Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Face To Face

“I like my hair without any ponies, ribbons, or bows!” This is what our three year old granddaughter, Anne, said to my husband one morning. Translation: she wanted her hair to hang down without anything in it. Witness the pictures. Her mom later explained to me that Anne wants it this way a lot. It’s her new thing. She thinks it’s fun to shake her hair back and forth and be a nature child. My little bohemian. I’ll see her really concentrating with a toy, and her hair all hanging down in front of her eyes and face like a sheepdog. Can she see anything? She doesn’t seem to care. As for my own hair, it really bothers me if my bangs are a little too long and starting to cover my eyes. I bet you moms and grandmothers out there will agree with me on this; we want to see our child’s pretty faces! Don’t all you ladies remember your moms pushing your hair out of your faces and chasing you around to clip it back? And now I do the same thing with both of the little girls in my life. Here’s one face that is better to see than the face of our child. The face of God. Can you even imagine? But that’s exactly what Moses and Jacob saw. After Moses was with The Lord, his face was radiant and the Israelites were afraid to come near him. Quoting the books of Exodus and Numbers about Moses:”The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles. He sees the form of the Lord.” Jacob actually wrestled with God. Afterward, he said” I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” He said this because more than once it says in the Bible that no one can see the face of God and live. Ah, a mystery, for sure. Do you have any thoughts on this? I am currently researching it for a Wednesday evening Bible class I’m teaching this month. There are many theories. To me, religion is no fun without mystery. Isn’t that why we love magic so much? Job 37:5 ”God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding.”

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Sign Of Hope

One person guessed what my pictures were in yesterday’s post. My daughter-in-law, Melissa. Way to go, Mel! It looks like some kind of cactus, but it’s a chestnut pod. In the picture where they are scattered on the ground, you can see an open one, where the nut came out. Here’s a picture of the nut, as well. Actually, these are Horse Chestnuts. They are are poisonous to people and many animals. Except squirrels. I should have known! Real chestnut trees were wiped out in a blight between 1904 and 1950. They are extremely rare, and tree specialists are on the verge of helping them make a comeback. But here’s the funny part. I didn’t know what this was, after living in a suburb called “Tree Streets” for over 25 years! And having a best friend who lives on Chestnut Street, about two blocks away! This tree is often referred to as the Anne Frank Tree, because while hiding in Amsterdam, she and those who hid with her could not look out their windows for fear of being seen. But there were two windows which faced upward (one is pictured here). Through these she could see the sky and a large horse chestnut tree that she mentioned several times in her diary. The tree still stands there today. In 1944, she wrote this in her diary: “Nearly every morning I go to the attic to blow the stuffy air out of my lungs. From my favorite spot on the floor I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, and at the seagulls and other birds as they glide on the wind. As long as this exists, I thought, and I may live to see it, this sunshine, the cloudless skies, while this lasts I cannot be unhappy.” This beautiful testament to hope and peace during despair speaks for itself. 1 Chronicles 16:”Tremble before him, all the earth!...Let the Heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations “The Lord reigns!”… Then the trees of the forest will sing; they will sing for joy before the Lord.”

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Mystery

Can you guess what this is? Send me your comments. I saw one for the first time on Sunday and it rather amazed me. So I took an extreme close up of it to make it harder to guess. Next post, I’ll give you the answer and show better pictures.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Majestic Sight

Phil and I were driving in the country yesterday, on our way to a nearby town. And this is what we spotted. A Great Blue Heron, majestic and breathtaking. These herons are usually a good four feet tall, and this one looked every bit of it. This was at a small pond by the side of the highway. When I spotted it, we drove past and turned around to go back. Of course, parking in front of the pond scared him away into the field farther back. But that’s all right, we were patient. Gradually, he walked closer and closer toward us and into the pond. This bird’s knees bend backwards from the way ours do, so it’s quite a sight to see him walk on those long legs. Also the length of his neck is amazing. Yet, when he settled in the field, you see the neck is gone. I guess it’s somehow tucked in. Did I mention that it was raining quite hard? In these pictures, you can see the raindrops hitting the surface of the pond. We weren’t all that close to him, but fortunately I had my long lens camera with me. So there we sat for the longest time, with the car window open and my camera pointing out of it. The rain poured in, drenching me, my clothes, and the car interior. I didn’t care. Time seemed to stand still. It was just the two of us, the rain, and the bird. And the silence. I am convinced this a small miracle sent to me by God. Do you recall my post of yesterday? It was about Elijah. When he was worn out and exhausted, he ran away and prayed for God to let him die. And instead, God whispered to him, sent an angel to feed him, and gave him new hope. I wonder if an angel can come in the form of a bird? The Holy Spirit came down in the form of a dove. Wonderful things can happen when we run to God instead of away from him. So today I am truly amazed, dumbstruck, and thankful. I think of yesterday’s rain, the strangely beautiful bird, the silence, and hear the whisper of God. Right in my ear.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Friday Surprise

