Monday, April 30, 2012

One Little Word: April, Note to Self

     Welcome to April with my One Little Word: Dwell.  One Little Word is a class taught by Ali Edwards from Big Picture Classes.  This month our task was to write a note to our future selves to be read a year from now.   We were encouraged to include a picture of ourselves.  As part of the action I set for myself in March, I also bought a chicken through Compassion.
     This month's task was exciting for me because I stumbled across a talk I gave eight years ago at our church that included my desire for the word that I chose for 2012 - Dwell.  It was like reading a letter to my present self written by my past self.  I would like to share it in part here.

     He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.  To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna.  I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.  Rev. 2:17
     Names are an important thing.  Expectant parents pour over baby name books looking for the perfect name for their child.  The name has to reflect a couples interests, traditions, and be unique without being weird.  It has to sound nice.  The name should not be able to be shortened into something ridiculous.  Likewise, when it is said in it's entirety, it needs to be able to get your child's attention and let them know that they had better stop whatever it is that they are doing.  It has to match a six pound baby and an adult.  Preferably, it has to be a name that won't make the in-laws cringe.  A good name is more desirable that great riches.
   At our birth, or shortly thereafter, we were each given a name.  But we have also been given a new name, a secret name, our adoption name.  I've given some thought to what mine might be.  I hope it is not something like "Oooops" or "Calamity."  If I had to choose a verse for my life it would be:
One thing I ask of the Lord, 
this is what I seek;
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to seek Him in his temple. Psalm 27:4
     So I hope that my secret name is "She who dwells in the house of the Lord."
     While I may not know what my new name is, I do know that when Jesus calls it, I will recognize it and follow Him home.

     To see previous posts about my One Little Word, visit  New YearJanuary, February, and March.  Thank you to Margie for organizing the Blog Hop.
Please join our blog hop.  If you get lost along the way,  you can come back here to pick back up again.  I linked each person on the list.  Have fun and thanks for visiting.

Margie  Our Blog Hop Host.
Monica B
Donna            You are here.  Visit Kelly next.
Missus Wookie

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Yoke's on Me

My Mom

     Last year I began making an ABC Bible Scrapbook.  I found the challenge at Triple the Scraps by Patter Cross.  Every two weeks a word and scriptures were given with the goal of creating a scrapbook with a page for each letter.  My mom saw the book I started, but hadn't quite finished, and asked me to make her one.  Mom went through my list of words, kept the ones she liked and gave me a list of words she wanted.  I hope to get both books finished for Mom’s birthday in June.
     The first word in our books is Anchor.  The scripture a favorite from Hebrews,  “We who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.  We have this hope, an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.”
     Subsequent words were:

  •  Bible -  "For the Word of God is alive and active."  Hebrews 4:12
  • Confidence - "For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.” Psalm 71:5
  • Delight -  “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves, He will take great delight in you.” Zephaniah 3:16-18
     I enjoy meditating on the word prompt and the accompanying scriptures.   I work out how I will represent the word in our books.
     When I started, I was following Triple the Scrap's idea for words, so when the letter “E” came, I wondered what word would be chosen.  I guessed Easter, or perhaps Eternal.  Instead E’s word was “Easy.”   That made me pause.  The Bible is a lot of things, but Easy isn’t the first one that comes to mind.
     Then I looked at the words of Jesus:    
     “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.   Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30
     And so I prayed, "Lord help me to understand this mystery.  Show me."  God gently reminded me:
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
     Well you all know that I am a fan of hope.  Jesus has a plan for me.  Jesus doesn’t manage me, to-do list me, or memo me with bulletin points.  He loves me.  His yoke is easy because it brings rest.  Not rest from the yoke, but rest under the yoke because it is a yoke built for two.  Jesus shares our yoke.  He doesn’t tell me to do all by myself.  He invites me into what He has done.  I am never alone.  That’s why there is freedom in a trial, hope in the dark, trust in fear, and love always.  Jesus keeps me safe in His love.  It is easy.
     "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him; so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:18
     The path He asks us to follow is level, smooth,  and dare I add - easy. 
     “The path of the righteous is level; you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth.” Isaiah 26:7

