Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Janie's Stocking 2.0 Final Whizbang Wowie

Don't you hate it when your kids are in the position to be able to say, "I told you so?" Well, that's me right now. Back in November when we were deciding on what item from the Food For The Hungry "Gift" Catalog we wanted to select for Janie's Christmas Stocking, I wondered about the idea of being so ambitious as to choose the largest gift in there. We'd seen God do amazing things last year, when over $1700 came in when we had hoped to "reach" $500. But still, this year I expressed a little reservation. It went kind of like this:

Me: "I have some reservations this year."

Carly (scoffing a bit): "Of course we'll reach $2500, Dad. You'll see. Have a little faith."

Me: *wince*

And with that, we decided to

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Authoritative, Indespensable Year-End Roundup of EarnestlyICQ

The Authoritative, Indespensable Year-End Roundup of EarnestlyICQ

Heh, I enjoyed that post title. Any guesses where I ripped that off from?

Anyway, I've never done a year-end roundup of the most popular posts of this (obscure) blog...and I'm not about to start now. However, I thought it might be fun(ny?) to put up some of the posts that I most enjoyed typing (or were most meaningful for me at the time) from the ENTIRE  HISTORY (since July 2009 haha) of this blog....for your year-end reading enjoyment. So both of you reading this blog can

Book Roundup 2011

It's year-end-roundup time, and the blogosphere feels different for a week or so. We give our "funniest posts roundup," our "most popular posts," our thoughts on the turn of the year and......*pensive pause*   ha! you thought I was going to give you my list of books I read this year, didn't you! Nope, I'm turning the tables....you tell me what books you read this year instead! Thanks to The Blainemonster for the idea. I'm always nervous about asking people to comment though...what if they don't? I'll feel silly gosh darn it. At least you'll comment, Blaine....won't you?


Monday, December 26, 2011

Creepiest Piggy Bank Ever 2.0

Long-time subscribers to this blog (bwa-haha that's funny) may recall that last year when we did the first-ever Janie's Christmas Stocking fund raiser, my friends Steve and Ruth Hall contributed the contents of their spare-change piggy bank. Well, they've dropped off the bank again this year too, God bless them. It's a wonderful way to be a part of the fun, but they gave it with a few caveats:

1) I have to return the bank. No Problem...the thing gives me nightmares. This year, they dressed it up with some false eyelashes and a big red bow on the top of it's head. Yeah, that makes it much less chilling. Remember that awful shower scene in Psycho when the shadow falls on the shower curtain and the lady knows she's about to get it? "Reeee! Reee! Reee!" "Screeeeaamm!!" I wake up in a cold sweat having seen this pig, pretty eyelashes and all, appearing in the mirror when I closed the medicine cabinet. Or I get in the car and reach up to adjust the rear view mirror and there it is....slightly grinning. Or pushing me out of an airplane. Go ahead, click the picture. I dare you.

2) We have to remove the change ourselves from the

Monday, December 19, 2011

Janie's Stocking Is Going Great

Janie's Stocking is cranking right along! Thank you so much for giving. People you will probably never meet, people like this, will have a tangible evidence of your loving them because you gave to the project! Thank you! Don't stop spreading the word and thanks again!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Anti-Facebook Snobbery


Wait, let me explain. I'm sorry. I don't really mean to hate on you, Facebook, it just seems to happen. I just blurt stuff out without thinking. I'm really sorry. I hope you can forgive me. It's just, well, I've seen how you have changed things so much, and I feel like not all of it is for the better, honestly. It just seems to me that the last thing our already narcissistic culture needed was more stuff about me, me, me...us, us, us. Here's my list of reasons why I've hesitated to get a Facebook account for so long:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Beautiful Things

Beautiful Things by Gungor

Another word for what they are artfully saying is the word redemption.
"He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit." Galatians 3:14

And that's the nature of the Christmas story, isn't it?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Koyaanisqatsi And Me

When I was a senior in high school, I saw a film called, Koyaanisqatsi. That's a Hopi word which means, "life out of balance."

***

I lay awake the other night, thinking, like I sometimes do. I know, melancholies are weird like that.

I was in Boston, staying at a swanky hotel. If you know me at all, I'm pretty sure you would know that "swanky" is not really my style. I was there because the company I work for got hired to photograph the Christmas party of a very large, swanky  company. I promise I will not us the word swanky anymore in this post. These people, virtually all 800 of them, were young, beautiful professionals. The party was at the absolutely gorgeous Boston Public Library. I brought Carly along so we could do some of the Boston-at-Christmas thing the next day.

