Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
These ornaments are fast to make and have memories. You use old photos (4 by 6) or Christmas cards--whatever---and cut them in 1/2 inch strips--punch holes in top and bottom and join with brads. I just tried it out on a couple of extra pictures from last Christmas.--It is cool because you can look at them and see neat memories , but from a distance they look like lantern type balls. Full directions are found at http://photojojo.com/content/diy/photo-christmas-tree-ornaments/
Sunday, October 28, 2007
During which I have had eyes,ears, hands
And the great world round me;
And with tomorrow begins another.
Why am I allowed two?" (Chesterton)
Truly every day comes from God's hand of mercy--the fact that I wake up to breath and see another day. "If nothing else, nature reveals God as mysterious, incalculable, 'wholly other,' worthy of worship." (Yancey)
Atheist have the problem of the origin of pleasure to explain "in a world of randomness and meaninglessness"......Christianity provides "the clues to solve the mystery of pleasure............Rather than merely wag our fingers at such obvious abuses of God's good gifts, perhaps we should demonstrate to the world where good gifts actually come from, and why they are good. Evil's greatest triumph may be its success in portraying religion as an enemy of pleasure when, in fact, religion accounts for its source: every good and enjoyable thing is the invention of a Creator who lavished gifts on the world." (55-Yancey)_ "The beauty of the world is Christ's tender smile for us coming through matter." (Simone Weil). Yancey describes nature as, "a symphony that plays on whether or not I stop to listen". "Should we not start with the most obvious fact of existence that whoever is responsible is a fierce and incomparable artist beside whom all human achievement and creativity dwindle as child's play?"(49)
Today in SS we were discussing part of Romans. (and in church Jeremiah). ..how because of man's sin we are under God's wrath. This is why there is so much pain and bad in this world. I do not suffer because I am any worse than anyone else---we are all sinful...we all suffer...no one escapes suffering. Part of suffering is to show me my need of God. In Jeremiah the people kept asking God Why--(Jere 14)""O thou hope of Israel, its savior in time of trouble, why shouldst thou be like a stranger in the land, like a wayfarer who turns aside to tarry for a night? Why shouldst thou be like a man confused, like a mighty man who cannot save? Yet thou, O LORD, art in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name; leave us not.' Thus says the LORD concerning this people: 'They have loved to wander thus, they have not restrained their feet ; therefore the LORD does not accept them, now he will remember their iniquity and punish their sins."
AND THIS IS WHY WE ALL NEED GRACE AND THIS IS THE BEAUTY OF GRACE TO ME. Every day is a gift from Him whether in this life or the life to come--- a gift of grace. He has chosen to forgive me because of His great love demonstrated to me by His sending His son to die in my place. No one can love God with all one's heart, mind, soul--no one can be absolutely perfect. BUT God gives ABSOLUTE GRACE--I love how Yancey states this:
"Yet the same Jesus tenderly offered absolute grace, perhaps the greatest distinctive of the Christian faith. God loves us not because of who we are and what we have done, but because of who God is. Grace flows to all who accept it. Jesus forgave an adulteress, a thief on a cross, a disciple who had denied ever knowing him. Grace is absolute, all-encompassing. It extends even to the people who nailed Jesus to the cross: 'Father , forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing' were among the last words he spoke on earth."145
Pain, yes, suffering for all, yes. But this drives me to Him and He daily extends grace, cleansing, forgiveness, .....In a way He cries, as Jesus wept because of the punishment that was coming upon Jerusalem for rejecting his way of peace--Luke 19:41ff--"And when he approached, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, 'If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.......they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation." He wept--means a loud lamentation--it does not give him pleasure to bring judgement. He weeps here at the coming judgement. But in contrast, there is" joy in heaven over one sinner who repents" Luke 15:7.
What a God of infinite love ...that loves us so much that he weeps when He disciplines us---Who seeks to drive us to the most beautiful gracious and loving being--who longs to be intimate with me...who rejoices when I repent.....and yet I constantly fall---and yet He constantly extends mercy and grace. I am amazed.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
She was always thirsting for Christ. I thought of John 7: 37-39 : "If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water. ' But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified."