Do you like surprises? On Friday, I got a surprise in the mail. It was a thick packet from my doctor. This is never good. I opened it to find a new prescription, many informational papers, and a letter telling me that my blood test had shown that I have hypothyroidism. Well, I didn’t know what to think. But I have come to the conclusion that this is not bad news, it’s good news. I have been having immobilizing attacks of fatigue, large red patches on my skin that look like brush burns, swollen eyelids, and my hair turned very coarse and curly. And this has been the cause of it all. So I am very glad that they finally found out what is wrong with me, and it’s nothing too serious. It should be fixed by taking medication every day, and I’m anxious to get my energy back. Elijah was someone who was really out of energy. He worked for God tirelessly and gave it all he had, till he finally reached a point where he was at the end of his rope. Depressed and worn out, he ran to the desert and prayed to die. He told God he’d had enough. And God whispered to him and sent angels to feed him. God knew exactly what he needed and told him what to do. The apostle Paul said “I do not run like a man running aimlessly. I do not fight like a man beating the air.” Proverbs 18:10 says “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” So when we know what we’re running for, and who we’re running to, it makes all the difference.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Piercing Scream

Our three year old granddaughter, Anne, got her ears pierced this summer. And these pictures show the process. I don’t know what to think about piercing children’s ears. Three is very young, but nowadays lots of moms are piercing the ears of their little babies. Unlike a baby, Anne had a choice, and really wanted get pierced. She asked her mom for it. So mom explained to her about the pain, but told her it would be over quickly. And she still opted to do it. I’m telling you, this girl has been fearless from the get go. Two people pierced both ears at the same time, so that was good. I watched Oprah get her ears pierced on her show, and she was more chicken than my little granddaughter. What is your opinion about piercing children’s ears? I’d be interested to know what you have to say. Send me your comments. I know someone with a pierced tongue. Think of how much it hurts when you accidentally bite your tongue, and then try to imagine having your tongue impaled with a gold rod through it. Yikes! It’s hard enough getting food out of our teeth and keeping them clean; how do you clean food out of a hole in your tongue? This is frightening to even visualize. I’ve never gotten my ears pierced for two reasons. I’m not a big jewelry person, and my hair has always completely covered my ears. Here’s a bad use that earrings were put to. In the book of Exodus, Aaron told the Israelite wives, sons, and daughters to take off their gold earrings, and he made them into an idol to worship. That’s how many earrings they wore. God was not happy with that. He was going to kill them all, but Moses interceded for them. Back then, people wore some serious jewelry. The men and women both wore earrings. And the Midianites wore up to 15 pairs of earrings at once! Just imagine 15 piercings, and without antibiotics! These people even put necklaces and jewelry on their camels! I’m sorry, but nothing you can do will make a camel look even remotely attractive! When Gideon saved the Israelites from their enemy, they wanted him to rule them. His answer was that only God should rule, but he wanted one earring from the plunder that each took. This added up to a huge amount of loot! Nowadays, I guess it’s just a matter of time before people start piercing their pet’s ears. But at least a cat would look more attractive wearing jewelry than a camel.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Quilts I Have Known

