"Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do, but someone you raise." ~Andy Stanley

February 24, 2016

Wednesdays in the Word

The account of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish from a little boy's lunch, is a popular one.
The feeding of 4,000 is less popular for some reason.
You can read this account in Matthew 15 or Mark 8.

But what I got excited about is what happened before that miraculous picnic!

It says that as Jesus sat on a mountain,
"Great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus' feet..."

Imagine this scene. He's sitting there and huge numbers of people help bring all of those they know who have physical needs of every kind and they LAY THEM DOWN next to Jesus.
What a beautiful picture that must have been.
Imagine the determination and strength it took to even get some of them UP that mountain in the first place! I bet the ones with the ailments weren't the only ones who needed to lay down after that trek!

Now, get this!  Every single person's faith was rewarded that day. How amazing. It says "He healed them." Every. Single. One.
Quite possibly, thousands!

The mute started TALKING. And the lame started WALKING. And the blind started SEEING.
And the maimed, well, I had to look up the exact definition and it is: To injure, disable, or disfigure, usually by depriving of the use of a limb or other part of the body.
How glorious to see those folks healed! Verse 30 says that they 'were made whole.' Whatever was missing, damaged or immoveable was made whole once again!

It says that everyone "marveled" and they "glorified the God of Israel." -I bet they did!
I bet there was shouting by the mute and dancing by the lame and all manner of cheering by every able-bodied person there as well. It was a 3 day long praise party!

AND it was in this atmosphere of celebration that Jesus says He wants to feed the people.
 I don't think they had even noticed how hungry they should or would be. They were too excited.
But He noticed and He "had compassion on the mulitude" and said "I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way."
I think that's so sweet. He saw their need before they did and He made a WAY.
It would have been so anticlimatic if the lame and maimed who were now healed,
 FAINTED from hunger. How lame would that be? ; )

The disciples came up with 7 loaves of bread and "a few little fish." -I love that it doesn't matter what we give to Jesus. He can do anything with it!
"So they ate and were filled..."
"Now those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children."

As awesome as the feeding of the 5 thousand was, my favorite is now the feeding of the 4! : )

February 18, 2016

C.S. Lewis on grief

If you ever know someone grieving a spouse, I recommend sharing A Grief Observed with them. The great thing is, they certainly won't come away from it thinking that he doesn't relate to the extent of their pain!
He also viewed the loss of a spouse like an amputation.
 -I compared it to the loss of an arm the other day, and he compares it to the loss of a leg. I felt so understood when I read this and that was fun!
But I hope for all the world that you don't relate to it at all and never do! : )

"Getting over it so soon? But the words are ambiguous, to say the patient is getting over it after an operation for appendcitis is one thing, after he's had his leg off it is quite another...
Presently he'll get back his strength and be able to stump about on his wooden leg. 
He has "got over it." But he will probably have recurrent pains in the stump all his life, 
and perhaps pretty bad ones; and he will always be a one legged man. There will be hardly any moment when he forgets it. Bathing, dressing, sitting down and getting up again, even lying in bed, will all be different. His whole way of life will be changed. All sorts of pleasures and activities that he once took for granted will have to be simply written off. Duties too. 
At present I am learning to get about on crutches. 
Perhaps I shall presently be given a wooden leg. 
But I shall never be a biped again."  ~C.S. Lewis

Gotta love Lewis!

P.S. Please, don't be that friend that says "It is time to get over it."


February 17, 2016

Wednesdays in the Word

Just this today:

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 
Therefore, my brethren, be steadfast, immoveable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."  1 Cor. 15:57-58

February 16, 2016

The happy happenings

Next week we will be in California! AHHH!!!
Can't wait to see all those people we love!
That list grew yesterday when I found out that Hubby's brother and sister-in-law, whom we did not plan to see, (because they live 6 hours away from the rest of our people) will actually be in Anaheim at the same time we are for a conference. What a fun coincidence!