I don't understand why she did not have this--this amazing feeling of His love and presence you have normally as a true believer. But she suffered because of a feeling of absence of Him.
Some of the things that were challenging--Matt. 25:34-46--the passage about if we feed, cloth, give drink, minister to others and to the sick and those in prison--we do it to Jesus and if we don't then "Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me" ..I need to think a lot more about this--Jesus meant this to be taken seriously.
When she referred to the Matt 25 passage she would say "Remember the five fingers-- you--did---it---to --Me." This is referred to as the Gospel on five fingers.
When she thought about the suffering her reply was "All for Jesus" or "You know this is the chance for greater love."
She felt: "God is in love with us and keeps giving Himself to the world--through you---through me...May you continue to be the sunshine of His love to your people and thus make your life something truly beautiful for God."
"She considered embracing the mystery of the cross in her life an opportunity to do something beautiful for God and carry His love to those living in darkness........."let us pray for all the grace we need to unite our sufferings to His, that many souls, who live in darkness and misery, may know His love and life........I pray that nothing may ever so fill you with pain and sorrow as to make you forget the joy of the Risen Jesus.""Yet it was not with a sense of helplessness or passive resignation that she lived; rather she radiated the joy of belonging to God, of living with Him. She knew that after the pain of the Passion, the joy of the resurrection would dawn."
She felt she should never refuse God anything--that "True love is surrender. The more we love, the more we surrender." That we are to be "a victim for others".
When thinking about refusing God something to think on: "Wilt thou refuse? When there was a question of thy soul I did not think of Myself but gave myself freely for thee on the Cross and now what about thee? Wilt thou refuse?"
A priest gave her this advice: "Pray much and live intimately with our Lord J.C. asking for light, strength, decision; but do not anticipate HIS WORK . Try not to put anything of your own in all this. You are His instrument, nothing more." That was good advice.
She said: "In my meditations & prayers, which are so full of distractions nowadays-- there stands one thing very clear--my weakness & His Greatness. I fear all things from my weakness--but I trust blindly His Greatness."
Another counsel she gave: "Give Jesus a free hand and let Him use you without consulting you."
And this: "His ways are so beautiful--to think that we have God almighty to stoop so low as to love you & me & make use of us--& make us feel that He really needs us---As I grow older my wonder at His humility grows not for what He gives but for what He is--[the[ Bread of Life--The hungry One." (pg 273)
She did very "consciously, to become a bridge between people and God, and to bring them God's salvation and bring them to God. So even in small things that she did, she wanted to talk about [Jesus]...."273
She said: "It is only when we realize our nothingness, our emptiness, that God can fill us with Himself. When we become full of God then we can give God to others, for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks." 273-4
"I must be able to give only Jesus to the world. People are hungry for God. What [a] terrible meeting [it] would be with our neighbour if we give them only ourselves." 281
"Sorrow, suffering....is but a kiss of Jesus---a sign that you have come so close to Jesus that He can kiss you.---I think this is the most beautiful definition of suffering.---So let us be happy when Jesus stoops down to kiss us.--I hope we are close enough that He can do it." 281
She felt many suffered from loneliness--"How do we know some one like that is not next to our house? Do we know who they are, where they are? Let us find them and , when we find them, love them. Then when we love them we will serve them.......I think a much greater disease is to be unwanted ,unloved. The pain that these people suffer is very difficult to understand, to penetrate. I think this is what our people all over the world are going through, in every family, in every home." 296
One of her goals for a Missionary of Charity: "to spread His fragrance everywhere she went, to be His radiance, His light, and to be 'only Jesus' to each person she met. In all this, she was satiating His thirst for love and souls." 299On Sept 5, 1997 she complained of severe back pain; "soon her condition was aggravated by the inability to breath..All was done to help her; a doctor and a priest were called in. Unexpectedly the electricity failed and the whole house was in darkness. Foreseeing an emergency, the sisters had secured two independent electric supplies. But both lines went out at the same time; such a thing had never happened before. Prompt and expert medical aid could not help, as the breathing machine (Bi-PAP) could not be started. It was 9:20 P.M. While Calcutta was in darkness, the earthly life of the one who had brought so much light to this city ad to the whole world was extinguished. " 333
She gave herself unreservedly to minister to the poorest and the sick. She lived for touching others in , with and for Christ. Much here to reflect on. She had the heart of Jesus as she viewed the pain in this world.
