Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Catching Up

To all my loyal readers, I apologize for not blogging recently. My mind is getting older, my thinking not as fast as it used to be; therefore, in the past month, I've had to deal with too many things, in too short of time, and thus, neglected my blog.

My niece, Aline, arrived from West Virginia to live with us at the end of March, and we have tried to introduce her to Maui and all it has to offer, have gotten her settled in the house, and she has also found a job that she loves at an animal refuge taking care of special needs rabbits. She loves it. My great-niece, Arley, has also been living with us almost a year and is attending beauty school, so with all that company brings to a household, I've been just trying to keep up with meals, laundry, shopping, sight-seeing, etc.

This morning in my devotionals, though, I read scripture that I just had to share with you, busy or not. The picture of the shepherd and his sheep was in almost every scripture I turned to this morning. The picture that remained with me is in Isaiah 40:9-11, and Revelation 7:17:

"See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power; and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young." (Isaiah 40:9-11)

"For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." (Rev. 7:17)

Jesus told his disciples that He was the Good Shepherd and often called his followers sheep, or "little flock." But God also called Jesus "the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world." Jesus was both Shepherd and the Lamb. As God's sacrificial Lamb, He paid for our sins by His own blood. As the Shepherd, He will lead his flock to springs of living water in eternity with Him forever. Isn't that a marvelous picture. I love the Isaiah scripture and the picture it offers---Jesus carrying me in his arms close to his heart and leading me to the river of life that flows through the middle of the city of God.

Let's worship the Shepherd and the Lamb today!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Bradley's Birthday

Yesterday my youngest grandson turned 10 years old--double digits already. Where has the time gone since that eventful day as a newborn, our newest addition to the family? Bradley is one with a song in his heart. Even as a tiny infant, when fussy, he would quiet down immediately if you started humming in his ear. It was if he stopped crying or fussing so he could hear every note. He loved the little Christian songs he learned in the church nursery and later in Sunday School and would sing them word for word back to you if you but asked. On his 9th birthday last year, he asked for an iPod so that he could listen to his Christian praise songs any time he wanted without disturbing others. This year he got an iPulse, a fancy little gadget that he can plug his iPod into and beautiful lights pulse to the beat of the music throughout his room. Yes, God created him with a song in his heart and he hasn't stopped singing since his birth. I know that God can use that gift of song someday to bless others and bring joy to Bradley throughout his lifetime and bring glory to God through his love for music.

In this month's Readers Digest, I saw this quote and liked it very much: "A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song." God put a "song" in everything he created. The heavens and earth declare the glory of God. (Ps. 19:1) The trees of the forest sing for joy (Ps. 96:12) Rivers clap their hands and the mountains sing together for joy (Ps. 98:8). "All you have made will praise you, O Lord.." (Ps. 145:10a) "Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day." (Ps. 96:1-2) There is a continual new song that will be sung forever in heaven: "You are worthy, our Lord and God." (Rev. 4:11).

As you count your many blessings daily from the Lord, let a song well up in your heart and give God the proper glory due to Him, just as every part of his creation does. Even the stones will cry out.

Happy Birthday, Bradley, and take good care of those cute little white rats you got for your birthday!
Nana (Sandy)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


God has granted most of us as humans with the wonderful gift of memory. However, because we are human, sometimes our memory fails us, such as a name of someone we know as well as our own, an address where we used to live, the name of a place where we have been, etc. Today we have unbelievable ways of preserving memories. We have digital cameras, computers where we store our memories, letters that we save from long ago that we can reread when we want. We put up monuments with the name and dates of birth and death of our loved ones as a form of memorial. Our memories of past people and events come flooding back when we go back and review these "memorials" and we have joy (or sadness) recalling the people and places God has placed in our lives over our life's journey.

In biblical times, God had his people put up altars built of rocks to remind them of His protection and provision for them during a particular time in their journey of life. Whenever they came upon those altars of rocks, they were to remind them of how they had gotten to that particular place and how God had blessed them in the past. In the Book of Joshua, we are told that when the Israelites crossed over the Jordan River into the promised land, the people built an altar to remind them of how God had stopped the flow of the river until every Israelite was safe on the other side. When all were safe, the river went immediately back to flood stage. A miracle that God had performed on their behalf was to be remembered as a blessing and that would give them hope that God would always be there to work another miracle in the future if they needed one.

Joshua 4:23-24 (NIV): "For the Lord your God did to the Jordan just what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God."

What reminds you for what the Lord has done for you in the past? Do you have a method of recalling your blessings from God? A journal? Paragraphs written in your Bible? A treasure you have placed aside to remind you? An album of pictures? By remembering what God has done for us in the past helps us to stay on the right path with Him in confidence of His faithfulness and love toward us for the future.

What a precious gift God gave us in giving us our memories!