday, June 6, 2011

Some things never change...

Okay, it's been twenty plus years, that much I can admit. But seriously, what are the chances it could happen again. Do a dream/tv moment with me, like Gilligan on the island...things get fuzzy and suddenly we are not in Poughkeepsie, 2011 but transported back to the early 1990's in Yonkers...

There I was, all cute and little in my washable silk black pants and purple blouse...four inch heals of course too. On my way home from work. Took the turn by the lumber yard. Right on the curve: I get a flat tire. As I walk around the side of the car, remember no cell phone, I assess the situation and get to work changing the tire...I know for sure, I won't be at it for long. I am in front of a lumber yard for crying out loud. Surely some one will come to my aid...NOT EVEN THE COP who drove PAST me stopped to help. Honestly, what hope do we have out there when the cute, little size two girl can't get help changing her tire in front of a lumber yard?

Come back to the present: in Poughkeepsie, on a warm June day. As Providence would have it a sainted woman stopped to tell me I had a flat tire. No longer a cute, little thing, I called that man I nabbed so long ago when I was a cute little thing. Just wanted to let him know I was on it. By the way, where is the tire? Why is it under the car? Do I have any tools to change this thing? Sigh. Yeah, I was on it. Hey look! A tire inflater thingy! I knew it is called a compressor, give me a break. Anyway, I hooked that bad boy up, inflated the tire and was about to drive away...that was when I saw it, mocking me. Reminding me that some things may not change:
The H-E-L-P truck that "helps" motorists in distress was parked not a hundred feet from me. Seriously, did this middle aged, not so much a size two, cute little thing (but almost 20 pounds littler than she was a few weeks ago) not look like a distressed motorist? SERIOUSLY?

With a huff I quickly drove to the nearest gas station, not to be mistaken for a service station. Nope no one there could change my tire...but there is an auto body shop in the back. Maybe they could help? I walked around back as the air I had just put into my tire escaped and left me with my deflated tire once again.

I walked into the shop:
"Can I help you?" asked the man at the desk without looking up.
"I am playing damsel in distress. I have a flat tire. Was wondering if anyone could help me out?"
"Sure."

In just minutes Schwartz Auto Body had my tire repaired. When I asked how much I owed him, he told me nothing and to just be safe "out there." Yes, the Schwartz was with me for sure! Restored my hope in my fellow man on that warm June day: Chivalry is not dead dear ones, just in a coma!

I know it's a twist on the psalms, but truly, some hope in chariots, some hope in horses, some hope in the
H-E-L-P truck, but I will trust the Lord, 'cause He got me home with the help of the Schwartz!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Friends and family...

I was flipping through a book this morning and was reading the account of when Jesus told John, from the cross, to care for His mom. Such a tender thing to do. But why? I mean, it's not like Mary had no family. Her sister was standing right next to her. Why didn't Jesus trust his mom to His aunt and uncle? Kinda makes you go "Hmmmm?" don't it?

Odd don't you think? I mean shouldn't family come first? Always? Blood thicker than water and all that. Especially in the time we are referring to. A widow would be the responsibility of the closest family. So what is it with entrusting her care to a friend...even a BFF like John?

Since the entire council of God's Word is seamless, there must be another reference to it. I mean, Jesus didn't just pull it out of no where, did He? Consider Proverbs 27:10 as a point:

"Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father, and do not go to your brother's house when disaster strikes you--better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away."

Well we know Jesus was not talking about vicinity here. Like I said, Mary's sister was with her at the cross. No, I think it goes to that "yoking" again. Both Mary and John knew who Jesus was. They both had the same call to adore the Savior, even as they watched Him suffer and die. I am using pure conjecture here, but we have no reason to believe that Mary's family was supportive of the idea that Jesus was Messiah. If that was the case, doesn't it make more sense that Mary would be left in the care of John....who could understand her grief in a way not even her own family could?

As I write this, I got to thinking on this point as well, "For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." (Matt. 12:50)

It matter "who" we share "what" with. Not every friend needs to hear every bit of our heart. Not very often will you find one that you can share it all with. But there is One. You can tell Him everything...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gifted and blessed....

That is what I am. I have been blessed by gifts beyond compare. I was teasing John this morning about his work schedule and the fact that he is never home at the moment. He reminded me of my post about him being home like the plague....evidently he reads here! No, I am never satisfied. Sigh.

