Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hopefully the Best Birthday Ever!

I tried to post this picture the other day but it wouldn't post. This is the last picture taken of my mother. She has her trusty ratty ole backpack with her and is out in the sagebrush by a lake.

The day she passed away was her 81st birthday. I sat down that morning and wrote her this card.

Happy Birthday! We love you - get well - we miss your pacing, political rants, telling Bruce how to cook bacon, telling me you already watered the plants, and your cat wants you home. Love Candy and Bruce

My prayer for you on your birthday.

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places far above all principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

And He put all things under His feet.....

But God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) and raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus Eph. 1:16-22 2:4-7

I am compelled to share this with you. You are coming toward the end of your journey. I have prayed for 30 years that you enter salvation and the revelation of God's great kindness and love.

Her memorial service is Thursday so please continue to pray. I've got a hardhearted family when it comes to God. Thanks for all your prayers and kind words the last few days.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Really, Really Mortality

My mother passed away at 11:55pm on today, her birthday. I got to pray over her and my husband and daughter did also. I pray it was a testimony to my brothers, sisters, and grandchildren. I trust in the sovereignty of God and hope she entered into the joy of the Lord. It all happened so fast. Pray that you take time with your loved ones and don't be petty.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Marriage and Mortality

My mother moved in with us recently. It has been somewhat difficult as I predicted. She is a heavy smoker and has forgotten a couple of times to take it outside. She is very opinionated politically and really feisty. She is in the early stages of dementia. It has been difficult for all of us to adjust. She is used to drinking every day and pacing around the house with a cigarette. She can't drink like that in our home and must smoke outside. Both my husband and I have complained to each other about her habits, and then repented. Complained. Repented.....more than a few times. She also is very anti-God. She told my sister she wanted to move out because we talk about God and read our Bibles and are just too "religious".

My mother fell down the other day and broke her hip. She was outside before dawn to retrieve her beloved paper (new fodder to debate me politically). she managed to crawl into the house and call out to my husband who carried her to bed. We took her to the Veteran's Hospital and she had surgery to put some screws and a plate in her hip.

When I saw my mother last night, I saw mortality. Gone is the feistiness. Bruce even brought up President Bush....no takes. She was whispering with nary a cuss word. She had been throwing up since the surgery and they fear it is old blood which indicates some other problems. She could only smile at us through her pain. I have never seen her so helpless.

I have prayed for my mother since I was 21 when I became a Christian. I have always seen her life as such a sad life with little love. She buried herself in books and went through a couple of painful divorces to men who treated her very poorly. She has such animosity and bitterness towards God. Other people see her as quite eccentric and can take her in small doses only. I was one of those people and it took my marriage to Bruce and much prayer to give me the strength to let her move in with us.

Last night on the way home from a visit to the hospital, we prayed for her again. I broke down. I just want to see her saved. I want her to experience the love of God. I want her to experience hope.

My husband amazes me. My last husband, being a very legalistic Christian, did not have much room in his heart or in his life for my alcoholic, smoking, cussing family. My present husband has so much kindness and compassion it amazes me. He told me the other day how much he misses Mother's presence in our home. No matter how annoying she can be, he really misses her and wants her home. My husband tells her he loves her. My husband made her breakfast every morning even though she hovered over him and told him how to make it correctly. Bruce felt so bad the morning she fell down because he usually goes out and gets the paper and that morning he was busy doing something else. He has taken on the duty in her absence of feeding the scrub jays who come every morning to snatch the peanuts my mother tosses out, and he feeds her neurotic cat who only lets Mother touch him and is in mortal fear of anyone else.

I transition into my marriage from the thought of mortality because the bottom line of my thoughts is about the sovereignty of God. God knows my heart towards my mother. I have to trust in Him concerning her salvation. I transition to my marriage because I think of the sovereignty of God to give me such a wonderful husband who so patiently bears with my mother in her last years. My husband and I struggled with the very thought of whether we should even get married. We both read a lot of material pro and con for remarriage. One article we struggled greatly with was an article by John Piper. We both admire John Piper very much, and his article was a convincing article against remarriage. We finally came to a place after counsel with our pastor that it was ok to get married. Both of our past spouses had long since remarried so there was no chance of reconciliation. I can so see the sovereignty of God in our marriage now. I have received much healing in my life and so has my husband in our love and care for one another and in our relationship with God.
I thank God so much for the husband I have now in my life, so full of love towards my family, and so desirious to please God in his life.

Please lift my mother up in your prayers. She is lost and hard hearted. Please pray for us to be obedient to God in how to take care of her. Thanks.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Witch! A Witch!