I will close this with her answer to Who is Jesus to Me?
Jesus is the Word made flesh.
Jesus is the Bread of Life.
Jesus is the Victim offered for our sins on the Cross.
Jesus is the Sacrifice offered at the Holy Mass
for the sins of the world and mine.
Jesus is the Word--to be spoken
Jesus is the Truth--to be told.
Jesus is the Way--to be walked.
Jesus is the Light-- to be lit.
Jesus is the Love--to be loved.
Jesus is the Joy--to be shared.
Jesus is the Sacrifice--to be offered.
Jesus is the Peace--to be given.
Jesus is the Bread of Life--to be eaten.
Jesus is the Hungry--to be fed.
Jesus is the Thirsty--to be satiated.
Jesus is the Naked--to be clothed.
Jesus is the Homeless--to be taken in.
Jesus is the Sick--to be healed.
Jesus is the Lonely--to be loved.
Jesus is the Unwanted--to be wanted.
Jesus is the Leper--to wash his wounds.
Jesus is the Beggar--to give him a smile.
Jesus is the Drunkard--to listen to him.
Jesus is the Retarded--to protect him.
Jesus is the Little One--to embrace him.
Jesus is the Blind--to lead him.
Jesus is the Dumb--to speak for him.
Jesus is the Crippled--to walk with him.
Jesus is the Drug Addict--to befriend him.
Jesus is the Prostitute--to remove from danger and befriend.
Jesus is the Prisoner--to be visited.
Jesus is the Old--to be served.
Jesus is my God.
Jesus is my Spouse.
Jesus is my Life.
Jesus is my only Love.
Jesus is my ALL in All.
Jesus is my everything.
Jesus, I love with my whole heart, with my whole being.
I have given Him all, even my sins, and He has espoused me to
Himself in tenderness and love.
Now and for life I am the spouse of my Crucified Spouse. Amen 303-304
She was Applying Matt 25--something to think on.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Yes-I stole these pics from my daughter---these are of my grandbaby Rhianwen at the State Fair---priceless pics!! Thomas A Kempis wrote:
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Sunday, October 21, 2007
I find it sad to think she lived much of her life not feeling the intimate presence of God. It reminded me of the Song of Solomon where the woman is longing for the beloved's presence. ...That would indeed be suffering---not to feel the presence and love of God!! Mother Teresa felt it was part of the suffering God was calling her to endure and that she was feeling a bit of what it was like for Christ suffering on the cross and being separated from God.
I am so glad for God's mercy to us that for most of us Christians he enables the comfort of His presence and the enabling of the feeling of his love. I love the passage in Eph 3:17-21--"so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen"
In our Sunday School today he mentioned a quote from J. Edwards--something about why sin is so sinful---that we are sinning against the infinite love of God so that even what we consider a small sin is so horrible and deserving of his wrath because we sin against the infinite love of God--and that when we understand this we then understand so much more about His great mercy, love, grace, etc that is ours through the blood of Christ---amen!! Bless His Holy Name.
ps. I have noticed in reading this book about Mother T.--she doesn't seem to read or know the word of God---at least it is not referred to in this first half of the book I have read--perhaps that was a great part of her problem.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Well my youngest son was home for his Fall break and I made some of his favorites. Pumpkin muffins, cheesy grit casserole, chili (which he actually didn't get to eat!) , Emerile's (sp?)vodka penne, Ruth's ultimate chocolate cake. Some of these recipes I have at my reicpe blog
Friday, October 12, 2007
this is an old tube type radio that still works. You have to turn the radio on and let it warm up for a few minutes and voila!! It only gets am channels. I am afraid to use it very often because I do not know where you would go to get replacement vacuum tubes!!! Does anyone know?