I wanted to share these quilts with you because I think they are awesome. They are by Lee Porter, and they depict events in the Bible. Ruth and Naomi, the naming of Isaac, Lazarus being risen, the waters of Babylon, loaves and fishes. I was just sent a lovely story about quilts. A man died and faced his maker at the last judgment, along with others. An angel sat before each person, sewing many squares of fabric, which represented the stages and years of their lives. And each person had a quilt of their life made from their squares. This man noticed that the others all had rich colorful quilts. But his angel was making a tattered quilt full of holes. The squares with the largest holes were the hardships he had endured. He was ashamed and thought his life had been a failure. Finally the time came to hold up the quilt of each person’s life. He rose slowly and lifted the squares of his life to the light. The light flooded through the holes, creating the image of the face of Jesus. And this is what Jesus said to him “Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let me shine through, till there was more of me than there was of you. Every time you gave your life to me, it became My life.” This makes me think of what John The Baptist said. “He must increase, but I must decrease.” The one who made us tells us that we are His. So the life our quilt should depict is not ours. Because, after all, our lives never really did belong to us.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

You Won't Get An Answer

See my two little girls sitting so close on the couch, yet calling each other on their toy phones? They’re waiting for an answer. Do you talk to yourself? My husband didn’t used to talk to himself, but lately he has developed that habit. And our three year old granddaughter notices, more than you’d think. One day while she was staying with us, Phil began to mutter and talk to himself. And little Anne picked up on it right away. She asked him what he was doing. And he said “Oh, grandpa’s just talking to himself. And here’s what she said. “Grandpa, if you talk by yourself, you won’t get an answer!” Smart girl. Then just this week, Anne’s mom told me a story. Anne began to talk really low, and her mom couldn’t understand what she was saying. She asked her a couple times, and Anne said “Nothing”. But when pressed, she said that she was talking to herself the way grandpa had taught her!! We hope to teach our granddaughter many wonderful things, but this isn’t what I had in mind. Here’s someone else who didn’t get an answer, but it wasn’t because he talked to himself. Pontius Pilate. He didn’t want to have Jesus put to death, and was looking for any excuse. Yet when he asked Jesus what he had to say about the accusations against him, Jesus did not give an answer. He was silent. This is likely the greatest silence ever. It’s the silence that saved us all. But someone who will always give us an answer is the one who made us. It may not be the answer we want, or as fast as we want, but He will answer. Here is one answer that came so fast it will take your breath away. Daniel 9:20 says that while Daniel was still in prayer, making requests, the angel Gabriel came to him in swift flight, and here is what Gabriel said “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you.” Notice this says that Daniel’s prayer was answered before he even finished asking!! We may not get an answer when we talk to ourselves, but we always will when we talk to God. Now that’s something I do want to teach Anne.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Do You Really Want To Know?

Have you heard that the actor Patrick Swayze just passed away? He lost a long and very brave battle with pancreatic cancer. This cancer has no symptoms until it’s very advanced, so by the time it’s diagnosed, there’s not much that can be done. Mr. Swayze put up a valiant fight, and even continued to film his new T.V. series while undergoing chemotherapy. But it was a hard and painful survival. This morning I was waiting at the checkout counter in the drugstore when this is what I saw. A popular magazine with the headline: “Patrick Swayze: Inside his final Days.” Now, really! How sensationalistic. So here is my question for you: do you really want to know? I don’t. Why would I want to read a blow by blow account of this poor man’s suffering? We each have enough suffering to deal with in our own lives, without having to read about a stranger’s. Matthew 6:34 says “Each day has enough troubles of it’s own.” I have watched so many friends and loved ones pass away; three just last year. I saw an interview with Mr. Swayze just recently. When questioned about his beliefs, he did not seem to be a Christian. His life seemed heavily invested in his work. The book of Ecclesiastes has quite a bit to say about that. It tells us that as a man comes into this world, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labors that he can carry in his hand. The writer of this book states “I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me.” I hope that Mr. Swayze was a Christian. Because the book of James tells us that we are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. So this is how I like to think of death. From the moment we are born, we start dying. So while we are living, we are all really dying. I believe that it is only after we die that we truly live. We do not pass from life to death, but rather from death into life. Rev. 21:4 “The dwelling of God is with men and He will live with them. They will be His people and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Ins & Outs Of Pet Ownership