The company put us up in a, um, fancy hotel, called The Colonnade, and it was very euro-sleek and stylish. It had a view to the North - right toward the 50-story Prudential Center. Fabulous.

The next day, Carly & I took a stroll through the mall in the Pru, walking past the Anne Taylor store with the eight-foot tall posters of Demi Moore wearing (presumably) Anne Taylor's clothes in the store windows. We moved along to Copley Square and ended up, inevitably, on Newbury Street, aka the Rodeo Drive of the East. Everyone (that's not hyperbole -it's really everyone) on Newbury Street was beautiful. Their stylish clothes, their up-to-the-knee boots, their carefully managed handsome/pretty faces, and especially their silky and properly product-ed hair, was beautiful. I'm not troubled by the beauty - that's not what I was

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My friend (and Carly's youth pastor) Rob Townshend recently had some articles published on a blog for youth workers. It's been fascinating to watch Calvary's students "own" their youth group and take hold of the paradigm that Rob describes. My Carly has been really changed and blessed by it.

Here is the first one, and here is the follow-up.

Good job, Rob, and thanks for being so willing to be led by God "out of the box!"


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thanks For Sharing

I'd like to say a public Thank You! to those friends and family - you know who you are - who tweeted, blogged, emailed and shared on Facebook about the Janie's Stocking project. As you know, spreading the word about something of this nature is the only way for it to succeed - people can't give to something they don't know about! I'm especially grateful to Calvary Bible Church here in Rutland for sharing via their email list (as well as letting me talk about it on Sunday) and to my friend Jared for posting about it on his widely read blog. Thank you all! I'm excited to see where God takes this!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Janie's Christmas Stocking 2011

So it's time for the big reveal of a new twist on Janie's Christmas Stocking: Online giving! Yep, you don't need to mail a check or catch me in the hall with cash (unless you are Steve and Ruth Hall) or give me your firstborn or right arm or anything! Food For The Hungry has graciously set me up with a page for Janie's Christmas Stocking, and it's pretty cool.

If you don't yet know what this is about, click here, and for where it all came from, click here.

We are extending the deadline to December 31 this time.

Also, if you would still prefer to

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful For....A Sock?

Yes, I'm thankful for a sock this Thanksgiving! It's not just any sock, however: the mystery photo from the last post is Janie's Christmas Stocking (you can read what we did with the stocking last year here). It was a thrill last year to collect, alongside so many friends and family (as well as a few total strangers!), enough money to buy a cow for a family in Rwanda through a wonderful aid organization called Food For the Hungry. We also helped several local families. I honestly wonder who got the greater blessing, the folks who received the help, or all of us who were involved with giving it. So I'm thankful.

Before last year's project was even over, many were asking if we'd do it again this year. Well, we decided with a resounding, "yes!" We've decided this year to not only help one family with one cow, but to help a whole village of people by buying them a well! Can you imagine walking four hours, waiting in line for two, getting your jerrycans of clean water, and walking home another four hours with forty pounds of water? And repeating this every three days? That is what some families have to do to obtain clean water that won't cause sicknesses from water related disease. A well right in their own village can save people from all this, and it will help not only one or two people, but a whole village of people. Plus, Food For the Hungry gives these resources in Jesus's name, which is the greater gift of course.

The goal will be

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tis The Season For Online Awesomeness

I've got something cooking that I think you're going to like....so stay tuned!

Based on the photo, can you guess what this might be about? Click the photo for a closer look and leave a comment if you think you know.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Horace Silver's "Peace"

A favorite song of mine, sung by none other than Nora Jones. I guess this recording is a little obscure...it's from Marion McPartland's Piano Jazz. I think it must be Marion on piano then. Both women are amazing, and so is Horace Silver who wrote the song way back when. Try listening late at night with very dim lights when all is quiet....mmmmm, nice.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

F.A.S.T.ing and Sacrifice

Becca has (probably) started the NEXT BIG THING, and it's called, Fantastically Awkward Sweater Tuesday, or, F.A.S.T. for short. The first Tuesday of every month, she and her friends wear really hideous sweaters, like from the eighties. Not like the awesome Bill Cosby ones, either (well, actually, they are exactly like those). So far, they've had great success at thrift stores finding some very dreadful selections. When they wear these haute couture masterpieces, and are inevitably asked why they are wearing them, they can reply, "I'm F.A.S.T.ing!" And after all, hideous sweaters are the new hipster thing.

