Psalm 51:16-17...The sacrifice you want is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
This morning, I read a story in the newspaper that horrified me. A married couple locked their three-year old foster child in a closet for two days while they attended a family reunion on August 4th. The couple reported the boy missing on August 15th, and pleaded for help at a press conference, but police believe that the child was dead when they arrived home from the reunion; I suppose the missing persons report and pleas for help were a sham, a diversion to throw police off. Police suspect that the father burned the child's body to get rid of the evidence. I am just sickened by this. I can't even imagine what it must have been like for that poor child; the horror of being locked in a small space, in the dark, all alone with no food and water for two whole days. What makes the situation even more tragic is that the little boy was developmentally disabled, and had the mental capacity of a 12 to 18 month old. I just do not understand the purpose and the reasoning behind locking your child in a closet. It's completely insane. Were the parents ashamed of him because of his mentality, and afraid of what their family would say about him at the reunion? Was he a "problem child" that they just didn't feel like tolerating during the long road trip to another state? I can't fathom what the thought processes of these people could have been. How can two people, who are supposed to be providing this child with a loving, stable environment, come to such a monstrous decision? I shudder to think of the possibility that the child could have been dead before they left, and was stashed in the closet until they had time to think about how to dispose of him. Either way, it's a tragedy that I won't soon forget. My daughter Emma is three, so this story hit me with an especially nasty impact. Whenever I hear of a story such as this(especially when it involves children close to my own kids' ages) it makes me want to hold my children tight and never let them go. I just can't comprehend how anyone could be cruel in any form to a child; I know that it is a Christian's duty to forgive and forget, and leave judgement and punishment to God, but I have great difficulty restraining my anger towards people who hurt children. I thank God that He is sovereign, that His ways are not our ways, and that it's not up to me to judge and dole out punishment to these people. I have faith that the situation will be worked out according to His will. I pray that these parents will repent and turn to God; His forgiveness is vast and neverending. It is also my hope and prayer that the other children in the household are taken into consideration and placed elsewhere for their safety, and that justice will be done.
"...always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else." 1 Thessalonians 5:15b When Bonnie attended high school, she learned an important lesson about kindness from her mother, Mary James. Many poor families lived near the James' rural Georgia home, but one girl in particular impressed Bonnie. The girl was quiet and polite, yet extremely shy. And she wore the same tattered dress to school every day. Bonnie decided to give some of her clothes to the girl, and she asked for her mother's help. Mary James, in her wisdom, offered a suggestion: why not pick out clothes that the other students wouldn't recognize as Bonnie's? So Bonnie and her mother carefully selected an assortment of dresses and delivered them anonymously. Their act of kindness helped protect a needy child's self respect. And God smiled. It is the duty of every Christian to be Christ to his neighbor. Martin Luther I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone, Kind to the rich, for they are afraid, And kind to the unkind, For such is how God has treated me. Max Lucado He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will reward him for what he has done. Proverbs 19:17 Today's Prayer Lord, You have poured out Your kindness on me. I must do no less for others. In my strong words and deeds, and in my gentle words and deeds, may I always mirror Your love and kindness in my thoughts and in my actions. Amen
By Jim Gallery "I waited patiently, for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD." Psalm 40:1-3 The accidental death of her husband was devastating to the young mother. She was left with four small children to raise, and the insurance check would not last long. The first day of the rest of her life was long and lonely. She cried out to God for strength, but she felt so terribly weak and vulnerable. Soon, however, she could voice thanks to God for the friends who had surrounded her with love and helping hands. Then, she found a satisfying job (with on-site childcare). Within a few years, she met a caring man... God knows our circumstances and hears our cries. He leads us through the darkest days of our lives, and in time, He puts a new song in our hearts. But God's timetable is His own. We must be patient. God is at work.
