Friday, October 28, 2005

Quiet evening

Been fighting a cold this week. I'm spared from sickness most of the time - but when it does catch up, it can linger for a couple of weeks - just bothersome enough to take away most of my energy and all of my brain. YesterdayI asked my Lit students if they have ever tried to function without a brain. Their reactions told me they had.

Tonight my family has gone to the Fall Party over at the Brookshire's with all the rest of our church. I figure, I can either go be cold and dazed or stay home and be cozy and quiet. Guess which I chose?

Plans for this evening?

- Talk to my sister, Steph, on the phone.
- Clean the house ... some.
- Listen to more of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
- Pick up a couple of things at the grocery store.

Ahh, a restful evening. Interruptions seem to zap my energy. A restful evening for me is one where I can quietly focus on a few things. Different people relax in different ways. Somehow if I can stay a little busy and focus on one thing at a time, after a while I feel rested and refreshed.

Yesterday when my hubby and I went for a walk on Mulberry Street again, I took my camera along to show you what I see.

Our street, Walnut, isn't too shabby either.

Monday, October 24, 2005

A new friend from Scotland

We had an overnight guest in our home last Friday night, Beth Bogue from Scotland. Beth who grew up in Ohio has lived in Airdrie, Scotland for the past five years where she has served as the secretary for the RP church in Airdrie. She came "home" to visit her family and friends and to speak to churches about the work in Airdrie. So I met her for the first time on Friday night as she was setting up the computer for the Power Point presentation at our church.

Trying to initially expell the myth about Scotland being some kind of idyllic Utopia, Beth related the undeniable facts of the hard Scottish lives made harder as the result of living in a land without widespead gospel light. The traditional family unit is slighted as people live together outside marriage and teens have babies out of wedlock. Of course that sounds just like home, but we still have a pretty large percentage of people who at least attend church, while in Scotland the vast majority of people don't even go. They are living their whole lives without being exposed to the Word of God or the God of the Word.

Beth was able to relate some very good news. God is blessing the Airdrie RP church. Andrew Quigley (who Rob and I have met) is the pastor there and is a very visionary man. He and the elders have utilized the members of the church and short-term missionaries from Ireland and the USA to canvas the city with annual flyers. Actually, they're very nicely layed out magazines with greetings from the pastor and elders and testimonies from people who have experienced God's changing grace in their lives. They have passed out these flyers to many, many houses all over the city for many years now and have gotten feedback that people who don't even attend church feel somehow connected to that church. What a great inroad into lives! You can imagine that if some of those people ever hit a crisis in their lives and they want to turn to God, they will probably go to a place where they already feel connected even if it's just through a magazine that they have gotten at their door year after year. I get excited just thinking about it!

There are many other things about the Airdrie church that Beth told us at our church and later in our home before bed. Stories of how God has changed the lives of people through the different outreaches of the Airdrie church, but I don't want to make this post too long.

Let me just say that my heart burns within me when I hear of the great need there and of the great efforts of the Christian workers. They are making progress for the Kingdom of God. I took Beth in our bedroom (even with the clothes flung on the bed) to show her the map of the British Isles we have on our bedroom wall. We brought that map from our bedroom wall in Texas where it had hung for many years. We're weird, I know, having a plain map as the centerpiece of our bedroom, but it keeps that land on our hearts and minds.

So, we met a new friend from Scotland. Another face to have in our minds as we continue to think and pray for Scotland.

And by the way, here's a photo of King Josh on his way home from the Chocolate Factory.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Mother of the king

It's up to me - I can see that now. My oldest son is much too modest and discreet to mention what happened to him last week - and so I will.

Any LU resident can pipe in and add to the story or correct any part. I speak only as an interested party far from the events.

Two weeks ago on the LU campus people were preparing for the annual Fall Fest. Josh was gearing up to throw himself into the week long promotion of his floor's queen. (That's what the guy floors do - try to get their pick to win the queen of the entire campus.) While he was busying himself with these type preparations, he received a phone call from a friend. She wanted him to meet her downstairs in the dorm lobby to go over some music with her. When he arrived downstairs, a large group of girls were there to meet him with the surprising news that he had been selected as their choice for king!

So his plans for the following week were drastically changed. Instead he followed the girls' directions and dressed up all week as "Joshua Jones (Willie Wanka) and the Chocolate Factory" since each floor promotes their monarch with a theme for the week. So anyway from my understanding, some of the girls dressed up as characters in the story and they took a series of pictures depicting the storyline to be shown at the Fall Fest last Saturday night. And then, all week long they escorted Joshua with his black shoes and pants and his shiney coat with a pink bow tie and his tall hat with a wide ribbon to all his meals and every class handing out candy bars and generally drawing attention to the spectacle. Those of you who know Josh, can imagine that he must have just LOVED being the center of attention. Yeah, right.

Then came Saturday night, the night of the unveiling of the king and queen of the LeTourneau Fall Fest. Everyone dressed up in formals and the brother and sister floors traveled to the event as a big group.

Guess who was coronated king? You're right - Josh!

I'm still waiting on some really juicy celeb. pictures, but he says that they are forthcoming. (He talks all high-falooten now that he's king and all.) You'll have to petition him yourself to post some royal photos on his blog.

Long live the king!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Mulberry street

There was just enough time after I zoomed in from music lessons at 2 and before Chili left for work at 3 to squeeze in a walk.

Gorgeous blue sky overhead, fresh air, perfect temperature, and the fall leaves on Mulberry Street - that's the street next to our street (Walnut).

Specially requested by yours truly, I wanted to soak up the hour. I wanted to walk down Mulberry Street.

As soon as I upload some photos, you'll understand.

Hope you have a "Mulberry Street" urging you out the door.
If so, just go.

