Monday, March 23, 2009

MIZPAH

I love how Lisa can take an idea and make it personal in her jewelry. I was hoping she could do something with MIZPAH and Genesis 31:49 (Read Genesis 31:43-55). Basically, Jacob and Laban were making a covenant and that covenant was going to be a witness between each of the men to never pass by the heap of stones they built for harm toward each other. But what I liked was the name of the place...Laban named it Galeed, and Mizpah, for he said, "May the LORD watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other."

When I saw Lisa was doing a "word of the year," I decided to use this for myself and a friend, as I will be moving away from this beautiful area in a couple of weeks (still waiting on word about an apartment - we still have to interview and that won't be till Friday, so keep praying). I was so excited when I received it and was excited to give one to Noonie. A keepsake reminding us that, even though we are miles apart, God is keeping watch over us, and what a comfort that is! As she reminded me, He will definitely fill the void that will be left - me for her and her for me. But we also know we have email and texting and phones. And we will definitely keep our birthday date with Shirley going - I made the promise to come up every year for our yearly lunch/dinner. But I also know that we will get together when we can - as she said, we need to be creative.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Trust His Heart

I was given a CD of women's worship songs. A few I had heard before and a few I had not. It was given to me especially for my trips up and back from LA. One of the songs, "Trust His Heart", is one that we did as a choir (I think) or at least someone had done as a solo (not me). As I listened to it, I started crying and it just made me think of all the POW ladies I know I will miss, but also those in the group who are going through some tough things. It made me pray for those I remembered and just pray for anything I didn't know about. But the words just touched me again...maybe I'll share with the group before I move (whether I sing or just play the music). But check out the lyrics.

TRUST HIS HEART
Written by: Babbie Mason and Eddie Carswell


All things work for our good
though sometimes we can't s
ee how they could
struggles that break our hearts in two
sometimes blinds us to the truth

Our Father knows what's best for us
His ways are not our own
So when your pathway grows dim,
and you just can't see Him
Remember you're never alone

God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don't understand
When you don't see His plan
When you can't trace His hand
Trust His heart

He sees the master plan
And He holds our future in His hands
So don't live as those who have no hope
All our hope is found in Him

We see the present clearly
But He sees the first and the last
And like a tapestry
He's weaving you and me
to someday be just like Him

God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don't understand
When you don't see His plan
When you can't trace His hand
Trust His heart

He alone is faithful and true
He alone knows what is best for you

So when you don't understand
When you don't see His plan
When you can't trace His hand trust His heart.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fingerprints of God

Wess Stafford, President of Compassion International, wrote this article, We Are His Hands.

A few things caught my eye:
I was visiting a church in Indonesia that partners with Compassion. ... The pastor asked me to speak to the children. I longed for each child to grasp God's love. A shy 6-year-old girl named Jessica sat cross-legged in the front row in a pink dress. I picked her out of the crowd of children as an object lesson and she let me hold her. I took her delicate hand in mine and asked the children, "Do you know Jessica has little designs on her fingertips? So do you. Look closely at your fingers and you will see the fingerprints God made only for you. Nobody else has the same ones."

I paused as the children giggled and squinted at their fingers and those of their friends. "Did you know, I continued, Jesus loves Jessica so much He would have died on the cross for her if she were the only person on earth?"

The children grew quiet and looked at Jessica in a new light. She wrapped her arms around my n
eck and nestled closer. She was so still and comfortable I kept holding her while I told the children that, just like Jessica, each one of them is unique and precious to God, to their parents, to their pastor and to their child development center workers. As I acknowledged the center workers with a nod, I was surprised to see tears in their eyes. When I finished speaking I thanked Jessica and gently sat her down. The room was silent. Compassion's Vice President for Asia squeezed my hand and whispered, "You couldn't have known, but if ever a little girl needed to be loved and affirmed it was Jessica."

Just a
few months previously that 6-year-old angel was brutally raped by a man in the village. The Indonesian pastor was amazed fragile Jessica had so willingly snuggled into my arms that day since I am a man who was a stranger to her. I can only think God caused her to sense the mystery that He was hugging her tenderly through my arms and proclaiming His profound love especially for her through my words."


And this song by Stephen Curtis Chapman (parts of it):

Fingerprints of God
I can see the fingerprints of God
When
I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know it's true
You're a masterpiece

That all creation quietly applauds

And you're covered with the fingerprints of God

Never has there been and never again
Will there be another you

Fashioned by God's hand

And perfectly planned

To be just who you are


And what He's been creating
Since the first beat of your heart
Is a livi
ng breathing priceless work of art and...

Just look at you
You're a wonder in the making

Oh and God's not through no
In fact, He's just getting started and...


How special and unique you are! No one is like you! He loves you as you are! He is there to comfort you, hold you, and to love you through everything, good and bad.

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (Ephesians 2:4-5)
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. (Ephesians 3:18)
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. (1John 4:9)
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
...for He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU..." (Hebrews 13:5)

Thank You, Lord, for how you created each one of us so unique and different from each other. We are all so special and so loved by You. Thank You for how much you care about us, the big and the small things that affect our lives. Forgive me when I take You for granted - You, who are always by my side. How can I ignore You? You show me Your love everyday - help me not miss it. I hold onto Your hand - take me where You want me. Lead me in Your way. Thank You, Father, for providing all my needs...and then some.

Step By Step (w/ I Love You, Lord)
Rich Mullins

O God, you are my God and I will ever praise you
O God you are my God and I will ever praise you
and I will seek you in the morning
and I will learn to walk in your ways
and step by step you lead me
and i will follow you all of my days.

I love you, Lord, and I lift my voice
to worship you O my soul, rejoice
Take joy, my King, in what you hear
Let it be a sweet sweet sound in your ear.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Whale Watching - FINALLY

video

This was my first attempt with my camera to do a video. We FINALLY got to do our whale watching trip and this porpoise was one of the first things we saw as we were turning around and heading back to Morro Bay. Hadn't seen whales...yet. But this little guy was right under our boat - like he was in the race of his life. It was incredible. The next video was an attempt to follow some other porpoise, but they were so fast - they changed direction so quickly, I could barely get them. Sorry I didn't edit. I can't yet. Kind of have to figure it out.

video


This is an attempt to follow some of the whales once we finally saw some. We think it was a pod of CA grays - about 7-10. We didn't get as close as I would have liked, but it was still awesome to see these creatures swimming by.


video

All in all, it was a successful trip. There was a moment we thought we might not see any whales. The porpoise were a redeeming factor. They were such fun to watch. Next time I go on a trip like this, though, I will try to be more prepared with my camera (my batteries kept dying out and I didn't have a new set). And I will try to focus more on the whale/porpoise or whatever rather than my camera and it's flaking out on me. I did get to enjoy some of the nature of the trip. It was such fun to see these amazing creations.

Thank you, Lord, for giving us a place to enjoy your creation. Thank you for the beauty of our coast and the pleasure we can have in seeing these beautiful creatures in action. They are not here by accident. And neither are we...we are here for Your pleasure. You love us so much and give us so much. Thank you for providing our needs all the time. Even the need to just REST.