Friday, January 20, 2017

This very wet and rainy weather is a perfect reminder of why I want to do short day hikes, and I definitely have no interest in any long distance hiking, such as the Appalachian Trail or The Pacific Crest Trail.  As much as I love, love, love reading about long distance hikers, reading about the ice that forms on their tents, the bacteria-laden water they have to drink, the cold soup they eat in the rain, the black toes they get, the bears and mountain lions they have to keep at bay, all that stuff makes me really thankful for my comfy little house that offers not only shelter and warmth, but also protection from wild animals.  It makes me thankful for safe and warm food, and for not having to hike more than 10 miles a day so that I can get food.  This very wet and rainy day is a perfect day to stay inside and read about this guy who has no choice but to hike over 10 miles a day, in the snow, on narrow and scary trails, with painful black toes.  It makes me thankful that I walked to the store last night to get food for today so that I won't have to go out at all.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Redeeming Time for God and for the Edification of Others.

The Bible tells us to remember to gather together so that we can encourage one another.  (Heb. 10:25.)  So why am I sitting at home using my computer on a Sunday morning?  Because 1 Timothy 5:8 tells us that anyone who doesn't take care of their family members-especially immediate family members-has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.   James 1:27 also applies; I am looking after the interests of a widow in need, thereby practicing true religion that God finds faultless.  I see Romans 8:28 working in this situation.  If I have to stay home to take care of the needs of my immediate family, and I can't go to church and encourage others, I really, really want to be able to encourage others some way.  I'm grateful to be able to use this morning, and this technology, to encourage others.  Mr. M and I are in a trial, a very unpleasant one.  (Is there any other kind?)  God can use this trial to encourage others through our obedience.  As Mr. M and I respond rightly and Biblically, we can model for others how to respond in faith and obedience to a trial.  I am thankful for that opportunity.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

2017 Aspirations and Thoughts

I don't make resolutions.  I don't see why I would wait 'til Jan.1 to start doing something that will make my life better, healthier, happier, or more God-glorifying.  However, I do think about that a lot-how to make my life and relationships and neighborhood and the planet healthier and happier and more glorifying to God.  The conclusion I usually reach is that the best things I can do are small things . . . even silly things, like starting a coloring club.  Silly, I know, but it has made me laugh on days when laughter seemed unattainable, and it has given me and my friends something fun to do that can involve the whole family.  And yes, I also want to be responsible in bigger ways, specifically in using common sense in ways that will benefit the environment and benefit my neighbors and my home and my wallet.  For that, I think about buying only what I need, and not having to have the newest and niftiest gadget just because I can.  I make trips to thrift stores to donate things that could be of use to someone else.  I guess my goal for 2017 is pretty much the same as it is for every year:  to live sensibly.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Faith for the Future

I've been thinking often of the Godly woman of Proverbs 31.  Verse 25 tells us "she laughs at the days to come."  I'm finding that hard to do, but I want to do it, and I CAN do it.  I serve the same God, and I have His same promises to me.  I just need to trust . . . trust, believe, and have faith.  I need to trust that He has good plans for my life.  (Jer. 29:11.)  I need to have faith-that is, I need to be sure of what I hope for, and certain of things I don't see.  (Heb.11:1.)  I need to believe the Bible, and believe that God is faithful just as He says He is.  (1 Thess. 5:24.)  So, whether you have a chronically ill child, or elderly parents that need care, or financial insecurities, you must believe that our good God is faithful, and He has good plans for you.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Coloring at Christmas

This is the first exotic chicken I colored.  I bought a book called "Exotic Chickens" for $3 at a craft store.  A lot of my friends bought a copy, too, and now we have a club.  It started as an act of desperation.  I was super-stressed, and saw the book out of the corner of my eye.  Due to extenuating circumstances, I couldn't get it that day, so I went back the next day and picked up a copy.  I already had a bag of colored pencils that I've held on to since elementary school, so I was prepared.  Coloring chickens has proven to be a delightful way to bring together friends and family.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

The Tale of Two Christmas Trees

This first Christmas tree is where Renee tries to soothe the sorrows of her soul.  She has fallen quite suddenly, yet very deeply, in love with the Daschund down the road.  I'm sorry to say that her love remains quite unrequited.  Thankfully, "Shorty" will only be hanging around in the neighborhood temporarily, as his owner is a contractor here for a short-term job.  This will make it easier for my heart-sick girl.
The second tree is one that I saw on a recent hiking trip deep in the Pacific Northwest.  I believe that it not only strengthens the case for Bigfoot, but shows that even he slows down at this time of the year and takes time to show some Christmas spirit.

Monday, November 28, 2016

We Love The Church, We Need The Church.

A few weeks ago, the pastor of our church, a pretty well-known and respected theologian and Bible teacher, came to our little on-campus Bible Study for a Q&A.  He was asked why the church must be central in a Christian's life.  He answered, not as a theologian, but as a mature man who's experienced both joy and trials in life.  He addressed us as one speaking "from the hearse."  He told the students that for them, the college years are fun and exciting.  The world is your oyster.  You are constantly moving and shaking in college, and there's never a dull moment.  For the most part, college kids are strong and healthy, and have few responsibilities (other than themselves.)  Every night is pretty much a slumber party.  But . . . that all changes.  Job pressures come.  Marriage and family pressures come. You are not just responsible for yourself anymore, your decisions affect your families and friends.  Life becomes full of uncertainty, and you need the wisdom of older people who've been in your shoes, and you need the strong backs and energy of younger people who can help you.  We are all needy, and we need each other.  Thank God that He has given us the help we need in the people around us-the people in our churches who know and care for us.