You know by now that we babysit with a little three year old, Ella. She loves the neighborhood cat, Hector. Sometimes she wants to be Hector. She likes to follow him, and this picture shows her copying him. When her daddy brought her over today, he informed us that she had opened the front door this morning, and “invited” Hector inside. The cat gladly accepted. I thought this was amusing and hilarious. Her parents probably did not. They both have full time jobs and their mornings are extremely busy, trying to get ready for work, get Ella ready for the sitter, and have breakfast. No time to chase down unwelcome feline guests. Daddy finally caught the cat and ejected it. I certainly wish I had been a fly on the wall during all of that. I did something similar when I was a child. I was an only child and had no pets. But we did have a wooded area out back with plenty of chipmunks and squirrels. We had tamed the squirrels by sitting on the back porch and getting them to eat peanuts out of our hands. So they hung out by the back door a lot. One morning I decided that if no one would buy me a pet, I would get one myself. So I opened the door and let a squirrel in the house. Well, you never heard such commotion in your whole life. And here is what is burned into my memory. My mother, her housecoat flying behind her, running up and down the steps with a large broom, trying to sweep the squirrel out the door. She screamed as she ran, and here are some of the words I heard as she dashed past me: rabies, spanking when I catch you, don’t have any sense in your head, painful shots, dirty vermin. Gosh, can’t a girl have any fun? So I sympathize with little Ella. Hey, dad, it could have been a squirrel. And they are much harder to catch.
Ephesians 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother…that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dreams Of Youth

Isaiah 62:5 “As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.”
Today was an uplifting day. A day for youth and dreams. We spent the afternoon at the church, attending a wedding reception party for two of our younger people, Lynzy and D.J. Lynzy is so bubbly and full of life, joy, and enthusiasm. I just wanted to stand near her and breathe it in. Maybe some will rub off. Whenever I am at a wedding reception, I think of the most famous one ever, when Jesus turned water into wine. Really good wine, too. But here’s the part of the story that I love. Even though He was a grown man, He obeyed and respected His mother. He was not ready to start performing miracles yet, but his mom told Him they were out of wine. So, even though He was God on earth, He listened to her. Amazing. After the reception, we spent the rest of the day with our lovely family and had dinner with them. My granddaughter asked me to fix her hair, which I just love doing. What can make a day better than fixing a cute little girl’s hair? This can; she did not squirm and her scalp was covered with sparkles. This was the result of glitter hair spray from the previous day’s princess tea party. A day spent with youth is truly intoxicating to me. It’s invigorating, and yet it makes me feel my age. Ecc. 11:10 says this “Banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless.” I like that thought.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Up, Up And Away

Today Phil and I went to the annual kite festival with our little friend, Ella. The kids were given their own kites to color, and then fly. Then they got their faces painted and had a hayride. There was also large kite stunt flying, and it was beautiful weather for it all. Then back to Ella’s house for shade and popsicles. Kites have been around for nearly 3,000 years. They apparently were invented in ancient China, and made out of bamboo and silk. I wonder if they had kites in Palestine during Jesus’ time? Maybe they were just confined to China. Back then, in the Holy Land, they played with marbles, leather balls, and slings and stones. They were also fond of juggling and hopscotch. When you think of Jesus playing as a boy, what do you imagine he played with? I kind of always thought he’d play with toy tools. Girls had doll houses and miniature cooking pots, so why couldn’t boys have had toy tools? I can only picture Jesus as a serious child, but it’s nice to think that He had a joyful childhood, full of laughter and kid stuff. It is a beautiful image, though, to think of Him racing with the wind with a kite high overhead.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Cracked Up

What is our little friend, Ella, looking up at? She’s looking at a big crack in our ceiling. Here is a picture of this crack. It’s almost in the middle of the living room ceiling, and at least a foot long. But notice how it’s not really an open crack; it is still covered with paint. So I’m not sure what the deal is with it, but apparently she is. Ella is only three, but she’s very observant, and she is concerned about this crack. She will cast a suspicious glance at it from time to time. I’ve asked her more than once what she thinks of it, and here’s what she says. “Snakes and spiders and ants will come out of it.” Wow! Where did she get that from, and why would she even think that anything would come out of it? In the Bible, some amazing things came out of cracks. And I’m thinking specifically about cracks in rocks. The Israelites were traveling in the desert and were thirsty. God told Moses to hit a rock with His staff, and water came out of it. And a second time, God told Moses to speak to a rock, but for some reason, Moses hit the rock twice instead. Maybe he wanted to make a big show of it. Well, God still made water gush out of the rock. The people got what they needed, but Moses was punished for not obeying God’s instructions to the letter. I think that I need to tell Ella about something miraculous and good coming out of a crack. Then maybe she will think of that when she looks at the ceiling. And not snakes, spiders, and ants.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Will Not Be Shaken

