Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Veni, veni Emanuel!

Veni, veni Emanuel!
Captivum solve Israel!
Qui gemit in exilio,
Privatus Dei Filio.

Gaude, gaude, Emanuel
Nascetur pro te, Israel.

Veni, veni o oriens!
Solare nos adveniens,
Noctis depelle nebulas,
Dirasque noctis tenebras.

Veni, veni Adonai!
Qui populo in Sinai
Legem dedisti vertice,
In Maiestate gloriae.

Do you know it....? Come on you Latin students out there.....give it a try. The author is unknown but it is based on the biblical texts of Is. 7:14, Is. 11:1, Luke 1:78, Is 22:22, Is 9:6. It was translated by John Neale into English and the music is a French processional for Franciscan nuns. Maybe the english translation will help.

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
In ancient times did'st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

The words are just awesome....just dissect the first stanza. It will give you lots to ponder for awhile.

Monday, October 29, 2007

I'm Sticking with Scripture

These are examples as to why I shouldn't be homeschooling.....

How many two digit numbers exist such that the when the product of its digits is added to the sum of its digits the result is equal to the orginal two digit number?


The area of two different rectangles is 360 square centimeters for each rectangle. The length and width for each triangle are positive integers. The length of the second rectangle is 12 cm greater than the first while its width is 5 cm less than the first. Find the difference of the perimeters of the two rectangles.


A, B, and C are consecutive digits. D and E are also consecutive digits. A, B, C, D, and E are all different digits. If B x DE = ABC, find the sum of A + B + C + D + E. (Note: C and D are not necessarily consecutive digits.

Go ahead.....I know some of you are dying to answer these (let me know the answers....I am still asking what letters and numbers have to do with each other!!)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Saturday and Rain

Soccer in the morning.....rainy day fun in the afternoon....

How sweet it was to hear, feel and see the rain....

A little impromptu girl time.....

Don't be scared...it is just Elena!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

He's Back.....

Say Hello to the new Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Hansen.......
Praising God over this one!!
(my niece and "new" nephew)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Empty Nest

I have many gals I know who have entered or are entering the station of life known as "empty nest". All of them have been much on my mind lately. I read this story recently.....it doesn't make the tears go away, but it does give some perspective.

Evelyn Petty

Our front door slammed open and shut many times over the years, but there was one summer it was silenced-the summer before the last of our three children left for college. Christine, John and Jeff had been fun to raise and the delight of my life. Even the thought of them leaving home felt empty.

One day, I noticed a mother bird feverishly making a nest on the light fixture by our front door. Twigs and debris were scattered on the ground underneath. Somewhat anxious brown eyes peered quietly over the edge at me.

From that time forward, the front door was off limits. Through the entire active summer, with two kids home from college and another one preparing to leave, everyone used the kitchen door. Soon, the nest burst into activity with the arrival of three birds. We were able to watch from the kitchen as the mother bird fed, fluffed her babies, cleaned out the nest and eventually taught them to fly. And then one day, they were gone.

I thought about the mother bird and how her care and tending had ended as the birds flew away leaving nothing but a nest. From the moment I counted the three birds, I began identifying with the whole process, so I carefully took the abandoned home down from its perch and placed it on a shelf in the garage. As I watched Chris, and John, and now Jeff pack to leave home, I wept realizing the inevitable had come; I had raised my family and it was time for them to apply all the lessons home had taught them.

Late in October of the same year, an unusually loud thunderstorm hit our area. I looked out the kitchen window at the sky and a movement caught my eye. There, huddled under the eaves by the front door, near the porch light, were three fledgling birds. I'm sure it was "our family", returning to dind shelter in the only place they knew for sure was safe, familiar, welcoming-because it was home.

Smiling, I returned to my breakfast, knowing I'd been given reassurance. Though the years of nuturing were over, the years ahead would bring many opportunities for sheltering our family. When the crisis, the frightening, the difficult or the overwhelming times come, there is one place that will always be safe, familiar, welcoming for my family--home.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


One of my favorite Beth Moore quotes comes from her written study of the book of Daniel in which she says, "Sometimes God releases us after a season. Other times He calls us to remain a voice of truth in someone's ear long after the glimmer of effectiveness." Have you been on either side of this quote? Care to share....

