Go Tell It

Good news is hard to keep to oneself; very contagious. New baby, loved one comes into some good fortune, husband gets award at work, there are so many things that go on that bless us, and we can’t help but share how we have been blessed.
As I was going through my BSF lesson this week, I got to thinking about good news. First of all, I appreciate the way the powers that be in BSF had us stay in Isaiah 40 all week. It is so good a chapter, and needs the time taken. In verse nine it talks about how His people are to lift their voices with the good news that the LORD GOD is coming! Yay! But back up to verses 3 and 4, where it says the many ways the LORD has made a smooth path for His glory to arrive. There is such beauty in that He has pursued us and made it pretty easy, really, to know Him. And He wants us to tell others about it, too, with our voices. He could have chosen other modes of communication, but here He is telling us to use our voice to speak the news of His coming.
There must be something to that ‘spoken word’ concept, with God. I think of Him sending Gabriel to Zechariah with the good news of John the Baptist’s birth, and Zechariah suffering from not being able to speak when he evidenced unbelief. I think of all the different angelic appearances to assorted people, spreading the word that Jesus was coming. What a fun time that must have been for God, like sending out the first of many invitations to the biggest party ever.
Getting back to me- why don’t I get as excited about this very good news, this reality that has changed my life and my eternal destination? Why do I not have trouble keeping it to myself? Shame on me. It should spill out every chance I have to speak.

Get yourself on a high mountain, O Zion, bearer of good news, lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good news; lift it up, do not fear. Say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!”
Isaiah 40:9

BSF Study question of the week: [Since no man can look at God and live,] How will all people be able to see the glory of the Lord? (words in brackets mine)
-I can’t wait, can you?

There Are Books, And There Are Books

“A book is a present that can be opened again and again.”
I saw this little ditty on a library poster this week while checking out. There are many books that would make my list of “presents”, ones I love to pop open more than once. The Mitford novels, the Little House books, and one recently to add, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. The latter I have found so inspiring in the last few years as I try to move toward more local, and home-grown food for our family. Another recent addition is The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom. Wow! I had never read that before, but what a beautiful story of God’s faithfulness. These books are ones I actually own or hope to own someday, differentiating them from the odd library take-out.
As I think over my good book list, though, I realize how late in my musings the Bible comes to mind. I have been trying, through BSF, reading it through-the-year, and other methods, to make it more of a discipline in my life. But I think what God is hoping for is for me to find it a delight, instead. Hungering and thirsting. Like a deer panting for water. I am just not there. Does that make the rest of my favorite books rather trivial and maybe even sacrilegious, to beat out the Holy Word? Maybe. But He’s on there, and I know He’s climbing to the top of my bestsellers’ list.
BSF Study Question of the week: Put Hezekiah’s prayer of Isaiah 37:15-20 in your own words regarding a situation you are facing right now.
Excellent! I won’t put mine here; it is a bit poisonal. But I loved being challenged to do this. It helped me see that it is God who is ultimately hurt when His people are hurt, and it is God’s glory we should seek when we are asking for help.

Monday Night Live

Well, I made it to Columbus in an hour! The route I now take is a little more streamlined (almost all highway) but a lot more stressful (Polaris at 5:25 pm- eek). I like having some wiggle room at Bobby’s, though. The burger I got tonight didn’t allow me to do anything other than read, so the typing would have to wait. 🙂
I just tried some chicken sausage in a dish at lunch; it was really good! Usually I put kielbasa in this particular dish, but wanted to lop off some of the calories and nitrates. Chicken sausage is the way to go! A bit pricey, though, so I will have to watch out for coupons and combine them with a store sale.
Cory was telling me that there is a tv show about ‘extreme couponing’. Now I’ve heard everything! First, that there is that many people active in this obsession, but that it would be valuable tv coverage. Hmmm.
I’m looking forward to Jamie Oliver’s next installment of his Food Revolution program- this time in L.A. Should be good.
BSF question of the week: Why do you think God hates sin so much?
I put: it destroys the lives of those He dearly loves, and it took the life of His Son.
Have a great week!

