Monday, October 31, 2011

31 days of Learning #24-31

Home from studies, it's time to wrap up October. Here's what I learned last week:

#24: Jeremiah talks about people who add God to their other worship (chapter 7). I want to be one of those who adds life to my relationship to God, with obedience and friendship with God as a priority, not as a sidekick "just in case" I need providence on my side.

#25: Sitting and studying 8am-9pm is hard on the human body, even with breaks, reading while walking the room, and stretching. Hope there are no security cameras as I grab my ankle, stretch it out back, and lean forward. Streeetch! Hold. Owie.

#26: As I lie in bed at night, God reminds me that each day has its own portion. No worries if I can swallow the whole elephant, please. BBQ and eat... in little pieces, as God spreads the table. Oh, weird analogy for a mostly-vegan.

#27: I meet with two key faculty members, the program director and my dissertation adviser. In the back of my mind, comprehensive exams (after tutorials) have been the dead end to getting all my work done. Last time I did comps, they wiped me out for 2 months after. I couldn't pick up a book, read a study, or even think about research. Several prayer partners pray with me about this.

As I'm sitting in the director's office, he pulls out the PhD manual and reads, "... or defend a scholarly journal article... and the comps are 12 hours over 3 days." STOP STOP STOP! WHAT? READ THAT AGAIN please!!!

I can petition to defend orally before the PhD class and dissertation committee, an academic article that summarizes my tutorials. I have TWO already written, one published, one requested by another journal. "Please God, let me do that instead." The director is not happy about the option, but willing to consider it. And maybe I can save 3 days (2 travel, 1 morning/night of in-house defense) by Skyping. I petition for that, too. The time saved could be crucial in this gasp to the finish line. Lesson: God can provide a way where there is no way.

#28: Most guys would have no problem telling friends and family, "Look, I won't be available for anything outside this project for 6 months. After that, I'm all yours and life returns to normal." While praying, I feel that permission, and contact my daughter (who comes home December to March for surgery & rehab) and my husband (who will have to coordinate caregivers with her) and say, "I've always been here for you. Not so much in the next 6 months. Gotta go!"

It sounds heartless. And though friends and family recoil a bit at the idea of "mother" abandoning home and hearth for studies, it feels right. Lesson: put in our own wagon only the things God gives us, and let him place the burdens we are not to carry in someone else's wagon. (It does not matter if we have carried those things before or will carry them again in the future... what is God calling us to do NOW? In this day?)

#29: I watch Cheryl's mom work, play, and administrate in the home while J and C are working in Asia for a few weeks. The kids benefit from a loving grandma. She renews love-ties to the them and serves her daughter (a brilliant administrator) with her own gifts. Lesson: do the things God gifts me with, and there is fulfillment and satisfaction all around. It's all God's work, but not all of it is mine to do.

#30: There's nothing like the face of a lover at the airport. I am happy seeing my husband! And of course, I love seeing the faces of our sons and daughter-in-love and a grandchild. Lesson: family is where the heart has its home.

#31: My office is fantastic. All the mess is off the desk: W tore out the old beige carpet that had gone through two young boys sharing, AND a teen girl in her learning-to-put-on-makeup phase. 

 The fresh smell and clean look of bamboo flooring is matched by clutter-free desk. Other stuff still has to be sorted, of course. I spread all my papers out and get to work. Lesson: It's good to purge, though it may not be useful at every time. It can be cleared and sorted after the work is done.

-----------------------observation on Halloween------------------

It's Hallowe'en, my least favorite American celebration. I wonder each year if Christians are thinking about God's pleasure rather than cultural pressure when they dress themselves and their kids as witches, ghosts, and clothe their homes in creepy, spidery-dark dress. Sure, hand out candy, but please play dress-up with cute costumes that align with truth and fun and beauty, not the Enemy of our souls.

Remember in all your frolicking and "innocent" partying to pray for God's protection around 1) the many children who will be abused in Satanic rites, 2) the horrible rituals inflicted on those with God's image, and 3) newcomers drawn into darkness as they worship the Prince of Darkness behind the closed doors and on altars hidden in the high hills.