But yesterday, I found myself blessed just to be. Nothing extraordinary happened. Yeah, the usual. Five week reports, and who needs to step up the grades. Ministering to my Brennan~remember Junior High? No, me neither. Never went. I was suppose to be protected in that little school I went to. What I do remember is being called fat, ugly and stupid every day. I think it gave my girl some comfort to know, mommy was not the queen of the ball. I was the kid that hid in the bathroom during lunch. Yup. I was that kid. She knows as much about who I was as she needs to. Not because I am trying to show her up...so she can know that only our God can create beauty from ashes. And He so did in me...no, not in how fantastic I look~ that is the given, duh~but in the scandal my life must be in the Heavenlies. I am a woman, blessed by God with the most amazing life. Glory. Now to get her through one more year of this junior high. We have Jesus, we'll make it.

We mommies have a fight on our hands. I am grateful my kids know I am paying attention. They know, they will get caught just as easily being good as they will be by being rotten. I pray they know that I pray...

And that has been a struggle of late. I have felt as if all I do is come to Him to complain. What I am learning slowly in the season, is that He waits on me. He rises to meet me...wow. He rises to meet me!

"Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
He rises to show compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for Him." Isaiah 30:18

That is a win/win! If he "rises" to meet me and I am blessed to "wait for Him" how do I lose? Each morning when I come to Him...He rises. Wow.

There is no formula to being a woman of prayer. It is just a matter of doing it. Not hit or miss, as we have all done. Not just in the shower or the car....but actually waiting to meet a God who promises to rise to meet me to show me compassion. Yeah, that is what a mom needs to hear right now. Not a bad way to meet the middle of the week. Not bad at all.

Friday, May 20, 2011

On the outside chance...

I was under the impression that we are supposed to live like Jesus might return at any moment. I think, I mean I am pretty sure I read that in the Word. You know, you never know...except of course for the crazy pastor out west who says he does. Oh. I guess the Father decided to let him in on it, but not the Son, since Jesus said only the Father knows the time or the hour. This pastor must have some kind of special pastor power, don't ya' think? Yeah, that must be it.

Well it has made for some great fodder about not doing the laundry and stopping my diet...hey, eat drink and be merry right? Ah, not so much.

I made the decision to lose some weight when I wore a Spanks for Easter...and it fought back. I am so loving the fuller skirts and the A-line style dresses out in the stores that I went ahead and got me some...except I didn't look like Doris Day I looked like Mrs. Cunningham. I can happily report that I am now 14 pounds down with only 10 more to go...and oh, how much I miss bread, just so you know!

Liz has played personal trainer and she has done quite well at kicking her mom's butt...and she seems to enjoy it way too much. When I told John I had gone running, he asked if I was being chased....Yeah, nice guy I married!

But more to why I have not blogged so much you ask? Just life. Some of it far way more private to my heart. Some of it for here, some of it for my journal. Some of it just plain running with five kids, two dogs, a cat and a top of the list husband. No, not my fecal list, the good one!

God is always the number one priority.  He has just asked that life be more focused on the family right now. That is the first ministry...'cause family is never an obstacle to ministry, remember?

So should we be raptured by Jesus before my next post, see ya' there!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Bright Light! Bright Litght!"

"The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it." (John 1:5) NIV

Have ya' ever? I sure have. What? You don't see where I am going yet? Okay, hang on.

I had no intention of having a deep moment with from the Word one morning on Spring break. I was waiting for Liz as she went on her first job interview. I went to sit in the car and picked up a pocket bible left in the car. I was just flipping pages when I came to the Gospel of John. I had read it a million times. But that one line jumped off the page at me and it felt like I had never read it before. As Beth Moore would put it, "I got me a fresh revelation of The Word!"

I've come to the conclusion that if I can't understand something, it is one of two things: either I am in sin or God has not chosen to explain it. Darkness is confused by the Light, not the other way around. Ours is a God of order. There is no chaos or confusion. He may simply be teaching you something new or you may have to ask Him to check your heart for any sin you may not have noticed. I wonder if it is like when I tell the kids to clean their room and they forget to check under the bed...I've met some powerful dust bunnies under there! I wonder if our God looks under the artery and tugs at a vein and yells, "Hey Mair, you've missed something!"

Sometimes our biggest problems come when we are standing in that Light and people we love are in darkness. That light can be pretty darn bright! Kinda' like Gizmo shouting, "Bright light!" it can repel people like a gremlin.  What should not shock us is when said gremlin tries to confuse us back. Don't be surprised at the lengths he will go to either. Every form of manipulation and offense just might come hurling your way. Your own words may be twisted, your actions questioned and your decision making brought into play.

"For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7) NAKJ

That sound mind, I think gives us permission to pop that gremlin into a microwave and watch it blow up.  I suppose this all means that we should know the Truth when we see it. But being all flesh and such, we'll miss it sometimes just because if we were already perfected, we wouldn't be here anymore. In the meantime, get out the blender and hit puree....

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dear Mom...

If I could write a letter to Mom, it might say some of this...

