Saturday, May 31, 2008

Prince Caspian Review

Finally, after waiting and waiting, we saw 'Prince Caspian'. Mark, Alannah, Ian and I went to the late show the other night.

My review? I am sad to say, "Eh". (boo-hoo)

Best Quote: Aslan to Lucy---"Things never happen the same way twice."

Worst Part: Need more Aslan; less battle scenes.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The Heart of the Matter

Deuteronomy 8:10

"WHEN YOU HAVE EATEN AND ARE FULL, THEN YOU SHALL BLESS THE LORD YOUR GOD FOR THE GOOD LAND THAT HE HAS GIVEN YOU."

(SCREAMING emphasis mine, but truth be told, probably God's, too)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Oh.

"...a land where you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper..." Deuteronomy 8:9

Chapter 8 has reminded them (umm..me?) of how they must remember and not forget the past (8.2, 5, 11, 14, 18), and especially how He had looked after them in the wilderness, with the promise that He was bringing them to a good and prosperous land, and that once He has done so they must beware of self-glorification.

Summary commentary from Dr. Peter Pett

and that once He has done so, they must beware of self-glorification.

and that once He has done so, they must beware of self-glorification.

and that once He has done so, they must beware of self-glorification.

and that once He has done so, they must beware of self-glorification.

and that once He has done, so they must beware of self-glorification.

Well, thank you, Dr. Pett.

Now I know the *why* of the (my) desert.

And for clarity's sake, I want to state that my "self-glorification" was not, "Pick me for President!", as much as it was I wanted what I wanted, no matter what (even though what I wanted was nothing ungoldy or sinful). I just wanted it now, my way, at any cost (lukewarmness, unhealthy patterns of thought, whatever).

No Moral Compass, Leads to AnythingGoes

Sex outside marriage (who knew?)
Addicted Spouse

Divorce

Bankruptcy

Emotional Woundedness

Single Mom

Forced to Abandon Abusive Parents
Co-Dependent

Marital Instability

Disappointment/Disillusionment with God

COMPLETELY RESTORED MARRIAGE

Slow to Trust

Faith Tantrum
Lukewarm
COMPLETELY RESTORED PASSION FOR JESUS
(just this morning---really!)

What's your story?



Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Just once, I wish it was MY brilliant inspiration that led to such profound work

Alas, someone has beat me to the creation of this brilliant, cutting-edge piece of literary art.

I have only read a portion of this great work, but I look forward reading more. Be sure to start at the beginning (which is at the *bottom* of the page, since this is written in numeric order).

I know it will both bless and enlighten those who choose to read it (unless you are unable to laugh at yourself or are easily offended---if either is true, you maaaaay want to skip it). ::snort::

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Land of Plenty

Deuteronomy 8:8

" ...a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey..."

Here is a site for Biblical nutrition. It is interesting to note that all of these foods are referenced as being health conscious (not that we don't all know this, huh?). It is also noteworthy that I eat virtually none of them (although I do love most of them).

I am not very familiar with the book "The Maker's Diet", but have certainly heard of the correlation between eating a healthy diet and longevity, a reduction of aches and pains and ails, etc. (just because we live in Iowa, doesn't make us stoopid). lol

Perhaps I could delve into this a bit? (thoughtful pause--stroking chin). My super-duper fit and healthy vegetarian brother is coming soon, so he would be impressed and could coach me?

Hmmmm.....(more thoughtful, chin-stroking).

I've had the interest and grace to apply a great deal of the Bible to other areas of my life, why not this one? I'm betting there is no good answer to this question.

Shucks. [wry grin]

Gratitude



The fact that there are men and women who protect and serve us in this time of conflict and uncertainty is a blessing I cannot comprehend. I thank them from my heart for my safety and security, for my freedom and the freedom of my children and grandchildren.

If you are a serviceman or woman and I see you at an airport, restaurant, etc., please know you are likely to be approached, thanked and hugged. Embarrassing? Maybe. Will I be able to stop myself? I can say with certainty....ummmmm, no.

God bless you all. May you return to your loved ones safely and quickly and to a hero's homecoming.

Danger, doom and devastation


I keep thinking that we can't go a day without devastation somewhere in the world. Last night, that somewhere was very near our home.

A town called Parkersburg was devastated by a tornado--24 were reported in our area of the state.