Perhaps in coming days and years, God will use you, me, or our families to bind the deep wounds inflicted and to salve the scars of blows struck tonight.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

31 days of Learning #23: lead by love and life

I'd go to New Life Church if I lived here. I've attended three Sundays, listened to the pastor's heart for the people, watched the congregation love on each other, and enjoyed the worship.

Thing is, all three weeks, guest speakers led the talks. The pastor wrapped up the service with no great fanfare. There was no competition with the guests for, "I'm the boss" or, "Here I am to do the important part of closing the meeting." The invitation was simple: let's meet with God and surrender our own preferences to follow the path He has marked out for us. Each week offered time for a cooperative, family commitment as well as a personal one.

I felt that the pastor was leading the way into God's presence. I WANTED to yield to God, rather than feeling coerced or manipulated. Judging by the response of those around me, many others felt the same.

Lesson #23: the more a leader attends to the interest of others, the more influence s/he exerts. The deeper the leader's relationship with God, the less s/he has to strive to be heard or to raise her/his voice.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

31 days of learning: #22

My advisor appointment was at 3:00, so I cleaned the cabin and regretfully drove the hour back to town. The sun was out, the sky was blue, the trees were starting to blush red. I was sad to leave; it was a perfect day to study, walk, and think at the lake. But I'd taken the only chance to meet with an advisor.

At 3:00 I showed up at the prof's door. Her face was swollen and eyes red. "Do you mind if we meet another time?" she croaked. I edged out of her office. Poor thing, she looked really sick.

I grumbled inside, walking back to the library. I'd skipped lunch to be ready. A let down. But I felt so sorry for the gal... She probably was too sick to think of canceling.

The rest of the day flew by. Back online after almost a week away, I made good progress on footnotes and editing. God knew just how to arrange the day. I am grateful for what I accomplished, even with a few hours of travel and moving back to town.

Lesson: go with the flow. I want to be grateful for the blessing of the week, and use the rest of my time here wisely.

Friday, October 21, 2011

31 days of learning: #18-21

18. Tuesday I learned that it's easy to skim thru historical documents 'at a distance' and miss the point of the writers. I slowed myself to experience the words, and was swept back to 1916-25.

19. Thinking about what early missionaries had asked God for made me realize how shallow my prayers have been. Oh God, give me worthwhile prayers!

20. The lake glittered with sunshine but the air remained a cool55o. I learned that flip-flops are great, as long as you don't stand still too long, talking to the neighbors. Brrrr for my feet.

21. I learned to let go of something I can't controll, another plethora of written tests that prove nothing but to cause anxiety... Tutorial comprehensives. Had been told there are no more written tests.

I'm not sure I can recommend this program to those in full time ministry. So far, 2.5 years of classes, 3 weeks of added directed study in MO, 2 comprehensive exams on core courses, dissertation proposal (takes about a year to get it approved) 4 self-directed tutorials that need advisors' approval, comp exams on the tutorials, put it together in a dissertation, get it edited by a copy editor and revise, get it approved by the committee.

So far, to 'working on tutorials' stage has taken over 4 years. I want to graduate and get it over with. Thinking about another set of comps, I could come almost undone. So the lesson of the day is, forgedabatit until I have to do them.

22. Hospitality costs the giver, but the reward to the recipient is beyond giving thanks. I've just had a week in a quiet house overlooking a shoreline... God has displayed his beauty and faithfulness as I've written, undone, read, and written some more. So grateful to Taylors for their generosity! It's back into town tomorrow to continue work in the library and meet with tutorial advisors.

Tanks to all those who prayed that I could focus... I got lots done and feel I accomplished a significant chunk of work. Thanks be to God.

Monday, October 17, 2011

31 days of learning: #17 weather amnesia

This morning I sat huddled over my computer in a screened porch, as the temperature slowly crept to 70o. W asked if I'd stayed warm. Well, yes. Undershirt, turtleneck, velour pullover, double knit housecoat with a hoodie, over thick socks in closed shoes, and jeans. Oh, and a hot water bottle on my lap, all wrapped up under a fleecy blanket. Just right.