Dear Mom,

It's May. In my world that means a whole month of missing you. Your anniversary, birthday and to boot, Mother's Day. Sigh. I remember how it annoyed you to have all three in one month because you were often short changed on gifts...know the feeling. I got married two weeks after Christmas but I was smart enough to marry a man who knows not to forget! 

I have this amazing life here, dirt side. I wonder if you get to watch at times, in between singing, "Glory to the Lamb!" and I wonder if you still sing off key too! I know that would have gotten me a dish towel thrown at me!

I sometimes look at this wonderful brood of mine and think what a shame it is that you missed it all. How could I have five children and a husband that never met you? How could they have no point of reference when I talk about our house or you being my softball coach or their Auntie Annie's religion teacher? I miss  our talks about Jesus, reading poetry together, and watching the CMA's with you. Remember how I use to run into your room and put on the radio because, "you just have to hear this song!" My girls do that to me too but my music is better. ;)

I know how you would fuss on my girls and Jack. You would have thought John to be way better for me than you expected I could do. That whole, "marry a civil servant" advice worked out quite well. Thanks.

Mostly I just miss having a mom. I know that sounds silly. God knows we had so little to agree on, except Jesus and fashion. But than I think you would have shaken your head at me for not being a size four anymore...reminding me you went home from the hospital, after giving birth, in your regular clothes. Aha...and that would have gotten a dish towel thrown back at you! I have no doubt you would drive me crazy if you were here...kinda' wish you could.

We would have had some fantastic theological debates! I would have made you so mad because I would have been right. Ha! Remember, you wrote the words, "I love your spirit! I love your fight! I love your smile when you are right!" And in the end, we would have loved each other harder and deeper.

I've had quite a year, Mom. Some of it has been "to the moon" as you would have said and some of it has just made me weep. I still remember how hurt you were when you lost so much in such a short time. Sure wish you were here now. I understand that season better now. Hard to lose a friend you have shared Jesus so deeply with. I am the exact age you were when you went through the same thing. It would be good to have a very good cry with you over it.

But I want you to know something perfected that came out of watching you in that season so many years ago. I have dug deeper into my love of Jesus. I asked Him to give me His love...because I learned that some hurts force you to beg Him to let you love like Him...or you would simply never love again. Learned that from you Mom.

Sometimes the Light of the world can make me cry over the brightness. But life in the Light is nothing short of very good. I don't pretend to have all the answers but I do know the One who does. Fell in love with Him standing next to you. I watched the most conservative woman in Yonkers as you threw your hands up in the air to praise our Jesus. I sat as you anointed my head with oil and prayed that the Holy Spirit would drip down over me like "osmosis" whenever I took a test. And I held your hand as we sought His kingship over our lives.

I just plain miss you. You were right, I'll give you this one: I do miss you now that you are gone. I know I will see you again, soon enough. And I know my kids won't understand just how much they need a mom, even as grown ups, until I am sitting next to you and Jesus. Kiss Rose Marie and Sean for me.

Your sister-in-Christ,
Maryellen

Or as Daddy called me,

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A hero of the faith in our time...

"Thursday, April 28, 2011


Press Release

It is with deepest sadness that we inform you of the sudden passing of Reverend David Wilkerson Wednesday, April 27, 2011. More information will be posted on the World Challenge website as it becomes available. "
 
Many mornings I begin my day by visiting David Wilkerson's blog. I cannot tell you how many of his posts have been printed out, taped in my journal and used as a reference for whatever moment the Lord has me in. Rev. Wilkerson is one of the dear saints I have looked at and cried out to our God saying, "Give me faith that deep!"
 
Mom saw the movie and read the book, "The cross and the switchblade" probably because Pat Boone was the star of the movie. But it went straight to her soul and gave her a promise that God is still active in our world and our work. I always consider this as part of our family testimony.






Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday....

Years ago, when the movie, The Passion, came out on DVD John bought me a copy of it. Seemed like the right thing to have in the DVD collection after all. I had reservations about seeing it. After all, the movie is never as good as the Book and I had already read it. I feared it be like Mad Max meets the cross and I was not so sure I would appreciate the director's vision.

John was working swing shift that Good Friday so after the kids went to bed, I popped it in to watch. I curled up on the couch and watched as Jesus was in the garden, and I immediately fell asleep. I woke up after the resurrection. Honestly, who falls asleep during the Passion of our Lord? Oh, right. Okay. I was in good company at least!

Often in the body, you will hear those who complain about seeing a crucifix and that we should not have them in our homes. "He isn't on the cross anymore! It did not end there!" True, but something did end there?

