Singing in the Rain

When Addy was here on Monday it started raining in the afternoon. She started asking if I had an umbrella for her. I wish I would have recorded her saying umbrella. It was something like umbuella or umbebella. So darn cute. When we went to the garage and found this one she wondered if I had something smaller for her. Sadly no but she managed to navigate with the big one.

JJ and mommy watched Addy and the progress on the shop from under cover.

We were hoping for another dry day today but alas it is raining. Dear will have to navigate the last 4 huge beams into their holes in the rain and then hope to get the concrete delivered tomorrow morning during a dry period, if possible.

And, in other news, our kids have spotted a bear on their property and lots of evidence that the bear is enjoying the apples from their apple tree. It also tried to get into one of their out buildings. YIKES! Just another day in the country… Thankfully this is the largest wild animal we have seen on our property. She was really staring us down as if she owned the property and wondered what we were doing on it. We were behind the slider.

Gleaned from my morning readings from Piper this time, Life As A Vapor:

Don’t be duped by the gurus of the age. 

One enslaving fad follows another.

The wisdom of this age is folly in view of eternity.

Don’t follow a defeated foe. Follow Christ. It is costly. You will be an exile in this age. But you will be free.

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.

Can You Imagine?

Zephaniah 3:17 New King James Version (NKJV)

17 The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Can you imagine God singing over you?

Are you a child of God? Have you responded to His call to repent and be born again? Jesus died for our sins and rose again so that our sins can be forgiven and we can be saved and be born again. Is Jesus your Lord and Savior? Are you following and growing in relationship with Him?

If you answer yes then you are His child. You are one of His lambs. Stop and consider the fact that the God of the universe sings over you…

My daily readings right now include the Bible, Daily Readings by C.H. Spurgeon, The Pleasures of God by John Piper and Pray Big by Alistair Begg. In Piper’s book I’m in the chapter called “The Pleasure of God in doing good to all who Hope in Him”. The beginning sentence reads; “Can you imagine what it would be like to hear God singing?”

This chapter brought my thoughts to who I have sung over in my life. There is a simple song I sang over each of our children when they were babies. I made up the simple words to a simple tune and sang it when I held them or rocked them.

There’s a little boy I love, his name is Joshua, Joshua.
There’s a little boy I love, his name is Joshua, Joshua.
He’s my little boy, I love him so.
He’s my little boy, I lo-ove him so.

I sang the same song over our second born son, Daniel.

There’s a little boy I love, his name is Daniel, Daniel.
There’s a little boy I love, his name is Daniel, Daniel.
He’s my little boy, I love him so.
He’s my little boy, I lo-ove him so.

Then we had our daughter, Katie.

There’s a little girl I love, her name is Katie, Katie.
There’s a little girl I love, her name is Katie, Katie.
She’s my little girl, I love her so.
She’s my little girl, I lo-ove her so.

Now 40 years later I’m singing this same simple song over our granddaughter and grandson.

There’s a little girl I love, her name is Addyson, Addyson.
There’s a little girl I love, her name is Addyson, Addyson.
She’s my little girl, I love her so.
She’s my little girl, I lo-ove her so.

and

There’s a little boy I love, his name is Jaymison, Jaymison.
There’s a little boy I love, his name is Jaymison, Jaymison.
He’s my little boy, I love him so.
He’s my little boy, I lo-ove him so.

Today I’m dumbfounded in thoughts about God singing over me. God singing over His lambs. I’m waiting on God for the day when He returns to gather his lambs. How about you? “Open our heart-eyes to see much further and see much better, to the riches of your eternity.” ~Begg

John 17:24-26 English Standard Version (ESV)

24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

Ask God to make his name known to you…

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.