Archive for the ‘Bible study’ Category

Crafting typically brightens up the world of not only those who create sweet handmade items, but also those who receive such treasures.

But there comes a time when making something is the only thing you can do to offer support and comfort.

The situation is that I’m close enough to a neighbor family that I (along with many, many others) was devastated by the loss of their precious newborn child. But like many neighbors, not so close that I was “needed” for hands-on during their darkest hours.

It’s one of those times that privacy, rest and quiet are the greatest needs. Primal needs. The last thing they needed was to have a parade of folks in and out of their home asking what they could do. We did all we could; the ones who babysit kept the toddler. The ones who walk dogs walked their dogs. The rest of us joined those helpers by praying.

When I was asked to make a card to share on behalf of the neighborhood, I put my whole heart into it, because finally, FINALLY, I could “do” something “hands-on” for this precious young couple.

Powerless. That’s how we all felt- and still feel. There are no words. And so amidst the days of constant prayer and an unbelievable amount of tears, I went into my studio and sat down.

The young mommy loves bright colors, so I tried – really tried- but nothing came together. Likewise, a stoic sympathy card would not express what we as a community felt because just days before, we would have hoped to send cards of congratulations on the birth of this sweet little one.

No, it needed to be soft. Gentle. Not sympathy. It needed to offer support for this little family who desperately hung on to hope and their unwavering faith in God throughout every moment.

And so I made this.

Psalm 42:8 is stamped on the front. It offers encouragement and said just what I felt it needed to say. “By day The Lord directs His love. At night His song is with me.”

The colors are soft and quiet. Respectful. Gentle.

I was finishing up the card when I received a text.

Do I have room at my house for family members who are flying in for the service?

Of course I do.

As I was making an envelope to go with the card I thought of the guest room, meals, comforts for weary travelers. Suddenly I have a lot to do.

Hug your kids.

God bless you and yours.


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Certain Security

Posted: September 16, 2009 – 12:15am

People are worried about their finances these days. Saving for the future is a big deal. Working hard to have savings, checking balances, watching stock exchange reports, it’s all part of the everyday. Economic turns in the past many months prove that many of the most solvent planners have lost big time.

When young people marry and start their lives together, love is enough to see them through. Nearly 33 years ago my husband John and I set up our household with mom and dad’s sofa, a delightfully decorative Spanish L-shaped monstrosity that had some sort of gold corduroy fabric covering its cushions. The black wood was striking against the faded gold fabric that had somewhat survived through many years of four kids jumping on it and adults napping upon its former luxuriousness.

But we were grateful for having something to sit on, and love saw us through.

Our cars were old. One was a 1966 Plymouth Fury. It was a land shark, which might be cool to have now but back then it was like driving that Spanish sofa monstrosity along city streets. The other was a 1968 Grand Prix. He and I bought this when we were dating. It cost $850 and we combined our measly paychecks to make payments for nine whole months. I spent a lot of frightening moments as I had to pour gasoline straight into the carburetor. More than once a flame shot up as I started the vehicle. Putting gas into the engine was a prerequisite for driving, as it often wouldn’t start without it.

Just as we were thankful for the ugly sofa we were also grateful for having something to drive because we were kids in love and we didn’t care. And even though I was stranded more than once along the highway, love was enough to see us through those times.

When we began buying “nice” things, we could only afford the kind of stuff you have to put together yourself. A book of instructions would be spread out on the floor with parts strewn about. We would help one another with each step until the project was complete. It was part of the whole “love” thing, and we enjoyed going through it together.

Economics are a fact of life, no doubt. But money shouldn’t define us. It shouldn’t matter if we have the latest and greatest of things. They will all end up in a heap at the dump one of these days. None of the “things” that we slave for are eternal. There’s not one electronic or metal or plastic or paper that is going to be there when all is said and done, and there certainly isn’t a human that will be there when all is said and done.

So what do we have? Ephesians 5: 5 says, “For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” I love this because the Bible says “certainty.” I have not been to a single bank or retail store that can offer “certainty.” Money back guarantees? Sure, but certainty? I haven’t seen anyone to offer that, ever. We need to consider if we are immoral, impure or covetous. Do we idolize our “things” or other people??

Embracing immorality and impurity, being covetous or idolizing isn’t going to give us any eternal security of the biggest inheritance that is just waiting for us. What if we’ve already been these things? We have. We’re human. We ask and God will forgive us for it and we can move on. Toward Him.

Forgiveness will be given. A brand new life is promised. A few verses further in Ephesians tell us, “…you were formerly darkness, but now you are the light in the Lord; walk as children of light.”

Wow. We can toss out that tattered former life, the one we had to pour frightening things into just to keep it running. The one that was faded, ugly and worn and we can walk as children of light. Especially now, God’s love is enough to see us through. His promise is certain. He gives us eternal security.

He’s even given us a book of instructions. It’s all just part of that whole “love” thing that God offers. The difference is that His won’t fade or break down. It’s forever.

And it’s guaranteed.

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When Ninja Man got home last night, I couldn’t wait to share my friend Angela’s gift of 50 gifts for 50 days until my 50th birthday! Later, he went through our collection of Bible study tools and selected this study for us!John Piper’s 50 Reasons Why Jesus Came To Die

Wow, this is just awesome! The 50 gifts from my friend inspired him to choose this one! “We can do one each night and finish on your birthday!” Ninja Man said. Man, how great is that?

We began reading the introduction last night and will start the actual study tonight. I’m excited… it has been a while since we’ve shared a study together, and I have found that being “in” a Bible study helps me to stay disciplined and closer to God. I’m constantly reminded it isn’t God who moves… it is me!

Thank you, God for the husband you have blessed me with.

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