What ended on that cross was the power Satan had over all of us. The cross is the reminder of what He did for me on Calvary. I can't look at images in movies or even a crucifix on a wall and not be moved at the suffering Jesus endured for me. For you. Glory.

I have a crucifix over my kitchen stairs. The story goes that when my dad was a very little boy, his mom had wanted to have a crucifix in the house but they were tough times and food was a priority over such things. As it would happen, their parish was getting new crucifixes for the classrooms and anyone who wanted an old one could come and get it. She took my dad by his pudgy, little. hand to Saintrosalyma Church (St. Rose of Lima for those who don't speak Brooklyn) and got the crucifix that is now in my home.

Each year on Good Friday, Dad would lovingly take the pewter figure of Jesus off that cross and polish it. He would have to re-nail it to the cross. I could barely watch. Just the symbolic gesture made me shiver. I remember Him explaining to me that, for him, it was a constant reminder of what our faith means. Jesus did this for us. Today it's my turn to clean. Perhaps it will be a lesson for my own children.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Holy Thursday and feet....

Oh how I adore Holy Week!

From the moment I woke up this morning, I was keenly aware of the fact that it is Holy Thursday. Can you imagine, Jesus and the boys spending the day together to be topped off by a nice quiet passover dinner. Or at least that is what the boys thought it would be.

Can you imagine their shock when Jesus went to wash their feet? The humble act of the Savior, doing something so practical. Hmmmm. Something just occurred to me. Wanna know? Of course you do or you wouldn't be here...truly He shows us "great and unsearchable things that we do not know"....lets go see.

When Jesus was at the wedding of Cana, he turned the water, the foot bath water into wine. I know I have touched on that fact somewhere on this blog of mine before and if I had one of those practical little "searchy" boxes or tags on my posts I could find it, but I don't so...

Anyway, did you ever consider how practical it was that Jesus turned that foot bath water into wine? He met his mom's request for helping out in the practical need to be met. We won't go into the fact that the party had ran out of wine probably because people were drinking the wine!

He met that wedding at the practical. He performed a miracle to provide for the practical.

At the outset of the Last Supper, He got on His holy knees and washed the feet of the boys. He served them in the practical. It required no miracle, just a bucket of water. Maybe the bucket was not as well appointed as the ones at the wedding feast in Cana, but a bucket of water just the same.

Have you ever considered that He meets us in the practical? You know, when the refrigerator you want is on sale this week making it possible to get a new washer and drier. It may not be a Resurrection, but it meets you in the practical. There just happened to be a sale...

Sometimes, He uses a foot bath to perform a miracle and sometimes, He uses it to just wash some dirty feet...both showed His Glory. Both taught us more about His love for us. Both were a beginning...

Cana would usher in Jesus' public ministry. That upper room would usher in The Last Supper. Both were feasts, both were beginnings. Neither feast gave any hint that the night would hold the Glory of God come down...both were shocking to participants. Both served the practical of a very practical and awesome God.

None of that is what I had planned on writing about today! Hope you are blessed this holy day.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fellowship....

"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?" (2 Corinthisnans 6:14)

Oy, is that a catch 22 for the believer or what? Most of us in the Body use this verse in terms of marrige. And while that is a very accurate application, I've run into way too many believers who take this verse and run right out of the bar with it.

The bar? Yup. That is what I said.

Let me 'splain, Lucy.

I have dear friends who don't know the Lord. People I genuinly love. Some of them sit on the hill with me during football practice. Others I've served with in PTA or worked with. Still others I grew up with and some are family.

"what fellowship can light have with darkness?" Paul asks us. The question began to haunt on me after a Christmas party we had that was made up primarily of non-believers.

If we are to have nothing to do with someone who is un-equally yoked, does that mean that we only associate with the Body? Do we only go to church sanctioned events? Do we only hit the chile cook off for a night out? And in my world, do we only invite believers to our Christmas party?

Every commentary I could find on this verse explained it in terms of marriage. Why? It is related to intamacy. Okay, got it. But lets take it another step shall we? Are we girls not intamite in our friendships as well? I am not talking about anything French here. Duh, family friendly blog people.

But we woman have an ability to be intamite with other woman in a way that men don't get. We do share our hearts and our souls. But when we are friends with unbelievers, and I would maintain that we should be, the level of intamacy in that friendship is what should not be un-equaly yoked. And perhaps even more deeply, if we are friends with a believer who is still only on milk, our level of intamacy should not include steak. (1 Corinthians 3:2)

Now I am not suggesting doing shots with unbelievers either. But I am suggesting that should you happen to have the pagean side of the family over for Easter dinner or you find yourself at the next family wedding, we are still required to be genuine and transparent. But I don't think we are to share our deepest soul with those who simply cannot understand. Even a milk fed believer will not understand a steak dinner. Some believers realy do prefer the darkness for a season. It is not up to us to deliever them from it by shining a spot light or throwing steak at them. God will wean them onto solids soon enough. And who knows, maybe you will get to share a steak together...if not here, perhaps in eternity.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Taking it on the chin...

