The Cuddling

On Wednesday morning we had an opportunity to visit and hold JJ before we headed to Dan and Jamie’s to spend time with Addy and get her ready for the big reveal.

I had to add a photo of Daddy with JJ, too, from the homecoming.

We’re having a great stretch of weather here in Colville. There’s been some lawn mowing and weed pulling and other things going on. Hope all is well in your corner of the world. My sister Vera is coming to visit this weekend so our weekend will be sandwiched with trips to the Spokane airport. Spring is a busy time in the country.

From Taste and See, the John Piper devotional, my reading for today included this suggested prayer:

“Oh, Lord, thank you for my faith. Sustain it. Deepen it. Don’t let it fail. Make it the power of my life, so that in everything I do you get the glory as the great Giver. Amen.”

The Rest of the Tour

After we left the University, Laura and I took Flat Stanley to see The Fremont Troll, some floating houses, views of the Space Needle and a statue of Chief Seattle.

Here’s a link if you want more information on the Troll. The sad thing about this fun Seattle sight is that drug addicts have chosen to use this sight to shoot up and discard their needles here. When we were there a concerned citizen had already picked up over 30 discarded needles. He was warning people with children to watch out.

Some of the floating houses on Lake Union in Seattle.

Views of downtown Seattle from Queen Anne’s Kerry Park.

This statue of Chief Seattle is in the Belltown area of Seattle between 5th Avenue and Cedar Street in the shadow of the Space Needle. I’ll add a link for anyone who wants to read more about the man Seattle was named after here. I found this quote about him interesting:

“What we know of Sealth (pronounced SEE-elth, with a guttural stop at the end) and his life is mostly conjecture based upon myth with a little bit of extrapolated fact. That he was a tyee, or chief, has never been disputed. His father, Schweabe, had been a tyee, and the title was hereditary, though it conferred no power upon the holder. The Suquamish listened to the tyee only when he said what the people wanted to hear. The remainder of the time, a tyee was expected to share his largess with the rest of the tribe during a potlatch.”

Seattle, Chief of the Suquamish, A Friend of The Whites. For Him the City of Seattle was named by it’s Founders.

This week I’m adding three quotes from my readings that I want to remember.

“Loving, not being loved, is essential.” John Piper

A line from a hymn by John Newton, 1779, that Alistair Begg shared on an interview about Prayer:

“Thou art coming to a King, large petitions with thee bring”

I’ll be sharing the full hymn on a Sunday in the future.

This last quote and the longest is from The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur, page 46.

“The call to Calvary must be recognized for what it is: a call to discipleship under the lordship of Jesus Christ. To respond to that call is to become a believer. Anything less is unbelief.

The gospel according to Jesus explicitly and unequivocally rules out easy-believism. To make all of our Lord’s difficult demands apply only to a higher class of Christians blunts the force of His entire message. It makes room for a cheap and meaningless faith – faith that may be exercised with absolutely no impact on the fleshly life of sin. That is not saving faith.”

Have a Thursday filled with good thoughts!

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.

Thoughtful Thursday

I’m changing things up and nixing my Quotes of the Week on Friday for posts on Thursday that I’m calling Thoughtful Thursday.

The photo above is a portion of the road we travel to get to town, to our kids’ home, to church. We enjoy the landscape along the way. What you can’t see or smell is the aftermath of someone hitting a skunk. As our dear daughter-in-law’s Granny says, you travel skunk alley to get to town! She is right. In the short time we’ve lived here and traveled this road we’ve seen and smelled over 10 skunks that were not smart enough to stay off the road. Just keeping things real. One more thing about skunks, their fragrance lingers long after they are gone.

This morning we woke up to 4 degrees F. Brrr. So thankful for a furnace that warms up the inside of our home.

In the morning I’ve tried to start a regiment of reading before I turn on my computer while I drink my cup of coffee. I’m reading the Bible, a daily dose of Spurgeon and a devotional I pull off our bookshelf. The devotional with 140 meditations that I’m reading at present is Taste and See by John Piper. In today’s reading he quotes some of his beloved English professor’s resolutions from a talk in 1976. Piper says of Dr. Kilby that he had a pastoral heart and a poet’s eye. He pled with us to stop seeking mental health in the mirror of self-analysis, but instead drink in the remedies of God in nature. He was not naïve. He knew of sin. He knew of the necessity of redemption in Christ. But he would have said that Christ purchased new eyes for us as well as new hearts.

Here are a few of his resolutions I’ll share here. Awakening Amazement at the Strange Glory of Ordinary Things

  1. At least once every day I shall look steadily up at the sky and remember that I, a consciousness with a conscience, am on a planet traveling in space with wonderfully mysterious things above and about me.
  2. I shall not fall into the falsehood that this day, or any day, is merely another ambiguous and plodding twenty-four hours, but rather a unique event, filled, if I so wish, with worthy potentialities. I shall not be fool enough to suppose that trouble and pain are wholly evil parentheses in my existence, but just as likely ladders to be climbed toward moral and spiritual manhood.
  3. I shall open my eyes and ears. Once every day I shall simply stare at a tree, a flower, a cloud, or a person. I shall not be concerned at all to ask what they are but simply be glad that they are. I shall joyfully allow them the mystery of what Lewis calls their “divine, magical, terrifying and ecstatic” existence.

