Monday, February 27, 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Memories of our Tom

I first met Tom and Karen when they visited me while I was pregnant with Brandon and working at the Heaven Sent Christian bookstore (the one Joyce owned).  They often came in and chatted with me; and I loved when they did.  I quickly began to speak of them as my favorite people in Borrego.  There was just something so warm and loving and sincere in their countenance and conversation.  I wanted to know them both more and better.  I hoped to be their friends one day so I could have this opportunity.  They are truly a very special couple.

When we visited PEI in 2009, Tom was hospitable and sweet.  He had a special room on the 3rd floor of his house where the boys loved to play.  3-year-old Silas discovered some model cars on the shelves near his desk...they were not meant to be played with.  Si found these hands-off cars quite irresistible and broke a couple of them.  We were very upset about it when we found out and apologized to Tom.  They were expensive cars and we were worried about replacing them.  He went on to say that they were just cars and only sit up there collecting dust and not to worry about it.  I, however, couldn't get it off my conscience.  This year when he returned to Borrego from PEI, he gave each of the boys (including Jamie) one of those "demolition derby" cars.  His generosity is incomparable and his forgiveness good.  In fact, I am quite sure our destructive Silas was never a burden to him.  He loved us well.

Just before last Christmas I got really sick.  Jamie had to work but attended the men's breakfast that day at the church.   Jamie told Tom how sick I was.  Tom picked the boys up for me that day and took them down to Target so they could pick out some Christmas gifts to give to me and J.  They got Jamie a power strip and a bag of peanuts.  I got a beautiful incense/oil burner and peanuts.  :)

When I was trying to lose my weight last year, I often bumped into Tom at the Fudge Factory, and he'd share a bagel with me so we'd both not eat too much.  And one day at church, we met at the refreshment table at the same time and picked up a cookie.  He looked at me and said: "I'll put mine back if you put yours back."  So we did and walked away accomplishing self-control in that moment...together. :)  What a doll!

I lost 25 pounds in the past year and Tom often affirmed me and encouraged me and told me how proud he was of me and how good I looked.  Like a proud daddy or grandpa...and so fun and dear.  It's just not right that he is gone.

A couple of months ago, I had an especially difficult time with Silas one Sunday morning.  I was quite upset about it and was crying after church one day.  I was telling my mom about it when Tom came over to see what was wrong.  He gave me the handkerchief in his pocket.  Last week, I was folding the whites and pulled the handkerchief out of the basket.  I don't think he and Karen will mind if I keep it.

In recent months, I've been learning how to run the sound system.  Since I usually am alone with the boys, Tom asked if he could sit with them for me while I was occupied int he sound booth.  So in recent weeks, the boys have been sitting with Tom in church.

He and Jamie occasionally got together to work out at the Road Runner Club.  He had asked Jamie to work out with him the morning he died.  And Jamie didn't.  It's something we think about, though we know God is sovereign...and we don't take responsibility...but there are "what ifs" in our minds.  What if Jamie was there when he fell?  But God, You know the number of all our days.

The Friday before Tom walked into the welcoming arms of Jesus, the boys and I drove down to Christmas Circle to got o the Farmer's Market.  I parked the car and after we were done at the market, we walked to the post office, and the library.  From the Library we waited to cross the street to go to the store.  We were on one side of Palm Canyon and Tom was on the other.  We waved and smiled and shouted.  It was quite traffic-y and eventually we were able to start crossing.  Tom made it to the center of the street first, held his hands out to stop all traffic for me and the boys.  We hugged, the boys high-fived Mr. Tom; and we went on to our opposing sides of the street.

Every year as summer ends and the snowbird season begins here in Borrego, I am always so anxious for the arrival of Tom and Karen from PEI.  It always seems to take the longest time for them to return and I'm always dreading the day that they leave us for the summer.  I wonder now how long we will have to wait until we see our Tom again.  Longer than a few months, I'm afraid.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus.  We miss our friend.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Eric Metaxas thoughts

Quotes from Eric Metaxas, author of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy...

The people who are closest to God offend the most people. 

Satan can quote Scriptures.  Pharisees can quote Scriptures.  Religious bigots can quote Scriptures.  Theologians can quote Scriptures.  The question is not whether you are familiar with the Scriptures; the questions is: are you familiar with the God behind the scriptures, the God who wrote the scriptures, the God who wants to speak to you through the scriptures....  That is the kind of faith can stand up to evil...  Knowing Scripture or thinking you know the God of the Bible doesn't count.  Actually knowing the Bible, standing on the rock that is Christ Jesus: That is what is able to withstand evil in this world.

You have to fight as a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ...  Conservatives have made an idol out of conservatism...  If you make an idol out of political action or you make an idol being a conservative politically, if you can make an idol out of being a religious's still an idol.  You have to worship the living God.  That has to inform your political thinking and action.

It's not about winning.  It's about obedience to Jesus.  Even if I lose...the way Bonhoeffer went to the gallows with the peace of God, I win.  Jesus went to the cross.  Did he lose? No.  Satan lost.  ...It's not about winning at all costs, it's about obedience at all costs.

