Eye Has Not Seen…

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)

But as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

It’s time for me to forewarn that ellen b. will be away from the computer and all reading material for a time. On Monday I am scheduled for Vitrectomy Surgery in Spokane. My right eye has enough floaters to form my own galaxy. They affect my vision in my right eye. The surgery will involve removing the vitreous (the clear jelly like substance that fills the middle of the eye). They will replace it with saline (a saltwater solution). I’ll be under Dear’s care who will have to instill 3 different eye drop medications in my eye at different intervals for days. I don’t really know how long it will be before I feel like typing or reading so when you don’t see anything on my blog you will know why. I hope some of you will pray for me when God reminds you by His Spirit. Thank you in advance!

This is the latest devotional book that I am reading along with my daily Bible passages.

It’s proving to be a book I copy quotes from into my journal. Piper shares this quote from C.S. Lewis and then I’ll share a subsequent paragraph from Piper.

In the middle of the last century the British writer C.S. Lewis got it shockingly right:

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic–on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg–or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His fee and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. (Mere Christianity)

Then Piper goes on to say:

In other words, Jesus will not be domesticated. But people still try. There seems to be something about this man for everybody. So we pick and choose in a way that shows he is on our side. All over the world, having Jesus on your side is a good thing. But not the original, undomesticated, unadjusted Jesus. Just the revised Jesus who fits our religion or political platform or lifestyle.

These quotes are just from the preface. I’ll be jotting down many more thoughts to ponder as I continue to slowly read through this one.

Happy Monday to you all. Hope to have Dear add an update on this post on Wednesday to let you know how things are going.

75 Years…

Before I share about my day in Canada I want to acknowledge the 75th anniversary of D-Day.  A day that stopped a force of evil that threatened the well being of mankind. A great evil was restrained that day. Thank you to all the young men who stormed that beach.

Have a thoughtful day…

 

Thoughtful Thursday

On Tuesday we met with the pastor and deacons of First Baptist Colville to give our testimonies for consideration for church membership. I rewrote my testimony to share with the deacons.

Nestled close to  Kings Canyon National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada is the Youth Camp that I was able to attend in 1963, 1965 and 1967. I was 12, 14, and 16 during these wilderness adventures.

I was raised in a family who attended church regularly and often, very religious. The church I was raised in gave me the impression that because I was Russian and a member of their church that I had an exclusive connection with God. What I learned at Bible Camp was that the only exclusive connection I could have to God was through Jesus Christ and what He did for me on the cross. Being Russian and being a part of my father’s religion did not give me a direct link to God. In 1963 at Hume Lake while listening to a speaker talk about Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross to save sinners I was moved to step out and become a follower of Jesus. God’s plan of salvation was exclusively through his perfect son Jesus, who is fully God and came to earth to live a perfect life among us and be the perfect sacrifice for our sins. I knew I was one of those sinners and I needed a Savior. This decision began a journey of ups and downs, highs and lows, but a journey forward with my God and Savior. When I began my new life following Jesus I was clothed with His righteousness and reconciled to God. I continue on this walk, never perfectly but with God’s grace I carry on. He will be teaching me by His Holy Spirit all the days of my life. My God and Savior is and will be faithful to see me through all of my life on this earth and I look forward with the Hope of seeing Him face to face in heaven. During this same year, 1963, my father began his journey of following Jesus after hearing Billy Graham at the Los Angeles Coliseum share the truth of Jesus Christ and why He came to earth over 2000 years ago. 1963 was an epic year for me and my family. For my father and me we became part of God’s movement of love and grace through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My mother was a follower of Jesus when she married my father. My two older sisters had started following Jesus before my father and me.

I’ll share this verse that Billy Graham proclaims in every interview I’ve ever heard him give. John 14:6 (ESV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

High School scanned4HUME LAKE CHRISTIAN CAMP 1967

Fresh quotes from my reading this week and a quote from Dorothy Sayers that I read on Thistle Cove Farm blog:

“It is not the business of the church to adapt Christ to men, but men to Christ.” ~ Dorothy Sayers

Form Piper, Taste and See:

“We should continually look to the cross and the work of God in Christ because this is where God makes the light of the gospel shine. If we become excessively introspective and analyze our emotions too much, we will sink into hopeless doubts because the self-authenticating light shines not from within us, but from Christ in the gospel. We must look outside ourselves to Christ and his work if we hope to have assurance sustained inside ourselves.”

Second, we should continually pray for God to enlighten the eyes of our hearts.

Third, we should express our trust in Christ by loving each other.”

1 John 3:14 ~ We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren.”

Hope you have time to pause and consider what God has done for you on this Thoughtful Thursday.

Falling Behind

Hoping to catch up again, soon. In the last 5 days we had a road trip 6 hours each way with 2 days jam packed with family time and then on this side of the mountains we had a birthday dinner party at our country bungalow last night. Today I’m regrouping in my robe and slippers. Onward we go…