This is for Show and tell Friday---hosted by Kelli at http://kellishouse.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
I found this helpful to use in looking at all kinds of relationships between people --and in particular, in the closest of human relationships too. Here is an extended quote from his book “Life Together”. (It helps to see the difference between human love and divine love) --so here is the contrast listed:
“The basis of all spiritual reality is the clear, manifest Word of God in Jesus Christ. The basis of all human reality is the dark, turbid urges and desires of the human mind. The basis of the community of the Spirit is truth; the basis of human community of spirit is desire. The essence of the community of the Spirit is light, for ‘God is light, and in him is no darkness at all’ (I John 1:5) and ‘if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another” (1:7). The essence of human community of spirit is darkness, ‘for from within , out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts’ (Mark 7:21). It is the deep night that hovers over the sources of all human action, even over all noble and devout impulses. The community of the Spirit is the fellowship of those who are called by Christ; human community of spirit is the fellowship of devout souls. In the community of the Spirit there burns the bright love of brotherly service, agape; in the human community of spirit there glows the dark love of good and evil desire, eros. In the former there is ordered, brotherly service, in the latter disordered desire for pleasure; in the former humble subjection to the brethren, in the latter humble yet haughty subjection of a brother to one’s own desire. In the community of the Spirit the Word of God alone rules; in human community of spirit there rules, along with the Word, the man who is furnished with exceptional powers, experience, and magical, suggestive capacities. There God’s Word alone is binding; here, besides the Word, men bind others to themselves. There all power, honor, and dominion are surrendered to the Holy Spirit; here spheres of power and influence of a personal nature are sought and cultivated. It is true, in so far as these are devout men that they do this with the intention of serving the highest and the best, but in actuality the result is to dethrone the Holy Spirit, to relegate Him to remote unreality. In actuality, it is only the human that is operative here. In the spiritual realm the Spirit governs; in human community, psychological techniques and methods. In the former naïve, un-psychological, unmethodical, helping love is extended toward one’s brother; in the latter psychological analysis and construction; in the one the service of one’s brother is simple and humble; in the other service consists of a searching, calculating analysis of a stranger……………………………….
“ Likewise, there is a human love of one’s neighbor. Such passion is capable of prodigious sacrifices. Often it far surpasses genuine Christian love in fervent devotion and visible results. It speaks the Christian language with overwhelming and stirring eloquence. But it is what Paul is speaking of when he says: ‘And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned’—in other words, though I combine the utmost deeds of love with the utmost of devotion—‘and have not charity (that is, the love of Christ), it profiteth me nothing’ (I Cor 13:3). Human love is directed to the other person for his own sake, spiritual love loves him for Christ’s sake. Therefore, human love seeks direct contact with the other person, it loves him not as a free person but as one whom it binds to itself. It wants to gain, to capture by every means; it uses force. It desires to be irresistible, to rule.”
“ Human love has little regard for truth. It makes the truth relative, since nothing, not even the truth, must come between it and the beloved person. Human love desires the other person, his company, his answering love, but it does not serve him. On the contrary, it continues to desire even when it seems to be serving………………..
…….Human love makes itself an end in itself. It creates of itself an end, an idol which it worships, to which it must subject everything. It nurses and cultivates an ideal, it loves itself, and nothing else in the world. Spiritual love, however, comes from Jesus Christ it serves him alone; it knows that it has no immediate access to other persons.”
“ Jesus Christ stands between the lover and the others he loves. I do not know in advance what love of others means on the basis of the general idea of love that grows out of my human desires—all this may rather be hatred and an insidious kind of selfishness in the eyes of Christ. What love is, only Christ tells in his Word. Contrary to all my own opinions and convictions, Jesus Christ will tell me what love toward the brethren really is. Therefore, spiritual love is bound solely to the Word of Jesus Christ. Where Christ bids me to maintain fellowship for the sake of love, I will maintain it. Where his truth enjoins me to dissolve a fellowship for love’s sake, there I will dissolve it, despite all the protests of my human love. Because spiritual love does not desire but rather serves, it loves an enemy as a brother. It originates neither in the brother nor in the enemy but in Christ and his Word. Human love can never understand spiritual love, for spiritual love is from above; it is something completely strange, new, and incomprehensible to all earthly love.”