So I trotted off to the local thrift store to peruse the ladies ugly sweater aisle. Oh, yes I did peruse the ladies ugly sweater aisle.

 "Chris," you say, "why in the world would you risk your manhood and reputation by perusing the ladies sweater aisle for an ugly sweater?" Well, let me tell you about my mom.

My mom had noticed, when I was, say, six or seven years old, that

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Your Suffering Does Not Just Belong To You.

This is from Tim Challies' blog. I've been around some suffering, and honestly, I had never thought of this before. I think this gives some much needed perspective, and it would help to think about these things before the trials come....


***

One of God's Purposes in Suffering
by Tim Challies

The more I grow in my knowledge of the Lord (by his grace) the more I see the utter centrality of the church, the local church, in his plan for his people. The more I learn of him, the more I see what a jewel the church is—what a blessing, what an honor it is to be part of something so amazing, so other-worldly. This is something that has been brought home to me in recent years primarily by the joy and privilege of being part of a faithful local church. But it has also been emphasized through many of the books I’ve read.

A little while ago I read Ligon Duncan’s book Does Grace Grow Best in Winter?, a book that deals with suffering. There was something in there that really grabbed my attention in this context of the local church.

You may be familiar with these words from the first chapter of Colossians:
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
These are words I’ve

Monday, October 24, 2011

Goat Rodeo Sessions

Oh, man, this will be incredible. Comes out tomorrow.........

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Whole New World

This is just plain happy. I can't help but wonder if, when I open my eyes (and ears) in heaven for the first time, it might feel something like this:



Or maybe it might be more like this little guy:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs: Death Is Life's Change Agent

I know that Steve Jobs had a gigantic impact on technology - sort of like how Henry Ford had a gigantic impact on the auto industry or, perhaps a better comparison, how Gutenberg had a huge impact on communications. However, I didn't really follow his life all that closely, so I thought I'd re-post what Ed Stetzer said on his blog:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

On Being Lifted Up

I've only ever had one brush with true greatness. I'm talking about me, myself, being great. Wait, let me explain. See, this moment of greatness came when I was in seventh grade, the grade where you are confused and finding out about life and yourself and everything and are confused about pretty much all of it. And there is no more intimidating place for a confused seventh grader than the middle school locker room. Why does everyone else, all the big kids (eighth graders) seem to know what's going on, while I feel so weird and uncomfortable just changing into a pair of gym shorts and a t-shirt? Why does that big, intimidating gym teacher have to shout at us all the time? And what in the world is this weird indoor gym-class game, with all these weird rules?

My middle school was big enough that there were multiple gym classes going on at the same time, with different intimidating shouting gym teachers. The intimidating gym staff must have had a meeting to try to come up with new ways to intimidate skinny seventh grade boys who don't like changing their clothes in front of others quite yet. So they decided upon a tournament of this gym-class game, the one with all the weird rules. Each class would compete against the others, until one at last

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fist Bump

If you come to me wanting a fist-bump, I'm going to do ALL of these to you. I really will.

And I think I'm getting an El Camino. That's a sweet ride.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Irene's Damage Here In Rutland, VT

Here are just two images of the devastation from Tropical Storm Irene here in Rutland. These are roads we use every day. It will be a long time before these ares are passable again. Rutland is almost cut off from the rest of the world...There are more washouts to the north so our only major road is Route 4 to the east.

The power of water is just overwhelming. I can't help but think of Noah's flood and the terror the people back then must have felt.

 Route 7 South, Rutland (headed toward Clarendon) photo by Vito Starinskas




I got these photos from the Burlington Free Press website where there are lots more.

Our hearts go out to the people who have lost property and their homes, and we are especially praying for those who have lost loved ones due to this storm.




Route 4 East in Mendon (headed toward Pico/Killington) photo by Vito Starinskas

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ready Or Not...

When our first baby, Becca, was going to be born, a huge 'nesting' instinct settled upon both Janie & I. We set up the crib and stockpiled diapers and wipes and got a whole 'diaper changing station' set up. We were full of anticipation and wondered if we were missing anything.

Strangely, I felt a similar sensation of nesting (or you might call it 'gathering') as I saw the growing pile of 'stuff' that our 18-year-old son, Daniel, would need for college. Now he's a guy, and had far less to take to college than certain girls I know (cough *Becca* cough) but there was still a nice little pile in the dining room prior to our jetting off to Roberts Wesleyan College on Thursday.