"Be anxious for nothing" ...Injustice should drive us to our knees... We shouldn't be moved toward anger.  You fight but you fight the Lord's way.  If you don't, God will not honor you and will not give victory.

Evil is defeated.  Evil can not win.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Our Mr. Tom

"Precious in the Lord's sight
is the death of His saints."
~Psalm 116

Tom with Brandon's first catch.
Tom and Si.

There've been intermittent tears at our house today and as I write now.  And I'm sure more to come.

Tom Story ran into the arms of Jesus this morning.
And we miss him already!!!


"When someone you love becomes a memory,
that memory becomes a treasure."

How we love you, Tom, and are praying for your precious Karen.  So anxious to get to you!

Monday, February 13, 2012

how to have 1000 addictions

when you love creation more than you love the Creator,
you have given birth to a thousand addictions and to a gangrene that will attach itself to your relationships and erode out the joy meant to be had in your life even in a fallen world.

when you love creation more than you love the Creator,
you are trying to get from creation what creation can not give you.
you are forced to medicate with drugs and alcohol, sex and love, new trinkets and toys...
~Matt Chandler

Creation does not satisfy
The CREATOR does.

Faith that goes forward triumphs

A poem I discovered in Streams in the Desert about Columbus and the value of perseverance.

Behind him lay the gray Azores,
Behind the gates of Hercules;
 Before him not the ghost of shores, 
Before him only shoreless seas,
The good Mate said,  "Now we must pray,
For lo! the very stars are gone.
Braved, Admiral, speak, what shall I say?"
Why, say, 'Sail on! sail on! and on!'"

"My men grow mutinous day by day,
My men grow ghastly wan and weak!"
The stout Mate thought of home, a spray
Of salt wave washed his swarthy cheek.
"What shall I say, brave Admiral, say,
If we sight naught but seas at dawn?"
"Why, you shall say at break of day,
'Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!'"

They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the Mate:
"This mad sea shows its teeth tonight.
He curls his lip, he lies in wait,
With lifted teeth, as if to bite!
Brave Admiral, say but one good word;
What shall we do when hope is gone?"
The words leapt like a leaping sword;
"Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!"

Then, pale and worn, he kept his deck
And peered through darkness.  Ah! that night
Of all dark nights! And then a speck--
A light! A light! A light! A light!
It grew, a starlit flag unfurled!
It grew to be Time's burst of dawn.
He gained a world; he gave that world
Its grandest lesson: "On! sail on!"
~Joaquin Miller

Friday, February 10, 2012

Birth control is not a health care issue.

So, how exactly is birth control a health care issue?

It doesn't improve your health.
It doesn't take care of some disease.

It alters the normal behavior of your body.  

Medicine is a health care issue.
Physical check-ups are a health care issue.
Surgery is a health care issue.
Child birth is a health care issue.
Cancer is a health care issue.

Birth not a health care issue because birth is not a disease...contrary to popular and stupid belief.

How about if you don't want to get pregnant, you buy your own damn birth control?
How about self-control?
How about a brain?

an accurate perspective of the issue:

the power of language

"With the gift of language, you can move people in other places and in other times, many miles and years from the sound of your voice, just as God's Word does.  With the gift of language you will influence and shape your child's life for God."
"The power of God's gift of language is in the ability to use words to move people --- to cause another person to learn, to change, to act, to resist, to believe, to follow. ...those who understand its power use it to change lives and influence history."
~Clay Clarkson, Educating the Wholehearted Child

The depth of this I didn't understand until now, but my heart has moved in this direction for a while for I absolutely seek to change lives and influence history through passionate words and truth.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Buyer Beware

"From satan's first entrance on the stage of earth in Genesis 3, he's tried to convince believers that God is holding out on them.  Cheating them.  satan tries to suggest that this life is all we can be sure of:  live it sacrificially and we've lost it all.  he mocks, 'How gullible -- how stupid -- could you be?  Live it up while you've got the chance!'  As we walk up and down the sidewalks of our present Babylons, stay alert to his seductions and the songs in his town square.
In reality, satan is the cheater and Babylon is his queen, offering false fulfillments for any taker.
Buyer beware."
~Beth Moore 

Enjoy what's real.
Pursue beauty...and truth...and peace.
My cup overflows.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sound bites from the Mom Heart Conference

Marian, Robin, Melanie, Nikki, Kay, Sally, baby Russell, Kori, Barbara, Anne

(All quotes are by Sally Clarkson, unless otherwise noted.)

We have to be willing to build our portion of the wall.  Roll up your sleeves.  Get dirty.  Don't be lazy.  Work.  (inspired by Angela Perritt.

To our children, we must say,
"God wants you to be a Daniel in Babylon."

"God used 12 uneducated men to turn the world upside-down."
He can certainly use me and my family too!

"I always felt like I was too much for everyone.  Too loud, too passionate..."
I feel like this every day of my life.  And for some, I am too much; but I will not apologize for who I am (even though sometimes I want to).
It is HE who created me.  
It is HE who knows all my days.  
It is HE who searches the attitudes and intents of my heart.  
It is HE who I must please.  
"For am I know seeking the approval of man, or of God?  Or am I trying to please man?  If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." ~Galatians 1:10 
"You can not live by faith and by the fear of men."  "There is great freedom in being yourself."
"The fear of man brings a snare." ~Pr. 29:25  

"Curriculum doesn't create genius or excellence."

