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Showing posts from November, 2009

Influence

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It has been a long while since I have posted anything here. I have been busy completing three years toward my B.A. in English and my senior year is underway. My current class (Creative Writing) has finally given me the space to take off the tight harness of academic writing rules, and it feels SO GOOD!! After reading my first assignment, Mom and Daddy gave it their thumbs up and suggested I make it a blog post, so here it is. It is my story and their story. It's a little longer than my usual posts, but as with everything I have ever posted here, I pray it encourages you to run "up the sunbeam to the sun" (C. S. Lewis).


"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." 1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV


I sat above them on the stairs. Looking down through the window-like openings in the partition between the living room and the stairway, I listened to the basketball players, football players, baseball players, wrestlers, track athletes, both the lettermen and the also-…

What Do You See?

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--Take a look at this picture (click on it to open a larger version in another window)--what do you see? Blue sky? Trees? Bull rushes?Well, yes . . . and no.That is what it looks like, right? So why am I giving you the impression that maybe you shouldn't trust what you see?As the photographer, I may know a little something about this picture that could change your perception of the whole scene. In fact, I do! Have I digitally changed this picture in some way? Not at all--the pixels are completely unaltered from the day I took the picture. So what do I know that you don't know (maybe some of you have picked up on it)?The picture above is upside down. The blue sky, trees and bull rushes are mere reflections of the real things.Here is the original in it's right-side up presentation:The lives we live are often like this picture--we think we know what we're looking at, we think we recognize the scene in front of us. Then, based on our perceptions of what is and w…

Echoes from the Mayflower

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--Listen! Can you hear them? Can you hear the echoes of that very first Thanksgiving feast? In the hustle bustle of the kitchen with clanking pans and sizzling turkeys, listen close and you'll hear the distant sounds of women cooking over open fires, turning the spit for hours as the meat grew more fragrant and delicious by each turn. I wonder if they had any idea that we would still be following their lead and continuing their tradition 388 years later. Their hearts must have been so full as they reflected on all God had brought them through. They must have been keenly aware of missing people from home, and of the loss of friends and family who had started out with them, but who had not survived this far. They must have held each other that much more closely in this celebration of harvest and life, hope and freedom, all out of their gratitude to Almighty God who held them together. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Tracing . . . tracing . . . tracing . . . generation upon generat…

Love Letters

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--Love letters are the stuff of story books, fairy tales, movies and songs. Kept and treasured for years, worn with frequent handling, love letters are more precious to the loved one than gold or jewels or riches. Read and reread, pored over and memorized, love letters pour love from one heart to another.I find love letters from God all the time! He has this endearing habit of designing hearts into His creation, and then He waits and watches to see if I'll find them . . . and notice. Here are a couple of the recent love letters I've found:There is another love letter that is my favorite one of all. This one is filled with so much love it is sixty-six books long, detailing a love like no other, and written just for me . . . and you . . . and anyone willing to be loved. This love letter is the passionate expression of a completely sacrificial, nothing-held-back, all or nothing, utterly incomprehensible love to outshine all loves! This letter lays bare the heart of the greatest o…

Playing For Keeps

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--My Mama-heart trembles with questions that toss and jumble. I try so hard to make sense of all the conflicting, confounding concerns for my children that clamor for my attention. Which concern takes precedence? Which need is most important? In a world runaway with its own insanity, how do I as a mom, how do we as parents help our kids navigate the mine-fields of their generation's culture wars and the enemy who would love to derail them? It feels like the movie scene that gave me nightmares as a little girl. Snow White, fleeing from the wicked Queen's murderous plot, runs through the creepy dark forest with the tree branches grabbing and grasping at her cloak with evil intent. That is sometimes how I see the world my children go into every day when they walk out our door. Sex, drugs, alcohol, and violence are everywhere from TV to the school yard, packaged in profanity and peer-pressure. Not only that, but ideas, influences, attitudes and ideologies come at them fro…

God Got There First!

