Redeemed

Redeemed By Big Daddy Weave

Seems like all I could see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long is this gonna last
Then You look at this prisoner and say to me, “Son
Stop fighting a fight it’s already been won”

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be
I am redeemed,
I’m redeemed

All my life I have been called unworthy
Named by the voice of my shame and regret
But when I hear You whisper, “Child lift up your head”
I remember, oh God, You’re not done with me yet

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I’m not who I used to be

Because I don’t have to be the old man inside of me
‘Cause his day is long dead and gone
Because I’ve got a new name, a new life, I’m not the same
And a hope that will carry me home

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, ’cause I’m not who I used to be

I am redeemed, You set me free
So I’ll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe every stain, yeah, I’m not who I used to be
Oh, God, I’m not who I used to be
Jesus, I’m not who I used to be
‘Cause I am redeemed
Thank God, redeemed

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzGAYNKDyIU

Heard around the horn today…

Froglegs said, “Bam Bam and Australia should get married.”

My question ‘why’ was met with “because they’re the same age and they’re both chunky.”

I am so glad to have that cleared up, because I always wondered how people knew who they were to marry. Ahhhh, if it only were that simple. And, apparently since Papa and I are ALREADY married, we are allowed to stay married, even though Papa is older than me. Taller than me. And thin. Thanks, Froglegs, for the permission to remain married.

Dancing eyes, stretched flat out between two bar stools, invited everyone to crawl across him since he was a bridge.

“I won’t fall down. I promise,” he assured them. Even though they all outweighed him by several pounds and there was a huge pile of pillows beneath the chasm spanned by his little body.

Following their shower, Curly Top informed us she had taken a “tower.” And it was nice and wet. Well, that was a relief! She assured us that she had enjoyed her “tower” very much.

Following Dancing Eyes’ shower, he stated, “My head is hard like a rock.”

Ummmmm, seriously, that is the truest thing anyone said all day.

Dancing Eyes Makes a Promise

So, life with growing children means they begin to grasp more “adult” concepts. Like…planning ahead (like 5 seconds before they wet their pants), or understanding that we don’t always have enough money to buy everything that we want (no, money doesn’t grow on trees). I know you know what I’m talking about.

So, imagine my surprise when Dancing Eyes came inside and said, “I ONLY want an iPad!”

i am SO excited!

I could tell this conversation had the makings of being blog-worthy.

A few questions popped into my head, such as HOW does he even KNOW about iPads?

So I pushed him a little. I said that I wanted an iPad, too. And an iPod and an iPhone.

Dancing Eyes replied, “They have them at Target, Nana.”

these kids LOVE Target

“Well, go buy them for me!” I replied.

“Nana, I don’t know how to drive!”

I laughed. We ALL laughed. He was so sincere in trying not to make me look like I was an alien from some other planet who actually thought he could drive.

But the kicker came when his mommy asked him how much money he had.

“Zero dollars,” was his reply.

So then I had to ask, “Well, how am I going to get my iPad, then?”

“You mean, MY iPad and YOUR iPad and Papa’s iPad?” he queried.

“Yes…”

“Welllllll, Mom can buy them for us.” I uttered a sigh of relief. For a minute there I thought I would be saddled with the purchase. Fortunately for ME, my daughter is on the hook for not just one, but THREE iPads. AND, thanks to the generosity of Dancing Eyes, his mommy gets to buy the iPhone and the iPod for me.

I am sooooooo excited. I hardly know what to say. I am honestly looking forward to more play time with technology!

I asked him WHEN I would be getting these awesome gifts.

“Well, you just have to kiss my sheek (that is how he says it…so cute) and then you can have them.”

So I kissed his “sheek”…and now I am waiting. (How long do you suppose I will be waiting?)

Is it wrong of me to believe my daughter would honor her son’s promise?

Alas, when I inquired as to the delivery of my gifts, she replied, “Ummm that would be never, or when the blue moon shines.”

going to check the Farmer’s Almanac

Is there a blue moon this week? Anytime? I really do want an iPad. Switching cell companies is such a hassle, so I will compromise and skip the iPhone. But…isn’t a promise a promise???

 

Please Pray–Update

I know so many of you have been praying for a young man, David Hanson, who suffered a devastating fall from a great height while working as a lineman. What the Lord has done and continues to do is nothing short of miraculous.