Please pray for the residents of these towns---Parkersburg, New Hartford, Cedar Falls, Hazletown and Dunkerton. There are seven confirmed dead and many hurt and homeless. Much damage all around.

We are so thankful to be safe and in our in-tact home, with no damage. Check out my other blog for a few storm photos we took last night.

Please pray for the families that lost loved ones, their homes and for whom life, the way they had known it, ended.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Devotions

"For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills." Deuteronomy 8: 7

Ahhhh...the beginning of the promises. The good part. The part most (cough:cough: *I*) focused upon.

Not that I'm in this thing for the loot. I'm not that kind of a girl. Really. Don't care.

I was pretty sure that I was one of God's favorite kids (note to readers--I consider that ALL are God's 'favorite') and that it was His delight to give me good things.

That's Biblical.

And that's easy for me to imagine, since I delight in giving my children good things. If I delight in something, how much more is a perfect God able to give good things to His precious children.

So, if I wasn't in it for the *things*, what was I in it for? What was it about this verse that made my heart go ka-thump?

That's for tomorrow (or the next day)!

For today, I must go to the zooooooooo! [grin]

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Big Preface...

Just so you know, I use this very handy site to look up Bible verses. It has many translations available, including foreign translations. All at your fingertips or a click of the mouse. Amazing!

Deuteronomy 8:6 (New King James Version)

6 “Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.

Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

So, dear reader, after pondering this verse, I now must admit to God and everyone, that I was warned. I was instructed. I was advised and guided.

And I messed up. I sinned. Period. The end.


I am a great example of a person who saw what she wanted to see (the promise of blessing), while glossing over the mandate (keeping the commandments of God).

As I have stated previously, my greatest sin is not what you may think.

Although I have committed some sins that are considered "biggies" (yuck; but it's true, so why pretend otherwise?), the sin that ultimately tripped me up and ensnared me, was a pretty one (outwardly).

My sin was loving. Yep. Loving.

Huh?, you may think. How could loving be a problem, a sin? Well, I'll tell you.

Although accepted and lauded by society as a great and noble thing, God will not have it. Placing *anything* before Him will cause you trouble and heartache.

"You shall have no other gods before Me."

Even your children, your husband, your marriage, your family.

Growing up in my weird and dysfunctional family of origin, placed within me a deep, deep, *deep* desire to have a great family someday.

It's really all I have ever wanted--to create the family I wished I had had. To make the memories I wish I had. To be the mom I wish I had (even now--sigh).


So, I know that God understands *why* I did what I did (and I am coming to understand it, too), but the why doesn't really matter. I violated the First of the Ten Commandments and God ain't having it. Ever.

So, my choices (even though not really, consciously made) were an offense to God. To place my husband, children and family as a top priority was wrong in His sight.


No-one , no-thing should take the place of God as TOP priority.

"You shall have no othe gods before Me."

I wish I could say, 'lesson learned' and move on, but I suspect that there are deeper issues to probe and I suspect we'll be digging for them. sigh


"What makes a diamond?",
He asked the Princess.


"Intense presure over time",
she answered.
Why?"

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Maria Sue Chapman aka Cinderella

"So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't wanna miss even one song,
Cuz all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone."

(by Steven Curtis Chapman)

Steven Curtis Chapman tells how the song, "Cinderella" was inspired. Take a moment to watch this clip. It will be a timely reminder to cherish your children's childhood.

Two things that make it easier for a Christ-follower to breathe while grieving:

1). Knowing where we will spend eternity.

2). Knowing that we can truly "get" what is important while here on earth.

This family has suffered a heartbreaking loss. I cannot even imagine the pain of this.

But this family knows they will see darling Maria Sue again. They also know they loved her fiercely and tenderly while they had her on earth.

I pray the Chapmans can find comfort in this.

I pray...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oh. So it's like a HolyTimeOut, so to speak

Marching on through my chapter in Deut...

Deuteronomy Chapter 8 verse 5 (NKJV)


"So you should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son,
so your Lord God chastens you."

Another mention of the word 'chastens', appears in the book of Hebrews.

Hebrews 12:6 (NKJV)

6 "For whom the LORD loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”[a]

Here is the original verse from Deuteronomy Chapter 8, as translated in the Message.

"You learned deep in your heart that God disciplines you
in the same ways a father disciplines his child."