Forecasters predicted thunderstorms tonight. I couldn't imagine that, looking through the trees to the sun-dapples lake.

Now that night has fallen, acorns and twigs are crashing onto the porch roof and the rain is gushing down between thunderbolts. I can hardly believe it was warm and sunny when I walked outside at 2pm.

Lesson #17: weather amnesia R us... But living in the moment is ok. Earplugs and warm blankets, please.

What kind of things do YOU find easy to forget?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

31 days of learning: #14-16

14. Sitting in W's class, I am astonished to hear one of his students has just published a book on God's abundance in response to our obedience... with a new twist. Can't wait to read it, especially after meeting the author. He's working on a M.Div. and is the first one in his family to complete HIGH SCHOOL, never mind college. I learned that God implants us with desires that require our obedience to glorify him.
15. I visit with a retired pastor who just wrote a book on an Old Testament character who has mentored his ministry. The gentleman came alive with excitement, telling me how he loves to explore God's Word. I learned that God's message to us bring great delight through a whole lifetime of exploration.
16. Friends of ours loaned me their lakefront cabin for the next week of research. I enjoyed church in the morning first. Cheryl Taylor knocks it out of the park in her sermon, and when the pastor calls for prayer, I find I've been sitting in the corner where people go to pray at the end of the service. I take advantage of my proximity... The man who prays for me to be able to focus on studies looks familiar. He is none other than Keith Kidwell, an alum of NU (our kids are friends, too). Cheryl and Keith, I learned that God works in the smallest details through his people, his wonders to perform. Thank you, as the sun goes down on this beautiful view.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

31 days of Learning #13: A way where there is no way

Yesterday Kirsten called to say the insurer had asked if she wanted to appeal the denial of coverage she had received in a letter.

"What letter?" asked Kirsten. "I have not received a letter from you."

"We've sent a letter denying your insurance claim. I just wanted to know if you plan to appeal the denial."

Kirsten was upset, and so were W and I when we heard about it. Without coverage, how will she manage the surgeries booked for January? How would she pay rent? (You get the picture.)

There's no doubt Kirsten is disabled by the rheumatoid arthritis that has stalked her since she was 15. We continue to pray for healing. Times of stress aggravate the swelling, and she's in the middle of a flare. Many people agreed to pray with us on her behalf last night.

One friend said, "I'm going to pray that this just goes away." My heart leaped in agreement and was at peace.

This morning I got another call. "Mom, guess what? I called the company, and here's what happened." The gal had jumped the gun; the denial letter had been sent the day before. Hardly time to process it. And was for a type of life insurance, not disability coverage. 

Lesson #13. God made a way through the prayers of our friends, dissolving this impossible situation in a manner like he blew the Red Sea into a dry walkway many years ago for a desperate tribe, running from their slave-masters. He set a table for our daughter where we sensed the presence of the Enemy.

Thank you all for appealing to God on Kirsten's behalf. God is able to act beyond our understanding and expectations. 

Waldemar preaches in chapel tonight at AGTS. I'm sure his heart will be lighter as well :-) Thanks be to God. 

Read more:
*Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the LORD opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. The wind blew all that night, turning the seabed into dry land. So the people of Israel walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on each side!" Exodus 14:21–22 NLT

*God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.  

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth.He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.   

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:4-10 NIV

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Taproot give 2nd chance to see An Ideal Husband

