Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Even in the wee hours of the morning

After an extensive research this morning, I have found it to be Biblically true that marriage is a picture of Christ and the church.  Men and women are to submit to each other in love, the husband is to be the head, the leader, the one in charge, as a picture of Christ; and the wife is to support and be under the husband as a picture of the church.  If you're going to go with what the Bible says, there's really no way around it . . . and really, it's pretty simple to understand.

Some good verses to see this in are Ephesians 5:21-33 and Colossians 3:18-19
This Momentary Marriage by John Piper is an excellent book showing the beautiful picture marriage was created by God to be.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

He Used to be JoeJoe

Our Joseph has always made me smile.  When he was a baby, a little girl named Alex tagged him JoeJoe.  Then later, he was often called Joey.  I hear now, he's often referred to as Joe.  His speech was hard to understand when he was a toddler, but he had a lot to say.  Charity was his interpreter.  When Joseph spoke, everyone would turn to her and she would patiently explain what Joseph was trying to say.  It was quite an occupation for Charity, following him around and keeping everyone happy.  Joseph was from the beginning an engineer.  He would often disappear into his bedroom, quietly close the door (so no one would detect him), and work on K-Nex or Legos for hours.  He would then proudly ask me to come look at what he had made.  I am still amazed at what he can make!  But that's just like a mom.  I have always been amazed at him.  It all started the moment I found out I had another baby on the way.  The amazement has never stopped.  When Joseph was born, the doctor in attendance saw the cord tied in a perfect little knot, but not stopping the flow of blood.  I was amazed.  A few days later, I escaped (still don't know how) a surely fatal car accident with my precious Joseph in the car weighing all of 7 lbs.  I shake my head in amazement.  For Kindergarten, Charity sat at a little table her Grandpa had made and learned her letters and numbers.  Joseph being 18 months younger sat on the floor and played with Legos.  The next year it was Joseph's turn for Kindergarten.  I quickly found myself out of that job.  He already knew his letters and numbers from osmosis sitting on the floor with his Legos.  Amazed again.

Joseph isn't really amazing, but I do love him.  No, our God is amazing!  His ways are perfect!  Thankyou heavenly father for boys.  Wouldn't we girls be unbalanced without them?

Happy Birthday Buddy!!!!!!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Luther Grows Fond of Katie

"I would not exchange Katie for France or for Venice, because God has given her to me and other women have worse faults."  Martin Luther grew in his resolve to take Katie as his wife.  His friends were shocked by his proposal, with comments such as, "For heaven's sake, not this one."  It was predicted that "the world and the Devil would laugh and Luther's work would be undone."

Spalatin was Luther's mentor/father in Christ.  He surely had a non ending challenge and source of concern trying to keep Martin Luther calm, far away from those who would kill him.  At this juncture, Spalatin asked Martin what he thought of long engagements.  Luther replied, "Don't put off till tomorrow!  By delay Hannibal lost Rome.  by delay Esau forfeited his birthright.  Christ said, 'Ye shall seek me, and ye shall not find.'  This Scripture, experience, and all creation testify that the gifts of God must be taken on the wing."

Three days later, Luther made a public announcement of his betrothal to Katie.  At this point it seems that Luther began to get a bit more excited about his upcoming wedding.  He sent out letters of invitation, telling Spalatin, "You must come to my wedding.  I have made the angels laugh and the devils weep."  To a gentleman who helped arrange the escape of the nuns, "I am going to get married.  God likes to work miracles and to make a fool of the world.  You must come to the wedding."

On June 27th, 1525 at 10:00 AM Luther escorted his beaming wife to be, Katherine Von Bora, to the parish church in Wittenberg.  The bells rang out the good news through the streets.  The religious ceremony was performed.  Afterward a banquet in the Augustinian cloister followed by a dance at the town hall.  That evening another banquet occured.  All took their leave at 11:00 PM.  Isn't that a fun wedding day?

So, an ex -priest married an ex- nun.  Luther was socially past marrying age, Katie on the furthest edge (late 20's).  They weren't particularly 'in love' as we would say.  They both however felt called to the marriage, took joy in the marriage, and had what appears to be a very good time.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Katherine Von Bora

Two years after Luther helped the twelve nuns escape the cloister, all were safely tucked away in marriages or positions except one.  Her name was Katherine Von Bora.  A match had been made for Katherine, but her partner went and married someone else.  Poor Katherine!  Then, Luther made another selection for her.  His name was Dr. Glatz.  Katherine defied Luther's choice, and said she would marry Luther instead!  It was meant as a good humored rebuff because Luther was past marrying age at forty two.