As we rolled across the New York thruway,

Monday, August 15, 2011

Caleb Chapman at Soulfest

A highlight of Soulfest for me was a set from Caleb Chapman (son of Steven Curtis Chapman). He has started a band called 'Caleb' with his brother Will and a couple other guys whose names I don't know, and they are really quite good.

So they were playing their set but

Friday, August 12, 2011

Manifesto by The City Harmonic

We saw these guys three times at Soulfest last week. Love it, love it.




Friday, July 29, 2011

The Sound (John Perkins Blues)

Since we'll be seeing them next week, here's what Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman had to say about their song, "The Sound (John Perkins Blues):"

 "The Sound (John Perkin's Blues) is a very important song for us as a band. I see so much hatred and fear around me, I see so many people living out their pain. I hear it on the radio. I see it in the headlines. John Perkin's story needs to be heard. This song was inspired by a man who sang a louder song than hatred. In a world where we are defined by our differences, Mr. Perkin's life of service and compassion is a tangible demonstration of what it means to live a life of love. Love is the loudest song we could sing. Louder than racism. Louder than fear. Louder than hatred. John Perkin's said it right, love is the final fight. We're excited to hear this song on the radio, louder than pain."  

Read about John Perkins here.

This is an unpolished, "alternate take," live studio recording. Don't play it if you don't like louder music...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

From The Mouths Of Babes

Carly sent this to her grandfather in response to his birthday request that everyone in the family send him a bible verse that meant a lot to them. Not bad for a 13 year old kid who at 12 lost her mom.....

*****

Happy birthday, Popsie! I didn't know you were turning 70 this year! I hope you had a good birthday, and that you've found a place to put all the chocolate. 

I would like to ask if the whole Bible can be my "favorite verse" because there are too many good ones to pick just one. But I suppose that I can just share a few that have really stuck with me. 

My verse for this year is Hebrews 12:1:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

This verse has really come to mean a lot to me, because I realized that I haven't really been doing my part in the Great Commission. So I am trying to look for opportunities that God has most certainly be providing me with. The question is just whether I see them. That is my verse for this year. However, I

Sunday, July 17, 2011

So Much To Say

Pastor Dave spoke on James 3 today; that's the part where James strongly suggests we bite our tongues rather than giving our two bits all the time. We just have such a hard time controlling ourselves: what we say can hurt others and even have a corrosive effect on our own hearts. 

So I thought I'd put up a few more verses about how careful we should be with what we say. By the way, the self-control needed to do this comes not from our own strength but from God's Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). That's so easy to say (or read) on a blog and so hard to do in the heat of the moment...when our anger is getting stirred up and we want to use words to lash out. God, we need help!

James 3:3-8  "When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mark Altrogge: The Best Sermon You'll Ever Preach

Mark Altrogge is a pastor in Pennsylvania and maintains a great blog called The Blazing Center. I thought his post today was fantastic and decided to re-post it here.

*******
The best sermons I ever preach are those I preach, not in my ministerial capacity, but as a poor sinner preaching to sinners. — Spurgeon
This is how to help others.  As one who is weak.  As one who can sympathize with them in their struggles.  As one who has sinned himself.  As one who knows what it’s like to be forgiven repeatedly.

We help others best as fellow recipients of mercy. As those who have failed many times.  As those who fear the Lord if they were to judge others.  As those who walk with a limp.  As those who have no merit of their own, only the righteousness of Christ.  As those who walk alongside.

We help others best when we help them with gentleness, long suffering and patience. We help others best when we don’t get frustrated with their many doubts because we too have doubted.  We help others best when we express compassion before telling them how they need to change.

We fail to help others when we dole out quick advice, when we tell them how we just decided to change then did it, when we can’t understand why it’s so hard for them to believe.  We fail to help others when we judge their weakness from our strength.

We fail to help our children when we get angry when they sin.  We fail to help our children when we sigh or can’t believe it when they’ve failed again.  We fail to help them when we tell them we’re disappointed in them.  We fail to help them when we tell them we’d never do that.

The best advice we ever give is that of a poor sinner to another poor sinner. As one who looks to herself, lest she also be tempted.  As one who knows he needs to be encouraged as well.  As one who doesn’t assume to know another’s heart and pain.

As D.T. Niles said, “Christianity is one beggar telling another beggar where he found bread.”
The best advice we can give is not look at me and my example but look at Christ and all he did for you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Janie's Last Journal Part 22

Janie's final entries in her journal...continued (read what this is about here.)

******

Well, here we are, 22 posts later, at the end of Janie's journal. Thanks for reading them with me. As you can see, her focus on the Lord became acute as she continued walking by faith through her struggle right to the end.