Here it is in Hebrews. I have included the verses that come before and after for context and additional clarification (for myself, obviously; I have no doubt that any readers of this blog are quick studies).

Hebrews 12:3-5 The Message

"Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children,
and that God regards you as his children?
My dear child, don't shrug off God's discipline, but don't be crushed by it either.

It's the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects.
God is educating you; that's why you must never drop out.
He's treating you as dear children.

This trouble you're in isn't punishment; it's training, the normal experience of children.
Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves.
Would you prefer an irresponsible God?

We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us,
so why not embrace God's training so we can truly live?
While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them.
But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God's holy best.

At the time, discipline isn't much fun.
It always feels like it's going against the grain.
Later, of course, it pays off handsomely,
for it's the well-trained who find themselves
mature in their relationship with God."

Ummm yeah. So.

OK, God...what's your point? (hysterical fake laughing and knee-slapping)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ways I Have Been (willingly) Consumed

Naming my future children; lots of children 
Thinking/daydreaming about my future children
Completing school and working before having children
Waiting to have children till the time was right
Buying a house Decorating a nursery Learning Lamaze
Reading "What to Expect When You are Expecting"
Learning about breastfeeding  Attending La Leche League meetings
Saving money for extra maternity leave 
Quitting my dream job to be a mom
Moving to a small town for the family atmosphere
Working Hiring nannies 
Scheduling swim lessons, Tball, schools, Scouts, camp, music lessons
Financing Swim lessons, Tball, schools, Scouts, camp, music lessons Vacations Road trips 
Parent Teacher conferences Volunteering Church 
Photos/videos Bleacher butt
Buying cars/clothes/toys Piercings, Tatoos
Police involvement (don't ask)
Court involvement (again)
Attorney fees (and again)
Counselor fees Prayer time Worry time 
Spring Break Holidays
Tooth Fairy Easter Bunny Santa Claus 
Pigtails Ponytails Braids
Carpools Corsages Time Outs Get Out of Jail Free Cards
John Rosemond Knock Knock Jokes Pranks Scavenger Hunts
Lemonade stands Baptisms April Fool's jokes May Baskets 
Braces Retainers Cross Bites Over Bites 
Hamsters Hermit crabs Hernias 
Broken fingers Shin splints 
Mace in the eyes (self-inflicted) 
Toy room Nintendo Concerts Zoos 
Disneyland Disney World Oceans Beaches Sea World Mountains 
Birthday cakes Christmas stockings Post cards Cell phones IMing 
Cybersitter Insurance Pencil through the hand Love notes Lunches 
Chores Self-doubt Discipline Pacifiers Car seats American Girl 
Brio MTV ESPN Price is Right Wishbone Arthur Veggie Tales VHS 
DVD Feature Films for Familes Love Kisses Hugs Laughter Scrapbooks 
Cabins Ice Cream Paddle Boats Canoes Horseback riding 
Whitewater rafting Fibroadenomas Fingerpaints Handprints Kites 
Rockets Legos Candyland Uno SpaghettiO's Waffles Popcorn 
Warheads candy Smartees Protein shakes Posters Portraits 
Gap-toothed smiles Jack-o-lanterns Superheroes Cars 
Footie pajamas  Sleeping like angels Driver's Education
School picture day Varsity Letter jackets Sunburns Job applications 
Naps Nightmares Immunizations Snowmen Sledding 
Baby shampoo Blanket Sleepers Refrigerator boxes 
Leaking, milky boobs Engorgement Stretch marks Pumping 
Heartaches Reading Dr. Suess Each peach pear plum 
The King who reigned Charlotte's web Amelia Bedelia 
Carnivals Fundraising Bob books Lisps Stuttering Splinters 
Tears Snot Poop Vomit Blood 
Haircuts Highlights Curling Irons Straightening Irons 
Vitamins Snow pants, boots, jackets and only ONE mitten
Amoxicillan Bandaids Bible Verses 
Letting go Silent tears (mine) 
Pride Sorrow Gratitude Joy
Eternity

(awesome artwork here)

Need to grab the commentaries for this one

"Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years." Deuteronomy Chapter 8 verse 4

I am going to grab some commentaries and companion Bibles for this one. Is there more to this verse than meets the eye? Not sure...

OK. So here is The Message translation of the same verse:

"Your clothes didn't wear out and your feet didn't blister those forty years."

