Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Afternoon Fishing at Lake Wilson

What gorgeous warm weather we've had.  For so  many years I lived in locations that were still buried under inches (or perhaps feet) of snow at this time.  We took a picnic lunch with us and head to Lake Wilson after Sunday morning services.  Jeff caught fish, but didn't keep them.  I encouraged him to think about the current return on investment and how he really should be keeping some fish to feed his family.  He's getting softer as he ages.  And I don't mind a bit. 

Please see my previous post and enter to win a copy of the book, Miracle for Jen.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Book Review: Miracle for Jen

Who is the author of suffering?  Is it Satan, as some would have us believe?  Or does God ordain suffering to accomplish His purposes? 

Jen Barrick was a godly 15 year old girl with talent and beauty.  She was shy when it came to sharing the Gospel, but she prayed desperately for God to equip her with boldness and desired to be used for His glory.  He answered her prayers.  A drunk driver hit her family's van head-on.  Jen experienced massive head trauma and was in a coma for 5 weeks.  Unable to respond to questions she began to express her innermost thoughts and they glorified her Heavenly Father.  Her first words were prayers and praise songs worshiping Her Father. 

Miracle for Jen is a book about the power of prayer and how God uses weakness to accomplish His purposes.  Jen's mom, Linda Barrick, authored the book (along with co-author John Perry) and she provides detailed insight into Jen's slow recovery from a brain injury.  The accident stripped Jen of her inhibitions and gave her a boldness to share her faith in public.  Jen will never physically be what she once was, but God has transformed her into a vessel He is able to use. 

I found this book difficult to put down as I was eager to learn what happened next as Jen struggled for life and then faced the challenge of learning to walk and function again.  This book will make you praise God for His goodness and thank Him for His people.  I am amazed to read of the selfless sacrifices made by those from Jen's church, Thomas Road Baptist Church.  It really reminded me how I need to be more giving when those around me are suffering from a long-term illness or injury. 

Jen's journals prior to the accident were full of prayers and praise to God.  They revealed what was hidden in her heart.  The accident caused what was in her heart to be verbalized.  Never was there any cursing or angry words, as is typical with most who suffer brain injuries. I wonder if you and I were to experience something similar, would we be embarrassed to have what is in our hearts revealed? 

I will be giving a copy of Miracle to Jen away on March 29th.  Leave a comment below to enter the giveaway.  Learn more about the book by visiting:

Disclaimer: Tyndale House Publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book to me. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255:“Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The New Normal, Or Not?

Jeff and I had a conversation tonight about the new "normal."  So many people accept that cohabitation is fine because everyone is doing it.   And single parent homes are "normal" also.  I had a young mom tell me that because she turned out fine without a dad in her life her son should be just fine - although she's already noticed how he responds and listens better to male figures in his life.   It's so sad to see young moms assume that single parenthood is "normal."  And I certainly realize there are circumstances that sometimes prevent the dad from being in the picture:  death, physical/sexual abuse, prison, military service.  But if dad can't be there then make sure a father figure is there, especially for the sake of your sons:  an uncle, grandpa, or a godly caring man from church.   And if you're single and you have children, put your child before yourself.  Please don't date the registered sex offender.  Please don't date the man who is a known cheater.  Please don't date the man who is an alcoholic.  Think about how the person you date will interact with your child/children. 

There is also an entire generation of young people who do not see the need for church.  They see it as completely unnecessary.  It's so sad to see the spiritual state of so many young adults ages 18-30.  But who has failed them?  Sure, their parents have failed them, but so have we, the ambassadors of the Gospel.   Are we boldly sharing the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ?  Are we seeking to build relationships with unbelievers so that we can point them toward the One who is their only Rescuer?

The brokenness we see in the world is not truly new, it's a remake of the same sinful patterns that have been followed for thousands of years.  There will be a day when all things will be made new, even my sinful nature.  Then life will return to the normal that God and Adam and Eve once knew. "Even so come, Lord Jesus!"

"There is no new thing under the sun." Eccl. 1:9 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March Musings

Sunday there was a discussion in Sunday School regarding the importance of John the Baptist and how he pointed toward the coming Messiah.  I left church thinking about whether I am constantly pointing others to Christ through my actions and words.  Even creation points to the Creator of the universe. 

Yesterday we enjoyed spending a warm day at the lake.  I took Abby for a walk and we examined rocks, the water, weeds flowers and listened to the birds sing.  I told her about her Creator and how He created all things perfect until sin entered the world.  We also saw signs of fossils and I told her the story of the Great Flood.  I'm sure she's too young to understand much of this, but I want her to see God in nature.  I'm amazed at God's love of beauty and His attention to detail. 

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