I love that these are her very last written words:

"The Lord challenges us to suffer persecutions and to confess Him. He wants those who belong to Him to be brave and fearless. He Himself shows how weakness of the flesh is overcome by the courage of the Spirit. This is the testimony of the apostles and in particular of the representative, administrating Spirit. A Christian is fearless. - Forgotten God, Francis Chan (quoting Tertullian) p.45

Monday, July 11, 2011

Janie's Last Journal Part 21

Janie's final entries in her journal...continued (read what this is about here.)

(For the next few weeks, I'll be posting these quotes that meant a lot to her as she neared the end of her life here on earth. If you read them closely, you'll see a common thread there....I'll let you find it without any commentary - except to encourage you to take the entries to heart and be blessed...and perhaps store them away in your own journal....)

******

Today's entry, as well as the rest from Janie's journal from here on in, aren't dated by her. If they have a date, it's the daily reading date from the book she was quoting from. Since I don't know the exact date she jotted these things down, I am breaking them up in a way that seems logical to me.

"We walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinth 5:7

(It thrills me somehow to know that for her, with mere days left to live, she would quote this verse. She knew, I am sure, that soon, the faith would become sight!) 
Tomorrow's post is the last thing she ever wrote on earth.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Janie's Last Journal Part 20

Janie's final entries in her journal...continued (read what this is about here.)

(For the next few weeks, I'll be posting these quotes that meant a lot to her as she neared the end of her life here on earth. If you read them closely, you'll see a common thread there....I'll let you find it without any commentary - except to encourage you to take the entries to heart and be blessed...and perhaps store them away in your own journal....)

******

Today's entry, as well as the rest from Janie's journal from here on in, aren't dated by her. If they have a date, it's the daily reading date from the book she was quoting from. Since I don't know the exact date she jotted these things down, I am breaking them up in a way that seems logical to me.

This is the third to last entry - she  probably wrote this down on the date of the reading in the book: May 1. She had 8 days left.

"Faith does not say, "I see this is good for me; therefore God must have sent it." Instead, faith declares, "God sent it; therefore it must be good for me." -Streams In The Desert, L. B. Cowman, May 1


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Janie's Last Journal Part 19

Janie's final entries in her journal...continued (read what this is about here.)

(For the next few weeks, I'll be posting these quotes that meant a lot to her as she neared the end of her life here on earth. If you read them closely, you'll see a common thread there....I'll let you find it without any commentary - except to encourage you to take the entries to heart and be blessed...and perhaps store them away in your own journal....)

******

Today's entry, as well as the rest from Janie's journal from here on in, aren't dated by her. If they have a date, it's the daily reading date from the book she was quoting from. Since I don't know the exact date she jotted these things down, I am breaking them up in a way that seems logical to me.

"No power on earth or in hell can conquer the Spirit of God living within the human spirit; it creates an inner invincibility." -My Utmost For His Highest, Oswald Chambers, April14

Friday, July 8, 2011

Janie's Last Journal Part 18

Janie's final entries in her journal...continued (read what this is about here.)

(For the next few weeks, I'll be posting these quotes that meant a lot to her as she neared the end of her life here on earth. If you read them closely, you'll see a common thread there....I'll let you find it without any commentary - except to encourage you to take the entries to heart and be blessed...and perhaps store them away in your own journal....)

******

Today's entry, as well as the rest from Janie's journal from here on in, aren't dated by her. If they have a date, it's the daily reading date from the book she was quoting from. Since I don't know the exact date she jotted these things down, I am breaking them up in a way that seems logical to me.

"My children, there is no good thing that I would withhold from you. I have not left you to fend for yourselves nor to make your way by your own devices. I am the Lord your God. I am your Provider and Defender. I care for you with a deep and tender love. I am all-wise and all-powerful and will be your defense against every onslaught of the enemy." -Come Away My Beloved,  Frances J. Roberts, pg 204

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Janie's Last Journal Part 17

Janie's final entries in her journal...continued (read what this is about here.)

(For the next few weeks, I'll be posting these quotes that meant a lot to her as she neared the end of her life here on earth. If you read them closely, you'll see a common thread there....I'll let you find it without any commentary - except to encourage you to take the entries to heart and be blessed...and perhaps store them away in your own journal....)

******

Today's entry, as well as the rest from Janie's journal from here on in, aren't dated by her. If they have a date, it's the daily reading date from the book she was quoting from. Since I don't know the exact date she jotted these things down, I am breaking them up in a way that seems logical to me.