Sunday morning, I woke up with a boo-boo on my chin. No idea how I got said boo-boo. This morning, I woke up with a new boo-boo on the other side of my chin. I did ask John if he has been beating on me in my sleep. He "claims" to have no idea what I am talking about. Aha. Maybe my watch has scratched me in my sleep? My rings? Yes, I sleep with them on. I am far to ADD to remember to take them off AND to put them back on the next day. Duh. Still, no idea how I got these marks. Got me to thinking. Of course it did. Anyway, it got me to thinking about something God had shown me in His Word recently. Wann'a come take a look? Of course you do.

"He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4:26-28)

"whether he sleeps or gets up, the see sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain..."

Have you ever been in one of those quiet seasons when you just don't know what to do next? No? This may not be the blog for you.

I have. Don't like them much. I am in one right now and I am itching for a project. I adored the House Wyne Event. Loved every minute of it. But now it is sooooooooo quiet in my life. Not that God is. I am just itching for something to do.

But I have this conviction to do the last thing I know He told me to do and that last thing I know that He told me to do, is to be quiet. Almost like it is a season of sleep. Have you noticed the blog is awful quiet? No? That's because all ten of you have not seen me on Facebook or Twitter over the last 37 days. Lent and all of that. ;)

I love that the verse says that The Soil grows the seed with out the farmer knowing how...maybe The Soil doesn't need any manure from the farmer either.

But this may wind up being a blog for recipes and crafts if something doesn't sprout soon!
 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Got me to a calling....

"...But when He was alone with His disciples, He explained everything." (Mark 4:34)

That alone is a revelation. Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. Some of them went away knowing they had met The Christ. But surely others went away with nothing more than a good story. Still, His disciples got to be alone with Him, where He explained everything. Imagine being alone with Him and He explains everything?
Or not!
I have spent hours, days and years reading about The Word. I happen to like a couple of writers ALOT. It is so easy for me to read other's research and glean like crazy all the Lord has taught them. I adore a good, biblical based blog. If you looked at my "favorites menu", most everything there is about Jesus...or hair. I've got lots of girls and we all got lots of hair. But I digress.
Just me and Jesus, present in The Word? Does it happen? Daily? Truth is, less time than I should have. Okay, some seasons less time than a heathen.
I use to be able to rationalize it: "But Lord, I am studying ABOUT You. I am studying ABOUT Your Word. Isn't that enough?" I come with my ready answer. I think I half expect Him to reply thusly, "That's fantastic! Let me know what You find out!" Instead I hear that still small voice,"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." (Jeremiah 33:3)
Hmmm. I think the Body has fallen into a certain laziness~speaking to this Body part as much as any other by the way~ that is so pervasive we may not even realize it. There is nothing wrong with starting your day with a good devotional...I know of one, sorry, shameless plug there. I'll be good. There is nothing wrong with allowing that devotional to jump start your prayers. And there is nothing, at all wrong, with gleaning knowledge from a teacher. We live in an age where there is truly, "an increase in knowledge." Have a question? Google for crying out loud.
But what if we (insert I here) just came to Him...with nothing but the Word? What if I (insert you if you are so inclined) just came with my note book, my bible and a good cup of coffee? Oh and a heart full of the expectation that He and I would meet. Do I believe He would sit alone with me too and "explain everything" to the likes of me?
I'll let you know what I find out!
 

Monday, March 28, 2011

The pit...