Wedding Joy on June 16, 2012

The original report was nothing less than hopeless. Doctors gave no reason to believe he could recover. The brain stem injury was extremely serious. Multiple fractures requiring multiple surgeries. It was overwhelming just to figure out how to begin to pray.

The family set up a David Hanson Update page on Facebook. In just a matter of a few days, nearly 3000 people had joined the page, praying and encouraging the family with passages of scripture, songs and words of hope and praise–even in the knowledge that David’s chances of survival were so very slim.

Daily, thousands of people have prayed all around the world. Total strangers to this young man and his wife. Coming together to pray for God’s will and His pleasure through this tragedy.

Initially, the reports gave no hope, yet still the people continued to pray. David tolerated various surgeries well. He has been, after all, a very healthy and strong young man.

But several days after the accident, there was that great gasp of excitement when Rachel posted her update:

I am very excited to give a good update today! David was initially not breathing on his own at all and needed the vent to sustain life. Two days ago, I thought I saw David take a deep breath on his own but thought, “That can’t be possible.” and dismissed it. Yesterday, I noticed his respiratory rate was changing a lot and thought that was funny because the vent should be giving a constant rate of respiration so I asked the nurse and she said David was breathing some on his own but not enough to sustain life because he would breathe fast, a little or none at all. Today, he has been breathing consistently on his own and they plan to wean him off the vent, Lord willing, in a couple days!! He is still in a coma but we’re praising the Lord for the great things he is doing.

You could truly feel the praises going up into the heavens as people gave thanks to the Lord for His mercy. It was the first big physical indication that there was healing going on inside David’s brain. Words truly fail me in expressing that joy that I felt when I read her post. I cried. I rejoiced. I prayed.

Of course, this battle is like so many…you gain ground, then lose some ground, then push ahead further. Then it’s time to regroup and plan the next attack. In just two short weeks, David has moved so far forward. And he has a long, long road ahead.

A few days later, we saw the following update:

There hasn’t been a lot of new things with David lately. He has been having trouble tolerating the tube feeding. He has had a bronchoscopy and chest x-ray which are both clear…so no pneumonia, which is good. He is completely breathing on his own with some supplemental oxygen! But his breathing has been a little labored and congested. The last two days, he has been opening his eyes some (mostly slitted) but not really focusing on anything. He will squeeze my hand occasionally but not with commands but it is still really awesome. 🙂 He seems to calm down when his parents sing softly to him. He must find some comfort in hearing their familiar voices and the sweet words of hymns. Please continue in prayer. This battle is far from over.

It was like going over the top of a roller coaster when your stomach jumps. How easily I could have just given up hoping, yet the Lord God is the one who is directing this–He is the One who has the plan. Again so many prayed and praised and thanked the Lord, again encouraging the family, regardless of the ultimate outcome.

And again Rachel posted a sweet update that showed how encouragement so simply shared can lift spirits:

Kids are just the best! I was praying with a friend this morning and we both started to cry a little and her little boy comes up to me and said, “Are you sad? Jesus loves you!! Yes, Jesus loves you.” Sometimes it’s the little things that just make a day better. 🙂

Update: David is back on the ventilator for some support breathing because he has been laboring breathing a bit. He is still not tolerating the tube feeding and has been vomiting several times a day. They are wondering if he has a bacteria in his digestive tract. Last night, they did a CT scan of his chest to check for a blood clot in his lungs. We should get results this morning but last night, nothing serious was brought up, so I think he should be clear of that. Last night, when I saw him, he looked peaceful and was breathing evenly. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away…may we still remember that He is faithful, merciful and good even though every day seems to take us on a roller coaster.

I marvel at the grace and peace that the Lord has granted. Pain that I cannot truly even imagine in the lives of this newly married couple. Family members and close friends driven to their knees in prayer during this aptly labelled “roller coaster” ride. And yet, hope remains.

So often we hear and read about Christians and their divisiveness. How un-christian the Christians behave. People who bear the name of their Savior, yet who can’t seem to bear their brothers and sisters in that very same Savior. And yet, this situation with a critically injured young man has allowed the light of Jesus Christ to shine through the lives of thousands all around the world.

Mark Sutherland, a family friend who I do not know, shared a tremendous post of encouragement and exhortation for all of us:

For many of us watching this Divinely purposed situation unfold, it has been most thrilling to our hearts to see such a coming together of the Body of Christ, such wonderful distancing of ourselves from religious labels (that will blow off on our way up anyway), to support and surround other members that are in pain and great trial. Members that have hardly any other connection than that we are “members one of another.” To Him that gave Everything for us, be the praise!