Friday, October 14, 2005

My kitchen window

Well, this isn't what I originally planned. My kitchen window pic was being transformed from an ordinary photo into a awesome extravaganza! ::Beethoven's Ode to Joy swells in the background:: I designed nifty text bubbles with sky blue backgrounds on paper and my artist (Ben) was creating it in Photo Shop. You would have been amazed and dazzled at the sight.

Instead (since the big, red Fall Ministry bus took my artist away), we will have to make due with some plain photos and a little description.

Why would I blog about my kitchen window? Why that's a silly question! It's a very special place, you know, and I spend a lot of time there. It's my home away from home - you might say. Long days ago, a place of drudgery, but now a place of pristine beauty affording endless delight.

You've seen my kitchen window before. Ever changing, here's how it looks now.

Exibit A: We sing and work on memorizing a Psalm together every quarter. Psalm 40E expresses intimate heart cries and the tune carries the words - rich and folky.

Exibit B: Melon Melody Blistex - tasty - you need to experience it.

Exibit C: The famous Happy Face Rock - now take a closer look. Isn't it the most amazing natural phenomenon you've ever seen?

Exibit D: Last Sunday I printed, cut out, and laminated every verse in Psalm 119 so that we could meditate on a different verse every day. So far, it has been a wonderful exercise, a blessing.

One more pic. from another window sill - a knife that Chili wittled for me. Nice!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The shadows prove the sunshine

This weekend I had been working on a really cool altered photo of my kitchen window for you. Ben was helping me. We haven't quite finished it yet. I'll have it ready soon.

Apologies for not posting for the extremely long span of a week and a half. A lot can happen in that length of time and it usually does.

Here we go, in no particular order:

The volleyball season is over for my team, the JV. I didn't know what I had to contribute in that area. I did learn that there is a vast difference between being a player (over 20 years ago) and being a coach. Sure, the skills of playing the game came rapidly back, but I learned that there's more to coaching than just communicating my level of proficiency in volleyball. The most important role of the coach, I think, is to keep a finger on the pulse of the team and try to keep the girls' spirits up so they can play their best. I made some mistakes along the way, but that's how we learn and grow. Right? I was pretty nervous before most games, but that feeling lifted somewhat as the season progressed. On paper, we didn't have a very winning season, but I can't help thinking that most of the character-building qualities (the ones that the Lord cares about) happen when you lose. I was stretched beyond my little comfort zone, and also played a lot of volleyball (oh, I love that game!) with some great kids. A rewarding experience.

Today is the PSAT exam. Ben and Amy worked hard this summer and up to the present to prepare for it. Amy took it last year as a sophomore. She'll take it Saturday. Anyway, Ben's taking it now so I pray. (Lord, please bless him.)

There are many ministry opportunities here. I hope the Lord uses me to help. My attitude it to be alert for opportunities. It's funny that I don't ever think that I have anything helpful to say, so it's rather surprising when He does give me something to say, but I guess it shouldn't be. He just wants me to stay close to Him personally, and serve Him in my family, and when the time comes He'll be faithful to fill my mouth with a little of His wisdom. That's how it works.

Homeschool's going well. Of late, I haven't been working with Ben on Algebra because he's been focusing exclusively on PSAT prep. Now we'll be back at it once again. Ben and Amy and I have been reading Western Civ. Let's see ... we're in the Elizabethan era now. Enjoyable to cruise through it once again.

And other current good reads are Dicken's A Tale of Two Cities which Ben and I are reading together and I am listening to The Chronicles of Narnia on audio books. The one I'm listening to now is the Magician's Nephew about the adventures of Digory and Polly and our introduction to the land of Narnia. Everyone in our family hears it playing in the kitchen and if they have time will often wander through and sit for a spell on the purple stool to let their imagination get in on the action.

Chili and I still go on walks most days. It's our time to talk. That's the way it's always been and will always be as long as God allows. Without getting too sentimental, I can say that this special time is among my most cherished. I love talking to my best friend in this world, and I love hearing what he thinks about things. It never gets old. I never get enough. Weird how it can still be that way after 21 years of marriage.

The Fall foliage unveils its splendor a little more each day. Orange, peach, yellow, and red. The sun has allowed the clouds to obscure his view of the earth, but he does that quite often this time of year. I know that I miss the sun because I find myself turning on lights everywhere in the house. I hope I don't try to do that in the house of my soul.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Psalm 119

This morning I read from Spurgeon's book upon the Psalms. Here are some thoughts I gleaned about "the longest Psalm," Psalm 119.

Many superficial readers have imagined that it harps upon one string and abounds in pious repetitions and redundancies; but this arises from the shallowness of the reader's own mind: those who have studied this Divine hymn and carefully noted each line of it are amazed at the variety and profundity of the thought. The more one studies it, the fresher it becomes. It contains no idle word.

Oh, the depths! Yet these depths are hidden beneath an apparent simplicity, as Augustine has well and wisely said, and this makes the exposition all the more difficult.

Sprugeon records a Matthew Henry quote from the biography about his father, Once, pressing the study of the Scriptures, he advised us to take a verse of this Psalm every morning to meditate upon, and so go over the Psalm twice in the year; and that, saith he, will bring you to be in love with all the rest of the Scriptures. He often said, "All grace grows as love to the Word of God grows."

One more quote which lends practical help I appreciated from my study this morning was one Sprugeon shared from J. D. Murphy. The name Jehovah occurs twenty-two times in the Psalm. Its theme is the Word of God, which it mentions under one of the ten terms: law, way, testimony, precept, statute, commandments, judgment, word, saying, truth, in every verse except verse one twenty-two.

May the Lord bless us with His grace as we study as part of His Word which exhorts us to study His Word!