Performances added of An Ideal Husband at Taproot Theatre
Wilde’s witty classic is selling quickly, now extended through October 29
SEATTLE – October 11, 2011 – Due to extraordinary ticket demand, Taproot Theatre is adding a matinee performance on Tuesday, October 18 and extending An Ideal Husband through October 29. Now audiences have one more week to experience this vibrant production.
Misha Berson of The Seattle Times says, "Karen Lund's staging unpacks a scintillating farce about men and women, marriage and politics, blackmail and ethics." Considered by many to be Oscar Wilde’s finest social comedy, An Ideal Husband continues to be surprisingly modern.
Written by Oscar Wilde and directed by Karen Lund, An Ideal Husband features a talented cast of Ryan Childers, Anne Kennedy, Aaron Lamb, Adrienne Littleton, Joe Monroe, Pam Nolte, Nolan Palmer, Simon Pringle, Candace Vance, Nikki Visel and Sarah Ware. The production team includes scenic and sound designer Mark Lund, costume designer Nanette Acosta and lighting designer Jody Briggs. Anne L. Hitt serves as stage manager and Sonja Lowe as dramaturg.
An Ideal Husband Extension Fact Sheet
By Oscar Wilde
Directed By Karen Lund
·         Now through October 22 (Wednesday-Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 8 p.m.; Saturday matinees, 2 p.m.)
·         October 27-October 29 (Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 8 p.m.)
·         Matinee: Tuesday, October 18, 2 p.m.
·         Post-play Discussions: Wednesday nights
WHERE: Taproot Theatre Company, 204 North 85th Street, Seattle, WA 98103
TICKETS: Tickets are available online at and through Taproot Theatre’s box office, in person or by phone at 206.781.9707. Tickets range from $20-35, depending on the performance. Taproot offers a $3 senior/student discount off regular priced tickets (excludes previews). $10 tickets are available for ages 25 and under. Tickets for the senior matinee are $20. Discounts are available for parties of 8 or more through Group Sales; call 206.781.9708. Tickets for the pay-what-you-can performance are available day of show at the box office only; contact the box office for details.
Taproot Theatre Company is a professional, non‐profit theatre company with a multi‐faceted production program. Founded in 1976, Taproot Theatre serves the Pacific Northwest with Mainstage Productions, Touring Productions and the Acting Studio. Taproot exists to create theatre that explores the beauty and questions of life while bringing hope to our search for meaning. Taproot Theatre Company is a member of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), Theatre Puget Sound (TPS), and the Greenwood‐Phinney Chamber of Commerce.
Thanks to our opening night sponsor, The Upper Crust. Support for Taproot Theatre’s 2011 Mainstage season is generously provided by The Charles Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences, The Seattle Foundation, ArtsFund, 4Culture, PONCHO and Nesholm Family Foundation.

31 days of Learning #11 & 12: Oh man. Oops. Oh woman.

It's been interesting (to say the least) to read the arguments against women ministering in American churches since the mid-1800s. Not much has changed. Language maybe. The reality? Many women have served in missions and pioneered outposts. But established churches and denominations "want a man" as their leader. The strong calling of a few women has made way for them to do extraordinary ministry, regardless of cultural restrictions.

The women's cohort of AGTS is here, learning, studying, laughing, and crying together. I'm not part of the cohort, but ate lunch with them to eavesdrop on their session. "I'm forever ruined for a mixed gender classroom," said one, wiping tears from her face after they spent a session sharing their dreams and calling with classmates. "Hearing the heart of Jesus through women is fantastic. We are so open to speak and listen to each other."

I get irritated with feminists who thump on men for being male. I'm not waving a flag for women's rights. But I want to encourage women--and men--who have heard the call of God to ministry to pursue that with all their hearts.

Lesson 11: Ask God what he expects of us and depend on his open doors rather than people's permissions. Letting the worldview chips fall where they may, women and men are called to follow God's plan for us. Effective ministry plows a way for acceptance of its delivery system and/or person.

Lesson 12: (for tomorrow) When ministering to a calling is impossible, it may be time to move on to work elsewhere. Don't be afraid that God will reshape us through education and experiences and then leave us without participation in his Church.

Monday, October 10, 2011

31 days of Learning #9-10

I'm in Springfield, MO, finally making good progress on my dissertation. For over a year, I've been gathering information on the women who made up the first generation of Pentecostal missionaries. At times I've been excited, bored, and downright discouraged.

I've never thought of quitting, but I have wondered how long this will take to complete. What I know (#9) from months of sitting is that the seat is less tolerant than the brain. When your bottom freezes onto the chair, it's time to let the mind drift to other things. Like a break or lunch!

#10 of 31 is that people have different tolerances of closeness when studying. The guy who plopped himself and his books right next to me in a big room with the excuse of "I hate to sit with my back to the door," obviously has less personal space needs than I do. We've worked edge to edge from 9-9pm today, and I'm hoping he finds another place to work tomorrow. If not, I may have to spread out my books elsewhere. Groan. I'm in the library room with a historical collection I need to reference several times a day.

