Monday, May 30, 2011
This is a song written during Desert Storm by the wife of a soldier; it is a difficult song to sing without tears, but it is a good song, nonetheless. This Memorial Day, I send a special Thank You to all who have served, and for all those who love them. Because of you, we are free.
She was standing in his room, tears streaming down her face,
Wondering where the time had gone, what had happened in this place.
She remembered all his toys, scattered on the floor,
Oh, the pain when she realized, he'd never come home anymore.
He had died for the cause of freedom.
He had given all that we might be free.
Oh, let us thank God for the mothers and the sons,
Who sacrificed for liberty.
She was rocking in her chair, the baby at her feet,
Reading his last letter, his words of love so sweet.
He said, "Honey, I can hardly wait, soon, I'll be coming home,"
But he had died for liberty, and now she was alone.
He had died for the cause of freedom.
He had given all that we might be free.
Oh, let us thank God for the husbands and the wives,
Who sacrificed for liberty.
God was looking down from Heav'n, upon the world He made,
His Son cried, "God, forgive them," oh, what a price He paid!
They had never been apart, but now He must forsake,
And for the cause of Liberty, this sacrifice He paid.
Jesus died for our cause of freedom!
He gave all so that we might be free.
Oh, let us thank God, for the giving of His Son,
The sacrifice for liberty….
The sacrifice for you,
Friday, May 27, 2011
It was the end of a very busy and stressful day…or was it?
I looked around at the mess I called home, and wished to just crawl under the covers and sleep for about two weeks. School has been especially difficult lately, and it seemed like the bus would never get clean, no matter how many times I went through and picked up stuff. Now all the children were in bed, and there was still a pile of dishes in the sink.
And I mean, a pile. I have no idea why there were so many, but there were. And I needed to do them before I could go to bed and take a coma.
I looked around and sighed, knowing I was in for a late night. And knowing I also had a lot of other work to do, as well.
I turned away from the sink to work on the floor, drudgery dogging my steps. Some days are just bone-wearying, and this was one of them.
After a bit, I heard water running in the sink, and turned to see My Beloved washing the dishes in the soapy water and stacking them in the drainer. Within minutes, he reduced the pile to zero! I rubbed his shoulder and looked into his eyes, smiling gratefully. "Thank you so much for your help! You just saved my life!" I quipped.
He smiled down at me and laid his hand on my shoulder. "How would you like me to see if I can get you a dishwasher?" he suggested.
My eyes grew round with wonder, and my mouth dropped open. A dishwasher…in a motorhome?? Whoever heard of such a thing? But my husband is always thinking outside the box, and he just might do it.
"Oh, honey, if you did that, I would jump into your arms!!" I exclaimed. He smiled broadly and replied, "Well, we'll see if we can do it."
That was a few weeks ago. And tonight, with much sweat, pounding, and grunting, he installed a small apartment-sized dishwasher in our motorhome!!!
|I took this picture on my phone, minutes after it was installed tonight!|
I jumped right into his arms!!
After some intense kissing, he said he thought he would like to install another one tomorrow…. ;)
Thursday, May 19, 2011
"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts to wisdom." (Psalm 90:12)
With the tens of thousands of miles we put on our bus, who would have thought My Beloved and I would come face-to-face with death on our weekly date? It is strange to think how commonplace quickly becomes the uncommon, and in an instant, our whole perspective on life is altered.
My husband and I were driving home on the highway the other night from an evening of relaxation, good food, too much shopping, and enjoying each other's undivided attention when I saw the other car.
He was driving right toward us.
As I saw his headlights get bigger, it slowly dawned on me that we were on a four-lane road, NOT a two-lane, and this car was clearly going the wrong way on a one-way street…at about forty miles an hour.
Life can get very messy, very quickly.
Beyond words, I merely pointed and began hollering unintelligible things. My Beloved saw the other car when he was about a hundred feet away and began honking for all he was worth. The other car flew past us at a combined speed of about one hundred miles an hour merely two feet away.
I didn't want to look in the rear view mirror, but I had to. Flashing headlights, brake lights. Finally My Beloved breathed a sigh of relief. "He pulled off the road," he said, looking in the mirror. I was unable to see it, but I was very thankful. I reached over for his hand, letting my fingers feel his strength, his faith, and sighed deeply.
I was still quivery when we arrived home about ten minutes later.
All three of the young children were in bed, sleeping, oblivious to what had happened. I looked at their tousled heads, wondering what the night could have been like…and thanking God that it wasn't.
Why is it that a brush with death gives us a new perspective on life? Why do we wait until we are living on borrowed time before we begin to appreciate life? Eternity becomes vividly into focus, and we see, perhaps for the first time in our lives, what is really important and what doesn't matter at all.
"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." It is my heart-cry, my desire, my quest. Help me, Lord, to always see life from Your perspective, from the eye of eternity.
