Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Friday!

After not spending the day in the courthouse in downtown Fort Worth, I was blessed to spend the day with the Chrystie men while knowing that my classroom was in the very capable hands of Geni.

Psalm 43:5 “Why are you cast down, O my soul? and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, my Help, and my God.”

One of my favorite songs we sing in the Praise and Worship service has the phrase, “My life is in You Lord, my strength is in You Lord, my hope is in You Lord; in You it’s in You!” When we hope we look to the future. I don’t know if you look in the future in just the moments ahead or in the time when we are all united with Christ in our earthly death, but whatever hope we have must be grounded in God through Jesus Christ. Whatever the future holds it must hold more and more of God, more and more of Christ and more joy in the journey.

In the few days before Casey was received into the hands of the Father, his hope was completely in Christ and in the assurance that he would be with God, face to face very soon. Casey’s hope was in the assurance of eternity. Casey sought God and God met him with the assurance that his hope was not in vain. In those moments for me I prayed in hopes that I could spend all of Casey’s remaining moments at his side and as the disease was so rapidly taking the life of our son I prayed in hope that God would be merciful to Casey and to us. While Casey’s hope was in eternity, my hope was in the quickly fleeting moments.

I do not know why cancer chose Casey, but God does not ask us to seek the mysteries of life, but to seek Him. God wants us to learn about Him through the life of Jesus. God want us to place our hope in Him. So let us set our hope on and in the One whose name is Hope: Jesus Christ.

Take joy in the journey and wear your rain boots! Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Happy Thursday!

Several weeks ago I received a jury summons for tomorrow, November 20. The last time I did jury duty it was in downtown Fort Worth. So I arranged for a substitute on the day I received the summons. Ms. Geni Chrystie is scheduled to teach my class. Well, I checked the online service upon arrival at home this afternoon and discovered I have not been called for tomorrow, but I am to check in on Monday, November 23 after 3:00 to see my status. I am also on call for Jury duty until December 4. So I am on call for jury service for the next two weeks. This is really interesting.

Psalm 121: 1,2 “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence comes my help. My help comes from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.”

A few days ago a fellow teacher in my building shared this story with me about one of her students. It seems she had given an open book assignment for the class. One of the students was working and asked where he could find the answer. She told him the general area of the chapter and he went back to work. A few minutes later she noticed the student looking up at the ceiling. In a typical teacher admonition my colleague said, “You won’t find the answer written on the ceiling.” The student responded, “I am not looking at the ceiling. I am talking to God!”

When we talk to God, where do we look? Do we look to the floor? Or do we look to the higher place? When I pray I rarely look down. I usually look straight ahead with my eyes closed. But the psalmist says, “I lift my eyes to the hills from whence comes my help.” When the psalmist wrote this passage he was thinking about the fortress of the mountains. This is a psalm of trust and confidence in God assuring each of us of His constant protection. It assures all of the faithful that God is present and provides unconditional protection.

When we are down in the valley the only place to look is up. Let us look to the mountains. Let us look up and allow God to lift us out of our valley of fear, sin, sorrow or whatever else separates us from God. The next time you are stuck, look up, talk to God and let Him lift you out of the valley and into the protection of the fortress of the mountain. The mountain of God’s love is the stronghold of our lives.

Take joy in the journey and wear comfortable hiking boots! Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Happy Wednesday!

My last paper was returned to me today from my ethics class. I received a B+ for my efforts. All that is left now is one more class time and a Final using different ethical thinkers and case studies. I am going to need serious prayer time for before I work on that one. I also registered for my spring class. I will be taking a Practical Theology class on The Book of Common Prayer. I am really excited about this class. (I really need something practical after this ethics class!)

Isaiah 60: “Arise, shine; for Thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.”

I have been trying to practice daily to step into God’s presence. I don’t mean a time of prayer; just a moment or two while waiting at a red light, in line at Starbucks or upon rising in the morning. This is something that takes practice. I am trying to remember before I throw back the covers and put feet to floor to ask God to be present in and around me. It does not always happen first thing in the morning, but more frequently when I get in the car and head to school. It is not an actual time of prayer where I talk a lot, but it is more of a time where I am quiet and have an awareness of who God is and not just what God has done for me. I rarely speak beyond the request for God to be present and just to let me be in His presence. This practice brings the most wonderful sense of peace, comfort and a momentary repast with the Father. For just those few moments it is only me and the Father.

