I traveled recently. I travel a lot these days. Not always my choice. God directs and I go.
The message last night was from Psalm 139. Wonderful verses about how the Lord knows everything about me and how I can't go anywhere without being in His presence. Verse 2 says, "Thou understandest my thought afar off". God knows my thoughts even before I think them. How awesome is that? I'd never thought of that verse that way. So encouraging. And He directs my paths and goes with me. Always. He knows the way through the wilderness. Good thing, because I sure don't. And all I have to do is follow. And so I go.
There was no little check on my boarding pass on the day of my travel. So, I was going through security the old-fashioned way. Computer out. Shoes off. Getting some part of my body patted down because there was a shadow. (Happens often. I tend to wear more clothes than other travelers. Lol!)...
Twenty-six years and one day ago I was pregnant. Very! I had four wonderful little girls at home. And the child that I was carrying was to be my last.
There was a five and a half year gap between daughter three and daughter four. I had gone back to teaching full time in between them and time slipped away. Pam was number four and her older sisters were mommy/sisters to her. They took care of her as though she were a baby doll, always looking out for her. She needed a real sibling. Someone to fight with and torture. And God had answered that need.
I never prayed for a boy. When you have four girls, you get that a lot with your fifth pregnancy. "Oh, you're trying for a boy?" No! God is giving us another child. I don't care if it's a boy or girl. God's choice. He already has this child's life all planned out. Then the next statement- always the same. "Oh, that's nice. Well, as long as it's healthy. Right?" NO! Not as long as it's he...
Okay, two posts in one day. But, something is bothering me. I have referenced sin several times recently as 'big' or 'great'. I feel that I should take a few moments here to clear that up. Because there is not really any such thing. At least not in God's eyes.
First, let's define sin. Sin is coming short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23. It's common to us all, the Bible says. The dictionary definition is "an immoral act considered to be a transgression against God's divine law". That just means anything we do wrong.
Sin is what makes us different from God. We were created in His image. But He is without sin. Sin separates us from Him. 1 John 1:8 tells us that "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." Romans 6:23 reminds us that "the wages of sin is death". That's what we get paid back for our sin. Death. Separation from God.
Okay, no more deep thoughts, at least for today. I need a break. Let's do a list. A list of worthless facts about me. Things you may not know.
1. My name is Barbara. I know, you already knew that. But it means 'a stranger'. I love that. It's one of the best gifts my mom ever gave me. Because I am. It's Biblical, you know. :)
2. I don't like the heat. And no, it's not because I'm a middle aged woman. Grrr! I've always been this way. Other people are all bundled up, and I'm wearing short sleeves. I've been known to wear flip flops in the snow when it's not deep enough to come up over the sole. Give me the cold any day. At Victory, we had a staff meeting each morning before school. I'd wear a coat maybe three or four times during the course of the winter. Mr. Dorsey would say that it must be too cold for outdoor recess today, because Mrs. Olszewski is wearing a coat. Haha!...
If you are just now jumping in, I need you to go back and read two previous blog posts. They are the two that came right before this one. They are entitled, 'Two Dogs In The Fight', and 'Can We Marry?'. If I try to recap here I will use up all of my words in the review. My children might tell you that I can be a bit wordy on occasion. (Hush, my babes. Some things are still private!)
When my kids were little, I had this theory about children's nightmares. I thought that scary monsters could not come out in their dreams if they had never been put into their minds in the first place. So I was very careful about what they watched on TV. Seriously. I didn't even let them watch Scooby Doo until they were like twelve. And it worked. Five kids. Zero nightmares.
Oh, once in a while one of them would come to me in the morning and tell me that they had had a bad dream. I would ask what it was about. It was always about some...
Once I was approached by a young couple who wanted to get married. They were very much in love. She had been raised in a Christian home, had trusted Christ at five or six years of age, had gone to Christian school and Bible college, and had never lived in the world.
But he had known nothing but a harsh and worldly life up until about a year before they met. He never knew his father, and his mother was an out-of-control, homeless drug addict. He himself had been an addict from a young age. He had been on his own and out of school since his mid-teens, and had the scars to prove it. But he had found the Lord, trusted Him, and surrendered to Him completely. Including the surrender of his addictions. And now this.
And so, the question. What about us? Could God be in this match? Will God bless this marriage? Hard questions.
My concern, of course, was him, not her. Forgiveness from God? Absolutely. Sin cast as far as the east i...
Stories. That seems to be my theme these days. Stories that came from the pulpit a long time ago and embedded themselves in my heart. Stories that helped me understand the Word of God and it's principles.
Jesus knew that young Christians needed stories to help them understand His truths. He told lots of stories. The Bible calls them parables. God knows that His thoughts are not my thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9), and lately He's been helping me to understand that in a way that I didn't as a younger Christian. Even now, nearly fifty years later. I'm just so much more aware of it now. And I try to keep that in mind when I wrestle with what the Lord wants from me. And for me. I've learned to listen more and think less. My thinking messes things up. His ways are past finding out. (Romans 11:33)
Anyway, here is another story that has been very helpful throughout my life. I first heard it from the pulpit back in the eighti...
This morning I posted a blog post to facebook that I had written two weeks ago. I'm still playing catch-up, because I was writing blog posts way before I went live. Even longer before I connected the website to facebook. So each day I've been featuring on facebook an old blog post until we get current. After I post I reread what I've posted, because I sometimes can barely remember what it was about. And I try to see it through the eyes of others.
The one featured this morning is entitled, 'Tuesday Morning'. I put it up early. Then I read it. And then I almost took it down.
The writing featured today is personal. Painfully personal. Several of them have been. And I struggle as I reveal myself in that way. I have always been a very private person. Through the years I have gotten very good at giving of myself without sharing the secret places of my heart. My heart holds secrets. It always has from the time I was a very little girl. And I've...
Yesterday I awoke to a wonderful thought. My house was filled with people who I love. It's the first thing I remembered as I woke early. Even before I thought to greet the Lord. Even before I remembered what day of the week it was. My first thought was that the beds and areobeds and futons and sofas are all filled up. Filled up with people that I love. That we were all together.
Then, this morning, a similar thought. The thought of how wonderful it is to have pillowed my head with these people all together under my roof. But this morning I woke earlier. And the Lord quickly nudged me to my next thought, in the wee hours of the morning. I quickly remembered. Today they go home. And my heart hurts. :(
Brian and Sarah will be the first to leave. I will take them to the airport early. They will have a long day. They fly across the country to get to where they now call home. Their temporary home. I will cry when...
I'm still trying to play catch up with my blog posts. I began writing in January. So each day I have been posting on facebook an old blog post from before I went live. I'm almost caught up. At least we're in the correct month now.
I had been toying with the idea of a website and blog for years. I had been asked to do so by sweet people who thought...well, I don't know what they were thinking. I knew nothing about blogging. I didn't even follow a single blog. I must admit, I still don't. But I was willing to try if the Lord was in it.
I knew if I blogged I wanted it to be hosted on my own website. So about seven or eight years ago, I came up with a domain name and secured it for two years. The two years quickly vaporized and I had not touched it. Oh, well. A couple of more years went by and, at the suggestion of a few friends, I tried again. The old domain name was no longer available (if you let them expire, someone unknown secures the...