I’m usually pretty upbeat, always diving into my latest project with joy and enthusiasm. It takes a lot to get me down. But yesterday’s doctor appointment has done just that. The doctor spent quite some time with me, going over various graphs and charts of my blood work. Then I was informed that the recent drop in my HDL, in conjunction with other tests from awhile ago, has now put me at high risk for a heart attack. Diet will not affect HDL, so he is switching my medicine to a more high powered one. I’m unclear if this means that there is a heart attack coming, or merely puts me at high risk for one. Either way is bad. He has scheduled several more tests, as well. This was totally unexpected, and now that I’ve had time to digest it, I have many questions. I want to re-do the test. So I have scheduled another appointment to talk with the doctor again this Monday. Maybe it’s not as bad as I’m thinking. On the plus side, I continue to lose weight and my blood pressure is finally down. But maybe that’s meaningless in the light of these new findings. The Bible tells us to cast our cares on the Lord and He will sustain us. So right now I intend to pray and try to get a grip. Psalm 16:8 says “I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” I will not.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Is My Life A Wreck?

My life has been more than a wreck lately. It’s been lots of wrecks. In the last couple weeks, we have passed by and seen more wrecks than in a year. And I don’t know why. Are people all of a sudden driving worse? Is God trying to tell us something? There have been wrecks in our local paper about every day, much more than usual. Here are two wrecks that were on the front page this week. One of them is when a trolley hit an old man. He was airlifted to a large hospital nearby. When you pass a wreck, what do you do? Do you crane your neck to see, or try not to look? We’ve almost wrecked our car while trying to look at a wreck. I always want to see everything, and I don’t know why. Maybe curiosity is just human nature. I have often wished that I hadn’t looked. One wreck in particular, on a gorgeous day, with bodies spread out everywhere under the sun. That was over twenty years ago, and the image still does not leave me. I’m convinced one cause of these wrecks is multi tasking. People are so rushed these days. They drive and text, talk on the phone, put on makeup, eat, even read. One man was driving and reading the paper. What are these people thinking? Have they all lost their minds? Driving requires single mindedness and attention. People seem to pay attention to all the wrong things these days. Here’s what God had to say about that when He talked to Israel in Isaiah 42. “You have seen many things, but have paid no attention; your ears are open, but you hear nothing….which of you will listen to this and pay close attention in time to come?” How could it happen that Israel was so close to God and served Him, yet they saw so little? Maybe they were paying attention to the wrong things. Could that be my problem? Is this a sign that I need to check my priorities? Perhaps. So this is something I will think and pray about. Maybe some shuffling around is in order. And more careful driving, of course!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Squirrels Of Maple Avenue

The squirrels are very active in our neighborhood right now. Causing trouble, as usual. Stealing food from birds, making drivers swerve dangerously, getting into attics, etc. They chew through electrical lines a lot around here. So why don’t we ever see electrocuted squirrels lying around? We certainly see them smashed on the road. When trying to avoid traffic, they take the standard squirrel zigzag maneuver, which gets them killed much more often than cats, who use the straight dash and run tactic. And what’s up with the nut burying? They bury nuts constantly, but has anyone ever seen a squirrel dig one up? I think their little squirrel brains forget the buried nuts. I’d be interested to know if any of you have ever seen a squirrel digging up a buried nut. I bet not. We once had a squirrel fall off our roof and get stuck in the downspout. If you think they don’t make any sounds, you haven’t heard one that’s trapped. It woke us up early one morning before church. My husband had to go out with tools and take the downspout apart to free the squirrel. There are more than 200 species of squirrels, which live all over the world. Except Australia. Go figure. I think they don’t want competition from the kangaroos, which apparently are the squirrels of that country. I wonder who would win in a kangaroo-squirrel knock down fight. The squirrel would probably zigzag around the kangaroo till it became dizzy and collapsed. The tiniest squirrel is the African Pygmy (5 inches) and the largest is the Indian Giant Squirrel, measuring at three feet. They are my last two pictures. When you think of Noah’s Ark, I bet a squirrel doesn’t come to mind. Yet I imagine they were there. Causing mischief as usual. They don’t miss out on anything. I can picture them on that huge boat, scampering around the bigger animals legs, zigzagging everywhere, and causing mayhem. The Bible has nothing to say about squirrels. Probably because there were no cars or power lines back then. But this fall, I appreciate and salute the squirrels. They are tenacious, clever, and resourceful. They have truly conquered the world one nut at a time.

