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30 June 2010

91 days of summer- 10

Buster the Bull,
Cows and Cones,
Gales Ferry, CT

I will lift up my eyes...

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
from whence shall my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forever.
Psalm 120 (NASB)

(photo taken near the Delaware Water Gap in New Jersey)

91 days of summer- 9

George Washington bridge,
New York, New York

28 June 2010

91 Days of Summer- 8

Snowball the Chicken
Ellwood City, PA

91 days of summer- 7

the day after the beach

27 June 2010

91 days of summer- 6

downtown Grand Haven, Michigan

25 June 2010

91 days of summer- 5

I scream,
you scream...

Charley's Ice Cream,
Gowen, Michigan

on the lake

Life at the lake takes on a slower pace...

Hot black coffee in hand,
eggs cooked on the grill.
The view from that kitchen far exceeds the ordinary.
Geese swim by, birds soar lazily over the water.

The park begins to stir.
Golf carts zip by.  (when did people stop walking?)
Ladies wipe the morning dew off of picnic tables and benches. 
Men uncover boats, ready to head out of the docks.

The skies clear, the breeze gentle.
Another day at the lake. 

24 June 2010

91 days of summer- 4

lilies on the lake

23 June 2010

91 days of summer- 3

catch in the yard.

22 June 2010

91 days of summer- 2

Bananagrams on the deck

91 Days of Summer- 1

First day of summer- travel
Duffles lined up and ready to be loaded.

21 June 2010

on Psalm 40:1

as L.B. Cowman puts it in Streams in the Desert:
“. . . God is ever seeking to teach us the way of faith, and in our training in the faith life, there must be room for the trial of faith, the discipline of faith, the patience of faith, the courage of faith, and often many stages are passed before we really realize what is the end of faith, namely, the victory of faith.”

Andree Seu is beginning a new series on Psalm 40.  Today her words on faith and patience and prayer resound mightily with me.  A good read- go check it out for yourself.

20 June 2010

Midsummer Night

How dost one tell this tale anew?
To make it fresh as morning dew?
Save pouring Oberon’s juice of the purple flower?
Tell it Midsummer Night, in a forest, for hearts to devour.
Midsummer Night’s Dream

We had the pleasure of taking in a performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream, a production of the Words Players in Rochester, Minnesota, this week. The Words Players are a troupe of youth thespians, and they did a terrific job of interpreting Shakespeare for a young crowd.

The casting for this production captured the essence of the Midsummer characters. Puck and the band of faeries flitted around while conducting their naughty mischief on the star-crossed lovers. The “Polite Mechanicals” interpreted the scene ahead with hilarious irreverence. And all of the cast cleverly used both the outdoor venue of the park, and the audience itself, to play on the hilarity of Shakespeare’s words.

For many years, we’ve been part of the audience at Omaha’s Shakespeare on the Green. It was fun to take in Shakespeare in a new setting this summer. Bravo, Words Players!

19 June 2010

Loved well

We are moving.
Today we drove east, away from that place we have called home for the longest, and that is hard.
The hardest part of leaving is leaving.

But oh! The sweetness of being loved well.
My family has been loved well for a long while, but especially so in the last few weeks.

We have received gifts.
Little tokens of love.
Meals bought.
Items of necessity when we needed them most.

We have heard words of affirmation and kindness.
Calls and texts when least expected.
Notes and cards left in secret.
Prayers uttered at every turn.

We have been served selflessly.
Dirty jobs complete.
Errands run.
Children cared for generously.

And even in the busyness of leaving, we have enjoyed quality fellowship.
Feasts prepared.
Hospitality offered
Laughter and tears intermingled effortlessly.

At the Last Supper, Jesus told His disciples, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you love one another.” I’m thankful for all those, friends dear, who have loved us well.

12 June 2010

Day Lilies

Day lilies and fireflies- a sure sign of June in Nebraska...

New header credit to
Day Lilies by wormink on Etsy

Living in Grace

We spent the last week in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina, at Ridge Haven, the PCA camp and retreat center, attending Living in Grace. What a wonderful week, on so many levels...