True loves kiss. That is all the beast needed to change him into the handsome prince...Her love was so powerful that all she had to do was prove it with a kiss. Yup. And not only would he live happily ever after, she gets a nice castle and a prince charming to go with it all. Not to mention servants that sing! Not bad work if you can get it. Malarkey. That is so what that is. Now don't take this as a statement over my man, please! He is full aware that he got no bargain in me. I pretty much knew that while I got me some good kissing power, it could not change any beastly characteristics he may have come with...not that he did come with any. Just clearing our names here. I mean all of this in general. Be it a spouse, a friend or even a child...we can love them with all the human or in the case above, enchanted love, a castle can hold...ya' can't pull somebody out of their pit. Pits are fiercely personal. They tend to be loved deeply. I have seen some rather well appointed pits in my time, and I gotta' tell ya', I am not sure I would want out my own self. The other thing about a pit that is worth knowing is that the language changes down in one. Simple truth becomes something the pit dweller can't even begin to understand. It makes the non-pit dweller sound like a crazy person standing on the edge of the pit offering a hand up. And that is place of danger for anyone who loves a pit dweller. You, or me for that matter, can't pull anyone out of their pit. Not our job. Talk about something that will ruin a relationship. I am not saying that we should help the pit dweller decorate or anything. And there may come a time when you have to remove your hand from the edge, less you get pulled into that pit too. "Brethren, and if a man be overtaken in any fault, you, who are spiritual, instruct such a one in the spirit of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." (Galatians 6:1) I use to think that verse was kind of silly. Like if I were helping the crack addict, I would become one. Not gonna' happen. But the truth is I've seen myself slip into my own pit next door for the hapless way I've tried to help someone get out there pit. Prayer. That is the only way to avoid the trap. It is the only way not to get sucked into your own pit of despair. When you have someone convinced that there is no way out, don't be surprised if you wind up falling into a pit yourself believing there is no way out. "Consider thyself" as the King James puts it. From what I can tell, avoiding sin is the only time the Word tells us to consider ourselves before someone else. "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." (1Corinthians 10:13 NIV) Temptation isn't always about crack (or chocolate or facebook for that matter) but sometimes, a temptation is about your own ability to fall into a pit...and it may just be lovely, well appointed and comfortable. Everything may be just the way your remember it...sitting with Him is about the only way I know of to avoid the thing. If you have a relationship with a pit dweller and you start to hear a tea pot sing, you may want to run or get on your knees in prayer. Just sayin'.




Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rattlin' Blog....

I've annoyed my children with Irish songs this morning. When Liz got up this morning, she said, "Happy Amature Day!" as that is what me dearly departed, and not at all sainted, dad called today. John had to leave for work early due to all the partiers on the train.

Recently in Walgreen's, they had all the St. Patty's Day merchandise on display. On the bottom shelf, they had cases of beer. Hmmm. I asked if the manager, who happens to be woman of color, if she thought perhaps that was a bit racist? She looked at me funny and so I suggested that if they had put the Paps Blue Ribbon under the Black History Month display, it might seem....I never got to finish my sentence. She was laughing too hard.

A fine Irish gentleman at the register yelled over to us: "Nothing wrong with that display. They know the truth as do we all!"

Being full of the Blarney today, I thought I would tell you about the new magazine subscription I received. Yes, to Ebony magazine. A dear friend suggested it is because me dearly, departed and sainted mother was dark Irish. Perhaps. I called to make sure it wasn't one of those scams where someone orders a magazine for you and you get the bill. Honestly, I did not know if this was a complement or a dig.

As I flipped through the magazine the part that just about killed me was the ad for identagen.com~Aha. Paternity testing kit available in your local drug store. I suppose no more stereo typical than the beer/Irish display in Walgreen's.

Have a happy and safe St. Patty's Day all!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Angst...


Woke up with a head full of it today. 9am service. Want to go, but don't want to be there. Can I pull it off, with no less than half a night sleep? Of course I could have. We do the things we find most important. But allow me to complain a moment won't you? Thanks.

Teenagers in the door at all kinds of hours because of the school play. When, by the way, did school plays decide they had to be cutting edge? What happened to family friendly productions? I can't bring young kids to see Footloose, Wappingers Central School District. Rumor has it the show is tantamount to child porn. Great message. "Don't drink, don't smoke, don't have sex...but be entirely entertained by those who do, on stage in your auditorium. That is all. Go back to your classes."

That was complained number one, by the way, in case you are keeping score.

Number two on the list would be Scarlet Fever. Maggie jumped over strep and went right to SF...you could have fried an egg on the poor things head. Long nights for both of us. Poor baby. Since I am already complaining about the school district, could I blame the other disease ridden vermin on this as well? No, that would be wrong. Okay. I shall leave that one alone.

Number three: A dog. A big yellow dog. Let us call him Seabiscuit shall we? Yes, let's. Well, Seabiscuit has decided he has no bladder control for a good portion of the night. Last time I let him out, I closed the door and took a nap. Not sure when he came back. But husband brought him in.

Number four: Yes, as in 4-12 shift. Or was it 3-11 with a late call for some medical emergency that got John stuck on the job (he is still a medic you know) and therefore unable to get that teenager I told you about in complaint number one after the play...don't judge too harshly the fact that she was a part of it. I thought they cleaned it up. She was on stage crew, not the pole dancer in the show. Nuff said. Had to beg a ride from another mom, 'cause you can't leave a SF child home alone in the middle of the night with other sleeping teens.

Number five: Go tell others, I tell my children. Yeah, one of them decided to do that this week. Aha. She had to call her friend and let her know that we would not be picking her up for the 9am service but rather the 11am service. By the way, I have to get teen to play for the afternoon show at 11am along with the kids of the mom I begged said ride from. Did I mention that I am not sure how all of this is going to work out yet? Yeah, didn't thinks so.