Phil Johnson over at Pyromaniacs has a great post on Guilt by Association. It describes a tendency on the Blogosphere to uproot and point out people who may...or...may...not...be guilty of aligning themselves with questionable persons of "ill-repute" in the Body of Christ. The problem is a penchant for Blog posters to pounce on every word or action of almost anybody in the Body in order to warn others about a perceived departure from truth. They may or may not be correct in their discernment, but Phil makes a compelling argument for the fact that many are being maligned for the smallest "infractions" such as quoting someone who may not be in the right camp. It all reminds me of a great scene in a movie which follows. See if it applies in any way.

A group of villagers are dragging a beautiful YOUNG WOMAN dressed as a witch through the streets. They drag her to a strange house/ruin standing on a hill outside the village. A strange-looking knight stands outside, SIR BEDEVERE.

We have found a witch. May we burn her?

A Witch! Burn her!

How do you know she is a witch?

She looks like one. Yes, she does.

Bring her forward.

They bring her forward - a beautiful young girl dressed up
as a witch.

I am not a witch. I am not a witch.

But you are dressed as one.

They dressed me up like this.

We didn't, we didn't!

This is not my nose, It is a false one.

BEDEVERE takes her nose off.


... Well, we did do the nose.

The nose?

And the hat. But she is a witch.

A witch, a witch, burn her!

Did you dress her up like this?

... Um ... Yes ... no ... a bit ... yes... she has got a wart.

Why do you think she is a witch?

She turned me into a newt.

A newt?

(After looking at himself for some time)
I got better.

Burn her anyway.

Quiet! Quiet! There are ways of telling whether she is a witch.

There are? Tell up. What are they, wise Sir Bedevere?

Tell me ... what do you do with witches?

Burn them.

And what do you burn, apart from witches?

... Wood?

So why do witches burn?

... Because they're made of wood...?


PEASANTS stir uneasily then come round to this conclusion.

I see. Yes, of course.

So how can we tell if she is made of wood?

Make a bridge out of her.

Ah ... but can you not also make bridges out of stone?

Ah. Yes, of course ... um ... err ...

Does wood sink in water?

No, no, It floats. Throw her in the pond! Tie weights on her. To
the pond!!!!

Wait. Wait ... tell me, what also floats on water?

Bread? No, no, no. Apples .... gravy ... very small rocks ...

A duck.

They all turn and look at ARTHUR. BEDEVERE looks up very impressed.

Exactly. So... logically ...

(beginning to pick up the thread)
If she ... weighs the same as a duck ... she's made of wood.

And therefore?

A witch! ... A duck! A duck! Fetch a duck.

Here is a duck, Sir Bedevere.

We shall use my largest scales.

He leads them a few yards to a very strange contraption indeed, made of
wood and rope and leather. They put the GIRL in one pan and the duck
in another. Each pan is supported by a wooden stave. BEDEVERE checks
each pan then ... ARTHUR looks on with interest.

Remove the supports.

Two PEASANTS knock them away with sledge hammers. The GIRL and the duck
swing slightly but balance perfectly.

A witch! A witch!

It's a fair cop.

Burn her! Burn her! Let's make her into a ladder.

The VILLAGERS drag the girl away, leaving ARTHUR and BEDEVERE regarding
each other admiringly.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Pianists of the World Unite!

We MUST not let people get away with Posts like this!. Forget the last post...this is just going too far!

What Up My Brother?

I was sorta surfing around and came across this article about how we treat others in the Body Of Christ.Here is a thoughtful post on those with whom we do not agree on every crossed T and dotted i.

Friday, August 11, 2006

A Good Sermon from John Piper

Read this great sermon entitled: This Man Went Down to his House, Justified Desiring God Ministries

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Husband Seeks Summit, Wife is Wimpy

Bruce and I hiked to the top of the Sierra Buttes. It is only 3 mi. to the top, but what a steep three miles! I have always suffered from a fear of heights. It seemed to be extra pronounced on this trip. The trail somewhat drops away on both sides near the very top. It is safe, but for some reason, I was affected by the feeling of falling. I could only sit at the foot of the stairs while brave husband climbed the stairs and walked around the mesh floor of the fire tower and took pictures. He told me later that it was really scary because it is windy and because underneath the mesh floor is a sheer drop of a cliff, but there was no way he was not going to do it since I was such a scaredy cat. I will post a couple more pictures tomorrow since Blogger is being stingy with how many I can post at a time.

Sierra Buttes from Lower Sardine Lake

Believe it or not, there is a fire tower on the peak to the right.

Looking down from the edge to what really are pretty large lakes way down below.

Peeking out at a large jagged finger of rock.

One of the views from the fire tower

This is as far as I could go. I am holding on to the sign with a smile...er...grimace?

