"Only one life, 'twill soon be past
Only what's done for Christ will last."

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Woman at the Well

Every time I read this story in the Word I am struck with a new angle on it. It is so incredibly deep. What Jesus says to her is so life-giving, so gentle, so wonderful.

Some thoughts on the story, and an illustration of how the Word speaks to us on such a daily basis.

Last night I watched a documentary about the Illuminati. It "broke" the "secret" that the secret organizations think the messiah descended through Rachel, the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, instead of through Leah and Judah. "Rachel" in Hebrew sounds like "Grail" in English, and the whole theory gave rise to the "holy grail" we all hear so much about. The Grail was actually a stone purported to be the pillow of Jacob when he dreamed of the angels. All this could give rise to a possible anti-Christ with false lineage.

Today I read that the Samaritan woman was fetching water at Jacob's well, and the text said the region had been given to Joseph. Never noticed that before. The woman asked Jesus if He was greater than Jacob, then proceeded to grill him about current politics.

Jesus answered with an assurance that what He had was certainly for her too, not just the other guys...He showed her that indeed He was greater than Jacob. He lovingly called her to repentance.
Yes, Jesus is the answer for all of us.

She sort of mocks Him. "Where is your bucket?"

He answers,"Living water. Water that will totally satisfy, water that gives everlasting life."

Then He prophecies to her, a marvelous prophecy about those that will worship God in spirit and in truth, and that God Himself seeks those to do this!

It's all there.

Is God seeking you? Do you believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the One to Save?

The time is coming when the (small) remnant who stand alone on Christ and His Word will be rather insignificant in the whole picture of world. This I have come to believe. I think Satan is a master deceiver, and he's done an excellent (but sinister) job of drawing people away from the God of the Bible. He has presented a false Christ who winks at gay marriage, who is only love, who never condemns. That Christ is so popular today, even among Evangelicals. This is the spirit of anti-Christ.

Watch out. God seeks those who worship Him in spirit and in truth. Check yourself. Work out your salvation. Do you define your God or does your God define you?

Off to a busy afternoon.

  /Google images

Monday, February 24, 2014

Organ Discovery Day, St. Paul


Click on the link to see Ed playing the bells at the top of the tower on House of Hope Presbyterian Church on Summit Avenue in St. Paul.

On Saturday the American Guild of Organists, Twin Cities chapter hosted their organ discovery day for students.

This year it was at House of Hope, which actually has four pipe organs (three currently functioning) AND a carillon in the bell tower.

What a thrill to send those pure notes out to the grand old city of St. Paul on a snowy Saturday in winter!

Ed and Cherie both played the bells and the organs.


I am a horrid videographer, and I apologize for that. Don't get dizzy watching the clip! I'm still learning how to use my new phone!

We had our wonderful friends from South Dakota as guests for the weekend. Since they have close ties to the Ukraine it was especially fascinating to get their perspective on the events of the past few days there. Big things are happening in the world.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What I Did Right

There was a book popular when my parents were raising us, "What They Did Right."

It was good. I read it when I became a parent. Lots of good advice.

I am the first to admit that I do lots of things wrong. Flat out wrong. My human nature is suffused with pride, anger, lust, envy, gluttony, greed and sloth, and I make no excuse for it. I am human. I am sorry, though, for my failures.

But some things I feel strongly about that I have done right, and my husband certainly has done right, too.

I shed a tear for a friend this morning. She was to spend her last day of maternity leave today. I can't tell you how sorrowful that made me, for her, and her little baby girl. I stayed home with my kids. I am their mother, and I raised them. I take full responsibility for their behavior, their education, and their productivity as citizens of the U.S. My husband worked hard and we cut corners financially for me to stay home. But I never felt deprived, truly, though for a time we even qualified for public assistance!---Didn't take it though. I am sure we did right by doing this. I am so glad that I was with my kids  for every small moment of growth.

I got a college degree. No regrets here, either. College, and post graduate work for me was the right decision. I've used it to raise five humans.

Teaching my children a fear of God. Where my children were taught to respect grown-ups, they were even more impressed with respecting God. God was introduced as a loving Judge. Their behavior was always seen, always evaluated, even though mom's or dad's eyes missed it.

God was in our home, always, every minute. Every word was said with Him listening.
Do you know what that does to the language in the home? It's pretty freeing, really. No onslaught of bad word choices.

I raised my children to be independent. Hey, we have eternity to be together! This world and this life is so short compared to that! I am glad they have grown up and matured, able to be on their own quickly. I'm glad they have life goals and so far, two have wonderful women as spouses!

I'm glad I've lived my whole life with a daily expectation that Jesus was coming for His Bride, the church. I've always believed in the rapture, that great catching away, and it has shaded every single day of my life. I have hoped for it every single day. What a great way to live! Some might call it apocalyptic, I call it living every day as if it's your LAST. (Quite frankly, I never believed I'd ever see age 40, and here I am with an extra decade!!!!) Maranatha, Lord Jesus!