Monday, September 14, 2009

One Crazy Bird

The Raven. That’s the name of Edgar Allen Poe’s most famous poem. And in that poem, a raven comes tapping at his chamber door, disturbing him. Which room is the chamber, anyway? Maybe it’s the bedroom, or some kind of sitting room. We have our own version of the raven. And though it’s not as dark and menacing, it’s extremely annoying. It’s The Woodpecker. He comes around every year, usually starting in September. He does not tap on our chamber door; he pecks on our bedroom window frame. Extremely loudly, for days on end. This is one crazy bird. Why doesn’t he hammer a tree, like a proper woodpecker? I love waking up to the sound of birds singing, but not loud pecking and hammering. He’s been coming every year for probably at least the last five years. My husband got a look at him a couple times, and this picture shows what he appears to be. A downy woodpecker. And is this the same bird every year, or just his crazy offspring and friends? I don’t know how long these birds live. But wait a minute. Most wild animals aren’t stupid. For him to keep returning, he must be getting a reward. Perhaps he’s feasting on juicy termites, worms, or other bugs in the window frame. Maybe he’s not so crazy after all. Could be he’s pretty smart. Are our window frames infested with bugs? At some point, will our entire house come crumbling down around us, like in Poe’s “The House Of Usher”? Our bedroom window is up way too high to examine it. It would take a long extension ladder. And I certainly don’t want my hubby doing that. Lately, several of our friends have fallen off of roofs and ladders. That’s a very bad thing. Let the house crumble, I say! I suppose we need to hire someone to take a look. But then we would be faced with annoying decisions…so tiresome! In the Bible, birds did some amazing things. Ravens brought Elijah bread and meat and kept him fed. God made quail blow in from the sea and cover the ground three feet deep. When Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit descended on him in the body of a dove. But I’ve read nothing about errant pecking. I guess we’re just stuck with this bird for the next little while. I think that a bird in the hand is worth much more than any on the windowsill.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Magical Day

Wow! We’ve had a wild weekend. Today we had a party, two meetings, and communion to organize and do. The party was for our friend Rhianna, who just turned six. She lives with her parents in a hugely awesome, gorgeous house that they planned and built all themselves. It’s really something. They even have an elevator, which my bad knee loves. If I lived in a house like that, you’d never see me again, because I would never leave it. But I know that what God has waiting for me in Heaven is better than any house on earth. It will truly be a house to die for, in every sense of the word. John 14:2 tells us “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, I would have told you.” I read somewhere that we can get into trouble if we make ourselves too much at home in this world. Because it is not our home. Philippians 4:20 tells us that our citizenship is really in Heaven. So we’re truly just passing through. Back to the party, though. Rhianna’s favorite thing in the world is magic, always has been. We often bring a new trick with us when we see her, and she gets so excited that she jumps straight up in the air. Her bedroom is all in pink, and would put Disney World to shame. Here are some pictures of her bed, T.V., and even the stars on her ceiling, which sparkle at night. We all had a blast, with homemade baked spaghetti, ice-cream cake, and homemade ice cream. This is a family who really knows how to make their friends feel at home. They treat you like royalty. God says that the Christian is already royalty. 1 Peter 2:9 says “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a Holy Nation, a people for God’s own possession.” A day filled with partying and magic, ending with communion, in which we give such thanks to God for this wonderful day and all the others He has given us. Each new day is another chance to please Him. And there’s always magic in the air when we do that.

In General

 Our Dollar General store moved into a new building this year, and it is larger and has a fancy layout. Here are a few of the spring things ...