I do know that waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one's thoughts. It is easy to talk oneself into a decision that has no permanence, easier sometimes than to wait patiently. Elisabeth Elliot Patience is the companion of wisdom. St. Augustine To wait upon God is the perfection of activity. Oswald Chambers Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:14 Today's Prayer Lord, I always seem to be in a hurry. There seems to be so much to do and so little time. Help me to live on Your timetable, not my own. Give me patience, Lord, and acceptance of Your will and Your way. Amen
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee..." Isaiah 26:3 She was by my side everywhere I spoke, in church and in homes. Heija Kim was my translator on a mission trip to Korea. I would read from a Billy Graham tract entitled "Peace with God," and she would interpret my words to the listeners. Heija and I spoke with hundreds of Koreans as we shared the message of God's peace. We were told by missionaries that the tract had been chosen because of the universal need that all men and women feel for a sense of peace with God. Jesus has promised all believers a "peace that passes all understanding." (Philippians 4:7). Godly women, such as Heija, pray for and work for the peace that only comes from one source: the Prince of Peace, Christ Jesus. God loves you and wants you to experience peace and life-abundant and eternal. Billy Graham
There may be no trumpet sound or loud applause when we make a right decision, just a calm sense of resolution and peace. Gloria Gaither I'm leaving you well and whole. That's my parting gift to you. Peace... Jesus John 14:27 Today's Prayer Lord, Thank You for the peace I feel in my heart. Thank You for calming me when I feel overwhelmed. May the peace You provide for me draw someone close, and may I point them to You today. Amen
"Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy..." 1 Peter 1:8 To say that I looked forward to visiting Miss Amelia was something of an understatement. She was an elderly lady living in a small, frame home, and she brought revival and refreshment to my heart every time I was around her. Miss Amelia's eighty years on this earth had taken their toll on her physical body, but the years could never extinguish her joy for living. In fact, she seemed to love life more with each passing day. When Miss Amelia's health began to fail, and as she spent her final days in the hospital, I observed a remarkable demonstration. She understood that death was near, yet she had no fear. She was utterly and completely prepared to be with her Lord, and she shared her dynamic faith with everyone she met. Even as her strength ebbed, she encouraged those around her. Doctors, nurses, nurse's aides, and visitors all marveled at the joyous spirit of this godly woman. Miss Amelia was indeed "filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy." She loved God and God rewarded her. He will do the same for us, if we let Him. It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes our happiness. C. H. Spurgeon Whence comes this idea that if what we are doing is fun, it can't be God's will? The God who made giraffes, a baby's fingernails, a puppy's tail, a crooknecked squash, the bobwhite's call and a young girl's giggle, has a sense of humor. Make no mistake about that. Catherine Marshall Some Christians are too full of the world to enjoy God, and they are too full of God to enjoy the world. They try to get the best of both. They get neither or either. Peter Marshall Today's Prayer Lord, remind me that the joy I will experience today comes from You. Remind me also, Lord, that the circumstances I face this day and any day cannot rob me of a sense of celebration and joy...unless I allow it. Thank You for the blessings You have given me. May I be a joyous blessing to others, and may I give all the praise to You. Amen
Bob has been tagged by Church and Guido to list five wierd facts about himself: List 5 weird things about yourself or your pets. Tag 5 friends and list them. Then, those people need to write on their blogs about 5 weird things, and state the rules, and tag 5 more people. Don’t forget to let the people you tag know by posting a comment on their blog!