So many people, all brought together through their faith in Jesus Christ, crossing so many man-made barriers to fellowship. United in their purpose of praying and petitioning Almighty God on behalf of a fellow-believer in need.

It was particularly uplifting to read posts from David’s parents yesterday:

Update from Joel Hanson (David’s dad) on 8/24/12:
“I just talked to Dr. Yasbeck who said David is more responsive the last few days and his eyes open spontaneously now. I asked if he is [e]merging from his coma and he said it is difficult to know that. He said he would not be surprised if David responds more, to voices and singing. He also stated that there is slight improvement in David’s right arm movement.
Things to pray for: David has been battling a fever, Dr. thinks it may be bronchitis or an infection in his digestive tract.
Good news: today David was transferred to [the] Rehab facility at 10:45PT.
With the Dr. sharing a more optimistic report this time, it was encouraging to hear a confirmation of what we have observed as David’s parents. We thank God for His mercies.”

From Annette:

Joel and I are very thankful to all of you who have been joining us in prayer for David and Rachel. Seeing a glimpse of the Lord’s body around the world is an amazing blessing. What joy it will be when we are all together with Him one day! Until then we want to be “trusting as the moments fly, trusting as the days go by, trusting Him whate’er befall, trusting Jesus…that is all.”

Yesterday, David was moved to a rehab facility to begin the next phase of his healing process. Interestingly, Rachel is a Physical Therapist. Ironic? Coincidental? I don’t think so. I believe it was all part of God’s plan in bringing these two lives together.

David is settling in at his new “home”. They are going to take it easy on him this weekend and not progress things much, but next week they will start bumping up his Physical Therapy, working on getting him more independent with his breathing, and starting him on some drugs that should make him more alert and stimulate neurological recovery. I am very pleased with the competency of the staff there and look forward to working with them to help my husband come home! 🙂 I have a LOT of driving ahead of me in the next few months because he is 2 hours away from home and 2 hours away from my work so pray that my trusty Honda gets me the places I need to be and I have [the] endurance to keep this marathon up. Thanks again for all your prayers so far! It really is a miracle that David is at [this facility] and I feel bouyed up on God’s strength.

This post is already quite long, but I wanted to give as thorough an update as I could while also providing a glimpse into what the Lord has been doing, and CONTINUES to do. David’s brother, Nathan, shared a quote from Rachel early on that sums up beautifully what this entire battle is about:

We are reminded of our human frailty and how our lives are held in a fragile balance. If David could have one wish out of this whole thing, I believe with all my heart that it would be that souls would bow their hearts before the Creator and Saviour of the World and accept his propitiative work on the cross for their sin and make Him Lord of their lives.

Thank you all so very much for your prayers on behalf of David and his family. Please continue to pray. The needs are very great. May many lives be turned to the Lord Jesus through the testimonies of this family. Truly, our God is a most Awesome God!

The One Wipe Poopie Diaper Change

How good are you at assessing how many wipes it will take for a messy diaper change? I WOULD ask how well your husband does at it, but after all these years of practice, my husband THINKS he is good at it. He’s not. He stinks at it. But that’s ok, even if he never perfects his technique, he’ll survive. And so will the kids.

But I digress yet again…

So Vesuvius uses cloth diapers. They are not the old fashioned kind with pins. They are actually pretty cool. Moisture-proof barrier on the outside with a pouch to slip the liners in…as many as you think the little guy will need without soaking his clothes every time.

While those cloth diapers are pretty cool for the innocent pee pee routine, it can be a little rough with the other kind. Did you ever stop to think that disposable diapers work because they absorb the liquid and draw it all inside the mystery goo? Same thing for the poopie diapers…they absorb all the liquid leaving, well I am sure you all know what they leave behind. 😉

The beauty of the cloth diapers is that I send them home for cleaning. Poor mom and dad, you say? Well, it isn’t just the diapers that have come a long way, baby. Apparently you can get a hose-like doo-hickey that is attached to the toilet for spraying the remains of the day down the toilet. Seriously. I am NOT MAKING THIS UP!!! I had never heard of such a thing either. Check it out here.

The Ultimate In Cloth Diaper Cleanup 🙂

So I am also babysitting a little, tiny, adorable, miniature, tea-cup sized baby girl. We will call her Cookie. At almost 8 months, Cookie still wears size 1 disposable diapers, and 3 month clothing. She is totally developmentally appropriate for her age. She is just very petite.

