Tuesday, May 29, 2007


The Lord is the giver of every good gift. Some times, we act a little bit like Him and give gifts to one another. Recently I received a gift that means a lot to me. It is a quilt, handmade by my sweet friend, Jeanne. She is moving away. Usually when a friend leaves, they get the gifts, but she gave me this beautiful reminder of the years we spent ministering side-by-side in our ladies Bible study, W.O.W. (Workmen of the Word).

A few things you should know. When she moved to El Paso, she had a vision to begin this Bible study for women as a place they could be encouraged to study God’s Word on their own and a enjoy the friendships of other women. Remember, she was new to El Paso. She had left behind her support group of friends; she wasn’t a well known face around our church, yet she stepped out in faith and obedience. The result has been many years of lots of women gathering for fellowship and being changed by the power of God’s own expressed Word. WOW.

That kind of living speaks to me. She didn’t sit around longing for what she left behind, or complaining about what she didn’t have. I bet she felt lonely and so she prayed and the Lord showed her that other women new to the area also felt lonely. In His strength she took action and did something about her situation and many lives have benefited.

This is a good example. At times we may feel frustrated or unhappy with the way our life is or about a certain situation. I do and some of my responses are: blame someone else, get grumpy, complain, feel sorry for myself. Or when things are hard we think God should do something—and get mad when He doesn’t. Maybe He is doing something, maybe He’s waiting for us to do something.

Well, that’s the story of this wonderful gift given to me. Now I want to tell you about the gift we gave our son to congratulate him for earning his PhD. As background you need to know that when Craig earned his medical degree his parents bought him a recliner. We wanted to do this for Josh but wanted him to choose the chair. He actually wasn’t crazy about the recliners he tried out but really loved another chair with ottoman. So that’s the one he got and he calls it ‘the chair of all chairs.’ It’s nice to receive gifts of love and it’s nice to give them too! Here’s to gift giving, let’s follow the example of the Giver of all things and give with great generosity and joy!

Monday, May 21, 2007

(Cameron and Grammy having a picnic by the river)

(With sweet Kayla)

(Written last week, but I couldn’t get on-line to post)

Today we played with our grandchildren in Kentucky. First Craig and I took Kayla for a walk around the neighbourhood. She is a dainty little thing, nearly a year old, with a sweet personality. She watches her big brother and imitates just about everything he does. Whenever she hears some one laugh, she joins in. And her laugh is so cute that it’s contagious and so we all end up laughing. I think she liked having our full attention this morning and we sure enjoyed giving it to her.

When we picked up Cameron from pre-school we went to the river for a picnic. The day was perfect—the air had the feel of spring, with a slight breeze that was present but not distracting. Three-year-old Cameron joined Granddad in throwing sticks into the river. They were joined by a large black Retriever who did what he was born to do—by bounding into the water to fetch one of the sticks. Then the pup (I’m sure this dog was a youngster because he bounced with great exuberance) came up on shore and shook violently, sending a light shower of dirty river water on both boys. Now, this puppy didn’t have the slightest idea that Granddad isn’t a real fan of furry four legged animals of any kind. He just shook joyfully, rolled in the grass and then stood and looked around for some more fun.

By this time, Cameron had stooped and picked up another stick but before he could turn and throw it in the river, his new playmate rushed up behind him—front paws lifted—trying to invite our grandson to frolic. Cameron didn’t see the puppy coming, and it happened so fast there wasn’t time to shout out a warning, the dog knocked Cameron to the ground. He was startled but unhurt and at that moment the puppy’s owner, who was watching from the distance, yelled, “Come!” and off when the wet, blackhaired, four-legged-friend.

Granddad quickly scooped up our little guy saying, “The doggie wanted to play with you.” I think he might have been thinking something less positive.

Later, Cameron told his Daddy, “The dog jumped on me.”

Next, we raced up the hill with some wild flowers. Cameron presented these to his Mommy who was pushing Kayla in a baby swing. “Happy Birthday Mommy. I got you some flowers.”

These are two wonderful little people and they add such joy to our lives. It is such a blessing to know them. I’m just sad that we don’t live nearer to them, for I know from firsthand experience that when your back is turned, and you’re busy doing other things, time can sneak up behind you and knock you down and before you can right yourself, it runs off, taking your children into adulthood.


(Josh and Shauna)

(With Josh after graduation)

Wow. Josh was one of only four graduate students up on stage, since he was chosen as the outstanding student for the Engineering department at Notre Dame. His name will be engraved on a plague that hangs in the office for Graduate Students. They presented him with a beautiful award that looks like a glass square with a golden engraved plate inside. He also got a check which means he and Shauna can go off together to celebrate their tenth anniversary (isn’t God good?)

When Joshua’s amazing achievements were being read I sat silently, thanking the Lord for the way He has held onto Josh and directed his steps. As a parent there were times when I nearly panicked over our firstborn. He could out think me from an early age so I had to try to out-pray him. While I’m not (in anyway) taking credit for all of his brilliance and hard work and good heart, I am acknowledging that the Lord has graciously intervened when Josh needed a helping hand to push him in a righteous direction. I am so thankful for this.