With that in mind, I've been glad to have had the blessing of living with "just enough" my whole life. Comfort, travel, and libraries of books have given me everything I've ever dreamed of. To have been able to see God provide these things for us is astounding. Really. I have been blessed, and I am very grateful.

Forgiveness. God has been so good to me, how can I not forgive the hurts that I have suffered? Yes, I've been deeply hurt, more than a few times. I don't forget those hurts, but I've been able to forgive. I've been softened and made sweeter by that very forgiveness, as bitterness has not gained a foothold in my life. How wasteful to live life harboring a grudge.  God has taught me to forgive.

Standards. Too often we melt to the current trend. We give an inch, then allow a mile. I am always amazed at how the Puritans are ridiculed and criticized for holding to deeply held beliefs. Perhaps they had unrealistic expectations for people other than themselves, but their own convictions should never have been mocked. Convictions are between the Lord and the believer. I admire anyone who sets high standards and strives to keep them. They are the anti-bacterial, germ fighting agent-----salt-----in society. Believe me, I've always tried to be salt, to the mockery even of acquaintances.

But salt is good. Light is too.

Evangelism has been a primary goal of my life. I realize that actions speak louder than words, but I try to share Christ and the good news message of salvation any time I can. I think that has been right. I want to be light in this dark world, however possible.

I give God glory for all the good. I thank Him for the incredible sweetness of dear friends, and I thank Him for gifting me with five extraordinary children to raise.

My greatest concern was that they know Christ as Lord.

One night shortly after my oldest son was born, I was awake for a middle-of-the-night feeding. As I held that darling infant I was filled with an unspeakable dread. What if he never would know the Savior? I cried out to the Holy Spirit, asking for assurance of some kind, groans too deep to word.

A quiet thought came into my mind.  "He's mine. He's mine."

Total comfort came. That still small voice of God gave me a promise. I've claimed it for every one of my children, remembering it, and thanking God for His precious word to me. They are His. They were never mine!

They belong to God, and I am glad.

That is so right.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


I've been thinking about health stuff lately. This past week I saw three things that had to do with how our bodies process food.

It got my attention.

1. Trim Healthy Mama: Sugar levels can sky rocket when there is not enough healthy fat and protein to counteract sugar consumption. There are some recommended supplements to take to aid the digestive track in processing food. THM advocates a more natural food diet. I'm learning this new system of eating, and it's very scientific.

2. Bees that gather pollen/nectar from GMO plants process a genetically altered honey in their systems. This has an effect on their hives, their offspring, and us, if we eat their honey. It is a different substance than from natural flowers. I watched "Queen of the Sun," a documentary about the plight of the honeybee worldwide. Evidence that GMO's are harmful to bees--and subsequently us-- was presented.

3. GMO's are in our own direct food supply (high fructose corn syrup) and they are also altering our digestive tracks. The idea that we can genetically alter our own bodies is gaining strength and acceptance, despite the ethical and moral dilemmas that arise from embracing this. I watched a very interesting lecture: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hZOTl3J9Ow

When you get the message three times in one week you start to wonder about it!

Passing on the information. You're welcome :)

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Sounds


Leave it to the rationalists at NPR to try to explain a phenomena that has been experienced all over the world. Maybe it is 'just' ice on the Mississippi.....

And Maybe not.

This is close to home.

C.S. Lewis said.....

“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”



After a week of activity, seeing the doctor, doing all the usual----swimming, errands, lessons, Friday feels like a welcome respite! Today I have projects here at home, and I hope to make significant progress.

Ideas cook in our heads, and I have been amazed at the wonderful response to the Ham/Nye debate a week ago. There is a real confrontation of worldviews going on, and that is healthy.

The world continues to suffer with cold, with distractions and delusions. Hearts do "wax cold." Here in the white coated Northland we have acclimated to the below zero temps and we plow through our days, thankful for central heating and convenient grocery stores!

I have started to implement the "Trim Healthy Mama" diet. Since I've done it for a week I think I can say something. I think it's good. Great, even. It aligns with so many things I already believed in, but it tweaks the areas I needed to change. I recommend.  I try not to write about my health too much here (how boring!) but with my unique health issues I always feel compelled to pass on helpful information when I've found it.

Tonight is "family dinner night" and I'll be excited to see who shows up! I'm setting the table for 10 so far...

We're having spaghetti and meatballs, angel food cake, and a few other goodies. I'm looking forward to it. Today is good!

I'm yours

Rosaria Butterfield Writes Eloquently

Monday, February 10, 2014

Organ Concert, Dr. John Schwandt

It was a privilege almost missed last Friday.

We headed out to Plymouth, St. Philip the Deacon, to hear Dr. Schwandt play a wonderful concert on the Schantz organ. It was so cold and the Olympics were to be on....but we got in the car and made the trip to hear this guest organist from Oklahoma.

I think he must be one in a billion for talent.