1. Bob does not like to eat in front of people. Since he spends most of his days running around the backyard and playing (when the weather permits), we keep his food and water dishes outside. After we fill his bowls, he waits patiently for us to go back in the house before he chows down. 2. He really loves cheese. 3. For some strange reason, he also likes to eat grass. 4. Bob won't sleep anywhere except for the girls' room. When we first adopted him, I tried to get him to sleep next to me in our bed, but he wasn't having it. He prefers to sleep curled up at Paige's and Chloe's feet, or sometimes in between them. Go figure. 5. Bob is somewhat particular about his animal friends. There are certain dogs he refuses to have anything to do with. I have no idea what criterion he bases his friendships on, so we never know what other dogs he will be compatible with. (That makes him sound like a snob, doesn't it? He's really not, trust me. He loves all people and is very loving in general.) Don't get me wrong, he's not mean to other dogs; he'll simply do the sniff thing and if he's not interested, he'll walk away. However, there are also dogs that Bob has an instant chemistry with. For example, Bob loves my sister-in-law Jennifer's dog, Samson. They hit it off the moment they met. As a matter of fact, I think they might like each other a little too much, if you know what I'm sayin. We've witnessed some...er...um..."physical activity" between these two that is...not quite natural, so to speak.
So, there you have it. I don't know how weird these facts are, but they are definitely what make Bob so special and why we love him and his qirkiness so much. Bob is tagging PJ, Kimmy, Courtney, Eph2810, and Heather.
"And the second (commandment) is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" Jesus Matthew 22:39
Some people are easier to love than others. When people are lovable, happy, and well-behaved, it is easy to like them and to love them. But, when people misbehave or do things that hurt us, love does not come easily. Still, Jesus says we must love even our enemies and pray for them. (Matthew 5:44)
Though it may seem impossible, we can love those who hurt us, but we need God's help. Elisabeth Elliot writes, "It is as we come to the Lord in our nothingness, our powerlessness, our helplessness that He then is able to enable us to love in a way which would be absolutely impossible."
We are commanded to love all our neighbors, not just the lovable ones. And when we fill our hearts with God's grace, He makes it possible to love those whom we could never love without the presence of a living God in our hearts.
If you are having difficulty loving or relating to an individual, take him to God. Bother the Lord with this person. Don't bother with him, leave him at the throne. Chuck Swindoll
Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives, is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see. Corrie Ten Boom
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4: 7, 8 Today's Prayer Lord, I love You and want to obey Your commands. You have asked me to love my neighbors, all of them. I will try. And when I fail, Lord, love them through me. May all who see me know that I belong to You because of my love for all people. Amen
"...Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment." Jesus Matthew 22:37, 38 Mary's actions stunned the dinner party. Instead of helping sister Martha serve the meal, Mary took expensive perfume and poured it on the feet of Jesus. Mary then wiped His feet with her hair. One disciple complained that the perfume could have been sold and the money given to the poor. He saw waste. Jesus saw love. "Leave her alone," Jesus said. "It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have Me." (John 12:7, 8) Jesus was preparing to endure a tremendous agony. The very same disciple who complained about Mary's extravagance would soon betray Jesus. Jesus would stand trial and be mocked, scourged, spit upon, and crowned with thorns. He would suffer the pain and humiliation of the cross. But, for a brief moment, Jesus experienced the devotion of a godly woman who was focused only on expressing her love for her Lord and Savior. Mary's was an extravagant love. Our love should be, too.
Love is not merely an attitude with wich God clothes Himself at certain times; rather, it is an attribute that so permeates His being that He could never divest Himself of it. To do so would make Him less than God. Therefore, whatever actions or commandments issue forth from His throne must come from love. Kay Arthur
Everything in your Christian life, everything about knowing Him and experiencing Him, everything about knowing His will, depends on the quality of your love relationship to God. Henry Blackaby The grace of God is infinite and eternal. As it had no beginning, so it can have no end, and being an attribute of God, it is as boundless as infinitude. A.W. Tozer Today's Prayer Lord, I love You. Help me to love You more. I can never give to You more than You have given to me. I can never love You more than You have loved me. But today, I want to love You more than yesterday. May my love for You be evident in everything I do. Amen
September 1st-Buck's 2nd Birthday
September 4th-Labor Day
September 12th-School Open House and Book Fair
September 14th-Paige's First Day of Dance Class,
September 27th-Melanie's Birthday
September 28th-Sydnee and Jesse's Birthday