I have often said in these writings that “the highest place I will ever be is at the feet of the Father.” When I take these moments during the day, the place I step into is before the throne at His feet. It is then I step into His light and picture His glory all around me.

Where do you meet God? When you are in God’s presence, where do you picture yourself and how do you picture God? Where is God in your daily journey? God wants to shine His light on each part of our day and shine His glory on the bright spots and give His light unto the dark moments. Take a moment and step into His presence…and take joy in the journey.

Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy Tuesday!

Hebrews 10:22 “Let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith.”

Did you ever have that conversation with God that began with “God if You can’t make me thin, could you make all of my friends fat?” Or, “God I don’t have to be rich and famous. Rich would be just fine.”Perhaps, “God, couldn’t I just have been made a little taller?” But I wasn’t born to be thin, tall or wealthy by the standards of the world.

When it comes to our lives here on earth, we really don’t have any choices in many things. Our DNA and our heritage will dictate whether we are meant to sing, dance or play basketball. But we do have a choice in our life after we die. We make that choice when we choose to have a relationship with Jesus. The greatest gift we were given by our creator is the gift of choice. Sometimes our choices are good choices and sometimes we make the wrong choices. The thing about those choices is once we are in relationship with Christ, when we chose to follow the path to which we have been called, even if the road is rough and rocky, God blesses us with His approval and we experience joy along the way. Even if we make a zillion bad choices in our lives, the one choice we made to be in relationship with Christ is the one choice that changes us forever and changes where we will spend eternity.

Someday when I stand before God, God will not say “Gaylene, you need to lose a few pounds”, but “Gaylene, you are my child and I love you. I welcome you into the house I have prepared for you. My house is filled with all of the love in my heart given in my blood, shed for you.”

Take joy in the journey and wear comfortable shoes. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Happy Monday!

It has been a very busy day. There were three TCU students in my classroom today, one teaching a lesson and the other two observing and assisting her and the students. Also, I spent an hour plus on the phone with the Help Desk while they repaired the Promethean board. The whole process was like magic. I made a call and they worked their magic from a remote site. It was sort of like watching the second Harry Potter movie when the book writes to him. My computer mouse moved seemingly on its own, clicking folders and going every which way. The good news is that the problem I was having with the board in now fixed!

Geni worked at a middle school today. Travis is healing nicely and began to lift again within his physical therapy as well as in his training. Travis has decided to follow the path of becoming a physical therapist. He signed up for classes today with the assistance of advisors that will help him accomplish his goal. Work had not been returning to Bruce until tonight when the phone rang and someone needs him to work tomorrow. We are so very thankful. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Awesome news from the Dave and Carme front! Dave will be dismissed from the hospital on Friday. YEA!!! He is so excited. He will return to work in a few weeks. Carme will take delivery of the new, completely accessible, tricked-out van by mid-week. He has his new motorized chair and they may come to visit us before long! Again, praise God from all blessings flow!

Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Have you ever considered the promise found in this short verse? When two or three gather in the name of Jesus, Jesus says He will be in the midst of them. When two gather then Jesus is the third. When more gather, Jesus is present and completes the circle of faith. That circle of faith holds power. When we gather together in the name of Jesus, bonded together by the His Spirit, the Holy Spirit; we not only greet one another and greet Jesus, but through the uniting of our hearts with His Spirit we are able to hear His Voice. Imagine and ponder the power in that small circle of believers.

Exodus 25:8 “Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.”

When we gather in the name of the Lord, we claim sanctuary. We are privy to His Voice and are united in service to the One who created us, called us as His own children, loved us, forgave us, redeemed us for eternity and granted us His ever present, never-ending grace.

God desires to dwell with us. We become the sanctuary of praise when we gather in His name with other believers. Friends, when we come into contact with each other let us greet each other with the saying, “the Lord be with you”, for when the Lord dwells in our midst the power of the Almighty God is present.

Take joy in the journey and wear comfortable shoes. Greet one another with joy and claim holiness in the name of Jesus. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Blessed Sunday!

Thanks darlin’ for writing last night. You always do such a great job and send a wonderful message.