And His Name Shall Be Called

It stinks that I don’t get on here more, because by the time I do there is way too much to say.

We have been moved into our new home for a few weeks now (yay!), and trying to settle into some new routines. One routine, Internet use, will always need tweaking, since we don’t have it in the new house. I think I will be able to get online Monday nights, before my BSF class, but there is no guarantee I’ll have time to blog. It will be, after all, dinnertime, and there will be, after all, farmhouse burgers and farmers’ market omelettes to snarf down at Bob Evans. But, as long as you don’t mind me typing with my mouth full…

“I’m pregnant again…I think.” That isn’t the typical thought pattern of a girl with child for the 11th time. But it is the way I spent the last three months, waiting to miscarry this sweet babe. Lots of things were weird this time, and I suppose I was maybe still shellshocked from last year with the twins, that I would get up every morning, and wonder, is this the day I lose the baby? Finally, by week 10 or so, things seemed to right themselves and I began to ‘feel’ more pregnant. So I went in this week to see what was up, still preparing myself for anything. That ‘anything’ is a beautiful baby boy, about the size of a large egg. His name is Adon, and I would covet your prayers for him, and for me. For him, because although he looks healthy, I now know that can be a precious and fleeting thing. For me, because I haven’t quite gotten this faith thing figured out. I’ve felt so much guilt this time around, because maybe I shouldn’t have been going through my days expecting the worst, maybe I shouldn’t be looking at so many hardships in life like God is punishing me. He loves me; I want to know this like the back of my hand. Which is looking old these days. Hmmm.
The Isaiah study I am doing through BSF is so rich. One study question in my lesson this week was, “Why do you think God hates sin so much?” Ouch. I mean, you can think of reasons right away, and list them off, and you’d be right, of course. But I purposely haven’t written anything down yet, because my prayer is, “Lord, please show me WHY You hate sin so much. I need to dig deeper than the obvious here, because I’m still missing something…” I know I’m missing something because if I really knew why He hated sin so much, wouldn’t I hate it, too? Wouldn’t my response to it be as in Isaiah 30:22:

Then you will desecrate your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, “Away with you!”

This goes back to the whole “God is punishing me” mentality, too. So intertwined in Isaiah are His love for His people, and His wrath over their sin. Of course, now that He took that wrath upon His body and died for us, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I need to look at difficulties in life not as punishments, but as character builders, maturity givers, and the good gifts they are since they come from our Heavenly Father.

Junior Asparagus has done it again- made me cry. I love the lullabies CD that came out a decade ago, and still listen to it often. Lisa’s voice is just too cute singing those songs. Well, this Christmas, there was a free VeggieTales album to download about a singing Christmas tree, with lots of good songs that my kids now have memorized. But one song on there really stood out to me- Junior Asparagus does Handel?! Really, it is terrific. It is the one that goes, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given…” When it gets to the part
and His name shall be called…
I just have to cry. Many reasons. In Isaiah we have been able to take a closer look at all those names given to our Savior- my favorite is Everlasting Father. I used to think it was talking about God the Father, but it isn’t- it is a name for the Son, our Creator, Who always has been. How beautiful. But the main reason I am moved by this song (and remember it sounds like it is being sung by a child) is because we are naming our child “My Lord”, one of Jesus’ many wonderful names. It reminds me of him, and Him, all at once. Last week I was feeling so tired, and really cold, too, for some reason. I prayed, telling the Lord how I was feeling so crappy and was bummed that my energy and heat would have to be elsewhere, since it wasn’t in me. I then got to thinking about what the disciples were to say if anybody challenged them when they took the Palm Sunday donkey, “The Lord has need of it.” Maybe Adon needed the energy more than I did. Okay then! was my response. No problem! What else could I give him? Anything to keep him healthy and happy. That doesn’t always come easy, though. When I am asked to sacrifice, I hope my first thought would be, “my Lord has need of it”- in this temporary pregnancy, and in this only slightly less temporary life.