Monday, October 22, 2007


Not In Her Storm

I see the clouds rolling in and oh how it looks like rain
And it is always I fight for the welcome change
When it rains it pours on this heart of mine
So, I take the storms I feel to her each time.

But I know she has lived under her own pouring rain
Yet under her water her heart still doesn't change
She can walk away from what hangs overhead
And, not in her storm, are words left unsaid.

Not in her storm have I ever felt alone
Her storm ends, so I, may find my way home
It's for me that she pushes away her own rain
So, that I may find comfort in calling her name.

She lives in this world for the sake of another's heart
God, how she eases the miles when worlds apart
And she never wanders when your world falls through
Not ever in her storm would she do this to you.

She has wings that I know not only I can see
Cause only an angel could find strength to carry me
It's the way that the eyes can surely view
How her heart's written so clearly in what an angel can do.

Not in her storm is her work ever done
And even in her storm she hands me the sun
When her world is dark - I always have light
And now how I hold the new color of night.

She takes then she gives to an unhappy face
So that many can find an awesome place
I have been able to love her more every day
And with her hand in mine the clouds roll away.

Not in any storm that I will ever live beneath
Could ever change what I hold here inside of me
Not in any of her storms have I lost my angels touch
To that angel out there, I love her so much.

Friday, October 19, 2007

North Star and the Northern Lights

I had a friend move away a couple of years ago. I gave this friend a compass as a going away present with the following written...."If you ever get lonely, feel lost, start to question yourself then use this compass to find the north star. Looking up to find the north star will remind you to look up into the face of Jesus." I've been thinking a lot recently about our need to look up to the Lord.

"Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it, the Lord is His name, Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know." Jer 33:2-3

Some day I want to travel to a place where I can look up and see Jesus in the Northern Lights.....It is as if the Lord is finger painting in the sky. I think the heaven's are the original kindergarten classroom.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Be Still My Soul

"Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
leave to your God to order and provide;
in every change God faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: your best, your heavenly friend
through thorny ways leads to a joyful end."

C. Schlegel

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Shields and Hurts

taken from Proverbs 31 Ministries.....

Taking up the Shield, Van Walton Ephesians 6:16, "In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan."

I stood in the midst of a horrible battle that Saturday afternoon! A relational death hovered over me; I needed to fight wisely.

I cannot remember how many times I retreated to my "tent", the dark recesses of my soul-the place no one sees, but I certainly feel. I went there to understand my emotions and tend to my wounds, justifying my pain and sorrow. No sooner would I feel the battle relax, allowing healing to begin, than a flaming arrow would fly into my line of vision and threaten to sink into my heart or a dart would settle in my mind and I would gear up for battle once again. This time I threatened to defend myself and mine. Determined now to face off with the one who, without a doubt, deserved my wrath, my rejection, and my public disapproval, I picked up every unethical tool that would surely destroy a friendship between two godly individuals and diminish the character of a popular person, my stated enemy.

This one-sided fight spotlighted only one person on the battle field. My foe was not aware that a dispute even existed. I knew! I fought alone. The hurtful and unfair decision stood to potentially destroy my child. "hadn't this been considered?" I wondered. The lack of wisdom in the decisions made and direction taken tied me in knots. Unfortunately nothing could be done. It was too late. Once again I read over the published names of the newly chosen stars. I had no choice, but to live with it. But how could I? The battle raged on...

I began to doubt myself. How had I so suddenly turned on one whom I had admired? Why didn't I respect the decision if, in fact, I enthusiastically supported him in the past? Why did he do what he did? Fickle me! At this moment I certainly couldn't be defined as a person of deep character.

"I retreated again, remorse for my thoughts toward my "friend". Then I began to see the battlefield for what it truly was. My struggle seemed to be against the flesh and blood of the person, I so admired, only the day before. In reality, Satan's prowling hunt threatened to divide and destroy God's children. If I continued to wrestle and fall prey to the enemy, I stood the chance of walking away, not with a shallow battle scar that would heal in time, but with a huge character flaw, if I continued in my plotting strategy to destroy a brother.

I needed a better tactic to win this battle. All around me missiles, darts and arrows attacked in the form of lies, rejection, misunderstandings, and hurt feelings. Even when I stood back and assessed the war zone, I knew the fight raged on. Immediately, I knew a cease-fire was the only resolution. I must stop this senseless issue.