A day of rest? I wish.

Can't wait for Monday so I can tell you all about the Word He gave me on sleep. At the moment, it kinda' makes me want to cry, it is so tender...But it will have to wait...Remember, it was Day Light Savings time, and I am therefore running an entire hour late.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pure Bliss...

Thinking...

Earlier this week, I wrote a post for Blissfully Domestic about God thinking on me. This morning, I read the blog that David Wilkerson writes. His blog makes the same point that my Bliss post has. No, I am not screaming copyright. Duh.

Not only did Pastor Wilkerson use the same scriptures the Lord had placed on my heart, it was as if the Lord was sending me a quick reminder. Glory, huh? You can't help being crazy about this God of ours, who would think on the likes of me...

We have a family member that is profoundly mentally ill. Oy. How to love on someone who is so profoundly ill in mind. Worse then the disease itself, is the system of care that "we the people" have allotted for her.

One of her workers told John that it is exceptional that there is anyone who loves her...not that she is unlovable, but that they don't see family involvement. Wow. That will bring on some guilt. There is a strong history of our not being involved in her life. We were busy making and raising babies and building a life. As we were building our lives, we were busy forgetting that she was losing hers. A brilliant girl, with an amazing career, now folds clothes in a store. It is a job she is very proud of and has done very well with. We saw her once or twice a year. Just enough to make us feel good. Not sure how it made her feel. Not sure what to do differently either. Not sure at all.

That's not all of it. Truth is there were years and years of this illness that were left un-treated. The children and I were subject to severe outbursts of rage. Truth is, while she may be as gentle as a kitten today, back then, I was very much afraid of her...and not with unwarranted reasons.

I'm no sap. But today I find myself weeping for her and crying out for her healing and deliverance form the torture of her own mind. Reminded that if not for us, who would be "thinking on" on her? Her Heavenly Father that's who. He has not forgotten her. He formed her in her mother's womb. He knew she needed us to love on and think on and pray on her.

We have a running joke around my house. When I walk in the door, if John is home, I'll ask him if anybody called. Some days his answer is, "Everyone called, call everyone back." And if the answer is that no one called, my answer is, "Nobody loves me."

“Let all those that seek you rejoice and be glad in thee… But I am poor and needy; the Lord thinketh upon me; thou art my help and my deliverer; do not tarry, O my Lord” (Psalm 40:16-17)

He is thinking on her, just like He thinks on Mary, or Maryellen for that matter. He won't tarry. He never has.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

So long Facebook...

Today is the first day of Lent... The Catholics will wear ashes. Love that tradition. The pente's will begin a fast. Not sure what the Conservative Baptists will do. Me? Yeah, so long Facebook....Sorry, Mark Z. Not sure if sending this over to Facebook or not is what I am suppose to do, but it is also not something I am going to stress on. I'll be here if you want to find me.
I thought briefly about giving up all things technology...but the truth is, my banking is on here, and e-mail is too. I still have a phone to consider as well...but I can at least enter the rehab of Facebook and Twitter for 40 days...Don't be surprised if on Easter Sunday, I am all over FB/Twitter with proclamations of "HE IS RISEN!"

This morning, instead of heading to the computer, I head to The Word first. John and I have a busy day ahead of us and I wanted my "double edged sword" sharpened before we go off to slay some Dragon-like principalities...How Frank Perreti of us!

"The Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee" (1 Chronicles 28:9).

Given my penchant for an over active imagination, this verse not only gives me comfort, it gives be breadth. Given some of our current battles, I have practiced every conversation and been ready with a plan A, B, and C...

...and eventually bring it to Him. It takes less time now days to turn to Him with my folly, but maybe someday, I'll start with Him, instead of starting with me. You know, the old, "i am" instead of the "He is" thing.

I pray a blessed start of this season for you. For us too! I am expecting that dynamite of prayer and fasting (yes, the fast around here is deeper than just giving up Facebook, duh) to explode a deeper walk with Him. He alone is our provision and I can't wait to meet Him in it, again.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

"What are you giving up for lent?"

I grew up with that question. One year it was chocolate, another it was TV for about five minutes. Not sure what I gave up all those years ago. I know in my twenties I was pretty good about not eating meat on Fridays. I know for sure that one Ash Wednesday, my friend Barbara and I went to a diner at 11:40 pm and asked the waitress to not serve us our bacon cheese burgers until after midnight...hey, we were trying to the right thing.

Today, I am faced with a fasting challenge again. The kids are asking about doing vs giving up. Last year, my oldest did a 40 day fast of meat and snacks. She kept herself to fish and fruit. Not bad for a 14 year old at the time.