And here is the Amplified Bible's translation:


4 "Your clothing did not become old upon you nor did your feet swell these forty years."

OK. Apparently sometimes a verse just is what it is. :~)


Monday, May 19, 2008

The one where the girl wanders aimlessly (still)

"So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord." Deuteronomy Chapter 8 verse 3

Oh yeah. I've been humbled. Stripped. Raw. Pretty much dry and starving (spiritually speaking). I've described this experience as crawling on my hands and knees across broken glass.

Not really ready to share all the gory details here in cyberspace, but suffice it to say that I was confused about what I thought I knew about God; that I didn't know Him maybe at all? Pretty earthshaking stuff. My first faith crisis in my 15 years as a Christian.

So, into the desert I went 3 loooong years ago. And in the desert I have remained.

Is that to say that I have not communed with God during this time? No. Is that to say that I have not seen evidence of Him working and moving in my life? No. Perhaps the desert times that I have seen God and communed with Him were the times I was being
"allowed to hunger and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know".

I am far more likely to say that "I don't know" when considering God than ever before. He is more mysterious to me than ever. More hidden. Maybe this was necessary.

Maybe I felt like I knew Him too well. I was too familiar. Too used to Him; like the familiarity of spouses after a long marriage. Like I said, I don't know and anyway, who am I to say that I would know the mind of Christ? I'm pretty certain His ways are not my ways...

This verse ends with the lesson of learning ..."that (wo)man does not live by bread alone (which I have without scarcity--thank you, Lord), but (wo)man lives by every word which proceeds from the mouth of the Lord".

If that's the case (and I believe it is), I pray I am on the right path with this introspection of this passage of Scripture. Cuz really, I don't know what else to do.

(artwork from this cool artist)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

DEVIANT

PS I just read a brief spoiler and I am *not* happy. grrrrrr....

Just stick to the book, movie makers!!!

NO DEVIATIONS FROM THE BOOK ALLOWED!!!!!

Prince Caspian Trailer

Yep. That pretty much sums it up.

"And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments of not."
Deuteronomy Chapter 8 verse 2


Ummm...yeah.

I do actually believe that the Lord can and will lead you into the wilderness, for His purposes; whatever they may be.

Doesn't sound nice; doesn't sound fair, but I think it is completely scriptural.


And completely where I've been. And where I'm at.


He is sovereign. He does not answer to me. (really, would I want Him to?)



Saturday, May 17, 2008

Dissection

Like most, I took some classes in high school that allowed me the opportunity to dissect things in order to see the inner workings of anatomy. I loved it. I loved seeing the marvels of the various animals/insects/belly-crawling creatures. I found it fascinating.

I still love to watch the medical shows on TV. The TLC ones are best, with their medical mysteries and the miraculous things that can be done to repair or rebuild the human body. I also like "House", because I would love to be a brilliant, pain in the rearsky diagnostician; and well, he makes me laugh!

So, today, I will begin a dissection of Deuteronomy Chapter 8; one of my favorite chapters. I will be quoting from the NKJ version, which I happen to prefer. I know, I know...it's OT and KJ and who wants to read the KJ OT. Boring, boring, boring...NOT!

Read it, people! It's juicier and messier and so full of debauchery that them "Desperate Housewives" would blush (if they had any shame, which I'm thinking they don't). But, I digress (or *tri*gress, since this is the third time I'm off topic).

So here is the first verse in the chapter...

"Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply and go in and possess the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers...". Deuteronomy Chapter 8 verse 1.

OK. So the first time I read this and the Lord highlighted it in my heart, I was a single mom to two little ones (which, although that may sound difficult, was far *less* difficult that staying married ).

I looked at the verse as a promise, not a covenant. I believe that covenants are things that God promises to do, regardless of our behavior. A couple of quick examples are the covenant God made with Noah after the flood (never to destroy the earth again by flood) or the covenant God made with Abram (before he fathered Isaac).

Then there are promises. I believe that these are God's contract with us; a sort of "...if you----, then I will -----" deal. These, I believe, are dependent upon our submission to and carrying out of His commandments (which I also believe are not merely suggestions).

So right away, I thought of the verse as a promise. This verse/passage, I had no trouble keeping back then. I was so full of the Holy Spirit and the transforming power of God that it was a joy and a delight to serve my God. Every day. Every minute. Truly. Really, really truly.