Luther did not respond seriously to Katy's suggestion until he went home to visit his parents.  His father it seems, loved the idea!  Luther began to think that perhaps it would be good to marry.  He could give Katherine the status as a married woman she needed and give a testimony to his faith.  Luther wrote,
"...  I believe in marriage, and I intend to get married before I die, even though it should be only a betrothal like Joseph's".

Well, Ok Luther.  It was a good thing to do... to take care of Katy.  It makes the more romantically inclined  wonder at his frankness.  But, the story gets better.

Friday, February 22, 2013

My endless source of entertainment . . .

Delivered in a Herring Barrel

Luther had no thought of marriage whatsoever.  His was a life of controversy  which would very likely end in certain death by the hands of the papacy.  During the reformation however, monks began to marry.  "Good heavens! They won't give me a wife," he boldly proclaimed.

In a short time a situation arose which would challenge his stand.  Monks and nuns were leaving the cloisters.  Some sisters nearby asked Luther what they should do now that they didn't agree with the church and their chosen profession.  He arranged for their escape.  On the eve of the Resurrection 1523, twelve bundled nuns were taken from the cloister in empty herring barrels packed in the back of a wagon. Three of the nuns returned to their homes.  The other nine came to see Luther!  

Luther took it on himself to find homes, husbands, or positions for all nine women.  He stated that he would not marry one because he expected daily the death of a heretic.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Luther At Home

Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther has a chapter on the building of Luther's character.  It is an inside look at Luther's home life. I found this humorous because I would tend to think that our Martin Luther's character was constantly being put to a test with the controversy surrounding him because of his arguing against the papist abuses and heretical teaching.   The author Roland H. Bainton  points out that after Luther's wedding he begin to feel that marriage was a school for character.  It displaced the monastery which up until then was thought of as the training ground of virtue and a sure ticket to heaven.

Luther's children were the same as yours and mine.  Darling to him, but full of mischief.  It seems that the babies cries were particularly hard on Luther. In the middle of one child's crying experience Luther said, "Child, what have you done that I should love you so?  You have disturbed the whole household with your bawling."  Another time when a baby cried for an hour, he remarked, "This is the sort of thing that has caused the Church fathers to vilify marriage.  But God before the last day has brought back marriage and the magistracy to their proper esteem."

My favorite quote about babies was declared after being the brunt of his neighbors' amusement when hanging out the diapers to dry.  "Let them laugh.  God and the angels smile in heaven."  LOVE THAT!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Baby Nora eats some grapefruit

Nora tried her first grapefruit slice last month....and she made about 100 faces in less than a minute! Here are some of the best.... She really liked it!  She is a little more cautious when I hand her a slice, now..... Just thought I should go ahead and put the real macoy up here so you blog readers didn't have to frantically search.
 (just in case anyone was actually frantically searching...) haha!

Lord, You hear

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

My Pastor

I think we are all  really happy here.  Feeling very privileged to get a picture with my favorite preacher ever!

The Beach . . .

is so fun.  So so so fun.  I don't know why.  It is the same kind of fun that the snow is.  It just makes me want to play.  I have no idea how to do anything in the water but swim and that not very well, but it is so fun.  This weekend, I had the privilege of going on a retreat with my "fellowship group" (or sunday school) from church.  We went to Long Beach which is just south of here.  Many from my Bible study were there including Aubrea, one of my newer friends who also goes to Master's and lives on the same wing as me :)  She's from Wisconsin which explains why she would jump in with me just one more time.  

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Whoever has the key to the heart . . .

When I was about 13 or 14, my dad bought a ring.  A ring with a heart.  A ring to wear on my left hand reserving the place for another ring which would be placed on my hand by a man, a real man who would have won my love.  He also bought a key.  The key has a heart shape upon the top.  This key is the key to the heart I wear on my finger.  One day, a man will come, I believe.  He will come and he will ask the bold question of whether he might have this heart which my dad has so long and carefully protected.  An audacious question, yet one that God gives men the ability to ask and gives fathers the ability to grant.  Upon the day when there stands in front of a small crowd a pastor and this same man, my dad will take me, walk up to this man and there give the key to my heart to him.  The key will pass from one hand to another, my allegiance will have to change and there I will be vowed to serve this man the rest of my days.  

Friday, February 15, 2013

The groom I still wish I had

I am working on being content.  Often I am content, even more than content in my present situation, but then there are those times when I am not.  Yes, I do want to be married, I do want a man so in love with God that he hates me in comparison.  I want a man that, as I decided in high school, is pursuing the list of the 12 Knightly Virtues.