Getting to Know You…

I enjoyed reading Eileen’s Getting to Know Me and Mildred’s, too, so I’m answering the 25 questions.
1. What is your middle name?: 
I do not have a middle name on my birth certificate. In my Russian culture I would be introduced as Ellen, Moisi’s (daughter) Bagdanov. Everyone would then know that I was Moisi’s daughter not Ivan’s daughter.
That’s my maiden last name in Russian on my paternal grandparents’ gravestone.
2. What was your favorite subject at school?:
Any class where the teacher made me feel like they appreciated having me as a student especially my English teachers in high school. I enjoyed Home Economics and ended up majoring in Home Economics.
Mrs. Nicolaus was my favorite primary teacher.
3. What is your favorite drink?:
Morning: coffee  Cocktail: Gin and Tonic
4. What is your favorite song at the moment?:
Adore by Chris Tomlin
5. What is your favorite food?:
It’s hard to beat a good Ribeye steak or Osso Bucco or Prime Rib. I can’t narrow it down to one. My easy go to comfort food is probably Mexican food but I love finding good Persian restaurants that take me back to my food roots. I’m going to say my favorite food is food!
6. What is the last thing you bought?:
A large angel at Homegoods today.
7. Favorite book of all time?:
Yikes! Another hard one to narrow down. Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter Series.
8. Favorite Color?:
Blue
9. Do you have any pets?:
No
10. Favorite perfume?:
I don’t wear perfume and if you do please spray lightly. Thank you. 🙂
11. Favorite holiday?:
Easter is my favorite.
12. Are you married?:
Yes, this month we’ll celebrate 44 years!
13. Have you ever been out of the country?:
Yes. Great Britain seven times, Italy (Milan) once, Mexico once, Canada too many times to count.
14. Do you speak any other language?:
I can speak Russian poorly. I understand it better than I can speak it.
15. How many siblings do you have?:
Eight, 4 brothers and 3 sisters.
This photo is from my sister Kathy’s wedding. The groom and best man that are flanking Kathy aren’t part of the my 7 siblings and Dear is standing next to me. All the rest are my brothers and sisters who are now 44 years older! Kathy, Vera, Fred, Ellen, Tim, Steve, Lana and Leonard. The last two are twins.
16. What is your favorite shop?:
Homegoods
17. Favorite restaurant?:
For a nice hunk of meat, Metropolitan Grill. My all time favorite places to eat are Pubs in Great Britain.
18. When was the last time you cried?:
Last week. I cry easily during worship services.
19. Favorite Blog?:
I like a variety of blogs and especially enjoy visiting blogs that don’t bombard me with ads. I’m sad that a few of my favorites aren’t up and running at present.
20. Favorite Movie?:
The older Pride and Prejudice series with Colin Firth. Does that qualify as a movie?
21. Favorite TV shows?:
Great British Baking Show, Alone, Top Chef, Project Runway, Live PD, Survivor, NCIS, just to name a few.
22. PC or Mac?:
PC
23. What phone do you have?:
Samsung 4 or 5 , probably time to upgrade.
24. How tall are you?:
5′ 4-1/2″
25. Can you cook?:
Yes I can and I’m part of the Mennonite Girls Can Cook. My mother was a great Russian cook. Her love language was to cook for others and to feed them. She loved to listen to cooking shows on the radio and try to write down the recipes. Since she didn’t know how to write in English this was a challenge for her. She enjoyed trying new things and inspired all of her kids to cook. The photo above is from our humble home in Montebello at a dinner prepared for the cheer squad by my mom, Borsch, Meat and Potato filled Perishky and Blintzes. My parents modeled hospitality even though they always struggled financially while we were growing up.
Thanks for visiting today. We are hoping our counters will be able to be cut and installed on Monday!

Down With Photobucket!

Photobucket is holding all my photos hostage from me that I added to their site from 2007 and beyond. When I got to 99% full of my free photo storage space they wanted me to pay for more space. I stopped adding photos to the site. I chose not to pay for more storage and now they have deleted all my photos from my blog posts. I am more than miffed because to free my photos from their grasp they want me to pay $$ a year.  What a bother. I worked all day on Friday trying to fix some of my many many posts. I’ve also had to restore many posts on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook. I’ve got miles to go before my posts are restored.

Addy is a bit concerned, too. I’m so glad that not one of Addy’s photos is stored at Photobucket!

 

She Was A Happy Girl

When our daughter Katie was in fourth grade she was put into a Gifted program which was housed in a different school from our neighborhood school. After a few months in this program we started noticing some troubling patterns and angry outbursts from her. She did not want to go to school and wasn’t interested in doing any homework. She finally opened up to us and told us about her experiences on the playground from the other “gifted” kids. We decided the best thing to do was to pull her out of the program and try to repair the damage by homeschooling her. This was one of our best parenting decisions and moves. When we told her teacher and the administration we were pulling her out they were shocked and told us we were making a mistake. They felt this program was giving Katie some options she wouldn’t get in a regular classroom or at home. We just smiled and walked away. We home schooled for 4th, 5th and 6th grade and then Katie decided she’d like to try public school again entering junior high/7th grade. This is something I wrote in 1996 after hearing how Katie was treated and after watching how she was shunned at the school bus stop.

She Was a Happy Girl

She was gentle and kind
She liked to pretend and giggle and dream
Her dreams became playground games
She pranced and danced and was a tree fairy
Her imagination smiled inside her head
She was a happy girl

Other children on the playground couldn’t figure her out
She wasn’t like them
She was different in their eyes
Because of her uncommon ways they began to taunt her

She became the playground plague
She was called the germ
No one should touch the germ
or play with the germ
because they would become a germ, too.

She was a happy girl
but their thoughts and their actions
turned her into a sad and angry girl
She couldn’t understand and couldn’t change
what the playground had made her

She was a happy girl

I’m happy and thankful to God that Katie thrived being home schooled and when she re-entered the public school system she continued to do well. She enjoyed drama and art and had some great teachers who recognized her talents and abilities. She made some good friendships along the way at school and at church. She had very impressive SAT scores. She also was a National Merit Scholar. She completed college and now is standing by her husband as he completes his college degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He had a late start because of serving as a U.S. Marine. She still doesn’t fit in anyone’s mold. She is uniquely Katie. That’s one of the trees on one of her elementary playgrounds that she pretended she was a fairy in.

The Lord bless you and keep you;
 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

I found this as we sorted through lots and lots of paperwork and decided to put it on my blog as a reminder of how far we have come and how we were carried through by God’s love and grace in difficult times. There are some other things I might share from time to time. Peace be with you and yours.