My home is composed of guys and they like battle scenes, so we read and watch about wars and learn what goes on in battles. I can't help but notice that ancient combats demanded shield of all types - every soldier had protection and it was ingenious the way he used that gear. The hero made himself ready for the conflict as his servant stood holding his equipment designed for war. The master prepared for the skirmish and his servant offered, "Take your shield." Notice that, before stepping into the melee, the warrior is told to take his shield.

That is what I was missing! I had forgotten to pickup my shield - the Shield of Faith. Faith that God would bring peace and comfort to this decision turned major conflict. When I did grab it, I became intimately acquainted with my Shield - Jesus. Psalms 18:2 and 28:7 say about Jesus, our Shield: "I love thee O lord, my strength. The Lord is my Rock and my fortress and my redeemer, My God, my rock in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stonghold. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults and with my songs I shall thank Him."

I learned when I pick up the Shield, Christ extinguishes the flaming arrows. I wanted a connection with my friend, not a conflict. What I learned was that the side of the shield held against the enemy deflected the incoming darts that brought lies and deception. The side of the shield that rested against my mind and my heart brought truth and peace.

Odds and Ends...

Don't ask. I don't know....it is what I came home to after a busy day. She is happy, though.

The after shot from the 'Clean Up' post and poem. Oh so much better.....

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Refining Process

"Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it's your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory." 1 peter 1 (the message)

"Friends, when life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner." 1 peter 4 (the message)

"So be content with who you are, and don't put on airs. God's strong hand is on you; he'll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you." 1 peter 5 (the message)

A friend pointed me towards these scriptures this past spring. I came back to them recently. Thank the Lord for His word.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Elena got her first goal today! Hard to believe you can strike with size 8 cleats....they are so small. There is a reason her nickname is peanut. It isn't ever easy being the coach's child. She does very well for her mama and I am very, very proud of her. I was equally proud of the reaction of the siblings.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

What do you hear?

The question is this.....if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it does it make any sound?

Give it some thought and give me your answer......

I've been thinking a lot on the silence of the Lord lately. My real question is this....if you don't hear the Lord is He really silent?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Aahh Cleaning...

I have the house cleaning blues
I look around and see so much to do
I look at the walls, the windows, and the floors
I see heaps of dust layered like boards

What I need is a good house cleaning crew
But where to get one, I haven't a clue
I asked for volunteers, but none would relent
Their community spirit, it seems, had been spent

I could wish for an occasional hurricane
For me, that may not be such a bad thing
I could raise the windows and open the doors
And be done with these house cleaning chores

But hurricanes don't occur where I live
So its left up to me to clean this crib
I have devised a plan to get the job done
Since I can no longer depend on anyone

My plan is as simple as it can be
One that is not very taxing on me
My walking shoes I will lace up tight
And from this nightmare I will take flight

*by Ellen Bailey

A fun poem....I am in the process of cleaning out all the 'Kid' books and only keeping age appropriate and those I want to box up and keep. My office is a pile of....well....stuff at the moment. Ever experience the same thing?

Friday, October 05, 2007

Happy 100th Post!

It is my 100th post....thanks for reading along.


Our pastor has been preaching a Fall Sermon series on What is the Church? This past week he spoke on many topics, but delved (once again) into why our church does what it does in worship. He has preached many times on this. He received an email from a church member which he posted on his blog and followed up with some of his own thoughts. I chose not to post a comment, but I am going to post on my blog. While the focus has been on technology in the worship service I think that minimizes the real issues of worship. Here are my thoughts:

Luke 4:8 says, "It is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only'." We were created to worship the Lord. It is what he desired when he created us to be in relationship with him. In our modern day evolutionized church - true God honoring, spirit filled, proclaiming of God's word worship has been lost in many congregations. The focus has turned from Him to us. The desire for our needs, our likes, our purposes has taken place of His authority in the church and in worship.

Most churches struggle with worship. Why is that? I think it is because they don't understand what true worship is. They have lost the focus of what is to be worshiped. They have lost and never fully grasped why we gather corporately. When that happens people groups who have a God given desire and capacity to worship lose focus and start worshiping other idols. We start putting through our own agenda in the name of God. An agenda that was never God-breathed. That agenda leads to ownership and ownership leads to false worship.

