CJ has been the model of a faithful young woman as she's waited for God to bring her future into focus. She's taken care of me through some pretty rough times, but she's also served her family, her church, and her friends in every way she could think of--making meals, teaching bread-baking classes, directing children's musicals, housesitting and babysitting, helping homeschooling families organize their homes...and dozens of other acts of service that have made her a blessing to all who know her.
I have no doubt that all the things that make CJ such a beloved friend and family member will continue...but soon she'll be serving with a different name and in a different state (Oklahoma). In the meantime, we'll treasure our last five and a half months with her and thoroughly enjoy helping her plan her wedding.
Pray for CJ and Tony as God leads them into a future of serving Him together!
It's nice to know, via several email inquiries, that my presence has been missed, but I do have a really good excuse that doesn't involve a dog eating my blog posts. Three weeks ago in the Snippets I looked forward to having my hip replaced, and that seemed to go "without a hitch"--I had the surgery on the 7th and was home by the 12th, sitting here thinking about updating and thanking everyone for their prayers. But alas, before the next Sunday rolled around, I developed a fairly serious complication that provided me with yet another setback. My 72-hour wound check uncovered a "seroma" deep below the surface, and after it literally exploded in the exam room (I'm not kidding...we had to throw part of my clothes away right there!) I was taken upstairs to surgery once again. Another five hours in the OR and another five days in the hospital was added to my recent adventures, but I'm now home again, in the beginning stages of therapy and glad to be allowed out of my room!
This week, Dave's been working on the latest phase of our deck construction, a triangular pergola in one corner. It's been great to be able to walk out there (with my walker, of course) to check on progress. Hopefully, by next week I'll be able to post pictures!
As we approach the end of another academic year, one I've not had nearly the hand in that I've had in other years, I have been contemplating what our lives will be like in the fall. We could have three fewer kids in the house by then due to a variety of reasons, and only two students, both in high school. Of course there's a joyful procession of grandkids in and out, but even those will be fewer due to Dave and Kris' upcoming move to north Texas. This house, that has at times held 15 or more inhabitants, will be down to a mere five! Yes, there have been times when I've looked forward to not having so many shoes to pick up or dishes to load, but deep down I've always known that there would be a lot of melancholy to go along with the reduced workload and messiness. I thank God that I've had the privilege of "enduring" these for so long!
This week I read a fun and valuable book, The Little Book of Bulletproof Investing: Do's and Don'ts to Protect Your Financial Life by Ben Stein. Not only did I gain some insight into long-term finances, but I am always amused that the same man who can write a serious book on finances and economics is the same one who pretty much played himself in the 1986 teen coming-of-age comedy, Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It's a wild world.
It'll be interesting to watch what happens with the newly-signed legislation on illegal immigrants in Arizona. While I firmly believe states must have the right to address their own problems, I don't think that in the current "progressive" legal climate the legislation will stand. And it appears that it may also cause some violence in the state, further complicating the underlying issues. No good answers, at least not while so many Americans think that "illegal" just means "undocumented" or some other euphemism for being here in violation of our sovereign laws.
Looks like this will be the week we'll trade in one of our two gas-guzzling Suburbans for a more moderate used Pontiac Montana. We still need vehicles that hold several people, but we no longer have to have one that seats eight, and we REALLY don't need anything that has such a drinking problem! Gas prices, even before the $.15 (or more) a gallon tax that will probably be tacked on with the new energy bill, are downright scary!
One of my projects for this summer: use my new scanner to get 37 years' worth of old and fading photos stored in digital format. Then I will get rid of about 9/10 of the hard copies and just save the gems. Sometimes I wonder what I would have thought in 1973 if someone had told me how we'd be storing and editing and transmitting photos within the next thirty years. I'm sure I'd have given them a blank stare :-)
Enjoy your last week of April!
“Just as the caterpillar becomes a butterfly, as carbon is converted into diamond, as the grain of wheat upon dying in the ground produces other grains of wheat, as all of nature revives in the spring and dresses up in celebrative clothing, as the believing community is formed out of Adam’s fallen race, as the resurrection body is raised from the body that is dead and buried in the earth, so too, by the re-creating power of Christ, the new heaven and the new earth will one day emerge from the fire-purged elements of this world, radiant in enduring glory and forever set free from the ‘bondage to decay.’”
—Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics (Grand Rapids, MI: 2008), 4:720
The Doctor Will See ALL of You Now.
hat tip: Pam Y.