Death could easily cross that two-foot gap and strip the life from my hands, and it would be gone. I thank God it didn't that day. I've been given more time with my family, more time to serve the Lord, more time to love, and more time to give. It's a wonderful feeling. It's a sobering feeling.
It's that feeling that happens when you are Two Feet From Death.
I have a huge responsibility, and that's to glorify God, giving myself wholly to Him. To enjoy the gifts He has entrusted me with, and to focus my heart on Him, pointing others to Him.
Giving ourselves wholly to God is a full and free feeling, a "throwing it all to the wind," so to speak. But in this case, the wind is not the instability of a breezy air of empty expanse, but the rock-solid stability of the kind and gentle hands of a tender loving Abba-Father.
It's the same heart-cry that our Lord uttered when He threw back His Head, took His last earthly breath,, and cried, "Father, into Thy Hands I commend my Spirit." It is giving our all to Him, trusting that He will take it and lovingly sift the bad from the good, and fill our lives and hearts with His goodness. I know His Will is best. The outcome may be not quite like I prefer it at first, but it is always best.
"I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me, and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20
It's that crucified life – that life of the living dead – that is worthwhile. Those that have realized that we are as good as dead to the material draw of this world are the crucified ones. It is that brush with death that brings eternity into focus. Really, I am already dead. When I gave myself to Christ one day years ago, I died. I died to my dreams, to myself, to my precious vices I held so dear. I died to them all. A vision of death brings a vision of eternal reality. But, oh, that blessed reality!
Always remind me, Lord, of what is real, and focus on that reality every day.
Help me to savor every blessed moment I have – including the trials – because there will come a time when these opportunities will be gone.
Thank You, Lord, that I have been Two Feet From Death….Help me to live for You like there is no tomorrow.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. (Mark 10:29-30)
This morning I woke up with the sun pushing its way through my cloth blind in my motorhome and the fresh spring breezes playing around my rooftop vents. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I stumbled out into the kitchen to begin my morning routine. It takes me a little while to wake up, even if I'm up and moving, so it wasn't until about fifteen minutes later that I realized where we were parked.
Most times we are parked in a church parking lot, hot asphalt baking even in the mild spring sun. And our motorhome bakes right along with it, so the air conditioner hums to keep us sane even in the springtime.
Not long ago, we were parked in a church parking lot also shared by a host of children, a family of eleven, in fact. It is nice to have a place to park, but it seems these children must rarely get visitors, because if one of my kids cracked the door to the motorhome open even a bit, they were mobbed by a swarm of excited children with seemingly nothing to do but wait for their visitors to come out. Most of the time we don't mind, but for some reason it made the stay a difficult one.
Kind as many pastors and churches are, nothing ever feels like home. For us, home has become the inside of our motorhome, and it can get real cramped real fast.
But this morning I almost thought I felt at home. I looked out the window with amazement, remembering that we are parked at a beautiful Christian Camp. I stared, blinking, out the window. Fields, cows, chickens, a log cabin. A grove of trees, and a flowing creek. Gorgeous bright greenness meets clear blue sky. Later in the day, I stepped out to switch laundry (my dryer is in a bay under the motorhome), and I heard the lowing of cows and the tiny peeps of baby hens and geese. It's nature's paradise. God's paradise. A little bit of Heaven here on earth.
And He allowed me to have it as my own, if only for a few days.
"Explore all you want," the folks told me. "Let the kids run, play, and visit the animals. We know it's tough when you travel, but you guys just relax and enjoy yourself."
After school, the kids and I wandered to the creekside, then went to feed some of the hens, goats and horses. We walked past the fields of flowing wheat and the budding corn. A garden of some sort of sprouts was growing as well. Then as we went back toward the bus, two young boys came to show us a six-foot black snake they had killed. It's a boy's paradise, and an animal lover's dream. The girls instantly fell in love with the horses.
Lord, You've been so good to me, allowing me to have freedom to explore a wonderful place such as this. It is not really home, but I feel fairly certain that my mansion is really going to be a log cabin!
Sunday, May 1, 2011
This week I read that a new study shows that screen-watching children have narrower blood vessels in their eyes than their outside-playing counterparts. (New York Times, April 2011)
The study goes on to say, "In adults, constricted blood vessels in the eyes have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease." If only for physical health, folks, we need to limit our children's computer and TV time.
Spiritually, however, I have found that limited is the key word when it comes to screens and raising our children to love the Lord. In my upcoming book, Lionproof, I highlight the results of an unprecedented study of second-generation Christians who are living for God even after leaving home, and I discovered how vastly important it is to limit electronic entertainment. An extremely high number of the respondents to my survey told me that their parents limited their TV and video viewing. I personally think that sheltering children from the worldly influences is a very important part of child training.
If childhood TV viewing can be either directly or indirectly linked to an increased risk in cardiovascular disease physically, then it stands to reason that a regular ingestion of videos and TV can be detrimental to spiritual health. A "hardening of the arteries," so to speak.
Just a little something to think about.