I used to also want a man that was tallish, with dark, wavy, thick hair.  One with dark eyes and skin.  Maybe even one with an accent as my sister's man had.  How romantic does that sound?  Well, alas, I think that wonderful dream has disappeared.  My prayers have instead turned toward this man's heart, his ministry to the Lord, and his growth in the knowledge and love of God.  

I have asked God for a great man.  My prayers have been for a man with a heart to serve God as Luther and Bonhoeffer had.  Only recently have I begun to think of what this would really mean.  I have been greatly humbled in reflection of what this man, if God were to give him to me, would have to deal with in having me given to him.  So then, my prayers have also turned to becoming the kind of woman that this kind of man would need.  Praying for such a thing is like praying for hardship and trials, yet God is good and gentle and kind and He is a wonderful master and teacher to me.  

After some discussion about this with my mom and dad I have changed my attitude a bit towards this man who will someday be mine.  If I have met this man or if I meet him in the future, my desires now are to behave toward him in a God honoring way.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Joseph's window this morning . . .

This was too funny.  I have no idea who did it, but really, too funny . . . unless it really is a girl, then it's too weird!  She'd do so much better just coming to me than leaving stocker notes on windows . . . oh dear!

Happy Valentines Day!!

Growing up, I always looked forward to Valentines Day.  It was a day when we gave each other chocolate, hung hearts up all over, the day when Mom would make the table beautiful with surprises before we woke up, and the day when we got a great steak dinner.  What is there not to like about it?  Besides, it was the day that we talked about love and my name means love.  It's like a holiday that I'm named for.

When I came to college though, I started to hear what others thought about the day.  It was not so good as what I thought.  Valentines, many of the people around me would say, is the day when you realize that you have no man (or woman for the men) in your life.  It is "single awareness" day.  Really, that's just stupid.

In Life Together by Deitrich Bonhoeffer, he writes about true love.  In this book he makes a clear argument how we, as people of God can love in one of two ways.  We can love with a love that is human love or we can love with a love that is spiritual love.  This human love has its roots in what I can gain from loving another person.  When that other person does not do what is expected, I become offended and my "love" turns to hatred.  Loving in a proper spiritual way has its roots in Christ.  I will love others for who they are in Christ.  There is no expectations that hang on to this kind of love, but simply a giving motivated by Christ.  Spiritual love is not downtrodden with expectations, but joyful in sacrifice.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, 
I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.  
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, 
and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, 
but have not love, I am nothing . 
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, 
and though I give my body to be burned, 
but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 
does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 
does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Groom

Sitting on our beds in my little room, a new friend and I had a great discussion on our groom.  You didn't know I had one?  Oh! but I do!  He is wonderful, beautiful, magnificent, strong, kind, loving, submissive, faithful beyond imagination, a servant and yet a king.  My friend lit up as she described this wonderful groom in her life.  "Why, I wouldn't mind being single my whole life just knowing that He is mine!"  We will not always be single even if we don't get married till the day we die. Because, on that day, we will see Him!  Her groom and my groom is one and the same.  He is our redeemer Jesus Christ.  This wonderful groom did not only find me and love me but He redeemed me from a wretched and fallen state from which I had no hope of salvation.  He then protects, guides, and watches over me.  He calls me to walk worthy of my position as bride (of which I fail miserably) and He is the head of my life.  In a strange and yet wonderful way, He not only has done this and is this for me, but He is this for all other believers.  Marian and I continued to talk about this wonderful groom and how, really, we are most happy when we give ourselves completely to Him.  She said it really is not that hard, just tell Him I am Yours and let Him do as He wills.  Well, I must admit I find it hard, but I don't want to and I was so encouraged by our little talk.

And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, 
as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, 
"Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 
Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, 
and His wife has made herself ready."  
And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, 
for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Asking God For Blessings

Each day I come to our Father in heaven asking for His guidance, His wisdom, His mercy as I live out my moments.  Then again with my family, we ask for His help to live our day according to His will.  In the evenings we are again asking God to watch over us, keep us, bless us.  Occasionally, in all this asking I can feel a slight ping of guilt that I ask far too much.  Perhaps I should ask nothing of God, only sit and humbly take whatever He desires to give or do for me and my loved ones.  There has always been a bit of a quandary in what to ask of God.

This morning while reading Psalm 144, I was delighted to find David "asking" God to bless him with many of the same things I ask daily.  No, I don't have sheep (at least not now) or cattle.  Charity would probably not desire to look like a pillar in a palace.  But, my heart desires the same things.   I ask our Father to make my sons strong, to make my daughters secure, to give us plenty of good food, that we would be prosperous in the things that bring comfort to ourselves and others, that we would be safe where we live, where we work.  Blessed are we when blessings fall upon us!  It comforted my heart.  I hope it does yours.

