Monday, May 9, 2016

Tribute to my Mother-in-law

I wanted to wish my Mother-in-law, who I never met, happy Mother's Day. I am sad I never got to meet you l, but I am so very, very grateful for you! 
You are the wonderful mother of the love of my life, your Danny boy. Thank you for caring and nurturing him and leading him in his faith and his heart. Thank you for teaching him about unconditional and unselfish love and how to be a great person, husband and dad. 
Thank you for the wonderful family of siblings you have shared with me. Through them, I feel your love and support. Through them, I know how much you smile and laugh at our own kids, your grandchildren. 
Even though we never met, I hear the words of wisdom you gave. As I go back to grad school, I am given a stamp of approval from you as I'm told how you valued your nursing degree. I look at how wonderful all your children are and listen to their stories of you to help me navigate through motherhood.
So, while I never met you here, I feel like I have. Your are so beautiful and wonderful and have left such a tremendous legacy here. Someday I'll meet you and hug you and thank you. Until then, happy Mother's Day sweet angel mom. I and we all love you.

Monday, April 11, 2016

I read this today and thought it beautifully describes anyone who creates, whether it be music, art, or literature. Sometimes, when we analyze things, we often give life to more than the artist started with...but that's okay...and, it is indicative of the genius of a work:
“The artist is a servant who is willing to be a birthgiver…each work of art, whether it is a work of great genius, or something very small, comes to the artist and says, ‘Here I am. Enflesh me. Give birth to me."
- Madeline L’Engle

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Mourning to Dancing!

Final thoughts about life and death and the resurrection....

So, a month or so ago, we had a visit with one of Noel Sandon's cardiologists. The comment that sticks with me the most was, "Wow! You don't look like you ever were a heart patient!" What wonderful words to hear!!! All the suffering has lead to the promise of a long and healthy life!! (In fact, you should have seen Noel's smile and how his face brightened when the doctor released him to full activity, including ironman training!) Can you imagine how thrilled Dan and I are for Noel?!

Well, the joy the wells up within us is only a shadow of the joy of Easter morning............the price had been paid, the victory won, but, in rising from the dead, Jesus gives us the hope and promise of eternal life! The joy of a long, healthy life for Noel is great.....the joy of long, forever life because of Jesus....indescribably fantastic, causing "joy, unending joy"!

"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever."
(Psalm 30:11-12)

"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!"
(2 Corinthians 9:15)

Friday, April 18, 2014

"The Darling of Heaven Crucified"

Further musings on the suffering of Noel Sandon's surgery and the support of family in contrast to the cross:

After surgery, Dan and I were escorted up to ICU to see Noel. Wow! It was hard to see him all hooked up and with a tube in his mouth and down his throat, so that he couldn't talk at all.....

When Noel saw Dan and I walk into the room, he motioned firmly with both hands for us to get over to him quickly. Dan and I rushed to his side, said comforting words, all the while praying that this part of the suffering would be over soon.

The support of Dan and I was immediately and noticeably beneficial to Noel. He seem to gain visible strength from our presence. So much so, that the nurses cautiously allowed us to 2 by 2 bring up the rest of the family. With each visitor, Noel gained strength and momentum towards recover. After the first round, they were able to remove the tubes. The nurses were astounded...but that's what family does, rallies around their loved ones while they are suffering...

Not so with Jesus and his heavenly see, the Bible tells us that God is too pure to "look on evil" . His nature is just that good. As a result, this caused a separation between him and his creation. But he answered this problem in the person of Jesus. But, in order for it to work, he had to pay the price....

When Jesus was paying the price for all mankind: "once for all", he cried out to his Father for support: but the Father could not give it....he had to look away...he had to let the drama play out!

Can you imagine if Dan and I hadn't responded to Noel's call to his bedside?! Can you imagine the result?! Can you imagine the anguish of Jesus when his father did not respond?! 
you imagine the anguish of the Father as his son called out and he could not answer, for if he did, it would have been "all for naught"?!

This moves me to tears....and breaks my heart....and causes great and unending thankfulness......

"High and lifted up
Jesus Son of God
The Darling of Heaven crucified"

The Last Supper

I've been thinking a lot about Noel Sandon's heart surgery last summer.
Tonight being the night that so many in the world remember the most famous "last supper" had me thinking about the supper we had before Noel's surgery.
Despite the fact that the next day was going to be a life or death day for Noel, we all drove over to Gainsville, got settled into our hotel and then went out to eat together. We laughed and enjoyed each other, the way a family can. It seemed weird, knowing what we were facing the next day, and yet, we were there, relaxing, enjoying the time as if it was a vacation trip.
I started wondering about the last supper....only Jesus and Judas knew what the night, the next day would hold....but, I imagine it must have been much like our night before supper....hanging out with friends, relaxing, enjoying one another's company....while all the while the most profound event in history was about to happen....
The next morning, we gathered together at the hospital to pray together and ask God to intervene on Noel's and our behalf....Jesus also prayed for that, but God, in his love and wisdom, allowed events to play out.....for our behalf......

