Monday, November 30, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
As you can tell by her expression, she is smug in her conquest. The baby (one of her favorite toys) is half the size it was an hour ago. It is also decidedly more limp than it had been in its earlier life.
Miss Daisy is napping now. Exhausted from her morning "kill", she dreams of her next encounter and victory in the jungles of the doggie-toy veldt.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
It's been a mellow day. Church this morning was good, the Sunday crossword was easy, Jo is baking oatmeal cookies this afternoon, and the Colts play tonight. It just doesn't get any better than that.
A few of our neighbors have begun decorating their houses heralding the advent of Christmas 2009. Our things are still tucked away in storage and probably won't see day light until after Thanksgiving.
I understand there is talk this year about referring to the tree at the White House as a "Holiday Tree" for political correctness. Here in Pleasant Valley, however, I still call it a Christmas Tree, we proudly display Mary, Joseph, and Jesus in a creche (the reason for the season) so that we can still wonder at that miracle over 2,000 years ago, and, I still wish those I meet a "Merry Christmas". After all, the One who made it all possible (Jesus, Immanuel, God with Us) deserves that.
So, enjoy your day today. Count your blessings and pray for our country. May Pleasant Valley Sundays always be a fixture of this great land.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
There's nothing better than being the first one outdoors to gather the morning paper (well, actually Miss Daisy is the first one out the door to gather the news) and discover the genesis of a new day. It was chilly this morning and the warmth I had absorbed in the house during the night soon dissolved as I walked a few hundred feet to the mailbox to get the paper. The neighborhood, sleepy and quiet, sports a different look than at 5 or 6 o'clock in the evening. There is a palpable anticipation of the new day starting.
This morning was so clear and beautiful. The stars were just saying good night and the sky in the east was just beginning to lighten. I looked at the darkened woods a few blocks from our house and the tree line was just beginning to take definition as the sun was still finding its way to the day. Man! There's nothing better!
I think that mornings are God's way of promising us new hope. I love the verse from Psalms 118:24 that says, "This is the day that the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!" (italics are mine).
So, Good Morning! Grab a cup of coffee, sit at the table and watch the day unfold. It was made just for you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciBEspg1-xg
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
What is Thanksgiving anyway? Who were these pilgrims that are often caricatured, but never taken very seriously? It bears remembering.
The separatists (or Pilgrims) were at odds with the Church of England and refused to worship there thereby breaking the law. As a result, they were pursued and persecuted. William Bradford wrote:
But after these things they could not long continue in any peaceable condition, but were hunted & persecuted on every side, so as their former afflictions were but as flea-bitings in comparison of these which now came upon them. For some were taken & clapt up in prison, others had their houses besett & watcht night and day, & hardly escaped their hands; and ye most were faine to flie & leave their howses & habitations, and the means of their livelehood.
So, our heritage began! Brave people who sacrificed all that they had so that they might advance the Christian faith. How politically incorrect that must sound today. In fact, in many history books today , the original document as been edited to read, “We whose names are underwritten…having taken a voyage to plant the first colony…” An alarming revision of history it seems.
Dr. Del Tackett, of The Truth Project noted, "if I can change your historical context, I can change the way you view the present…George Orwell said, “He who controls the past, controls the future.” And Karl Marx stated, “A people without a heritage are easily persuaded.”
Os Guiness, a protestant philosopher, noted, “Those who don’t know history have no sense of identity, and no sense of wisdom as they explore where they’re going to go. Without history we’re lost.”
After the pilgrims’ struggle, William Bradford of Plymouth Plantation wrote, “But these things did not dismay them (though they did sometimes trouble them) for their desires were set on the ways of God, and to enjoy His ordinances; but they rested on His Providence and knew whom they believed.”
Bradford further noted, “Last and not least, they (the Pilgrims) cherished a great hope and inward zeal of laying good foundations, or at least of making some way towards it, for the propagation and advance of the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in the remote parts of the world, even though they should be but stepping stones to others in the performance of so great a work.”
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Kelly and Josh had their car vandalized last week. Some neanderthals decided to throw a brick through Kelly's car windows while she was at the Decatur Annex playing volleyball. It was the epitome of cowardice. Further away from home, another coward Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, opened fire on innocents at Fort Hood Texas, killing and injuring scores of people. The sniper in Orlando killed one and seriously wounded others while acting out his rage this week as well.
Even after like those events described above, some say that "man is basically good". However, my Bible says that "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9) The thugs who broke my daughter's windows and the cowards who took innocent lives last week, all seem to be driven by the same darkness that inherits each person's soul. There is only one remedy to that condition...in John 14:6 we read, "Jesus said...'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.'"
God doesn't wish that anyone suffers in Hell eternally. We all have choices to make. Christ died for even those who have committed heinous acts. His grace is remarkably sufficient to cover even those. However, they, like all of us, have choices to make. They can continue to live in their lost condition and will, at death, be forever separated from God and His mercy by their choice, not His. Or, today can be the day of their salvation. In John 11:25, Jesus states, "...I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live".
I can only hope that those living in darkness discover God's wonderful truth before it is too late for them.