While in San Diego, we plan to visit the little apple growing, mountain town of Julian. I'm excited! I haven't been there in YEARS. -Bring on the apple pie with cinnamon ice cream!
And then it hit me the other day, that Julian was the location of Hubby and I's first REAL DATE!
(insert lots of heart emojis here)
Well, actually, our first date was rather a disaster and didn't actually even take place,
which could explain why he chose this romantic location for the do-over! : ) Good choice!
Since he drove a motorcycle and my car couldn't make it that far, we borrowed my mom's car. And we locked the keys in it and the manager of the convenience store we stopped at, was very handy with a coat hanger and helped us out. Not sure I ever told my parents that but since they read this, now they know. ;)  Fun memories!

Last week, our sweet girl bought a car and this week she got a raise and they created a new position for just her which includes more hours! Yay! Is she ever rocking it at our favorite "Jesus Chicken" selling restaurant! (as Hubby called it)

I finished my first crocheted blanket!!! After ripping it completely apart only 6 times! LOL
I shed many tears on it and worked on it through many episodes of Blue Bloods and Madame Secretary. Now it is done!
 And I gave it to Nathan...
just because!


February 15, 2016

Feeling the love

My sweet. thoughtful kids surprised me with breakfast in bed and these yesterday:

And can they ever cook! Yummm!

After church and a restful afternoon, the newlyweds came over to cook dinner for us all. Everyone went all out to make sure that the day wasn't a bit sad. 
Their dad would be so proud of them!


February 13, 2016

The BFFs

I love this picture from the other night.

It makes me think of how much these two love each other. They have been the best of friends since they were "crumb crunchers."
When I was busy homeschooling their older brothers, these two would run around the house making messes, which earned them the nicknames of Thing 1 and Thing 2.
They were often found dressed in tutus and having tea parties. -That's what happens when you have an older sister.
But now, the younger brother is often mistaken for an older one!


February 11, 2016


The big day finally arrived! 

God blessed Joy with the car she's been praying and working for, for almost a year! So excited for her! 

 A 2005 Prius! Yay!

Hubby started naming our cars a long time ago. Our mini van was The Gunship and our Prius is The Sardine. ; ) Because that is what it felt like when there were 5 of us in it.
She named hers Storm. -Because it is the color of the clouds before it storms. : )

After she purchased it, she drove to pick up Andrew from work and we went here to celebrate:

even though it was only 54 degrees outside! LOL 
We were, of course, the only people there! : )

Ice Cream for dinner, anywone?! 


February 10, 2016

Wednesdays in the Word

When Jesus chose his disciples in John chapter one, he specifically wanted to go to Galilee to find a man named Philip.
Then Philip went and found his friend, Nathaniel. He told Nathaniel, "We've found the One the law of Moses and the Prophets wrote about. His name is Jesus of Nazareth."
Nate had a problem with that location and said "Nazareth? Can anything good come from Nazareth?"
Philip said something so simple "Come and see."
He resisted the urge to get entangled in a debate over the lack of prestige of the place or the Messiah-ship of the Man. He just said "Come and see."
I think this is a great evangelism lesson!
Just a "Hey, come check this out and see what you think." Let them come to their own conclusions and avoid arguments.

Nate did "Come and see" and but before Philip could even make any introductions,
Jesus broke out in a loud voice and said to everyone around:

"Here is a genuine son of Israel -a man of complete integrity!"
I imagine this was rather shocking to Nate, since he didn't even know Jesus.

Then by the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus says "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."

Not literally 'saw,' because Jesus wasn't physically present. This was a supernatural thing.
\We don't know what Nate was thinking about while under that fig tree but Jesus did.
And he let Nate know that he knew by saying "this is a man of complete integrity."

What if our thoughts were made known? 
Would that be the overriding sum of them? 
That we are people of complete integrity? 
Wow and ouch!

Nate was blown away and on the spot, this former skeptic proclaimed "You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel."