But over the years, things changed (in a number of ways) and I allowed something else to take the place of my First Love. The sins I committed were not disgusting, wretched ones (although I do have a few of those, too).

No, the most horrible sin I have ever committed was a pretty one. One that was easy to defend and gloss over and rationalize. And it took years and years of sinning in this way, to build up and to dull my spirit and to make me well, if not blind, pretty darn near-sighted.

Anyone care to guess what I was guilty of?

Friday, May 16, 2008

"Prince Caspian" starts tonight.

I am so excited to see it.

I suppose the right thing to do would be to wait to see it, until Mark gets back from the wedding.


I *sup*pose. (fake eye roll and sigh)

Tom Petty as Worship Leader?

He sure could be, if he wanted to.

I was driving quite a bit today and listening to his "Best of..." sort of CD.

This song is just another example of how your world view can really affect how you hear and process a song.

What do you think? A great spiritual warfare song, huh?


Well I won't back down
No I won't back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won't back down

No I'll stand my ground, won't be turned around
And I'll keep this world from draggin me down
gonna stand my ground
... and I won't back down

Chorus:
(I won't back down...)
Hey baby, there ain't no easy way out
(and I won't back down...)
hey I will stand my ground
and I won't back down

Well I know what's right, I got just one life
in a world that keeps on pushin me around
but I'll stand my ground
...and I won't back down

(I won't back down...)
Hey baby, there ain't no easy way out
(and I won't back down...)
hey I will stand my ground
(I won't back down)
and I won't back down...

(I won't back down...)
Hey baby, there ain't no easy way out
(I won't back down)
hey I won't back down
(and I won't back down)
hey baby, there ain't no easy way out
(and I won't back down)
hey I will stand my ground
(and I won't back down)
and I won't back down
(I won't back down)
No I won't back down...


I wonder if Tom would be flattered or offended?

Deuteronomy Chapter 8

This is a chapter which has exceedingly great significance to me. It is a chapter I have read over and over for the past 10 or so years (although ::ahem:: it has been many months, since I have even cracked open my Bible to review it).

It is a chapter that was highlighted in my heart the very first time I read it. I felt that the Lord gave the verses in it to me, personally, as a sort of road map, an anchor verse, a promise.

As I read it this morning, I am feeling/noticing several things.

1). I have been given much, just as the the passages state. Thank you, Lord.

2). I am not doing so well in the area of faithfulness to God's commandments. Help me, God.

3). Conviction is not the same as condemnation. Conviction speaks specifically, with clarity and purpose. Conviction identifies a problem (sin) and the solution (repentance). Condemnation is from the enemy. It is global, attacks your person and leaves a feeling of distress, worthlessness, personal failure.

4). I am feeling convicted. I am.

I think I will dissect this passage of Scripture, word by Word, line by line, verse by verse. That feels like the thing to do.

So, dear reader(s), care to come along?

Who knows what Jehovah Sneaky (yes, even my Heavenly Father has nicknames--I think He thinks I'm funny. heh heh) has in store for me. You? Us?

Word of God, speak to me.

Word of God Speak to Me

I am embarrassed to admit, I had to dig under a novel (unread) and three magazines (also unread) to get to my Bible.

The Word of God, buried.

The Word of God now in front of me.

Word of God speak to me.

I anxiously await Your voice.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

It's Baaaaack

That weird, wired, nagging, niggling feeling of unknown origin and uncertain remedy has returned (or maybe it never ever left?).

What is it? I ask myself.

WHAT IS IT? I ask my God.

What. What. What. WHAT?

So very frustrating.

I think most of all, I wish I could put the feeling into words, thereby giving the not yet legitimate emotion, need, desire some ooompf, some weight, some substance.

The black and whiteness of the printed word. From nebulous, misty, can't pin it down, to yes, that's it exactly!

The Word became flesh. The Word was with God. The Word *was* God.

I respectfully request a word with you, God. I have no idea what to ask for, other than the honor of Your Holy Presence.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Of Laughter and Jellyfish


This is a passage from one of my all-time favorite books, "Hinds Feet on High Places", a wonderful allegory by Hannah Hurnard:

Though she felt too ashamed to do it, she did so because she was forced by her extremity. She cried out, "O Lord, I am oppressed; undertake for me. My fears have taken hold upon me and I am ashamed to look up."


