12.29.2007

bittersweetness


Elizabeth to some, Betty to Grandpa, Grandma/Memaw to us kids. We were all blessed to know her. She loved her Savior. She served Him well for many years. She was a diligent prayer warrior, often waking up in the middle of the night because God laid somebody on her heart. She was strong. With quite a spunky side. (Grandpa would tease her just to draw her fire. all in good fun) She gave us alot of laughter-many times unwittingly. She cooked comfort food and coconut cake. Even while she was sick she still took care of everybody else. She was a faithful wife for almost 54years. She was a "woman who feared the Lord." {proverbs 31}
Now she is home with her Savior. It's tempting to wish she'd been here for Christmas. To wonder why she didn't see her daughter & mom who were en route that very Thursday. But that is where I rest in the sovereignty of God. Such comfort. He isn't surprised. He knew when her organs would start shutting down. He planned to take her home within 24hours. In fact the very suddenness of it displays His mercy. She didn't suffer for months like most cancer patients. She lost an earthly battle to cancer, but because of the gospel; she won the battle for her soul. I have many things to be grateful for. I'm glad she is home.

but oh how i miss her.
we all miss her.
"As for you, O LORD, you will not restrain your mercy from me;
your steadfast love and
your faithfulness will ever preserve me!"
ps. 40.11 .underlined in her bible.

12.19.2007

.prayer.


Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me;
all day long an attacker oppresses me.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust;
I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?
You have kept count of my tossings;
put my tears in your bottle.
Are they not in your book?
Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call.
This I know, that God is for me.
In the LORD, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
O God; I will render thank offerings to you.
For you have delivered my soul from death,
yes, my feet from falling,
that I may walk before God in the light of life.
{from psalm 57}
.please pray for Grandma Elizabeth. (i've called her grandma benjamin before} the cancer is causing alot of pain and making her rather sick. pray that God is her comfort, that He will also comfort Grandpa; that mum and her sister will have wisdom and strength. thank you.

12.17.2007

O Come Emmanuel


O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.

O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.

O come, Thou Root of Jesse’s tree,
An ensign of Thy people be;
Before Thee rulers silent fall;
All peoples on Thy mercy call.

This is one of my favorite Christmas carols, because the first stanza reminds me of the gospel. I love that word *"ransom". We were all captive slaves to sin until Christ died in our place to set us free. What cause for rejoicing!

*ran·som –n
1.the redemption of a prisoner, slave, or kidnapped person, of captured goods, etc., for a price.
2.the sum or price paid or demanded.
3.a means of deliverance or rescue from punishment for sin, esp. the payment of a redemptive fine. –verb (used with object)
4.to redeem from captivity, bondage, detention, etc., by paying a demanded price.
5.to release or restore on receipt of a ransom.
6.to deliver or redeem from punishment for sin.

{ps. who are the 2007 North NFC champs? oh yeah, green bay...}

12.15.2007

repost.

credit: rebecca g whilst we were in wales.
I hope that under the circumstances I'll be forgiven this repost. The fact that Christmas is all about the gospel is more precious than ever. So here is my first {hopefully only} repost.

"Can't anybody tell me what Christmas really means?!"
"In the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. The angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" ...The shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." They went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger...[they] returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen."
What an experiance that would have been. Imagine living in Old Testament Israel. Just another night caring for the village sheep. The usual companions, the same stars. Suddenly bright light fills the sky. Unearthly voices pour forth, singing about...the Messiah?! The promised one? He whom your grandparents spoke of? Imagine the shock of hearing that HE had arrived! You'd hardly expected it. After all, this Messiah had been "coming" for how long? Israel has been to Babylon and back. Yet he is real. And in Bethlehem, of all places! Dazed by wonder you follow your friends to town. Their excited chatter is lost in your swirling emotions. The angel's words shattered all your expectations. You never thought he'd come as a baby. You imagined a warrior, raising an army to destroy the Romans. Perhaps a great king, more powerful than Cesar. A hero who would bring fire from heaven to free his people. But a baby? Wonder of wonders... Your shock would be greater 33 years later. A grown man beaten, torn, and bloodied; hardly recognizable. Dying on a cross for your sins. Becoming the final atonement foreshadowed by the old testament sacrifices. Satisfying the Holy God's wrath against sin. And in the same act offering the greatest proof of this same God's mercy . How could you have known that this baby would destroy forever the veil before the "Holy of Holies"?
Linus had it right. "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

12.05.2007

hopeful

"But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
"The LORD is my portion," says my soul,
"therefore I will hope in him."
The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him...
For the Lord will not cast off forever,
but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men."
Lamentations 3.21-33
You never let go.

12.04.2007

profuse*

I suppose I can't stay in October any longer. December has arrived, and with it the Christmas season. Don't worry, I'm not the grinch! I love Christmas. It's my favorite holiday. But I'm just getting excited about fall. Around here the leaves are finally falling, and it's in the 40s & 50s around 6am. (even if it's 89 at work in the heart of orlando. it's all good). I'll say Christmasy things next week. Anyway the "real" post begins in the next paragraph.

profuse \pruh-FYOOS; proh-\, adj: 1. Pouring forth with fullness or exuberance; giving or given liberally and abundantly; extravagant...
This word captured my attention today. I love the definition because when I read it, I think of Paul. (the bible paul). It describes his attitude of thanks to God so well. How often in his New Testament letters does he break forth into praise? It's as if he is overcome by God's goodness "Thanks be to God!" Paul is profuse when it comes to thanking God.
So today, I looked into the mirror of God's words. As Whitney would say: "Look, here is where you should be. down there is where you are. only don't despair! this is how I will change you to be more like Me.' " I want to be like Paul. I want to express my thankfulness and praise to God like him. At all times, in all situations. To randomly stop what I'm doing and rejoice in the fact that I am REdEEmED! I am not there yet. Not even close. But by the grace of God...maybe my kids will hear their mum glorifying the Lord at all times. In times of joy, times of sorrow, and the mundane everyday. He is so very worthy of praise.

"The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Cor. 15.