Today I am still praying and trusting the Lord as the Good Shepherd of my children, their spouses and our grandchildren. Only He knows how He has made each one. He understands what they need to live life joyfully. He can carry them in their sorrow and dance over them with singing in time of triumph. They are His, from the moment of conception, on loan to us to enjoy.

As a young mother this became my primary goal—to enjoy my children. I recognized that Scripture calls children a gift so I asked myself, When I give a gift to someone I love, why do I do it? I concluded I want them to enjoy it.

So, I figured that when the Lord gave me our precious four gifts He wanted me to delight in his presents (and be thankful to Him for His wise generosity).

Basic to enjoying a child is openly accepting and loving them for who they are and delighting in watching them unfold. It’s sharing their wonder as they discover their world. It’s liking to be with them. It’s not working to make them into someone different, but helping in every way to aid them in becoming who they are created to be. It doesn’t mean you don’t teach and give boundaries but it means (at least for me) you follow God’s pattern in the garden. Lots of free provision for fun and ‘yeses’ and only one ‘no.’ You might say, ‘Well that didn’t go so well, did it?’ That actually brings me comfort because God, the perfect the parent had disobedient children, and although He sure didn’t approve of their choice, He loved them and made provision to rescue them.

Well, I’m rambling. I just felt, as I saw our son cross that stage and be recognised at Doctor Cameron—Professor Cameron, that I felt thankful that when I think back to the years of raising him I smile, because we had so much fun and I sure did enjoy being his mom (still do.)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Amazing Show

A little blurry-- but this is a picture of what our counter looks like on Thursday nights, when a group of men join Craig to study the Bible. As you can see they studied the book of Romans (and so did I in a day time study I attended.) I cook for them, but we're taking a break for the summer.
Here is a strange and beautiful bird I saw in England. Does anyone know what it is? It looked like a Rooster/Parrot. Very bright colors and an awful sounding screech.

I've just finished looking at a wonderful slide show of Eric and Amy's wedding! (Take a look.) Robert and Aimee did a great job on the photography. If you watch it I want you to know that song that is playing is the one that was played as the couple was pronounced husband and wife and walked up the isle out of the church. ENJOY!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

ANNOUNCING—Let’s Pray Today!

The project produced four CD's. Prayer for Beginners, Praying to Overcome Anxiety and Depression, Praying for My Children, and Praying for My Husband and Marriage.

ANNOUNCING—Let’s Pray Today!

Since today is the National Day of Prayer, it seems a perfect day to announce the arrival of my newest ‘baby’—which relates to prayer, as you’ll see. I’ve always thought it was a bit weird for people to talk about their artist work as offspring, but in some ways the analogy fits.

Birthing a creative work demands a change in lifestyle and can even take over your life for a time. You might even feel nauseous from time to time or weighted down. There may be a craving for a bit of relief from carrying the burden of bringing the concept to life. Some days, you wish you could go back and not allow the idea to be conceived in the first place, so that life could just return to normal. Then, when time drags on and it seems as if the end will never come irrational fears creep into your mind. “This is never going to be ready,” and “Let’s just forget the whole thing.” But as in pregnancy, it is with an idea that presents itself, it will grow and grow and one day it will be too large to contain and will need to take on a life of its own. And even though you believe that the moment of birth will never arrive, and that you’ll never be delivered—it happens!

And when the baby arrives—oh, the joy, the wonder, the relief, and THE ANNOUNCEMENT! So, to all of you dear ones who prayed with me and for me as I wrote and recorded these prayers, let me present the offspring of our combined efforts. Thank you.


National Day of Prayer

Eric turned 21 and he really liked his dirt cake, Ethne liked it too!

Today is the National Day of Prayer. Will you join me in praying?

"Lord thank you that this day is a day to focus on praying for our nation, You are the one that
decided we woud be born in this land of opportunity. Please help us to make the most of all
you've given so that your kingdom would increase and your Name be lifted up. Give us hearts that are fully yours and minds and bodies that all we are would delight and honor you. Please give our leaders supernatural wisdom and hearts that hear you and follow your ways. Protect them from greed and power and falsehood. Give each one, at the national, state and local level a standard of righteousness lift up your banner of love over us. Forgive us, have mercy on us, save us Oh Lord make us a people who honor you in truth and live lives that bring you glory. Amen."

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Today's lesson

(Katie, Amy's mom and I lighting the unity candle at the wedding.)

I’m always a bit stunned when I realize that I have miscommunicated. After all I’m a communicator—an author, teacher, speaker. Sometimes I’m paid for my words but that doesn’t mean that I don’t make mistakes. James 3:2 says, “We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.”

It’s easy to admit I’m not perfect, but what that means is that I unintentionally hurt people. I hate that—don’t you? Thankfully the friend that I offended is mature enough that she called me and asked me to explain myself. Wow, if she hadn’t done that, things would have been so much worse.

This has reminded me of the mighty, weighty, power of words—for good

or bad. “Lord please help me to be a careful listener and wise in speech. Put a guard over my mouth. Holy Spirit, control my tongue and may I bring blessing and life with the words I speak and write. To the praise of Your Glory. Amen.”

Mt 12:36 -

But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.