"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Watchman's Hut in a Cucumber Field

"The daughter of Zion is left like a shelter in a vineyard,
Like a watchman's hut in a cucumber field, like a besieged city."

I've read many commentaries on this verse. There's not much explanation of Isaiah 1:8, but my first thought was... a watchman's hut in a cucumber field...isn't that silly? Cucumbers are melons...they lie on the ground...why would you need a watchman's hut?

Such a shelter protected a look-out for the crops. After the harvest, people would leave the shelter to fall into pieces.

Abraham ben Meīr Ibn Ezra wrote: And the daughter of Zion is left, etc. The fortified cities of Judah will be taken and only Zion will be left. fDlD The hut.TM The place for the watchman ; that is, the temple built in honour of the Almighty. fWD A lodge, where the watchman stays through the night. In the garden of cucumbers. Ruined36 (comp. lxv. 4).

And it made me sad. Because this is what is happening today. God is no longer on a throne. He's a 'good buddy' 'the man upstairs'...he's 'the homeboy'.


and we are allowing his temple...our hearts ... to be hardened into ruins.

I repeat Isaiah: "Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."

2009 my prayer was that God would change my character.

My goal in 2010 is... that I would let Him.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas 2009

So many things have changed...so many have stayed the same.
My three children's lives have had 'face lifts' and life is looking good for them.

I got to spend some time with my Michigan family at Thanksgiving. My two grandsons are past the "Nana" cuddling stage... and I had forgotten how children can become 'boneless' if they don't want you to hold them. All three children have distinct personalities, likes & dislikes and it does make me smile. My son and daughter in law are doing a good job raising these children...Kudos to them...it isn't easy...I know!

I've not met Geoff's fiancee Christina...she seems to be very good for and to my son. I'm happy that his life is good. Geoff and I have spent some good times on the phone. I miss him. Haven't seen him since 2003. He and Christina are getting married next year... it'll be a good time to see him in Wisconsin.

My daughter Melissa has succeeded in business and started really focusing on getting healthy this year. Under a medically supervised plan, she has now lost 56 pounds and counting. She looks GREAT, and is slowly realizing her success story. I'll keep pinching her so she'll know it's real!

My friends...those of you who post comments and those who just read... thank you for allowing me to be part of your lives.

God has been good to me this year. I among all women, am extremely blessed.
Merry CHRISTmas.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A fun Christmas

When I was 15 years old, my mother wrote poems and hung them on the Christmas tree. Instead of leaving our presents under the tree, "Santa" had mom write these poems. They were hints of where our Christmas gifts were hidden around the house.

That was fun.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Colds and coal

I'm battling a scratchy throat, stuffy nose, Lauren Bacall voice cold right now. I know it's from being in a plane for 1 1/2 hours with sick little kids and their parents just wanting to get home. Something about recycled air does that to us.

Feeling like yuck, the scheduled trip to Operation Christmas Child came on December 1. I drove a van full of mature adult volunteers who were just ready to serve.

I had never been to the OCC center before. Let me tell you it's a very well-oiled machine. I know it took them years to get to this point...but with hundreds of thousands of boxes coming through just the center in Charlotte, hundreds of volunteers coming daily...they had to get it working properly and quick!

We were told that the shoe boxes we were going through were going to Muslim nations. It's the first time the Muslim nations have allowed OCC to send toys, games, etc to their children. We had to be sure NO pigs, no mention of God and no American flags were in any of the boxes.

Who knew there would be so many PIGS????

I was the taper. After the individual boxes were inspected I got to tape them. Realizing that my hands were the last to touch the box before the child opened it was more emotional than I could stand.

Some child in a country that is being taught to HATE Christians was going to open this box. What is that child going to feel about "Americans" when he or she opens it and hugs the little stuffed dog... colors in the coloring book...combs his or her hair with a brand new brush... brushes his or her teeth with a new toothbrush and toothpaste? What emotions will that bring.

Romans 12:20 says "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."

So in my small way, I was heaping burning coals on a child who is being filled with hate. Giving hot coals is not bad. Actually-many years ago, a wonderful teacher, Dr. Larry Slay, told our class what this really meant.

The worst thing that could happen to a family in the bible days, was that their fire would go out in their fireplace. They didn't have matches...so re-starting the fire was a major ordeal. When a family's fire would go out, their neighbor would carry a live-hot piece of coal on top of their head on the carrier they used and bring it to their neighbor... therefore giving them a hot coal of friendship.

I've carried that word picture with me for all these years. Whether a neighbor, friend or a stranger, we are to give hot coals to those whose fires have gone out. We are called to carry the fire to everyone.

I did a little part of that by taping shoeboxes, headed to the enemy of my faith.

God bless them everyone.