Staring at this tree…

Looking steadily at the sky.

Psalm 19:1-6

The heavens declare the glory of God,
    and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
    and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
    whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth,
    and their words to the end of the world.
In them he has set a tent for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,
    and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
    and its circuit to the end of them,
    and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

Hoping your Thursday is filled with moments of awe and gratefulness.

Quotes of the Week 9

“A child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where he was homeless
Are you and I at home:
We have hands that fashion and heads that know,
But our hearts we lost—how long ago!
In a place no chart nor ship can show
Under the sky’s dome.

To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.” –G.K. Chesterton, “The House of Christmas,”

No priest, no theologian stood at the manger of Bethlehem. And yet all Christian theology has its origin in the wonder of all wonders: that God became human. Holy theology arises from knees bent before the mystery of the divine child in the stable. ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

John Piper: “You never, never, never outgrow your need for this gospel. You don’t begin the Christian life with this and then leave it behind. God strengthens us with the gospel till the day we die.”

Quotes of the Week ~ 2

If that didn’t light your fire your wood’s wet.

Source: This was the quote of the day from church on Sunday from the pastor.

“Prayer is the easiest and the hardest of all things; the simplest and the sublimest; the weakest and the most powerful; its results lie outside the range of human possibilities – they are limited only by the omnipotence of God. Few Christians have anything but a vague idea of the power of prayer; fewer still have any experience of that power. The Church seems almost wholly unaware of the power God puts into her hand; this power is rarely, if ever, used – never used to the full measure of honoring God. It is astounding how poor the use, how little the benefits. Prayer is our most formidable weapon, but the one in which we are the least skilled, the most averse to its use. We do everything else for the heathen save the thing God wants us to do; the only thing which does any good – makes all else we do efficient.”

E. M. Bounds
(1835-1913) Methodist minister and devotional writer who served as a pastor in the American South and became a POW during the Civil War.

Source: I read the quote above in the book Between Heaven and Earth compiled by Ken Gire.

John Piper, The Pleasures of God

“Prayer is the walkie talkie on the battlefield of the world. It calls on God for courage (Eph. 6:19). It calls in for troop deployment and target location (Acts 13: 1-3). It calls in for protection and air cover (Matt. 6:13; Luke 21:36). It calls in for fire power to blast open a way for the Word (Col. 4:3). It calls in for the miracle of healing for the wounded soldiers (James 5:16). It calls in for supplies for the forces (Matt. 6:11; Phil. 4:6). And it calls in for needed reinforcements (Matt. 9:38). This is the place of prayer – on the battlefield of the world. It is a wartime walkie talkie for spiritual warfare, not a domestic intercom to increase comforts of the saints. And one of the reasons it malfunctions in the hands of so many Christian soldiers is that they have gone AWOL.”

Source: Between Heaven and Earth: Prayers and Reflections that Celebrate an Intimate God. Copyright 1997 by Ken Gire.

I’m getting a haircut today which is scary because my hairdresser is still in Seattle and here I am in Colville, 6ish hours away. Here’s hoping the gal I let use sheers on my hair today will see my vision and do a good job on my grey locks.

Taste and See ~ John Piper

I’ve been reading off and on a devotional by John Piper called Taste and See -Savoring the Supremacy of God in All of Life – 140 Meditations. I’m sharing part of Meditation 50 (How Can Elsie Run? How to Run and Box when You are over 80) I’ve highlighted in bold green print parts that really spoke to me…

…”Are running and boxing only for the fit and hardy?

The answer is that we all must run, whether old or young, whether sick or healthy. And this is possible for the sick and senile because the race is run with the heart, not the legs, and the fight is fought with the heart, not the fists. It is a race and a fight not against other athletes, but against unbelief. It is possible for the aged and weak to win this fight because the fight is a fight against lost hope, not against lost health.

Here’s the biblical evidence for this. In 1 Timothy 6:12 Paul says to Timothy: “Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made the good confession” The fight is a “fight of faith.” It is not a fight to get out of bed, but to rest in God.

It is not a fight to keep all the powers of youth, but to trust in the power of God. The race is run against temptations that would make us doubt God’s goodness. It is a fight to stay satisfied in God through broken hips and lost sight and failed memory. The race can and may be run flat on your back. In fact, it may be run and fought better by the paralyzed than by the able and seemingly self-sufficient.

…Finishing the race means not giving up the hope of the gospel. It is a race against hopelessness, not against flawlessness.

When we cheer on the diseased or aging runners who run their final laps in hospital beds, what we are really saying is, “Do not throw away your confidence which has a great reward” (Hebrews 10:35) The finish line is crossed in the end, not by a burst of human energy, but by collapsing into the arms of God. And let us not forget: In the Christian race, we do not finish alone. We finish together. It is part of the rules. “Encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called Today, so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13)”

I find this very encouraging and I hope it will encourage someone out there who is having a hard time running. Keep the faith. Keep looking ahead to the Hope we have in Christ. Keep acknowledging God’s goodness to you every day. Blessings on you…