"...if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep!" (1 Cor. 15:17-20)
I love winter and I'm sorry to see it go, but I must admit that it's sweet to taste the strawberries and asparagus and see the tiny, spring green leaves on the trees outside my window. Sad that we've already had to close the house and turn the air on...early April seems just too...well, early.
My talented son-in-law Dave has spent the past week enclosing our deck with rails and balusters and solar lighting. For several years it's been just a flat 1400 sq. ft. expanse of deck with no adornments. No longer...it's becoming the Cinderella I always wanted. Next phase, later this month: a lovely pergola in one corner, ten feet on each side. It will be a great place to sit and eat and enjoy our few nice days in the summer...or to highlight special occasions ;-) [If you live in San Antonio or the Hill Country and need a great remodeler/renovator/carpenter, you need to get in touch with Dave!]
Despite the MSM's attempts to marginalize and demonize the Tea Party movement, they are going to have trouble explaining the increasing number of independents and Dems who are, shall we say, dipping their bread in the tea.... Disgruntled Dems Join Tea Party
I think it's about time they rename it and make it official: FOX News is now CNN. Cleavage News Network. I simply cannot take the news seriously when it's delivered by a girl in a prom dress or a negligee. There are just some things I don't need to see. I'm wondering if when FOX says they're "fair and balanced" they mean they're balancing their conservative viewpoint with a licentious and many times silly atmosphere. And please...don't even get me started on Shepard Smith.
PLEASE read Son of Hamas. I finished it this week and highly recommend it, even for your kids, say, 12 and up. Especially boys. It's a quick read, a very inspirational true story about the son of the co-founder of Hamas who is convinced to work for Shin Bet (Israeli intelligence) and then becomes a Christian. His account of all sides is very balanced and compassionate, but he doesn't hesitate to show the darker side of all sides in the Middle East.
Well, it's totally appropriate in my mind that my next surgery, the one that I'm praying will give me a new life, will fall on Easter week. I will go in early Wednesday morning for what's expected to be nearly an all-day surgery, followed by a week in the hospital and perhaps a couple of weeks of inpatient rehab after that. It will be a difficult road, perhaps more so than any of my other hip replacements and revisions, but I am looking forward to this one like no other. By Wednesday I will have been sitting/reclining for three full months, and I haven't walked since December 22. So this is really going to be a new beginning, very fitting for the week of Easter! Praise God for His faithfulness!
"Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all..."
It’s enough to drive a man crazy; it’ll break a man’s faith
It’s enough to make him wonder if he’s ever been sane
When he’s bleating for comfort from Thy staff and Thy rod
And the heaven’s only answer is the silence of God
It’ll shake a man’s timbers when he loses his heart
When he has to remember what broke him apart
This yoke may be easy, but this burden is not
When the crying fields are frozen by the silence of God
And if a man has got to listen to the voices of the mob
Who are reeling in the throes of all the happiness they’ve got
When they tell you all their troubles have been nailed up to that cross
Then what about the times when even followers get lost?
‘Cause we all get lost sometimes…
There’s a statue of Jesus on a monastery knoll
In the hills of Kentucky, all quiet and cold
And He’s kneeling in the garden, as silent as a Stone
All His friends are sleeping and He’s weeping all alone
And the man of all sorrows, he never forgot
What sorrow is carried by the hearts that he bought
So when the questions dissolve into the silence of God
The aching may remain, but the breaking does not
The aching may remain, but the breaking does not
In the holy, lonesome echo of the silence of God
WASHINGTON—According to a report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Education, an increasing number of American parents are choosing to have their children raised at school rather than at home.
Deputy Education Secretary Anthony W. Miller said that many parents who school-home find U.S. households to be frightening, overwhelming environments for their children, and feel that they are just not conducive to producing well-rounded members of society.
Thousands of mothers and fathers polled in the study also believe that those running American homes cannot be trusted to keep their kids safe.
"Every year more parents are finding that their homes are not equipped to instill the right values in their children," Miller said. "When it comes to important life skills such as proper nutrition, safe sex, and even basic socialization, a growing number of mothers and fathers think it's better to rely on educators to guide and nurture their kids."
You MUST read the whole thing, down to the last line :-)
Increasing Number Of Parents Opting To Have Children School-Homed
hat tip: Dr. P
Barring an about face by nature or adjustments, it appears that for the first time since 2001, Arctic Sea ice will hit the “normal” line as defined by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) for this time of year.
Climate change, happening before your eyes
Our kids and grandkids might not be safe from Obamunism, but they may be safe from the cataclysmic global hot tub.