“………………….As only Christ can speak to me in such a way that I may be saved, so others, too, can be saved only by Christ himself. This means that I must release the other person from every attempt of mine to regulate, coerce, and dominate him with my love. The other person needs to retain his independence of me; to be loved for what he is, as one for whom Christ became man, died, and rose again, for whom Christ bought forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Because Christ has long since acted decisively for my brother, before I could begin to act, I must leave him his freedom to be Christ’s; I must meet him only as the person that he already is in Christ’s eyes. This is the meaning of the proposition that we can meet others only through the mediation of Christ. Human love constructs its own image of the other person, of what he is and what he should become. It takes the life of the other person into its own hands. Spiritual love recognizes the true image of the other person which he has received from Jesus Christ; the image that Jesus Christ himself embodied and would stamp upon all men.” (he is speaking of other believers here).
Sunday, October 7, 2007
O God, Thou hast taught me from my youth;
And I still declare Thy wondrous deeds.
And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not
Until I declare Thy strength to this generation,
Thy power to all who are to come,"
Along with this, this weekend was a blessing because of the richness of God speaking his word to our hearts. God ministered to me in the Sunday School, in the sermon, in the music, in the scripture readings--it is so wonderful the way He can directly speak this way!! Bless Him for all of his good gifts.
Also thanks so much for Christian fellowship (family and otherwise)--I like this quote from Bonhoeffer:
"Our community with one another consists solely in what Christ has done to both of us........Because God has already laid the only foundation of our fellowship,because God had bound us together in one body with other Christians in Jesus Christ, long before we entered into common life with them, we enter into that common life not as demanders but as thankful recipients. We thank God for what He has done for us. We thank God for giving us brethren who live by His call, by His forgiveness, and His promise. We do not complain of what God does not give us; we rather thank God for what He does give us daily. And is not what has been given us enough: brothers, who will go on living with us through sin and need under the blessing of His grace? Is the divine gift of Christian fellowship anything less than this, any day, even the most difficult and distressing day? Even when sin and misunderstanding burden the communal life, is not the sinning brother still a brother , with whom I, too, stand under the Word of Christ? Will not his sin be a constant occasion for me to give thanks that both of us may live in the forgiving love of God in Jesus Christ? Thus the very hour of disillusionment with my brother becomes incomparably salutary, because it so thoroughly teaches me that neither of us can ever live by our own words and deeds, but only by that one Word and Deed which really binds us together-the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ."
I can only say AMEN
Friday, October 5, 2007
This is a picture by Bill Stephens that hangs in our bedroom. It is one of the first things we see when we wake up and when we go to bed at night.
It has very special meaning to my husband and I. One weekend last spring we were on a Christian retreat. As my husband walked on the beach the Lord placed theses words in His mind: "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand." (John 10:27-28). These words really were impressed on his mind and then after his walk he went to the early morning chapel service and these same words were read!! It was like God was speaking directly to him and he realized as never before the importance of hearing and following
Christ. My husband had just gone through a very difficult year with prostate cancer and some other personal hardships.
I found this painting on line and spoke to the artist--he can do personal touches and he did my husbands initials on the sleeve (it doesn't show on this photo). Thank the Lord, for the way he can personally speak directly to our hearts and for the many ways he can do this! I praise God for the gifts of his people, also, for the way this artist captured something that is so dear to us!!
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
picture by ksfamwest--flicker
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
books that make me think
handmade mugs (to think of people making these things I am drinking out of!)
husband to share joys and sorrows with--the beauty and fullness of this
seeing visible transformations that God produces in a person
times of rest and quiet--a withdrawing from the world
exultant pipe organ music
the gloria and sanctus in the hymnal
sharing times of lively fellowship
the beauty of meditating on God's word; the beauty of His truth