Friday, January 30, 2015

Lessons From Gideon: Day 18

God gives confirmation of His will when we need it, but don't keep asking for signs because you don't like His answer.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Lessons From Gideon: Day 16

God's patience is unmatched - and further proof of His power. ...Thankful for His patience as I continue to develop mine.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Lessons From Gideon: Day 14

Like Gideon, I have less than I did. ...Less strength, energy, and time. 2 Corinthians 12:9 came to mind. Thankful.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Lessons From Gideon: Day 13

Letting go of stuff and the fear of regret makes my "less" more useful.

A Book From My Childhood: "Misty of Chincoteague" by Marguerite Henry

I remember roaming the stacks of the children's area of "my" public library during our first few visits there. We moved to town just a few months before my 10th birthday, and I loved the library right away. The ensuing years would find me reading, studying, and growing friendships within those walls. When I went looking for a job to pay for college, the public library was the only place I applied. Three wonderful years were spent shelving, answering phones, filing, replying to genealogy queries from all over the country, and helping our patrons research local and family history.

But, at age 10, I didn't know all that. I just knew that as much as I loved the talking animal stories of Thornton W. Burgess, I had long outgrown them. I needed a new author to enjoy. Marguerite Henry was that author, and Misty of Chincotegue -- published in 1947 -- was the first of her many books I enjoyed.

I decided to visit "Misty" again this year, and it felt like I was becoming reacquainted with an old friend. A brother and sister share the lofty goal of capturing and purchasing an illusive wild pony during Chincoteague's Pony Penning Day. The two are self-motivated to work -- and work hard -- in a way most children don't understand. They make a good team as they face unforeseen obstacles, handle disappointment, celebrate successes, and ultimately decide to make a personal sacrifice to do what is best for the animals they love so dearly.

Part of me felt the book was incorrectly named. It should be The Phantom of Assateague instead of its actual title, Misty of Chincoteague. Perhaps this marks my own shift in perspective as I identify with the mother instead of the foal. Who knows?

Oddly enough, I pulled this book from my shelves at home, but it could be the same copy I read as a child. It is a library discard bought during a $2.00 a bag sale several years ago!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Lessons From Gideon: Day 12

All my successes are because of God; every weakness draws me to rely on Him more. He is the beginning and the end.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

"Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End" by Jennifer Worth

Jennifer Worth's final book in her non-fiction Call the Midwife trilogy may be the darkest of them all. It is set in London of the 1950's but encompasses history long before and after the main events. When I was in the middle of the book and reading about abortion, infanticide, rampant tuberculosis that wiped out entire families, etc., I wasn't even sure I would write anything about my reading experience. Yet, I am. This will be short.

If there is a defining characteristic to talk about from Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End, it is mercy. The heroes of this book are the nuns and nurses who never failed to answer the call to serve people in need. It didn't matter how bad a situation was or who caused it, the midwives used whatever resources they had (often very little) to save lives, give hope, and make the best of whatever they were facing. Most of them did so out of a God given love for people in need. They were there under God's command, and they survived through His strength.

God is merciful, loving, and caring. Sin does have consequences, and our just Lord cannot remove all suffering from this world marred by humanity's sin. ...Not yet, anyway. However, he does bring relief.  He sends help and comfort, and He often does so by sending people like you and me.

God's love casts out fear. With His help, we are capable of doing far more than we could ever imagine, and we can find hope and joy in little miracles and victories.

Lessons From Gideon: Day 7

Every unpleasant, mundane task has a blessing from God as its source. ...Thankful for dirty dishes and diapers today!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Lessons From Gideon: Day 6

Have I failed to recognize God in action while hoping for a "so big you can't miss it" moment? Opening my spiritual eyes.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Lessons From Gideon: Day 5

Lord, as for me and my family, we choose to serve you. Please help me and my husband teach our children about you.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Lessons From Gideon: Day 4

God's Spirit does what we can't do on our own: breaks down the spiritual foundations of what we see as physical problems.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Lessons From Gideon: Day 3

Mothering my children is part of God's redemptive plan -- different than going into battle but still culture shaping.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Lessons From Gideon: Day 2

Mistakes made in the past complicate my today, but I choose to act today in a way that will make tomorrow even better.

On Reading "Here I Shall Die Ashore" by Caleb Johnson

I have read quite a few biographies and autobiographies, and I prefer the ones about ordinary but fascinating individuals. You know, the people who were not born to greatness but lived a life worth writing about -- whether that was on a dairy farm or in the white house. Right now, that person is Stephen Hopkins.

The back cover of Here Shall I Die Ashore by Caleb Johnson, reads in part, "By the time he turned forty, he had already survived a hurricane, been shipwrecked in the Bermuda Triangle, been written into a Shakespearean play, witnessed the famine and abandonment of Jamestown Colony, and participated in the marriage of Pocahontas. He was once even sentenced to death! He got himself and his family onto the Pilgrim's 'Mayflower,' and helped found Plymouth Colony. He signed the Mayflower Compact, lodged the famous Squanto in his house, participated in the legendary Thanksgiving, and helped guide and govern the early colonists. Yet, Stephen was just an ordinary man..."

This ordinary man is also my 11th great grandfather (on the Beem quarter of my tree), and I am so enjoying reading about him and his family. Don't forget, it was his wife, my 11th great grandmother Elizabeth Hopkins, who gave birth while traveling across the Atlantic. I loved every page!

I appreciated the author's attention to detail, his detailed and thorough research, and his ability to breathe life into the events of nearly 400 years ago.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Lessons From Gideon: Day 1

When you owe God everything, a "Thank you" and a return to complacence just isn't enough.

My Women's Bible Study started up again today, and we will be using Priscilla Shirer's Gideon. I am excited about this study and will be following her advice to record any "hashtag" statements that will help me recall what God is teaching me at this time.

Short and memorable is what I am going for in this series... as in, 140 characters or less short. I have found it is often harder to write less than more, but the boiling down process helps me identify what I really need to be meditating on in my walk with the Lord.

So, enough writing and more Lessons From Gideon!