May our sons in their youth
                        be like plants full grown,
            our daughters like corner pillars
                        cut for the structure of a palace;
            may our granaries be full,
                        providing all kinds of produce;
            may our sheep bring forth thousands
                        and ten thousands in our fields;
            may our cattle be heavy with young,
                        suffering no mishap or failure in bearing;
            may there be no cry of distress in our streets!
            Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall!
                        Blessed are the people whose God is the LORD!
(Psalm 144:12-15 ESV)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Today: a chance for me to see His grace first hand

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness . . ."

Friday, February 8, 2013

Lord, thank you for the wonderful misery of rain!

"It's the other way round," said Denniston. "Everyone begins as a child by liking Weather. You learn the art of disliking it as you grow up. Noticed it on a snowy day? The grown-ups are all going about with long faces, but look at the children - and the dogs? They know what snow's made for."
"I'm sure I hated wet days as a child," said Jane.
"That's because the grown-ups kept you in," said Camilla. "Any child loves rain if it's allowed to go out and paddle about in it.”  ~C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength

Maybe that means I'm still a child . . . or just mad :)

Male and Female He created them

Quite honestly, I'm a strange girl.  I’m not one who really enjoys listening to a whole “message” by a woman.  Usually, I’m pretty turned off by it.  But I had to listen to this message for an assignment due Monday morning.  Begrudgingly, I turned it on this afternoon as I cleaned up my room.  As it went on, I quit cleaning and sat down to really listen.  This one was good.  Mary Kassian did a wonderful job calling women to stand up to the call of feminism and to practice biblical womanhood.  She clearly shows the deceitfulness and the hatefulness behind feminism and how it has progressed.  It is a sad state, burdening women with a lifestyle contrary to godliness.  We, as women, are to stand fast in our biblical femininity, to be rebels against the world’s expectations, and to embrace godliness.  It is not easy.  It is right, and it is good.

The message comes from True Women '08, Revive our Hearts.  It is called "You've come a long way, Baby!" and you can find it here.  Girls, I love you dearly, but I'm not sure you should be listening to it, so please ask your mom or dad before you do.  It's not bad or anything, just a bit mature and I'm sure your mom or dad would know right off if it's too much for you :)    

As a bonus, here's one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books by one of my favorite men: 

"Madness does not come by breaking out, but by giving in; by settling down in some dirty, little, self-repeating circle of ideas; by being tamed." ~G.K. Chesterton Manalive

Let us, as women, not settle down, be content, and be tamed by our culture. No, we need to rise up, to be "mad" in the already mad world's eyes.  For to be seen as mad by the madman is no offense.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mr. McGregor's Garden

I'm planning my garden this week.  Texas offers two growing seasons: the Spring and the Fall.  Our biggest problem in the Hill Country is rock which makes above ground gardening the only way to go.  Our other biggest problems are too much heat and too little water which makes drip irrigation also the only way to go.  After three years of asking questions and going to gardening classes, I am ready to try my hand at Texas gardening.  Over Spring break Joseph (19) built three gardens for me.  The area is complete with fence around and a pristine little gate which  makes entering my garden an "affair".  I never open that little gate without thinking of Mr. McGregor's cottage garden in Peter Rabbit.  Here's hoping my little garden will actually grow and be fruitful so that little Peter Rabbits will envy it.

"God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures."
Francis Bacon

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

But the great people do it . . .

Pretty much all the great pastors and authors that I have been largely influenced by use pen and ink primarily for their deep studying.  That is, a pen which must be dipped into the ink (as the older authors had to do) or a fountain pen which must be regularly refilled with ink (as the modern ones do).  I thought it was just a weird notion of theirs that these actually make a difference when writing and studying.  I was wrong.  Something got into me one day and I tried one.  This is no weird notion.  It changes the whole way of writing, it affects the brain, it allows a person to have a deeper relationship with what they are authoring.  I know, it sounds crazy.  But don't be too quick to call me crazy until you try one!  As I was pursuing the art of using fountain pens, I ran out of ink and had to buy myself a real genuine ink bottle.  In old books you read about the ink on a writer's finger.  You also read about the mess this ink can make.  Well, just so you know, it's true.

Without reading the directions of how to do it properly, I excitedly dove into the activity of filling my cartridge and dripped all over.  The ink stains dark and will not come off!  However, the 60 second experiment was hilarious and I am optimistic about the future challenge of filling up the pen without a mess.

"Have you a pen and ink, Master Doctor?"
"'A scholar is never without them, your majesty,' answered Doctor Cornelius"
~C.S. Lewis
Prince Caspian