"God's love is unchangeable, and He is just as loving even when we do not see or feel it. And His love and His sovereignty are equal and universal. Therefore He often withholds our enjoyment and awareness of our progress, because He knows best what will actually ripen and further this work in us." -Francis Ridley Havergal

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Janie's Last Journal Part 16

Janie's final entries in her journal...continued (read what this is about here.)

(For the next few weeks, I'll be posting these quotes that meant a lot to her as she neared the end of her life here on earth. If you read them closely, you'll see a common thread there....I'll let you find it without any commentary - except to encourage you to take the entries to heart and be blessed...and perhaps store them away in your own journal....)

******

Today's entry, as well as the rest from Janie's journal from here on in, aren't dated by her. If they have a date, it's the daily reading date from the book she was quoting from. Since I don't know the exact date she jotted these things down, I am breaking them up in a way that seems logical to me.

"Even the weakest saint can experience the power of the deity of the Son of God, when he is willing to 'let go.' But any effort to 'hang on' to the least bit of our own power will only diminish the life of Jesus in us. We have to keep letting go, and slowly, but surely, the great full life of God will invade us, penetrating every part. Then Jesus will have complete and effective dominion in us, and people will take notice that we have been with Him." -My Utmost For His Highest, Oswald Chambers, April 12

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Janie's Last Journal Part 15

Janie's final entries in her journal...continued (read what this is about here.)

(For the next few weeks, I'll be posting these quotes that meant a lot to her as she neared the end of her life here on earth. If you read them closely, you'll see a common thread there....I'll let you find it without any commentary - except to encourage you to take the entries to heart and be blessed...and perhaps store them away in your own journal....)

******

Today's entry, as well as the rest from Janie's journal from here on in, aren't dated by her. If they have a date, it's the daily reading date from the book she was quoting from. Since I don't know the exact date she jotted these things down, I am breaking them up in a way that seems logical to me.

"I willingly bear witness to the fact that I owe more to my Lord's fire, hammer, and file than to anything else in His workshop. Sometimes I wonder if I have ever learned anything except at the end of God's rod. When my classroom is darkest, I see best." -Charles Spurgeon

Monday, July 4, 2011

Janie's Last Journal Part 14

Janie's final entries in her journal...continued (read what this is about here.)

(For the next few weeks, I'll be posting these quotes that meant a lot to her as she neared the end of her life here on earth. If you read them closely, you'll see a common thread there....I'll let you find it without any commentary - except to encourage you to take the entries to heart and be blessed...and perhaps store them away in your own journal....)

******

Today's entry, as well as the rest from Janie's journal from here on in, aren't dated by her. If they have a date, it's the daily reading date from the book she was quoting from. Since I don't know the exact date she jotted these things down, I am breaking them up in a way that seems logical to me.


(Um, also, and I swear this is true, I really did not do anything special so as to make today's post fall on  the 4th of July!!)



"That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinth. 12:10

The literal translation of this verse adds a startling emphasis to it, allowing it to speak for itself with power we have probably never realized. It is as follows: "Therefore I take pleasure in being without strength, being insulted, experiencing emergencies, and being chased and forced into a corner for Christ's sake; for when I am without strength, I am dynamite." -Streams In The Desert, L. B. Cowman, April 5

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Janie's Last Journal Part 13

Janie's final entries in her journal...continued (read what this is about here.)

(For the next week or so, I'll be posting these quotes that meant a lot to Janie as she neared the end of her life here on earth. If you read them closely, you'll see a common thread there....I'll let you find it without any commentary - except to encourage you to take the entries to heart and be blessed...and perhaps store them away in your own journal....)

******


Today's entry, as well as the rest from Janie's journal from here on in, aren't dated by her. If they have a date, it's the daily reading date from the book she was quoting from. Since I don't know the exact date she jotted these things down, I am breaking them up in a way that seems logical to me.


"There is a perfect passivity that is not laziness. It is a living stillness born of trust. Quiet tension is not trust but simply compressed anxiety." -Streams In The Desert, L. B. Cowman, April7

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Janie's Last Journal Part 12

Janie's final entries in her journal...continued (read what this is about here.)

(For the next few weeks, I'll be posting these quotes that meant a lot to her as she neared the end of her life here on earth. If you read them closely, you'll see a common thread there....I'll let you find it without any commentary - except to encourage you to take the entries to heart and be blessed...and perhaps store them away in your own journal....)