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Project 52: Green

    During the week of St. Patrick's Day, a mysterious shamrock appears at a major intersection nearby.   This has happened for as many years as I can remember.  The shamrock is big and most definitely green.  Please know that I risked life and limb to get this picture for you.  
     Perhaps it is a small army of leprechauns who come in the dark of night wielding fat green paint brushes to give us this magical shamrock.  I imagine that they celebrate a job well done by clinking their glasses together with a toast at the Irish Pub just down the street.  
     To see more green, visit Darcy at my3boybarians.
     What's at the end of your rainbow?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Caine's Arcade

This is an amazing video about a little boys imagination, the power of play, perseverance and how a chance encounter made his dream come true. One summer nine year old Caine Monroy built an elaborate cardboard arcade inside his Dad's auto parts store. Classrooms all over the country should view this video.

Caine's Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Project 52: Things That Grow

     On Easter morning, my sister-in-law discovered four tiny sparrows in a planter on her porch.  I knew that they were perfect for the Project 52 prompt, Things That Grow.  They are so precious.

How lovely is your dwelling place O Lord God Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the Lord.
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home ... where she may have her young.
A place near your altar O Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house
 they are ever praising you.  
As they pass through the Valley of Tears
 they make it a place of springs;...
They go from strength to strength. Psalm 84:1-7

    God's temple was a safe haven for the birds that built their nests.  They could not be driven away.  Even the smallest, most defenseless insignificant bird, the sparrow - which sold two for a penny, had a home at God's altar.  His presence protected them.  They rested in the shadow of His wings.
     The psalmist envied the sparrows that lived around the house of God.  He provided for their every need.  They were fed by the crumbs that fell in the temple courts.  There were soft scraps of fabric and bits of straw for their nests.  They had shelter from the summer heat and the winter storms.  The temple was a place to gather their young when the day was done and rest in safety.
     When we raise our children in the halls of God we move from strength to strength.  Consider the sparrow and let the local church be a home, a shelter from the storm, a sanctuary, and a nest for our little ones.  Let's rest, nestle in, and share the joy that comes from loving God.

     Come see what is growing at Darcy's this week at Project 52.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Return to Me

     I shared this story at church last July after a trip to my parents house in Virginia.  We were fortunate to visit Mom and Dad for Spring Break and I thought it would be fun to share here.  

     Our family went to Virginia a few weeks ago to visit my parents who live on the Chesapeake Bay.  There is a deep water canal leading from their backyard out into the bay itself.  Dad has two boats, a fishing boat and a sailboat.  (The picture above is my Dad.  You can see his sailboat just past him with the blue sail cover.)
     Last year Dad and I went out on the sailboat.  Sailboats are a thing of beauty as they fly before the wind.  But on that particular day, the winds died down to almost nothing.  All the sails were out and although they appeared to be full of air, the boat was crawling through the water.   After studying three little scrub trees off in the distance.  I determined that we were not actually getting anywhere.  I complained, “Dad, you know we are not moving.  I’ve been watching those trees.”  Dad laughed and tried to tell me that all of the trees looked alike. I assured him that I had been staring at the one with the crooked branch for fifteen minutes.  We were not moving.  After about five more minutes of determined watching, Dad agreed and started the motor that is usually used for powering the boat in the canal.  
     This year, Dad and I wandered down to his dock to look at the boats.  I was kidding him about the speediness of his sailboat.  He laughed,”Funny story... Last week, I took the sailboat out by myself.  It was a great day and my boat was definitely moving.   I stayed out longer than I intended and I had to hurry to go call Bingo.  (Can you tell my Dad is retired?)  He continued:  “When I came back in, I swung the boat out to the far side of the canal like I usually do, then turned it into my dock.  I stepped off the boat to tie it up and the boat just - kept - going.  As I stood there watching my boat heading off into the sunset, I realized that I’d forgotten to turn off the motor.  There I was on the dock and the boat was motoring away.”

     I interrupted him - “Did you chase it with your other boat?”  
     “Nah,  as I watched, the boat swung around in a great big circle and came right back to the dock.  The rudder had pretty much stayed in the same position and it steered the boat neatly back to me.”
     Life is a voyage.  Somedays the seas are calm and the winds are fair.  At other times, the waves and the winds are perilous and we are out of our depth.
  There are also times when we are the prodigal child wandering far from home.  It’s not enough to know that we need to go back to the Father, we must actually return to Him.  God has provided us with His Word as a spiritual rudder to guide us back.

