A Gracious Place

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Home Alone

Diedra left Wednesday for Indiana. Her Grandmother passed away. Vesta Lehman (paternal grandmother) had been in failing health for some time, and is a believer. These make death sting less. Diedra will be back Monday evening. I miss her. Thanks for your prayers.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Be Still, My Soul

A couple of weekends ago, Diedra and I spent a wonderful weekend in Austin with close friends made during our tour of Israel. They took us to some Austin-original eating places, shared their boat (we tubed and wake-boarded, until battered and exhausted), and took us to their church. After Church we went to Stubbs, one of the many Austin establishments that hosts live music. We went to “Gospel Brunch,” wherein we enjoyed a delicious buffet and great music from an African American Gospel band. My favorite things: great friends, great food, and great music about our hope in the Savior, all in one place! A foretaste of glory divine! Thank you, our friends (and our Lord), for such refreshment!

I wanted to share a hymn that greatly ministered to Diedra and me while worshiping with our friends. It’s a lament, of sorts, and I wish you could here the cry of the melody (added later by another), that so excellently communicates the soul-cry of the words. The writer is wracked with the pain of some recent difficulty, and is exhorting her soul unto hope. Though excellently translated, I wish I could know its beauty in the original language. In these our wilderness wanderings, the hope expressed in pain is especially meaningful.

Be Still, My Soul
by Katharina A. von Schlegel

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.

Be still, my soul: begin the song of praise
On earth, be leaving, to Thy Lord on high;
Acknowledge Him in all thy words and ways,
So shall He view thee with a well pleased eye.
Be still, my soul: the Sun of life divine
Through passing clouds shall but more brightly shine.


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I got the broom!

On a less deep note, I had a Seinfield moment on Sunday...It all began as I was chopping celery and onions with my nifty Pampered Chef chopper. I won't go into details about the engineering of my chopper but it works by pounding the top of it with the palm of your hand. I think the directions say, "...repeat until your hand is red and swollen." Well, I was almost done, which was a good thing because Dan's buddies had just arrived for Bible Study, when in the midst of my pounding we heard another pounding. Dan went to answer the door, but there was no one there! Then someone said, "Maybe you got the broom". I said, "No, no, I didn't get the broom" and continued chopping. But then it was unmistakeable...pound...pound...pound...THE BROOM. I couldn't believe I got the broom on a Sunday at 7:30pm for chopping veggies! I have never gotten the broom before, and it kind of hurt my feelings, because I pride myself in being neighbor friendly. I guess the directions on the chopper should say, "...repeat until your hand is red and swollen or until you get the broom."

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Beggar Theology

Since Dan’s has had such a heavy load at school this week I thought I would help him out by posting on “our” blog. He is so gracious to include me in the title of this blog even though I have only posted one other time.
So here is what I was thinking about last night and this morning, “We should come to God in prayer demanding nothing, yet expecting everything”. Like all other aspects of life the balance is hard to find. Sometimes I find myself assuming God should work my way, like he owes me something. Then other times I think God doesn’t owe me anything, so I shouldn’t expect him to work on my behalf…why even ask. I think a good biblical example of balance achieved is the account of the Canaanite woman in Matt. 15:21-28. Look it up! And while you’re at it look up Psalm 104 and remember the God to whom you are praying. I have so many warped views of God. And as I pray throughout the day I have to be careful that I am not thinking of God as my imaginary friend or my buddy up in heaven. Psalm 104 as well as many other passages blows those views right out of the water! Praise the God of the universe that he would remember me a beggar.