Sunday, March 23, 2014

Are you a "Man of Understanding?"

I never stop thinking about the kind of man I want to be and the men I want to help build. Proverbs gives some great insights about a "man of understanding." This is who I want to be and how I want to behave.

1. Delights in wisdom: Prov. 10:23 A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct, but a man of understanding delights in wisdom. 

2. Holds his tongue: Prov. 11:12 A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of understanding holds his tongue. 

3. Keeps a straight course: Prov. 15:21 Folly delights a man who lacks judgment, but a man of understanding keeps a straight course. 

4. Is even-tempered: Prov. 17:27 A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered. 

5. Draws out the purposes in others: Prov. 20:5 The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out. 

6. Maintains order: Prov. 28:2 When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order.  

This is the kind of man I want to be. You?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Danae's Reflections 30 Days Later

On March 10, thirty days after Olivia departed, Danae wrote
"I'm up thinking about what the weight of Olivia, (about 5lbs) felt like when I held her. My arms are painfully empty. I told Dave that for years I would hear stories about mothers giving their newborns up for adoption right after they gave birth. Holding their child and then handing them to their new family and new life. They wanted the very best life for their baby. They couldn't provide the best and so they made the hardest decision of their lives to surrender their child. They would go through the pains of their body wanting to nurse the new baby but their child was with another family. Recovering from child birth too would remind them of their loss every moment. I couldn't wrap my mind around how horrible it must be to do that. I used to grieve for mothers when I heard about them giving up their child like that. I also when reading the story of Moses would have that same grievous feeling in the pit of my stomach for Moses' mother as she had to send her child off, her beautiful baby into the arms of another woman. 

For me I carried my daughter for 8 months.  I couldn't even express the joy of being a mother to my daughter. Dave and I felt like we were equipped to raise her and ready to welcome her into our home. I gave birth and then I too held her, looked into her eyes, loved her more than life and then February 10th 2014, I handed her over to her new family, the father that would now raise her instead of me. Her home is in heaven and I don't get to see her. But I can know though, that she is with the best possible family in the universe. She is loved even more incomprehensibly to me, she is loved even more than Dave and I can love her. So I'm grievously thankful, mournfully excited for her to be raised in heaven."

Learning from my children…again!

Sunday, March 02, 2014

40 Ways Debbie Has "Helped" Me in 40 Years.

The other day as I sat with the Lord, I was impressed to, “Give Thanks.” We’ve been in a hard and hurtful season for several months and I sensed the Lord saying, “ I want you to thank me. I want you to put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” (1 Thess.5.18; Isaiah 61)

As I began to write down several things for which I was thankful, my mind and heart quickly went to Debbie. I gave thanks that Debbie has been my, “helper/completer” for almost 40 years. (Gen. 2:18   The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”)

My mind shifted into all the ways that she has helped me all these years. I think you will quickly see why I think she is THE most remarkable woman I know.

1.     She is first and foremost, a woman of God, who loves the Lord with all her heart, soul, mind and strength. She has her own deep, personal, intimate relationship with the Father, Son and Spirit.
2.     She has loved me and respected me.
3.     She has desired and pursued me.
4.     She has prayed with me.
5.     She has made love to me.
6.     She has refused to let us become only roommates and business partner.
7.     She has kept herself beautiful for her and me.
8.     She has been fun, positive, spontaneous, joyful and full of life.
9.     She has been flexible and available to me.
10.  She has spoken truth to me.
11.  She has endured and persevered with me.
12.  She has been my #1 cheerleader.
13.  She has listened to me go on and on and on…
14.  She has reflected back to me.
15.  She has fought for me and with me.
16.  She has protected me…from magazines and shows etc…
17.  She has worked hard as a businesswoman. (Proverbs 31)
18.  She has been a trusted steward of all of our resources. My heart completely trusts her.
19.  She has pursued her gifts and calling as an artist and painter.
20.  She has made our home beautiful and orderly.
21.  She has partnered with me in life and ministry.
22.  She helped me raise three amazing sons and one daughter.
23.  She is now helping to love and serve 11 grandchildren.
24.  She has great compassion for the “least of these” children.
25.  She is a constant learner and never stops growing herself.
26.  She is a very curious person and shows interests in others and me.
27.  She has been a student of me for 40 years…she never settled with the idea that she knew me completely.
28.  She has been a teacher for me…sharing deep and rich truths she is learning in life.
29.  She has submitted to me in times when she knew her way was right.
30.  She has stood her ground when she felt I was failing or going astray.
31.  She has provided clarity on the many days I felt in the fog of life.
32.  She has provided wisdom and insights when life got messy.
33.  She has increased in strength over time instead of getting weaker.
34.  She has wrestled with me over the great questions & mysteries of life
35.  She has fulfilled her vows in marriage…for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer.
36.  She has stayed true to her own person and design.
37.  She has wrestled with her own sins of anger, bitterness, rage, envy and jealousy and is winning the fight.
38.  She practices forgiveness all the time…to others and me who have hurt her or let her down in life.
39.  She is letting go of her past and living in the present and for the future.
40.  She keeps her eyes on God and eternity while she lives in a temporal world.

Debbie, thank you for 40 amazing years. I love you so much.