Friends, after the misbehaving alarm went off twice yesterday morning, I finally gave up and got up early. I was up a very long time yesterday and by about 10:30 I was exhausted and did not feel I could write a coherent sentence. We still have a bit of work to do in the flower department for now. We seem to be doing our backyard in stages (as finances allow) and the pansies are in the current stage.

Worship today was awesome. The house rocked! The Word was preached, the praises in song reached heaven and set my soul on fire and Eucharist was shared. I sang between Bruce and Pastor Joel today. What a blessing! Pastor Marc preached today about how end times occur all of the time. God’s creation began out of chaos. The chaos ended and life began.

Mark 16:20 “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following.”

In the sermons the last two weeks Pastor Joel and Pastor Marc have spoken about what to do when recession hit your house. First, don’t give up. Next, trust in God, and, finally, remember someone is always watching. Trusting in God is not always easy and the thought of someone always watching is a bit overwhelming. With the current economy many of us are trusting God to meet our daily needs. God is so faithful and loves us so much. When we trust in Him for everything then God becomes central in our lives: we know Him intimately. We believe that He will meet our needs. So don’t give up. Keep believing. But today, Pastor Marc spoke on “someone is always watching.” He used the illustration of the widow at the temple. She walked up to the temple to place her offering in front of all of the Pharisees who had put in great amounts of money. She put in just a couple of copper coins. Jesus allowed the disciples to see this act. Jesus did not want the disciples just to watch her, but to be like her. This woman gave all she had. She emptied her purse into the offering basket. Do you suppose the “duh”ciples got it?

I think Jesus was trying to show them what an act of faith looks like. I also think that Jesus was trying to give them (without their knowledge) a bit of the foretaste of what He would do in a very short time. Jesus was preparing the Disciples for His death where He would completely empty Himself on the cross so that the ministry of the Father could continue. Jesus even tells them in Mark 13:10 how they must proceed following His death. The passage reads: “And the gospel first, must be preached to all of the nations.”

God calls each of us to trust in Him, to have boundless faith in Him and to give Him all the glory. When we are tempted to give up we must repeat and believe “not by might, nor by Power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord.” Everyone needs a miracle. Call upon the Lord, breathe His name and trust that His help is sure.

Take joy in the journey and wear comfortable shoes. Love you all so much and pray you all a blessed week, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.
Happy Saturday.

Today was Gaylene’s birthday. It began with a misbehaving alarm clock at 5:30 this morning. Someone obviously forgot to tell the clock that today was Saturday and that it did not have to go off at the regular time so there it went, radio blaring at 5:30 as usual, rocking us both out of a deep sleep for a moment until I was able to reach over and turn it off. That is when the misbehaving began. Five minutes later, it went off again. Now both Geni and Travis had work early today, so things weren’t as bad as they could have been, but it was annoying, just the same.

Other than that, the day went pretty much like Gaylene wanted. We went out back and cleaned up a corner of the yard, then prepped it to receive our chrysanthemum plants and then planted them. According to Buster, the owner of Hare’s nursery, we cut them back and planted them today, then will cut them back again in July, then they will fully bloom and be beautiful again. We also got some pansies for the front porch to brighten the front of the house. Time will tell. We have been known to have black thumbs. I think we even killed a silk flower once!

To top off the day, we had quesadillas for dinner and watched the Mighty Horned Frogs take the Utah Utes to the woodshed in a 55-28 defeat. It was a wonderful day.

Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in my God.” - 1 Samuel 2:1, NRSV

There are so many things for us to do in our lives that many times we don’t watch things closely. We have our agendas set by our ambition or our spouse and focus so much on what we have to get done that we forget to keep our ears and eyes open for God’s agenda for us. He puts people and situations in our path frequently and gives us an opportunity to share with someone else what He has done for us. It may be an encouraging word or a chance to help someone. The thing is that too often we don’t pay attention to those opportunities and they pass us by. God, in his infinite wisdom, knows our hearts and doesn’t give up on us. Eventually, we respond to His efforts and somebody hears God’s word through our mouths, or feels God’s love through us.

Take joy in your journey and be open to God’s agenda for us. Share His love and word as only you can. See you in church. Love, Gaylene, Bruce, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.