******

Today's entry, as well as the rest from Janie's journal from here on in, aren't dated by her. If they have a date, it's the daily reading date from the book she was quoting from. Since I don't know the exact date she jotted these things down, I am breaking them up in a way that seems logical to me.

"Most Christians lead a treadmill life - a life in which they can predict almost everything that will come their way. But the souls that God leads into unpredictable and special situations are isolated by Him. All they know is that God is holding them and that He is dealing in their lives. Then their expectations come from Him alone, We must be detached from outward things and attached inwardly to the Lord alone in order to see His wonders." -Streams In The Desert, L. B. Cowman, April 5

Friday, July 1, 2011

Janie's Last Journal Part 11

Janie's final entries in her journal...continued (read what this is about here.)

(For the next few weeks, I'll be posting these quotes that meant a lot to her as she neared the end of her life here on earth. If you read them closely, you'll see a common thread there....I'll let you find it without any commentary - except to encourage you to take the entries to heart and be blessed...and perhaps store them away in your own journal....)

March 19, 2010
"When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, LORD, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy" Psalm 94:18-19

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Janie's Last Journal Part 10

Janie's final entries in her journal...continued (read what this is about here.)

(For the next few weeks, I'll be posting these quotes that meant a lot to her as she neared the end of her life here on earth. If you read them closely, you'll see a common thread there....I'll let you find it without any commentary - except to encourage you to take the entries to heart and be blessed...and perhaps store them away in your own journal....)

March 18, 2010
"The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe." Proverbs 18:10

"For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.
 Teach me your way, LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,  that I may fear your name"
Psalm 86:10-11

"Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom"
"Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days."
Psalm 90: 12, 14

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Janie's Last Journal Part 9

Janie's final entries in her journal...continued (read what this is about here.)

(For the next few weeks, I'll be posting these quotes that meant a lot to her as she neared the end of her life here on earth. If you read them closely, you'll see a common thread there....I'll let you find it without any commentary - except to encourage you to take the entries to heart and be blessed...and perhaps store them away in your own journal....)

March 16, 2010
"Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God?
You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples." Psalm 77:13-14

"Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name;
deliver us and forgive our sins for your name’s sake.
Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Psalm 79:9-10a

"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you." 2 Thessalonians 3:16

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Janie's Last Journal Part 8

Janie's final entries in her journal...continued (read what this is about here.)

(For the next few weeks, I'll be posting these quotes that meant a lot to her as she neared the end of her life here on earth. If you read them closely, you'll see a common thread there....I'll let you find it without any commentary - except to encourage you to take the entries to heart and be blessed...and perhaps store them away in your own journal....)

March 15, 2010
"...be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen"  2 Peter 3:17-18

Monday, June 27, 2011

Janie's Last Journal Part 7

Janie's final entries in her journal...continued (read what this is about here.)

(For the next few weeks, I'll be posting these quotes that meant a lot to her as she neared the end of her life here on earth. If you read them closely, you'll see a common thread there....I'll let you find it without any commentary - except to encourage you to take the entries to heart and be blessed...and perhaps store them away in your own journal....)

March 19, 2010
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust." Psalm 91:1-2

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Janie's Last Journal Part 6

Janie's final entries in her journal...continued (read what this is about here.)

(For the next few weeks, I'll be posting these quotes that meant a lot to her as she neared the end of her life here on earth. If you read them closely, you'll see a common thread there....I'll let you find it without any commentary - except to encourage you to take the entries to heart and be blessed...and perhaps store them away in your own journal....)



March 10, 2010
Why is it that God leads us in this way, allowing such a strong and constant pressure on us? One of His purposes is to show is His all-sufficient strength and grace more effectively than if it were free from difficulties and trials. "We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us." (2 Cor. 4:7)

Another purpose is to bring us a greater awareness of our dependence upon Him. God is constantly trying to teach us how dependent we are on Him - that we are held completely by His hand and reliant on His care alone. 
L.B. Cowman - Streams In The Desert, March 7

I do not see You, Lord, nor do I feel Your presence, but I know for certain You are graciously here - exactly where I am and aware of my circumstances.
Streams, March 10

Trust God's word and His power more than you trust your own feelings and experiences. Remember, your Rock is Christ, and it is the sea that ebbs and flows with the tides, not Him.

If we cower in the lowlands of feelings and emotions, we will find ourselves entangled in a thousand nets of doubt, despair, temptation and unbelief. "Put your hope in God." Psalm 42:5. When I cannot feel the faith of assurance, I live by the fact of God's faithfulness.
Streams, March 10

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Janie's Last Journal - Part 5

Janie's final entries in her journal...continued (read what this is about here.)