There is such power in fasting and praying together. I want that. I want to draw close to God because I know He will draw close to me. Simple. I need that kind of explosion in my walk with Him in this season.

So fruits, veggies, fish? What will my fast look like? I have to say, I am leaning heavily towards...a tech fast too. The horror. Talk about sacrifice!


It created some interesting dinner conversation last night:


Jack thought he would give up taking out the garbage...I told him he should try something new instead...he already doesn't do that on a regular basis.


Caity started this past Wednesday, 'cause she thought it was the 40 day mark...Love her.


Brennan ceased to be involved in the conversation.


Liz said she wasn't sure.


Maggie wanted to know if she was too little to do a fast of any kind...um, no kiddo. You are not to little.


John thought it would be nice to do a family devotion time together...except that these days, we often don't see Liz until 9:00pm....too late for the little ones. Not to mention his work schedule.
And the mornings are out just because of the train-like schedule we keep. We are still trying to work out that one. Hmmm.


By the time we were clearing the dishes, John had reminded them it is not about the logistics of the fast. If they are only doing it to fulfill an obligation, they should not bother. The point to making a sacrifice is to spend time with God and to seek His face more intensely. And not just so they can get something like a pat on the back from God for it. There is nothing we can do to earn His love. But we can remove something we love for a season to love more intensely on Him. Besides all that, fasting without prayer is just self deprivation. It might make us lean towards a more disciplined life but not one that can affect any real change in us. And the point is to be changed more deeply into the likeness of Christ...who prayed and fasted.


The whole conversation gave me something to chew on...along with my carbs that I love so deeply. I know, maybe I could give up my nap? I'll get back to you on that one!

The narcoleptic agoraphobic...or not.

This time of year, if I had to pick a disorder to embrace, it would be a cross between two: Narcolepsy and Agoraphobia. Just before the joy of Spring arrives, I want to be home and I want to nap.
Of course, there are scriptures that make both of those things impossible for me. For napping I have the conviction from Proverbs 6:10-11 that says, "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest--and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man."(NIV) So I guess that nap is out...

...and if that were not enough, Jesus gives us Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20 "Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (NIV)

Well...that takes care of most of my agenda doesn't it? Sigh.

God's Word NEVER returns void. He said so in Isaiah 55:11 "So shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. " (AKJV)

One of the things we saw at House Wyne, were woman who had no idea how to read The Word. That must seem so odd in the age we live in. I mean, here in our nation, we are free to read it or anything else we might want to. Perhaps that is the enemies greatest victory over America: apathy.

Hmmm. Lord, how would you have us proceed? I know, no nap. No staying in my cozy house. Got it. So show me what You would have me do. Amen.

Monday, February 28, 2011

A grand night...

Well that was fun! House Wyne was a wonderful night. If you want to watch it, it is on Ustream. I am so glad we did it. We saw woman make new commitments to Christ and seasoned Christians take the charge to go tell others. The night raised a little over three hundred dollars for The Potter's House. Not bad at all.
Getting to drop off cupcakes, bibles and money to them the day after the event was the best part of the whole shebang! There is nothing more fun then giving away money!
We have had a lot of "So what's next?" I have no idea! When God put this whole thing on my heart, it came with a vision for a single night. There are some life details that have had to wait until after the event that I get to deal with this week. Not a bad thing...things like, yes, mommy still cooks dinner.
I got to see some things leading up to HW, that I never expected to see. Some of it wonderful.
Some of it ugly as, well, sin. The Beatitudes have taken on a whole new meaning in my life.

"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matt 5:11-12)

Rejoice and be glad? Yup.

When I was told about a nasty comment that came in about me, my first thought was, "Thank You." Now that is an odd reaction, even for someone odd like me. But it meant that I was on the right track. It meant that I had discerned correctly about staying away from someone, who I knew was full of hate, wrapped up in the bible. And lets face it, the enemy can't live the fruit of the Spirit and so has no self control....his hand was shown and that is a comfort to me. Like I said, odd indeed, even for me.

So I have received both spam and hateful comments...I must be doing something right! Talk about a need for discernment though. I should think it would be easy for a ministry to receive hate mail regularly and just chalk all criticism up to "They hate me because they hate You..." and I should think that is a rather thin line. I have been so convicted to have good men and woman of God around me...and not just the "yes" crowd either. That is just plain dopey. No, there has been some real debate on things and while most things come down to opinion or a denominational tradition, when it comes to my walk, I got me some extraordinarily godly folks to be accountable to.
So House Wyne 2011 is complete...who knows what He has next for all of us. I am going to keep listening because truly, "my expectation comes from Him!"