"Why Much-Afraid." It was the Shepherd' voice close beside her. "What is the matter? Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid."
He sounded so cheery, so full of strength and moreover without a hint of reproach, that Much-Afraid felt as though a strong and exhilarating cordial had been poured into her heart and that a stream of courage and strength was flowing into her from his presence.

She sat up and looked at him and saw that he was smiling, almost laughing at her. The shame is her eyes met no answering reproach in his, and suddenly she found words echoing in her heart, which other trembling souls have spoken. "My Lord is of very tender compassion to them that are afraid".
...

"Much Afraid", said the Shepherd again, "tell me, what is the matter? Why were you so fearful?"


"It is the way you have chosen for me to go, " she whispered. "It looks so dreadful, Shepherd, so impossible. I turn giddy and faint whenever I look at it. The roes and the hinds can go there, but they re not limping, crippled or cowardly like me."


"But Much-Afraid, what did I promise you in the Valley of Humiliation?", asked the Shepherd with a smile.
Much-Afraid looked startled and the blood rushed into her cheeks and ebbed again, leaving them as white as before. "O Shepherd, you said you would make me feet like hinds' feet and set me upon mine High Places".

"Well", he answered cheerily, "the only way to develop hinds' feet is to go by the paths which the hinds' use---like this one."
Much-Afraid trembled and looked at him shamefacedly. "I don't think I want hinds' feet if it means I have to go on a path like that, " she said slowly and painfully. Instead of looking either disappointed or disapproving, the Shepherd actually laughed again.

"Oh, yes you do," he said cheerfully. "I know you much better than you know yourself, Much-Afraid. You want it very much, indeed and I promise you these hinds' feet. Indeed, I have brought you on purpose to the back side of the desert, where the mountains are particularly steep and where there are no paths, but the tracks of the deer and of the mountain goats for you to follow and the promise may be fulfilled. What did I say to you the last time we met?"


"You said, 'Now thou shalt see what I will do,'", she answered reproachfully and added, "But I never dreamed you would do anything like this! Lead me to an impassable precipice up which nothing can go but deer and goats, when I am no more like a deer or a goat than is a jellyfish. It's too---it's too---" She fumbled for words, then burst out laughing. "Why it's too preposterously absurd! It's crazy! Whatever will you do next?"


The Shepherd laughed too. "I love doing preposterous things," he replied. "Why, I don't know anything more exhilarating and delightful than turning weakness into strength and fear into faith and that which has been marred into perfection. If there is one thing more than another which I should enjoy at this moment is turning a jellyfish into a mountain goat. That is my special work," he added with the light of a great joy in his face. "Transforming things---to take Much-Afraid, for instance, and transform her into---" He broke off and then went on laughingly. "Well, we shall see later on what she finds herself transformed into".


It really was an extraordinary scene. In the place where just a little while before all had been fear and despair were the Shepherd and Much-Afraid, sitting on the rocks at the foot of the precipice, laughing together as though at the greatest joke in the world.


"Come now, little jellyfish," said the Shepherd, "do you believe that I can change you into a mountain goat and get you to the top of the precipice?"

"Yes," replied Much-Afraid.

"Will you let me do it?"


"Yes," she answered, "if you want to do such a crazy and preposterous thing, why you certainly may."


"Do you think I will allow you to be put to shame on the way up?"
Much-Afraid looked at him and said something that she had never been willing to say before.

"I don't think I mind so very much if you do; only have your will and way in me, Shepherd. Nothing else matters".


This is my favorite passage from a favorite book, because I have had laughter and jellyfish moments with the Shepherd.


I know Him to have a sense of humor. I know Him to have the power to transform.
At one time, I was able to say, without hesitation, "Nothing else matters", but the Shepherd's will and way.

Currently, I am more in the place of this quote...

>>>>>Much-Afraid trembled and looked at him shamefacedly. "I don't think I want hinds' feet if it means I have to go on a path like that, " she said slowly and painfully.<<<<<

Thank you, Lord that You throw back your head and LAUGH when I say that. Thank you that there is not one *hint* of reproach in You toward me. You are amazing, steadfast and good toward me, always.

Mother's Day 2008

to see all photos and captions, without the collage presentation, click on 'View All Images".