Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

May the love of Jesus Christ fill your lives with joy, peace, love and hope this coming year. He is our all in all. In these times where nothing stays the same, He remains! He is the same yesterday, today and forever!
God's precious Son, our greatest gift ever!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Renewed promise

Only the Lord!

This past year has been one I might be inclined to title "Mr .Toad's Wild Ride", you can substitute my name for Mr Toad! It's been one of trial and questions, things that challenged my faith in ways I had not known before. For a period of time I was bewildered, astonished, uncertain. There were days I could do nothing but cry. Some days they were tears of pity but most were days of simply crying out to the Lord for answers, for comfort, for His peace. We can read through so many things in the bible and accounts of things that people went through and not always is an answer given as to why God allowed things to happen as they did. We all know that in our trials we can use them to draw us nearer to the Lord or become so bitter by them that we find ourselves at a distance from Him.

During these times, God wouldn't let me roam far from Him. It was like He had a short leash and if I dared to run, He would pull me back to Him. His Words became life in ways I cannot explain unless you have had to cling to it as I did in order not to lose my mind. I would pick up different devotionals that were around my house throughout the day and cling to the words in them, at times begging God to show me some promise-give me hope that this too shall pass. Always, He was faithful. There were days I would cry aloud and pray to Him and then I would read a Psalm and there were some of the exact words that I was praying! Is that our great God?!! I understood for the first time what Jeremiah may have meant when he said "Your words were found and I ate them and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart. For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts." You get to the point where you crave God's Word so much-you find yourself scouring through the pages, looking for something to nourish your soul and bring strength to your body.

On the Sunday Jim was asked to pray about moving to Hungary I was teaching Sunday school and the verse for the kids that month was from Deut. 31:6-Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you." It's dated 2/11/01 in my bible.

The other day, as I was reading 1Chronicles, I became overwhelmed with God's faithfulness and once again His perfect timing. He renewed this promise to me and as I have been struggling with fear for some reason, He gave me a new verse, but the same meaning. There is an excitement that goes beyond comprehension when we read God's Word and it comes alive in our hearts and in our lives. Knowing that those words are not only for the people of old but for us! For our hurts and pains, our questions, our times of sorrow. There is so much changing in this world and yet He will never change! His Words are the same always! Nothing new can be added! What joy there is in knowing this and walking in it!

I am going to try to do a 12 Days of Christmas songs starting tomorrow! Ha ha-we will see how that goes. I had an idea to write about some of my favorites so we will find out tomorrow if it really happens or not!

I pray that your day is filled with all the goodness of the Lord!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Strangers in the land

Happy belated Thanksgiving! Hope you all ate to your heart's content and were reminded of many things to be thankful for!!
We had a great day-we celebrated in Montebelluna with the bible college students and staff. It was fun! We cooked a whole turkey at home which is a first for us in the last 8 years! Unfortunately, it was also the day to use our oven for the first time. Not a good time to realize that either A) you don't know how to work it properly or B) there's something wrong with the oven!
We put it in and about 1/2 hour later the top was getting very dark. Hmm, 4 more hours to go this doesn't look like a good sign! Well, after Mr Fix It, oops I mean my darling, wonderful husband looked and opened the door, looked again, opened the door yet again, we put foil over the top and let the bird cook a few more hours. It was doing fine, but the oven just didn't seem hot enough so darling, wonderful husband decided to crank the oven to the max!!!! In the end, the shy, non argumentative wife had the brilliant idea to put the turkey in the roasting pan on top of the stove and finish cooking it. Ever so cleaverly, she even said it in such a way that darling, wonderful husband thought he came up with the idea!! LOL

Of course I had been up late the night before awaiting the arrival of said husband from his 4 day trip to Baja (Hungary that is). He stayed true to course and arrived many hours later than I had expected which meant that I didn't have the groceries needed to do my cooking for Thanksgiving. So, at 9pm, I joyfully greeted him at the door, gave him a great big kiss and told him it didn't matter how late he was and that I was exhausted, would have to stay up half the night cooking and then get up early enough to prepare the turkey for the oven. After all, it is the thought that counts (isn't that what we have been indoctrinated to believe) and as long as he thought about coming home earlier all is well in Italia!
I fiercefully shredded carrots to lovingly make a carrot cake, spread out bread all over the kitchen and bedroom to stale it out enough to make stuffing, chopped bunches of celery and cried my way through a few onions. Ah, the joy of cooking-isn't that a book or something?????
Well, the carrot cake was too moist, didn't end up cooking the right way but darling husband took care of that. He cooked it about 4 hours and it is still moist, but being the doll that he is, he decided he wants to eat it! What a man I tell ya, what a man!

Of course, in the end, everything worked out well. The stuffing was great, turkey moist and delicious and we are still happily married :)

As we drove to Montebelluna on Thanksgiving, it hit me that we are strangers in the land. We live here and yet we have a whole different culture. There were plenty of cars on the road but none were hustling and bustling with piles of baked goods in their trunks to get to Cousin Mary's for a bountiful meal. They were all just going about their business as usual. Not one person had the same purpose as we did. None of them were going to be celebrating the day like we were.
The Lord gave me a beautiful picture as we as Christians live in this world. We are to be strangers in a sense. As we see people hurrying about, going about business as usual, we need to realize that we are looking forward to something they know nothing about. We are to think differently, behave differently, speak and act differently than the rest of the world. Everyday we can celebrate Jesus and look forward to the day when we will see Him face to face and we will sit down and enjoy that feast with Him! And the good news worries on the cooking, we know it will be perfect!!!
We had our first snowfall last week. I had to enjoy it alone since Jim was in Hungary but I was quick thinking and took a picture for him to see. Now you can enjoy it too :) Also, the most precious little baby in the world in her costume. What an adorable little spider!!

Enjoy and may the Lord's face shine upon you today!