"We are called to prepare warriors for what is ahead."

"Motherhood isn't a choice or a philosophy; it's a calling."

Adversarial vs Advocate Parenting
Adversarial:  How many ways can I correct you?
Advocate:  How many ways can I inspire you?

"Train your children not to know things about God, but to know God." ~Nathan Clarkson

"Chase God!" ~Nathan Clarkson

Prayer is "a wonderful power placed by Almighty God in the hands of His achieve unusual results." (E.M. Bounds)

Keep praying and don't stop.
Have shameless audacity!
~Deb Weakly

Something so cool that Deb Weakly shared was the idea and act of praying for your heritage.  I loved that!  For my grandchildren, great grandchildren and the descendants to come...should the Lord tarry.  That I will leave a godly heritage.  What more could a momma want?!
"A legacy doesn't happen unless you plan it and do it."

"Life is a balance between reality and ideals."

"Just because you're busy doesn't mean you're being productive."

And my favorite quote of the weekend: 
"For Kori, everyday is the fourth of July." 
~Anne Collins (my friend. teehee.)

What was a big overall theme for me personally this weekend?
How good intentions can easily become things of bondage and cause division.

"Don't shoot at people; love them." (Yeah, so I may be a little convicted by this one.)

I worry that with my passion for righteousness in this nation, I might make it too much about morality and behavior and not the heart of the American people.  I worry that I might be more passionate about doing and less about praying.  I worry that I might be too rigid and not gracious.  I worry that if I am relaxed in one area, then I'll relax in all...when there are real things that need to be fought for.   I worry that I will blur the lines between the important and that which is not.  I worry that I will be unloving and will want to be unloving because I want more for things to be right (how desperately I want this!)...when all that really matters is love.  And then I will not please God in all my efforts, when the driving force behind my efforts is to please God.  I worry that I will exit the will of the God whom I adore because my passions outweigh my love.

I don't want to be so confident in my calling that I become snobbish in it.  I think it's good to be courageous in home schooling, faith, and patriotism.  But it is not good to be prideful and exclusive in it.  I don't want to marginalize those who don't understand; I want to be able to gently and effectively teach them in spirit, love, and truth.

"Law is about fitting in the box, pleasing people, performing."  Who am I going to please?  Who am I trying to impress?  God, check me every moment of every day that my driving force is your Holy Spirit and not my will.  God, don't accomplish my will.  Thy will be done, Lord Jesus...on earth as it is in heaven!!  I want to please and impress YOU only!

where is conviction?

What's it like to live a life without conviction?
Ignorance is bliss, they say.

It is... until reality arrives at your door step...or until you stand before God in heaven and have to give an account for what you've done or not done...especially with those things that were brought to your attention but you ignored or didn't want to bother with because, well, it was just too "uncomfortable" or might upset someone or was inconvenient or cost you something.

Certainly if we take a stand for something, people won't like us because it challenges them to exit their complacency and to step up their own efforts and responsibilities.  Are we so lazy and comfortable and complacent and apathetic that we won't even acknowledge the obvious problem(s) before us?

"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything." ~Einstein

You can only ignore the enemy for so long before he takes everything from you.  We turn our heads aside.  We pretend a problem doesn't exist.  We fool ourselves into our own false security.

We sacrifice our children born and unborn on the altar of convenience and comfort (and no, I'm not just talking about abortion), why would I assume that we would give up something far less valuable?!  If we don't stand for righteousness for the sake of our children...even if it makes things inconvenient for us for a while or if people criticize us, then we won't stand for righteousness for anything.  (Sorry to be so vague here...but I am trying not to specifically point fingers at some very specific folks.)
Will you do it for God?  I wonder.

Father, lead me, please.

(Now, I think I will try to get a look at that plank in my own eye.)

Monday, February 6, 2012

an unscripted life

Recently I found myself saying in front of a large crowd of people that I'm the type of girl who lives life unscripted.  Of course, those words were, in reality, unscripted and unplanned.  Now, I'm not really an advocate of just saying any random thing in front of large crowds of people (that's been known to get a person or two in trouble), but there it was leaving my mouth and it stuck with me the rest of the day.

Live outside the box.  Think outside the box.  Educate outside the box.  Play outside the box.

Not by the world's expectations, political correctness, or even etiquette-obedience.
But by God's script.
A melodrama unfolding scene by scene.  God as the Narrator.

What is our default?  We have all been brainwashed, indoctrinated in a variety of ways.  I hate this.  And I'm trying to cure myself of it by facing head-on every mindless default response I have to a variety of issues.  Why do I have a particular perspective of certain things?  Oftentimes, it is because someone told me to think that way.  I don't want to be told what to think.  I want GOD to tell me the truth and to judge everything against His Holy and Perfect Word.  I want my opinions to be the result of the Holy Spirit's resonance in my soul.