My favorite thing was his improvisation. Given four melodic strains, he wove them together into brilliant organ compositions right off the top of his head!

I understand now that organ improvisation is a particularly French technique, but this had to be extraordinary.

Dr. Schwandt was given "E'en So Lord Jesus Quickly Come" (by Paul Manz), a tune by the Beatles, an old love song, and an island dance theme to put together into something truly gorgeous. I loved it. Everyone loved it!

I'm not sure how he did it, but I could see he had a complete knowledge of scales and key signatures. Maybe it all just came naturally?

I do a little improv on my flute from time to time, but Pipe Organ improvisation is a whole different level. Four, or even five manuals, full pedals, and myriad stops to maneuver makes this type of music spectacular.

I'm really not sure how he did it.

We are just so glad we didn't miss it. Improv is so fleeting. It's so momentary and "aktuell."  It would have been a shame to not have heard that unique work. Michael Barone was recording the evening, so perhaps we'll have the joy of hearing this particular work sometime again. I hope so. I'd love to.

We were able to hear another pipe organ concert at Como Park Lutheran on Sunday afternoon. That was sweet too. Those 4pm concerts are restful and quieting. That particular organ is so perfect for that space. Not too big, not too small, just right.

Looking forward to the next concert...

On a different front, but still musical, we purchased tickets to hear Eric Whitacre direct the Minnesota Chorale, and his Israeli wife sing here in Minneapolis in April. So excited for that event too! Should be wonderful.

Still "Fortressing"

Such interesting times we live in.

I'm down for the count here this month of snow, cold, ice and February. February always gives me my greatest challenge, cyclically.

About the only thing meritorious about the month is the increase in daylight!

It's an excuse to knit and do puzzles. This year we get to watch all those Norwegians get medals in Russia.

I do enjoy the snow, and the skiing. I gave up skating a while back.

And I am still figuring out life with this new curve ball thrown at us. Ed's illness has significantly stabilized, yet this is an on-going journey, and each day has its challenges.

Out in the bigger picture, the world, it looks like God is doing great things. Millions of people heard the Gospel last week when Ken Ham debated Bill Nye.

Many Christians were introduced to the idea of Scripture being an authority---even on science. The idea that God really is the Creator, as He said in Scripture. That we are not to worship an idol, made in the image of observable science. Humanists/Naturalists will not see this without the help of a transcendent calling from the Holy Spirit, the eye-opening, I call it, but Christians sometimes need to be shaken to their core, questioning their faith-----Who is it that they really believe in? A God that speaks creation into being, and reveals Himself in Scripture, or an image that conforms to Darwinian science.

It's a good question for all of us to ask. Is your god all powerful, or not?

Also, with another Christian leader under fire, many who have loved his writings and his help are going through crisis. I can only imagine the anguish, as I grieve as well.

The good that these people have been doing in the world has quieted as they wait and watch and mourn. IBLP has a remarkable legacy. It will be fascinating to see how God turns this whole issue into His glory, won't it be?

As we read from the "Commands of Christ" series today the command of Christ we covered just happened to be "Beware of False Prophets." What excellent teaching. The character quality is "alertness." There are Scriptures cited for the recognition and the dealing with false teaching and teachers.

Let's see what happens. God has a mighty plan, and He doesn't leave us in despair.

Big things are happening!

The prophecy world that I like to watch and keep track of has been in an expectant mode for years now, but there are rumblings of economic hardship, wars, rumors of war, and weird events on a daily basis. It's hard to keep up with it all! Isn't it cold out there? Don't get me started....

It's wonderful that Jesus is coming soon.

I look around myself and see hardship on every side----friends, relatives, family. Illness, joblessness, difficult relationships, despair.
These events separate the sheep from the goats. Who will cling to Christ? They are gifts in disguise. We are forced to choose between ourselves and the world or Christ Jesus.

You will understand this as you go through deep waters. It's a refining process.

So we are still in our quiet state. We've built strong walls on an even stronger foundation. Our worldview can take direct hits, and it won't crumble. We are in a fortress of God's love.

Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Debate

I admit I haven't, and didn't watch the debate last night, yet.

My people did, and the general consensus was made pre-debate: two worldviews that ne'er shall meet!

Here is an excellent article by Albert Mohler.


I'll try to revisit this subject soon. We're having a busy week here.

Margaret ended up in the snowbank last week, her pick up's lights aren't functioning properly as a result. This is a problem on these dark winter days.

The alternator on my vehicle decided to give up the ghost this week. Off to the shop....as it's below zero outside and my amazing husband drew the line on this one.

My friend's mother had a stroke, and I am making every effort to be there for her. My friend is here from Chicago.

So, getting everyone where they need to be is truly a challenge.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Prophecy of End Times by Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj, August 2012

   Very interesting 2 hours.

I was always fascinated by Sadhu Sundar Singh. Here is a man that has faith in Jesus Christ, like the Sadhu.

Watch with discernment. God is working in many ways, and he has an interesting perspective. Let me know what you think.