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-- "For he will command his angels concerning youto guard you in all your ways; "Psalm 91:11 NIV We would surely be amazed if we knew all the near misses we have with calamity. Once in awhile, sometimes twice in two days, we get a glimpse of the results of the unseen efforts of God and His angels to protect and guard us through the hazards of this life. Last Wednesday night, my mom in Canada was at her weekly Bible study with friends, expected home around 9:15. My daddy was happily watching a Gaither Homecoming video, and assumed the noise he heard outside about that time was the sound of her car driving up the long gravel driveway. He anticipated she would be in soon, but when she didn't come in the house, he went out to see what was keeping her. To his surprise, she wasn't even home yet. And then he saw it! His truck was missing!! As he looked around for clues, my mom drove up, much later than she ordinarily would be getting home. As we talked about those …

Greater Love Remembered

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-- Words are such small containers for the profound thoughts that come today in remembrance. Whether by choice or by necessity, those who have answered the call of a country's battle cry and a desperate world in trouble are to be honored above all. They who . . .--do what must be done, ---sacrifice their own comfort, ----their right to their own path, -----their own dreams, ------time with their own families . . . they stand head and shoulders above the rest of us on whose behalf they fight. They sacrifice their own way so we can . . . --do what we want to do, ---live with the comforts of home, ----pursue our own path, -----dream our own dreams ------love our families up close without interruption . . . we look up to them as the best among us. There is not a reward we could ever bestow on all the brave men and women who fight for our freedom that would be great enough--that's not why they fight anyway. The very best way we can reward them is by showing our extreme g…

Treats From Home

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Scarlet . . . tangerine . . . mustard . . . a tumble of leaves like oversized confetti falling to commemorate the season's transition. The exuberant riots of color flutter and dance, flying blatantly in the face of the death the falling signals. Such incongruent joyin the midst of dying, baring, slowing, rotting. Joy is always out of place on this decaying planet . . . that's the point.It's not from here!It is foreign and made of materials alien to our world.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I remember when my family moved from Iowa to British Columbia when I was 8 years old. We quickly found that not only did we deeply miss friends and family far away, but there were some things from our American home we couldn't get in our new home in Canada. How I missed Butterfinger and Three Musketeers! Canadian bacon was delicious, but the cure just didn't have the same flavor of Iowa bacon. Our favorite seasoning, Lawry's Seasoned Salt, looke…

My Life in Song Titles

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Melody rises and falls like a mountain road. Harmony weaves above and below. A sequence of notes, nothing more.Nothing more?SO MUCH MORE! On that sequence of notes ride whole worlds of truth and insight! I am transported! One moment driving, doing dishes, walking, fretting--but when the melody starts, heaven enters my oh-so-ordinary moment, reminding me of wisdom I cannot live without. On vinyl with crackles and scratches to mark the wear and tear of countless plays, the old songs stay with me. In digital form, clean and clear, the old and new can accompany me wherever I am. There is something supernatural that God built into music--He designed it to lend a certain something special to the words wrapped within its notes. I am so often amazed at the things God did in creation that He didn't have to do. What would the world be like without the sound of music? Where would my faith be without music, without song? I would love to know how much of what I know, what I REALLY…

A Single Step

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A single step off the path is enough to change your destination.




At 17, I was on a path in pursuit of a Bachelor of Arts degree at a Bible college in Hawaii. Three weeks before I was to leave my home in British Columbia, Canada to fly to Honolulu, I got word that this school I was to attend was opening a sister institution in San Jose, California. Everyone I had met the previous spring, including the president of the college was going to be in San Jose. What to do?
Hawaii??
San Jose??
Another Bible college??
I wanted my parents to tell me what to do. They would not. They wanted me to make my own decision. I was not even 18 yet, and not accustomed to making such big decisions myself, but they had faith that God could and would guide me in making the choice. I asked God for wisdom and guidance, and prayed like never before. Against all the odds, maybe even against reason and common sense, but very much in faith, I decided to go to San Jose.
I loved it! I loved my classmates! I loved …