We spent the week with others preparing to go out into all the world as missionaries with MTW. What a delight and a blessing, to share such sweet fellowship with those with a heart for the nations, those with a vision and call for His service. What an encouragement, to hear of God’s plan to use these folks! We shared the week with those headed to Ukraine and Spain, Colombia and Chile and Peru, Cambodia and several sensitive locations in eastern Asia and West Africa. We shared the week with singles and couples, young married folk with young kids, and others with teens like us. We shared the week with pastors and counselors and doctors and nurses and teachers and servants. We shared praises and concerns, prayers and petition, a lot of laughs and some tears too.

We sat under teaching that challenged us to look at our hearts, never an especially easy or pretty thing to do.
I realized that there is yet so much that I don’t really understand-
the enormity of God’s love for us.
Or my part in repentance.
How much I have been forgiven.
How much I need to forgive.
How small my faith is, so very often.
I mourn over those things, but I know I do not mourn nearly enough.

I consider and ask myself, how do I stray from the truth of the Gospel so quickly- the Truth of Christ’s death on the cross, the glory of His resurrection?
I can justify so much, until the scales fall and I see that Truth once again-
sinner saved by grace.
Will I ever fully comprehend the glory of the cross?
Of Christ’s work for me?
Of grace, and of hope?

And in the context of working through all that, we rested. A rocking chair waited in front of our door, and I did a goodly amount of sitting. Be still and know He is God- that sort of sitting. One morning I woke up and realized that I was rested.

Just in time to head back.
And finish the packing.
And the leaving.
And the next thing.
Flannery O’Connor pens my thoughts well,
In my stumbling attempt at being a Christian, I have discovered that the scope of the gospel is far larger than I had ever given it credit for. The gospel changes everything. In other words, we can find hope in the discovery that our world is more broken and more in need of a redeemer than we originally thought.

That I am more broken and more in need of a redeemer than I originally thought.
That is a hopeful place to be-
Pressing on.

Cast your cares...

If on a Sunday morning after worship,
A service full of praise and song and teaching and the beauty of His church,
You have stopped for a cup of coffee before starting the last leg of a trip.
And you get back into the car and turn on the I-pod for some tunes through the car speakers,
And on the last verse of All Creatures of Our God and King, you have to sing the Alleluias by yourself because the I-pod stops working.

And then you exit the interstate to a state road,
And then the lights on the dashboard start blinking randomly,
And then the car shuts down,
And then you can’t even start it, not even turn the engine over.
And you realize that this car is not going even one rotation of the wheels farther.

And you take a deep breath and pull out your AAA card,
And you utter a prayer of thanksgiving that, supernaturally and beyond logic, you were prompted to renew that membership last month,
And you call and try and figure out enough to describe where in this state you are.
And you stand by the side of the road and wait for a tow truck,
And say “no thanks, help is on the way” to the nice young couple that stopped to ask.
And you pray again for His good provision and sovereignty and timing to work all this out.
And you believe that He will, but you sure can’t see what that will look like.

And you watch your car pulled up on a flatbed tow truck,
And you climb up in the front seat of the rig and smell diesel and wonder “how much is this going to cost,”
And “Man, are we even going to make it there?”
And you pull into the Sears shop where they think they can fix it and get you back on the road,
And you get the estimate of how much it will cost,
And how long it will take.

And you wander around the nearly empty mall.
And you wander across the parking lot for a burger and shake,
And you wait.
And you phone family,
And you wait.
And you phone friends,
And you wait.
And the part that is supposed to be the fix breaks,
And you wait.
And they finally finish,
And you pay the bill and get back on the road in a downpour.

If all that happens, six hours later, you stop and pray again,
And thank God for His good provision and sovereignty and timing to work it all out.
And you make it to where you need to be,
Tired, hungry, and late, but you do arrive where you need to be.
If all that happens,
Then you can be thankful for the sermon message of that worship service, in what seemed like days but really was only hours before-

Cast all your cares upon Him, because He cares for you…
And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
To Him be dominion forever and ever.
1 Peter 5:7, 10-11

catching up


I didn’t intend for it to be a blog-cation.
But, a girl blinks, and then suddenly it has been two weeks, or more?, since the last post.

In that couple of weeks, we…
Packed a household and moved it into storage.
Drove halfway across the country.
Broke down and were repaired.
Experienced sweet fellowship and challenging teaching.
Ate well.
Were loved much.

There might be a couple of blog worthy subjects in there.
We’ll see what might get pulled out…