We end up filling our corporate gathering time with a lot of that and very little of this (stealing a phrase from Rob Bell). The discussions of the day don't focus on the teaching of the word. People stand around talking about every aspect of the service but truly fail to fall at the feet of the Lord in worship. I don't even like the term 'service'. Why do we use it? It sets people up to be served when we have gathered together to serve the Lord. Serve the Lord with our hearts, voices and the gift of His word.

It is very easy to have a discussion of various aspects of corporate worship. Everyone has an opinion regarding style (music), bulletins or worship folders, sanctuaries or auditorium, sit or stand, raise the hands, kneel in the presence of the Lord, technology or not etc..., etc... What happens though is the purpose of worship is lost. Everyone is guilty of it. The burden doesn't just lie at the feet of ministry staff. The greatest burden lies in our own hearts.

Does that mean we just take or partake of what is being served in the name of sacrificing for the good of the gathering. No.. A.W. Tozer said it this way, "God does not expect us to give up, to give in, to accept the church as it is and to condone what is happening. He expects His believing children to measure the church against the standards and the blessings promised in the Word of God. Then, with love and reverence and prayer in the leading of the Spirit of God we will quietly and patiently endeavor to align the church with the Word of God. When this begins to happen and the Word of God is given it place of priority, the presence of the Holy Spirit will again begin to glow in the church."

Simplicity.....it is very simple. God's word should have priority in corporate worship. Everything else we do in this gathering should be in response to it. The complexities of corporate worship come at the likes and dislikes of the people, at the learning styles of people, at the need to known and be known of people not the Word of God. The Gospel message is very simple. Living it is the challenge. My vote is always for simplicity. We must leave room for the Lord to appear. My personal preference would be for our worship to be opened with scripture read responsively, followed by prayer in response to what what just spoken, followed by the reading of the text, followed by the teaching of His word, followed by Praise (music) which is in response to what was just taught, followed by prayers of thanksgiving and praise which again are in response to what has been experienced of the Holy Spirit.

Notice there are no announcements, welcoming, directions...etc. as part of that line-up. While it is tantalizing to ministry staff to do all those because they have people's attention (or do they?) and in one place it is a distraction to the purpose of worship. I'm going to go one step further and just say it dumbs down worship.

The question of technology use has come up in our church. Which is what our Pastor's post is focusing his questions and comments on. Again, I think the answer lies in the purpose of worship and does the use of technology aid our learning or take away from it. I think the answer could go either way, but most importantly where do we lie in that questions as individuals gathering corporately. I don't buy the generational arguments our pastor spoke of. God does not call us to be lazy in worship or make excuses for that matter. I know what my learning style is. I know what I need to do in order to take in what is being taught. It is my responsibility to prepare myself to do that.

Just as an aside - there is a large church in the southeast. So large in fact that it has several large satellite churches. The pastor preaches at the main church on Sunday. The images (Digital) of him preaching are recorded. They are then put together in a holographic (not sure that is a word) and projected on the next Sunday at the satellite churches. I mean projected as a 3-d image as if he was standing on the stage. How is that for weird? The question is - is that true worship, does technology get in the way of the teaching of the word? Interesting.....

I'll end with another Tozer quote, "If God knows that your intention is to worship Him with every part of your being, He has promised to cooperate with you. On His side is the love and grace, the promises and the atonement, the constant help and the presence of the Holy Spirit. On your side there is determination, seeking yielding, believing. Your heart becomes a chamber, a sanctuary, a shrine in which there may be continuous, unbroken fellowship and communion with God. Your worship rises to God moment by moment."

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A Rose...

It is only a tiny rosebud,
A flower of God's design,
But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.
- The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I,
The flower God opens so sweetly,
In my hands would fade and die.
- I cannot unfold a rosebud,
This flower of God's design,
Then how can I have wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?
- So I'll trust Him for His leading
Each moment of every day
And I'll look to Him for His guidance
Each step of the pilgrim way.
- For the pathway that lies before me
My heavenly Father knows
I'll trust Him to unfold the moments
Just as He unfolds the rose.