Rend your heart not your garments.  Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate.  Joel 2:13

And for the sailors, 

Men went out on the sea in ships;  they were merchants on the mighty waters. 
They saw the works of the LORD, 
His wonderful deeds in the deep. 
For he spoke and stirred up a tempest 
 that lifted high the waves. 
They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths; 
in their peril their courage melted away. 
They reeled and staggered like drunkards; 
 they were at their wits’ end. 
Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, 
 and he brought them out of their distress. 
He stilled the storm to a whisper; 
the waves of the sea were hushed. 
They were glad when it grew calm, 
and he guided them to their desired haven. 
Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love 
Psalm 107:23-31

This post has been featured!!!!  Yippee!!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Project 52: Sacrifice

     Last week we went to visit my parents in Virginia.  We marveled at the sun setting on the beautiful waters of the Chesapeake Bay.  The God who loved you enough to streak the sky in color each evening loved you enough to send His very own Son as a sacrifice for our sins.  

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,
that whoever believes on Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

     Blessings to you this Easter Season.
     For more pictures of sacrifice please visit Darcy at my3boybarians.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Chasing Rabbits

     When I was about eight, my parents signed me up for ten accordion lessons.  Kinda boggles the mind doesn’t it?  We named my accordion “Wheezy.”
     Lessons were painful for all involved.  My younger brothers were dragged on a weekly trip where they had the chore of waiting in the car for an hour for my musical education to end.  Inside, I looked longingly out the window at them while I toiled away trying desperately to pull, squeeze, and press Wheezey’s  many keys.  The person who was possibly the most miserable in all of this was the instructor who was listening to my pitiful efforts.
     One day I glimpsed my brother Don leap out of the car and take off running across a nearby field like he had been fired from a cannon.  John tumbled about behind him shouting.  Five minutes later Don came trudging back to the car and climbed in.  My accordion gave it’s last gasp and wheeze of the lesson and I hurried out to the car to find out what the excitement had been about.
       My brothers had been watching the rabbits in the field and plotting to catch one.  My mother in a plea to keep them from injuring one another out of boredom had told them that if they could catch a rabbit, they could keep it.  An unsuspecting bunny had wandered just close enough to the car that Don thought his moment had arrived.
     Don insisted that he almost caught that wily rabbit.  He said that he actually touched the rabbit as it escaped into a hole in a rock wall.  He just wasn’t quite fast enough.  The prize had slipped through his grasp.
     Have you ever felt like my brother?  Something you want is in arm’s length and as you reach out to grasp it, it’s gone like a rabbit down a hole.  For some of us, it may be a new job.  A new house.  Health.  A happy marriage.  Children who eagerly listen to parents.  The salvation of loved ones.  The list goes on.  Everyone here has felt the hopelessness of not getting something that we want.
     But, here is the good news.  It’s better than any of those things.  It’s within reaching distance and it won’t slip through your hands.  It’s the love of God.  Come near to God and He will come near to you.  James 4:8.  
     On this Easter morning, know that God will not scurry away and leave you empty handed.  He will not hide when you go looking for Him.  And as fast as you can run to Him, He will run to you.  He will allow you to draw Him into your arms and heart.  The closer you get, the closer you will become.  
     Sometime later my brothers were given two Dutch Miniature Rabbits and like all of God’s blessings, they multiplied like rabbits - pressed down, shaken together, running over, and poured into our laps.
     How has God blessed you this Easter?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Project 52: Foolin' Around

     Inspired by a post on Pioneer Woman,   I decided to do a little Googly Eyebombing of my own for the Foolin' Around prompt for Project 52 at my3boybarians. Googly Eyebombing is a photo game played by putting googly eyes on inanimate objects.  There is even an official Googly Eyebombing site.  The photos are so much fun.  Be sure to visit.
     These googly faces have a nautical theme.  The first is a cleat on a dock for tying up boats.  The second is a piece of boat rope coiled on the dock.  I thought the frayed edges looked like hair.
     Above is a wheel on the corner of the dock that protects the boats from hitting the pointy edges.  I'm not sure, but this one might be sticking his tongue out at me.
     Finally, a propeller from a boat motor is looking out at the water.  I think that he is looking forward to summer fishing trips.
     For more fun pictures visit Darcy at my3boybarians.
Pin It button on image hover