How cool is it that when Philip went out on a limb to invite a friend to a spiritual thing, Jesus not only showed up but he showed off, so to speak. I believe that if we take up that same challenge to invite people we know to 'Come and see' then Jesus will show up!
Mark 16:20 tells us that Jesus will partner with us!
The disciples "went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs."

He will work with us to see that our friends are redeemed, freed, healed and saved. And He will use signs and wonders to do it, if need be! Let's partner with God to see lives changed!

After Nate said "You are the Son of God. You are the King of Israel," Jesus said, "Really? Just because I said I saw you under the fig tree you believe?" I happen to think he was smiling. And then
He said "You will see greater things than these."
Otherwise known as: "You haven't seen anything yet!"
I'm sure we haven't seen anything yet either! : )


February 6, 2016

The grieving

There are so many posts that I write in my head but that never make it to my computer.

"There's a time to grieve" the Bible says, and this is mine.
But if it wasn't mine, I sure wouldn't want to read about it and so I try not to write about it here.

But maybe I"ll let this one slip through...

If I were to write about it...

I would say that losing your spouse is like having your left arm amputated. -But you are right handed and so you can still function.

I would say that we are all trying to find a new normal because our lives will never be the same.

I would say that going to sleep without him every night is hard and sad. And even the HAPPY looking pj's I bought, don't cheer me up like I thought they would. LOL

I would say that I'm so blessed to have this time to still be able to homeschool and try to make life seem as normal for our youngest as possible, is a great blessing that I don't take for granted.

I would say that it is hard to stop talking to someone that you have talked to every day for 27 years! So I made a journal that is literally called "Things I would tell my Hubby if I could." And I'm on my second one.

I would say that taking care of the red tape, paper work and ramifications of the death of a spouse are like having a second job. I'm still not done making calls and filling out forms. But I can call and tell a complete stranger that "I'm calling because my husband recently died and I need to have this put in my name...." without breaking down and crying. -But if they ask me on what date he died, no promises. I might bawl...

I would say that things could be so much worse but God has me and I see it everyday in every way! Even in the crummy, sad times.


February 4, 2016

Christmas in January

This past weekend, the fam got together and used some of our Christmas gifts!

We went on a shopping spree with a group gift card to all of us, then we went to lunch
 and then we did this:

So fun! 

Nathan had never segwayed before and he LOVED it like we knew that he would. Hubby and I went once on a date, so this was my third time. And it was the other kids second time. 
That made us practically professionals  ; )  
so our tour guide adjusted our segways to let us go at the highest speed which is 12 1/2 miles an hour! Which may sound lame but is plenty fast and tons of fun! 
Then he took us off the usual tour route since we'd done it with him before and we rode in some city streets! While in the neighborhood, we came upon a REAL lemonade stand! 

Be still my heart! Oh, the cuteness! 

Seven customers made their day! 

Then we went for overpriced ice-cream (yum!)

and walked around. 

Love this bunch! 
They are my favorites! 
I love that when given the choice, they always pick to make memories together instead of recieving more things. They rock!


February 3, 2016

Wednesdays in the Word

I love John chapter one.
It tells us that Jesus is the Word.
"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning." John 1:1

'Word' here means 'revealer or communicator.' Don't you love that God sent Jesus to reveal Himself to us?

 "He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him." (v. 10)

Jesus said "when you've seen me, you've seen the Father." 

When we 'see' God we find out that His heart is and always has been all about redeeming the world to Himself.
"To all who received Him, to those who believed in his name, He gave the right (or authority) to become children of God." (v. 12)

"For the law was given through Moses but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." (v.17)

And how about this:
"And of his fullness we have all received grace upon grace." (v. 16)
Another version states it as "one blessing after another."
Anyone else feel like they've received 'grace upon grace' since you've come to know Jesus? Amen!

"No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father,
He has declared Him."  (v.18) And what a wonderful declaration it was!
So grateful!