(For the next few weeks, I'll be posting these quotes that meant a lot to her as she neared the end of her life here on earth. If you read them closely, you'll see a common thread there....I'll let you find it without any commentary - except to encourage you to take the entries to heart and be blessed...and perhaps store them away in your own journal....)

March 7, 2010
"Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord." Psalm 31:24

"You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you." Psalm 32:7-8

"By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of His mouth." Psalm 33:6

"We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name." Psalm 33:20-22

"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him." Psalm 34:8

Friday, June 24, 2011

Janie's Last Journal - Part 4

Janie's final entries in her journal...continued (read what this is about here.)

(For the next few weeks, I'll be posting these quotes that meant a lot to her as she neared the end of her life here on earth. If you read them closely, you'll see a common thread there....I'll let you find it without any commentary - except to encourage you to take the entries to heart and be blessed...and perhaps store them away in your own journal....)

March 6, 2010
"The Lord is my light and my salvation - whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life - of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 26:1

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy, and I will give thanks to Him in song." Psalm 28:7

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Janie's Last Journal - Part 3

Janie's final entries in her journal...continued (read what this is about here).

(For the next few weeks, I'll be posting these quotes that meant a lot to her as she neared the end of her life here on earth. If you read them closely, you'll see a common thread there....I'll let you find it without any commentary - except to encourage you to take the entries to heart and be blessed...and perhaps store them away in your own journal....)

March 5, 2010
"For a man's ways are in full view of the Lord, and He examines all his paths." Psalm 5:21

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing." Psalm 23:1

"Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long." Psalm 25:4-5

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" Phil. 4:4

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Janie's Last Journal - Part 2

Janie's final entries in her journal...continued (read what this is about here.)

(For the next few weeks, I'll be posting these quotes that meant a lot to her as she neared the end of her life here on earth. If you read them closely, you'll see a common thread there....I'll let you find it without any commentary - except to encourage you to take the entries to heart and be blessed...and perhaps store them away in your own journal....)

March 4, 2010 continued
"I will praise the Lord, who counsels me, even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is my right hand, I will not be shaken." Psalm 16:7-8

"Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings." Psalm 17:8

"You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness to light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall." Psalm 18:28-29

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer." Psalm 20:14

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Janie's Last Journal - Part 1

Janie kept journals that accompanied her daily quiet time and bible reading. Sometimes she wrote down her own thoughts, but mostly she wrote down bible verses that were very meaningful to her. She also jotted down quotes from people whose books really helped her. People like Oswald Chambers (My Utmost For His Highest), and L.B. Cowman (Streams In The desert) as well as hymn lyrics and so forth.  She wrote these things down, especially toward the end, so she could get to them quickly when she felt the need for extra courage and strength. It buoyed her to have a good word that spoke directly to what she was feeling at the time. This is a good practice which I should probably do more of.

One thing that I especially like about her writing these things down is that I can look back and see her  handwriting which is so happily familiar to me, and read 'where she was at' on any given day. Which brings me to the upcoming series that I will be doing here on the blog.

For the next few weeks, I'll be posting these quotes that meant a lot to her as she neared the end of her life here on earth. If you read them closely, you'll see a common thread there....I'll let you find it without any help from me - except to encourage you to take the entries to heart and be blessed...and perhaps store them away in your own journal....

March 4, 2010
"-Through a multitude of tests, you will learn courage. You will find yourself put in a place of training and discipline, so that when the moments of crisis come you will not become faint-hearted and you will not be the victim of unwanted fear." Come Away My Beloved, Francis Roberts, pg 72

"-By the Word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of His mouth." Psalm 33:6

"-Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm." Proverbs 4:23, 26

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I Love Ya Craig Groeschel....

....but I don't think I can wait this long to download your stuff ;-)

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Bible Is Not About You

One of the best things about Rick Warren's mega-bestselling book, "The Purpose Driven Life" is it's very first sentence: "It's not about you."

Here's Tim Keller reminding us that the Bible is not about you. This is something to be happy about, actually. Something to get very, very

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

365 Days With Jesus

Happy Mother's Day!

The photograph to the left is the spot where I proposed to Janie (she said "yes," but I honestly have never figured out why haha). The view is spectacular and Janie & I had taken many walks to this spot up above her parents' cottage in Vermont.

I had gotten the ring in the summer of 1984, and I just had to show it off to the cool waitresses I worked with at the Piccadilly Deli where I was a cook at the time. Afraid of losing it, I