Except for her poopies. They are not petite. And her size 1 diapers are failing. Big time. I lost count today at the number of wipes it took…her deposit left the depository in a super big way, but somehow her clothing stayed mostly clean. Don’t ask me how…I don’t know.

I can guarantee it was more than a 3-wipe clean up. In fact, if you think of the 1976 Olympics, that diaper could have rivaled Nadia’s perfect 10. And after cleaning her up, from stem to stern, I was left with ONE LONE WIPE.

Great. Just dandy great. And my refill stash…gone. All gone. So, just like the old-school cloth diapers, I guess I will be returning to the good old days before diaper wipes. You know, cloths with soap and water? Or I might just hose the little tushies with the hose, in the back yard. I am not a hoosier, you know. (As I sit on the deck on an old leather couch…)

ALL CREATION TESTIFIES

These are artistic portrayals of God’s word. How beautiful.

Redeemingmoments

The Lord is His Name

 Image

O LORD, our Lord…

How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens! When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? PSALM 8:1,3-4

 

HIS GARMENT IS LIGHT…

THE CLOUDS ARE HIS CHARIOT, HE WALKS ON THE WINGS OF THE WIND…

Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty, Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain.  He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters, Who makes the clouds His chariot, Who walks on the wings of the wind, Who makes…

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Lies, Lies, It’s All Lies

Have you ever told a lie? Have you ever lied about someone else? How did you feel? Did you feel all warm and cozy inside? Or did you feel that unpleasant burning way down deep inside, where regret and guilt and shame started to grow?

I have a hard time with lying. I hate it. It isn’t that I haven’t been guilty of lying, but honestly, I am really bad at it. I can’t hide it from my face. I wasn’t blessed (or maybe cursed?) with a poker face. My husband has reminded me through the years that he just loves my eyes–they are transparent windows into whatever is in my heart–good or bad.

As I have gotten older, seeing the evidence of lies just breaks my heart. I have seen lives devastated by the dishonesty of others. So many people hurt by mean-spirited slanderers. People who “should know better.” People who try to cloak their wickedness in spiritual terms to somehow get away with it.

I am on the alert each day as little children observe my behavior, and hear my speech. I am to be a faithful example of truth and love in action. As little kids, we would say, “sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.” You know, in that annoying, sing-songy voice.

Ummm, that isn’t true. I don’t care what we said back then. Words hurt. And they usually hurt more than broken bones. And a cast won’t heal it either.

Lest you think I am pointing the finger and forgetting about my own tongue-problems, I have had the tendency through the years to say the right thing in the wrong way at the right time for the wrong reasons to the right people on the wrong day. (It really was a big problem when I was younger and a lot less savvy than I am now.) My dad once told me to pull my tongue out three feet and cut it off. And that was when I tried to come to his DEFENSE! My own DAD!?!

I used to find it interesting that God chose to list liars in the same sentence as murderers. Wow. In my mind, lies were like misdemeanors and murder was like a felony. But God is the standard here, fortunately, and not me. He has His reasons for listing gossip and liars and those who practice witchcraft in the same breath. He can’t stand ANY of it. None. Nada. Zilch. And God is pretty exclusive about who He will allow in His holy tent, too.

Psalm 15

A PSALM OF DAVID.

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?

The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbor,
and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person
but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

Whoever does these things
will never be shaken.

For me, it is particularly sorrowful when someone who claims Christ as Savior and Lord is characterized by their lying and slanderous tongue. How many people will be harmed? How many testimonies destroyed? How many will reject salvation because they don’t want to “be like that so and so?”

Is it any wonder that Christians are mocked and ridiculed as hypocrites? They tolerate this evil in their midst, inside local churches, yet have the nerve to point out evil in the marketplace.

Matthew 7:2-4

For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?

We are a sorry bunch of saved sinners, aren’t we? When we participate in this type of behavior, we are trampling on the blood of our Savior. Sinning openly and without remorse. Do we forget that we are ALL purchased by that same sacrificial blood? Have we failed to realize that our Savior bore our LOAD of sin and shame in His own body at Calvary?

WE ARE GOING TO BE IN HEAVEN TOGETHER FOR ETERNITY…why are we living in such a contrary way to that abundant life that is offered to us, here and now? We have our time on earth to prepare for that eternity.

So, what next? I am getting out the bottle of soap…