Friday, April 24, 2009

Just for Fun

I have about a zillion things on my plate this week and I'm meeting myself coming and going. So instead of writing something deep in thought, I thought I'd just have a moment of fun.

Today is April 24th and here are some of the highlights of this day over the years. So here goes.

1704 Boston News-Letter, 1st successful newspaper in US, formed
1800 Library of Congress established

1825 Baltimore and Ohio Railroad is incorporated

1833 Patent granted for 1st soda fountain
1888 Eastman Kodak formed

1898 Spain declares war on United States (Spanish-American War)
1909 Harry Hillman & Lawson Robertson run 100m 3-legged race in 11 seconds
1929 1st non-stop England to India flight takes-off
1953 Winston Churchill knighted by Queen Elizabeth II

1962 MIT sends TV signal by satellite for 1st time: CA to MA
1969 Paul McCartney says there is no truth to rumors he is dead
1995 Dow Jones Index hits record 4303.98

And last but not least:
April 24th is the 114th day of year with 251 days left. 244 shopping days until Christmas.

Enjoy the day. This is absolutely the only April 24, 2009 you will ever get. Do something special with it.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The importance of peace

My husband and I have joined a new Bible study that is focused on peacemaking. As we sat there tonight discussing the things we'd learned, I was amazed at one issue that continued to come up. We're often terrified to be vulnerable and to yield our entitlements, even for the sake of peace.

It's amazing to me the things we'll hang onto. We'll hold grudges and take up offenses - we'll gossip and point fingers of blame - we'll even stir up the past in order to prove a point that should have long been laid to rest. And that's just in the church body. In the world things are just as vicious, but somehow it seems more acceptable, after all they aren't living by the Word. In the body, we're supposed to be all about peace and forgiveness. The very foundation of who we are in Christ has a basic ministry of reconcilation.

Romans 12:18 says If it is possible, as much as it depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

That's a huge responsibility, and it's one we cannot do even marginally well without the help of Jesus.

So often when issues come up, especially when we know we're right about something, we can't seem to let it go. We can't just turn it over to God and be at peace. Not long ago I saw a woman on Dr. Phil who was arguing her point about a problem in her marriage. She told him over and over, "But I'm right and he's wrong."

Dr. Phil asked her point blank, "Would you rather be right or have peace in your marriage."

That stopped me cold in my tracks. When we're certain that we're right about something - honest and truly Bible-based right, we feel the need to be acknowledged--to have our point of view declared valid. And, often it comes at the cost of peace.

I couldn't help but think about that tonight as we talked and continue to think on it now.

Would I rather have peace or be right?

It's powerful food for thought, so eat up. I'd love to hear what you think.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Thinking of Spring and New Life

I'm thinking of spring and new life, but in Montana that really won't happen for another month - maybe two. We have a very short time of spring around here. When things finally do warm up it seems that everything just kind of blooms overnight.

While in Kansas I enjoyed the blooms of flowering redbud trees, as well as tulips and daffodils.

Many trees were starting to leaf out and the grass was slowly but surely greening up. The promise of new life was definitely in the air.

I remember as a girl growing up in Kansas that the spring was always a mixed blessing. It was a wondrous time when we were planting gardens and enjoying warmer days, but it was also tornado season. We had the yearly spring ritual of preparing the basement for the inevitable storm that would send us seeking protection.

Nevertheless, as Resurrection Sunday is nearly upon us and the celebration of new life in Jesus will send us to Easter Egg hunts, Passover Remembrances and a variety of other activities, I'm counting my blessings and thinking of spring. It's a wondrous time of year to be sure, and while I won't see trees leafing out or green lawns for just a little while longer, I can feel it in the air and know that it's coming. The antipation is almost overwhelming and makes me think of how all of creation is waiting and watching for the return of the King. Gives me the shivers to just imagine Jesus returning and all of the world being set right once again.

So I wish you a blessed week - a Good Friday of reflection and appreciation for what Jesus suffered on our account, a thoughtful and anticipation filled Saturday and a glorious Resurrection Sunday and new life in Him.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Across the prairie

As we drove to Kansas over the last two days, I was reminded about pioneers on the Oregon Trail. Many of the roads we took on our trip paralleled that famous trail and I was once again utterly amazed that anyone ever went west to settle this wonderful country.

Even today there are a great many miles of vast open prairie - much of which is now cultivated in farmland or providing rangeland to cattle. Miles and miles of flat open, treeless (or very nearly) prairie.

I can only imagine the thoughts of a young woman as she sets out with her husband to yet another day of endless prairie. Traveling west on the Oregon Trail was a journey that often started in April and was lucky to finish by September. The travelers faced a great many trials on the way west. The weather alone was a tremendous adversary. We found a bit of that ourselves as we came through a couple of blinding snows.

I think of how hard it must have been to know that God was calling you to this trip west. There was no travel agent to help you along--no major cities or roads. Just a handful of watering holes and forts, and a seemingly endless stretched of wagon ruts that appeared to go on forever.

What faith--what complete trust those people must have had. Faith that their guides could get them to where they wanted to go. Faith that the end of the trip would be worth the problems they might endure along the way. Faith in God to bring them through.

I often joke about being made of pioneer spirit, but after feeling completely worn out from crossing 1300 miles in two days, in a very comfortable Suburban, with well ordered rest stops and the ever present McDonald's along the way, I kind of think maybe I wouldn't have been such a great pioneer, and I find myself very grateful to be resting comfortably in a nice hotel.

Blessings on your journey.
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