Wednesday, April 18, 2007

 

Homeschooling with TMBG

OK, admittedly this post is mostly for my husband, and my friends Tina, Steve, Ruth and Richard who are TMBG fans. They should go listen to track 4 of the Flood album (brief audio clip here if the album is not handy) and they will know what we covered in history lessons today.

I will tell the rest of you that I had my kids dancing in the kitchen to the tune "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" by this fun and quirky band that I only became aware of when I married Paul. It was a great way to end our brief study of the Ottoman Turks and the fall of Constantinople and bought me some time to get lunch on the table. It also induced some aerobic movement and dance that my playing of classical music seldom does. I thank TMBG (They Might Be Giants) for a fun moment on a dreary day!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

 

God's caring fingerprints

My Dad went into the hospital last night with some heart arrhythmia (sp?). He seems to be doing better now, for an 82 yr. old overweight man on dialysis that is. My mom is struggling because the stress of it all makes her dementia and confusion worse. I of course am halfway across the country and my sister is two states away so we are trying to manage it all long distance while managing our own children, families and jobs. Can you say Sandwich. Any way one of the things I do when these crises arise is to call in prayer power and notify people in the town where they live and who love my dad to pray and be on standby to help. You see my dad through 50 years of ministry has touched countless lives and many of them are there to help him back whether he is willing to ask or not.

It always amazes me how God provides and supports in the big and little ways in moments like this and even manages to encourage us. When we share the burdens and the love we can see Gods finger prints everywhere. Here are some examples of God's work and care from the last few days:

From an email from a "kid" who grew up next door to us and who we drove to church each week:
"....So I'll just keep whispering their names at the appropriate time in the prayers of the people and keep them in my own prayers. My thinking is that all these quiet little prayers count as being from the whole congregation anyway.Here's a little story I'd like to share with you and Emily, which I haven't told many people. Soon after my mother's cancer surgery several years ago,she wasn't recovering at all well and they put her in intensive care. I wasn't religious at all back then, but in our fear and despair I looked upward and managed a little prayer -- "Lord, send us an angel." Your father came walking through the door a few minutes later."

From a women who runs a service organization my mom was active in during her adult years:

"God is indeed working in this world. I just tried calling your Mom tonight, as I've had several of our older members in mind lately. She was very rattled and said she couldn't talk due to an emergency. Obviously, I was very concerned about what it might be and told her to "take care". Thanks for letting us know. I'll pass along to the other members."

Another couple who do so much for my folks and help keep me in the loop said this:

"... one of us will go over there this afternoon and make sure she (my mom) is okay and take her to see your dad if he is in the hospital and we can do so with her. I will also make some calls to people to put them on their prayer list, so I am glad to have the names of the ones you have already alerted. Keep in touch by phone today with any needs you have, and I will contact you with any concerns or an update.I know how hard this is for you and your sister; my sister and I had the same situation and it is a worry. We were lucky their were cousins and aunts and uncles available to help in our parents home town. SO, know that I am praying for you, too. Take care of yourself"

Also, It just happens that my son was scheduled to have an EKG today to verify that some fast heart rates he has been having are normal. He was nervous and as the little stickers and leads went on it helped him to know that Grandpa had the same things on him (and he has to have them on longer) and will hopefully help him to pray for grandpa in a new way. My best friend and her daughter also came and shared a McDonald's lunch with us before the appt. to help distract him and provide me with some support.
I had also been "charged up" and encouraged Tuesday night when my homeschool mom prayer group brought the meeting across town so I could participate. God knew I would need the fortifacation of that time of prayer prior to facing Wed. night.

Like I said, God's finger prints, look for them in a life near you, it will do wonders for your day.

Monday, April 02, 2007

 

Behold How Good...

Psalm 133:1 Says "Behold how good and how pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity"

Sometimes in our current cultural situation it can seem like there isn't much unity (war, violence, politics, different "world views") both with in and outside the church. It is also hard in busy modern lives where we often don't live near each other to just have fellowship of believers outside of Sunday morning. This can make it harder to "bear one another's burdens" and to "rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep".

This weekend I had a wonderful dose of that sort of fellowship and unity of brothers and it was balm to my soul and a reminder that God is operating in our midst....

-Friday, a friend and 7 of her 8 home schooled kids came and joined us for a few hours to process some books to be added to the church library. The littler kids played together in the living room (with not fights!!) while my dining room became a work room for getting books ready to be added to the shelves. It was just great to see fellowship and service work hand in hand and the kids (and moms) enjoying not only each other's company but the work at hand.

-Sunday School was a parenting class where we shared the joys and struggles of being examples/models to our kids in living a Godly life. To be reminded that your struggles and needs are not unique and that we are living it out together was great.

-After church we attended a new members lunch at the pastors house as representatives of our parish. It was good to see the kids all playing nicely together (many too busy and excited to bother to eat), adults talking, women working together to get the potluck meal organized, on the table and to fill in any gaps by sending willing bystanders to the corner store (a practical out working of loaves and fishes) There was also just a good informal hum of conversation between old friends and people making new friends.

-In the midst of the lunch a church elder who we don't know especially well casually encouraged my husband both through his talking to him in the first place and in commenting positively on his place and ministry in the church and the value it adds to the body.

-Evening church brought a chance to welcome a visitor and help her find the sanctuary and to help a mom from the morning Sunday school class find some resources in the library where I had gone before worship to do some other tasks (which got set aside).

-Evening church also showed the lighter side and sense of community of our church, which can sometimes seem large, impersonal or stodgy when some gold fish appeared in Pastor Ryken's water glass just before his Window on the World segment (April Fool's from family and friends). It worked in perfectly as a segway to the evenings window on taking risks.

May God show you the joy of the fellowship of the community of believers he has given to you this week too!!!

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