It's been fun to pull together the long weeks and months of work. I'm editing, sorting, rearranging... and finding I have lots of material gathered. Hopefully in three weeks, the first draft of my dissertation tutorials will be nearly done. God be thanked for hope!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

31 days of learning: #6-8 on the road again

#6 it is more exciting to plan a trip when you're under 55.
#7 it is fun to travel with someone you like, in this case W. Having a Delta Sky Club membership helps, too.
#8 it is more tasty to eat apple crisp someone else has made.

I'm in Springfield MO for 3 weeks of study. I made good progress editing two tutorials on the flights. However, the focused reading made me realize how much I still have to do before I can hand it in! Yikes.

We are at the lake cabin this weekend with Taylors, enjoying tremendous food, a beautiful view, and good friends. I get a lot of academic work done in four or five hours of solid effort, sitting in a screen porch overlooking the shoreline. Jay has four projects for his dad and W, and they get them all completed.

It's 81o at 8pm, according to Jay. Feels cooler, and my toes are cold while everyone else is warm and toasty. The crickets are chirping, the geese have tucked their noisy bills under their wings for the night.

All is well, and all is well.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

31 days of Learning #5: 100th chance happen

We all hear about "second chances." Today I've learned that God never gives up on us, constantly reminding us that his forgiving Nature is our standard for relationships, past, present, and future.

This morning, listening to Isaiah 44, I again embraced the God of many, many chances. If we had only two opportunities to repent, to come back to our senses, or to return to the God who loves us, forgiveness would be "used up" before we left the toddler stage.

How much more does God call to us to reflect his loving forgiveness to those who sin against us!
Most people don't even know when they offend us. We easily get snarled up in personal slights (intended or not), being overlooked, or when a wrong is done against us.

Rather than letting those harsh experiences define us, let's let God be the avenger, the smoother-of-crooked-paths, and especially, the abundant source of joy in our hearts.

Read more:
*Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth;  his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! Psalm 66:16-20 NIV

*This is what the LORD says—your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself, who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense, who carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, "It shall be inhabited," of the towns of Judah, "They shall be built," and of their ruins, "I will restore them," who says to the watery deep, "Be dry, and I will dry up your streams..." Isaiah 44:24-27 NLT

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

31 days of Learning #4: Free indeed

Each of us is born into a family with their own values and wealth. I'm not necessarily talking $ as the measure of wealth. Riches include shelter, kindness, love, food, security, peace, friendship, and other resources. The worst homes may have little "wealth" for its inhabitants. But nearly every group has some collateral that keeps them together, even if the price for cohesion includes suffering or challenges.

Today I read about the freedom that comes from immersing oneself in the plans our Creator has for us: 
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 NIV

Our culture understands  that self-improvement makes us better. But we're headed in our own directions, trying to build up our egos, our bodies, our self-importance, with things that have no lasting significance.
  • A year of gym workouts? In 2 months without maintenance, it disappears.
  • Botox? Call back is 3-4 months.
  • A face-lift or liposuction? Give it 5 years, if you have a good doc, and you'll look as wrinkly as ever.
  • Eastern-style meditation? Lasts until the next idiot swerves into your lane and almost runs you off the road.
  • Self-help courses? Temporary fixes unless underlying character are addressed.
You get the picture.

Yet God offers us glorious freedom from self-absorption. The full understanding of why we were created and what our role is on this lovely planet. A career plan that may be winding and mysterious, yet looking back over a lifetime will bring: "Ah, I was SO wonderfully and beautifully made!"

So, what does absolute freedom cost?
  • Adoration. Not of self, but of God who is Beyond Understanding or Comprehension. 
  • Love. Willingness to open our hearts, , to live wide open to God and matter that it may hurt sometimes.
  • Unconditional obedience to One who is Loving Kindness, yet knows the future and accepts the past. Obedience that means acquiescing to lifelong risks in the footsteps of an Omniscient (all-knowing) God, even when the path is not obvious to us.
  • Surrender to beauty and gladness in seasons of joy or pain. (C'est moi in autumn/winter.)
  • Loving acceptance of our neighbor as self, no matter how horrid that neighbor may appear. (Does anyone know your "whole story" to judge your actions perfectly?)
  • Service. Looking out for the interests of others above our own.
This is what I learned today. I am tied in knots only where I do not live in the glorious freedom of the children of God. 