Another view from the top.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Global Warming. Pheh! My Rare Political Rant

I attend a once-a-month book club with the little lady up the street and some other little ladies. It is a nice way for me to get to know them better and have a good time discussing books. Last week a new lady attended. Two conversations surfaced which were interesting opportunities. The first one was her contention that all religions are the same, so why don't we all just get along. It was a great opportunity for another lady who is a Christian, and me to share the gospel. So that was wonderful.

The next conversation this lady initiated was how everyone, but EVERYONE needs to see Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth. She continued in the vein of wicked ole America and how it is all our fault that global warming is occuring.

I was disgusted recently to read about some Evangelicals jumpinig on the Global Warming bandwagon. My SON even got in the act and mentioned how Neanderthol I am for not agreeing with the movie. Well, I didn't mention a point that someone told me recently, how Al Gore uses more fuel in a day than most of us use in a year, traveling around in his private jet to promote his environmentalism, and how Clinton signed the Kyoto pact but didn't send it to the senate for ratification, so Bush is now the bad guy.

Now, I have to confess that I could have soooo gone off on this subject, but I kept my mouth shut. I felt like the Lord had given us an opportunity for the gospel, and I just did not want to get in a big political discussion. So, I saved my ire for here, my blog domain.

Here is an interesting article that refutes some of the arguments presented in the whole Global Warming crisis. My suggestion? Quit looking up to see if the sky is falling.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Mokelumne Wilderness

After church on Sunday, Bruce and I took a hike in my favorite wilderness area called Mokelumne Wilderness. Our goal was Winnemucca Lake, through the most wonderful wildflowers. This area is known for its profusion of flowers and we were not disappointed.

This is Round Top Mountain and is about 10,400ft. high.

Our first stop was Frog Lake. Lake of perpetual wind.

Sitting in the garden.

We get closer to Round Top Mountain

Surrounded by flowers

Lupine, Indian Paintbrush, Asters, Mountain Phlox, Heather, wild Irises.

Winnemucca Lake, surrounded by granite and patches of snow.

Bruce's favorite part of a hike

When Stones Crack

I was reading Frank Turk's article on marriage the other day and it brought up memories of my divorce a few years ago. It was a dark dark time in my life, and I was amazed at the time that two Christians like us got divorced. It wasn't supposed to happen, but it did. One of the things I have noticed in the years since the divorce is the affect it has had on my children. My children to this day struggle in their significant relationships. My married daughter and her husband often threaten each other with divorce, my oldest daughter and my college age son both cannot seem to have relationships last. They both admit to a fear of a deep relationship.

One of the statistics I read about during the time of my divorce was that divorce seemed to affect boys at about the age of 12-13 the hardest. That was the age of my son during my divorce. I have only seen my son publicly cry a couple of times from the time he was about 8. He was a very private child. One of the times was when I told him that his dad and I were separating. It broke my heart to see the tears course down his face. My oldest daughter was in Seattle going to college and my two youngest children stayed with their dad most of the time because of where they went to school. I placed my children daily on the altar and my heart was broken for them and for all of us. God brings healing in time, and I am now married to a man who is kind, God honoring, and humble. My kids love him. My ex-husband and I can attend family gatherings and he and my present husband talk sports and scriptures. I had prayed for reconciliation during my separation and divorce, and my prayer was not answered the way I wanted, but healing comes in the manner we conduct ourselves around each other and our kids. I wrote a poem at the time that signified the darkness and fog I saw myself and my children immersed in, and we all are finding our way out. I hope the healing in my children will include good healthy relationships with others and with God. I plead with anyone considering divorce, that the repercussions are severe and far-reaching. Please take the time to read Frank Turk's essays on this very important issue.

When Stones Crack
In a place of fog where stone pillars rise,
split, and become men with watchful eyes,
my son has hooded eyes.
He knows if he opens them wide,
tears will fall.
In church one day, I saw my son
lift his arm, gently flick his wrist,
and an invisible basketball sailed through the rim.
he did this twice.
Headlights thread through winding roads
and come to rest on the crest of a cliff.
headlights search the darkness below.
There is a rushing wind that wells up from the sea
and forces through the city.
it pushes up over the mountains
and meets me on the edge where I wait.
Son, listen close
The telephone is the cord that binds us now.
When you were born, your father, sisters, and I rejoiced.
This was back when we believed
in the strength of love.
My prayers are heavy to the touch.
They are gray.
my son is a rock, thrown into a pool
with no ripples to proclaim his pain
I am also imbedded in stone,
hand raised, imploring that these stones crack
like sidewalks do in summer,
letting through the most incredible life.