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Random ramblings and notes on a study of 1 John

Random ramblings and notes on a study of 1 John 

1 John 1
A Summary

I am immensely encouraged by the beginning of this chapter and the length which God goes to in order to validate the historical validity of Christ.  Also, I am intensely humbled by His continuing forgiveness and acceptance of me, and the overwhelming experience of an actual personal relationship with the Creator of All; and, not only that, but the sweet and loving fellowship shared with so many who walk in the luminescence of  Christ.

News Bulletin:

Hello.  This is Pastor John again, bringing you the Good News report:   My friends here and I
are eye witnesses!  We have met and seen Jesus!  We are eye witnesses to who he is:  He is the One who was in the beginning of all things; we have touched him, we have experienced and continue to experience the very real relationship with Jesus and God the Father.  And we are bringing you this news report as an announcement of the eternal life there is in the Father through the Word of Life; Jesus.  It is our desire for you to experience this same relationship
with Jesus and the Father...and, unltimately, true happiness..

Evidence:  Jesus vs Socrates
                  Eye witness testimony - This testimony should increase our faith.  There is evidence
                  beyond the Bible writings…like a news report….it’s real...I was there!  Written to
                  show the difference between what’s true and what’s not true...Jesus was God  

Fellowship:  Where relational and docturnal come together...fellowship with one another and
                 with God Himself.  If you can be buddies with someone because of a sports team,
                 when you have the gospel in common, the Word of God, Jesus Christ himself, in
                 common, then our relationship, our bond should be extrodinary, beyond what we
                 see in any other binding institutions.  It’s genuine and authentic when you really             
                 understand the gospel...and we hold something in common with God...and it shapes
                 us and builds a love that has depth….

Colossians 3:1-3

3 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Know Who you are working with:  God is light
    Knowing truths about God and actually Knowing God are different.
    Intellectual vs. a relationship
    Knowing God begins with committing to God.  He doesn’t lead with us understanding Him but
rather with us committing ourselves to Him.
A relationship with Jesus doesn’t just takes have to walk…

When we walk with God and each other, we begin to see how the gospel and the light of the Lord shines into our lives and cleanses us...if we are fighting against the fellowship of each other, we are deceiving is through the fellowship with God and each other that we can walk in the light…
He removes our sin by the blood of Christ.  On our end, we acknowledge our sin..Confession is God’s tool He uses to pry sin from our hearts..through confession comes restoration to God…


1 John 2
This chapter has a lot to unpack for me...

I was first drawn to the following:

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

Probably because I have been thinking about the media and the news and movies and shows and such. I struggle with what do you see and what don't you see. I enjoy being relatable, but, on the other hand, I don't want images in my head that I can't "undo". Also, I don't enjoy hearing swearing, etc.... It's the whole, "In this world, not of it" dilema. 

1 John 3

Verses 1-3 are quite possibly some of my most favorite scriptures:

"3 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure."
See how great a love............that we are called CHILDREN OF GOD: AND SUCH WE ARE!!!!!! WOW!!!! Words fail me to describe the joy that wells up within me when I ponder this..and the awe...

But, it gets better! When we see Him, we'll be like Him!!! Ever wonder if you'll ever get there? Ever wonder if you can ever be like Jesus? The answer is a resounding YES in this verse. This gives me so much hope! And, our hope in Him has already made us pure!!! "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" (2 Corinthians 9:15)

Another life verse that I have clung to since childhood: verse 16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren...
If we ever wonder where our priorities are, here it is...."

And still more: verse 19 - 24 " We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.

This is His commandment, that we [l]believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He [m]commanded us. The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

God is greater than our hearts! AMEN and AMEN!!! It's because of Him that we can have confidence to draw near to the throne. Hebrews 4:16
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

For those interested in getting your kids into sports, may I recommend the following 2 sports and 3 clubs:

First:  Running, create a lifelong healthy habit.  Central Florida Gliders!  This is by far the best sports club I have ever had the privilege to be associated with!  They work with all ages of children/youth and all abilities.  And they genuinely care about the kids, more so than just "winning".  Also, they are very, very, very affordable.  Don't tax your budget with more expensive sports unless your child is crazy passionate about another sport.   I wish this had been an option for all my children!

Second: Swimming!  Running and swimming actually go hand and hand and are such good life investments!  The Patriots Aquatic program is second to none in the area!  They also work with all levels and encourage growth at all levels.  They are a bit more expensive than running, but still not like some sports.  Another option is the YMCA's swim program.  Your youth can be involved for a small nominal monthly fee and still get quality instruction and competition at all levels!

One last thing on sports.  I appreciate all the coaches my children have had and all the work they have done.  That being said, follow your "gut" for your own child/children.  Know one knows them better than you!

Running and swimming, swimming and running!

Not only are these my biggest 2 recommendations, but they also serve as good cross training sports for other sports.  Your athletes, in my opinion, would benefit from this and the social interaction provided and you would save TONS of money in the process!

Okay, my unofficial, or maybe official sports advice of the day.....