Oh to adore, love, obey, surrender, accept, and serve, so that the Spirit of the Living God can fall with freshness and freedom to rest on you and me...

Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me. 
Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me. 
Cleanse me, mold me, fill me, use me...
Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

31 days of Learning #3: Some people prefer autumn

I'm definitely a summer person. I used to be a spring person, loving the coming-to-life of new leaves and flower buds. However, the older I get, the warmer I like to be. I love the fully-fleshed gardenias and geraniums, the lush green forest behind our house, and the hot evening sun just before it goes down. This was the first summer we've spent in Seattle in years, and when it arrived in August, I was thrilled. I hate to let summer go, now that October rains have come.

Some people love winter, with its cold mono-palate shaded in white, grey, and black. These are probably far and few between. Many of them probably live in the Arctic or Antarctic zones. They must have warm houses to escape into and feel secure in. "Why else would you tolerate freezing cold snow, slush, and ice?" asks this former Winnipeg-ger. Not to mention the mud when it all starts melting!

Most of all, I have learned that fall seems to be the hands-down favorite season among my friends and acquaintances. They love the bright colors of leaves dying, the withering of stalks that permits berries to appear, the hardening off of stems to drop ripe apples and pears onto orchard floors. Even Dr. Oz talks about fall as his favorite time of year.

I don't get it. The whole atrophy process as nature heads for the dead of winter? Doesn't turn my crank one notch. I feel like God kills off the world's beauty so that we truly can appreciate the unfolding of a new season in Spring.

Only 8 months to go. God have mercy! (and I don't say that in jest.) I can't wait, hunkered down at my desk, looking out at a typical autumn sky. Rainy, grey Seattle. Time to wait for new life.

Thank God for central heating, bright electrical lights, a roof overhead, and thickly insulated walls to ward off the cold damp until the deck is habitable again.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

31 days of Learning #2: "Are there dogs in heaven?"

Animals have different kind of souls than humans, according to scripture. I remembered that, sitting in adult class this morning talking about the wonder of salvation from Romans 8.

W, who's teaching the sessions, had just said, "Jesus died for people, not for poodles."He explained that God sent his Son to die for humanity, not for animals.

The gal next to me looked bemused. I leaned over to her and whispered, "We have two poodles. That's why he mentioned them."

She responded, "I'm sure there are dogs in heaven. It wouldn't be 'the same' without them."

[The same as what? Life on earth? As our imagination of heaven?]

I agreed with her sentiment if not with her assumption. "Dogs are cool. There might be some dogs in heaven. But scripture gives no indication that they sin or need a Savior."

On the way home, I mentioned the conversation to W, ending with, "I think she's right about there being creatures. But what kind will they be? What sort of animal would worship the Lamb?

Without a pause, W shot back, "A sheep dog!"

I lost my breath. He caught me off guard. I laughed long and hard, and W laughed along. It took me several minutes to recover composure.

What I learned today was that a serious theologian and my marvelous husband can still surprise me with his wit and humor. 

I was reminded that we DO know the most important things:
  • We are loved by God. Cherished. Bought with a price and set free to live fully. 
  • Our greatest privilege and best task are to look like Jesus, and glorify him day in and day out.

[With or without pets, now or in the future.]

Check out today's "31 Days" recommendation: 31 Days of Contemplation.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Overwhelmed with possibilities

Blogs to follow? Your choice - 485 choices, that is. "Chatting at the Sky"'s Emily asked for blog readers to write for 31 days. You won't believe the abundance of options - sign up for one or a few to enjoy all month.

My offering was "31 Days of Learning." I didn't see it in the long long list, but here's what I learned today: things are not always what they same. I never knew pigs' snouts were the basis for electrical outlets. Wow.