Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Poem on Song of Solomon 8:7

Everyday words and
worries drip one drop at a
time on hopeful hearts.

Spring showers soak us;
summer storms wear us down, but
joy girds fainting hearts.

Fall torrents followed
by blinding blizzards fiercely
freeze our frantic hearts.

Faith's flames revive us.
As tsunamis overwhelm,
love grips grace-bathed hearts.

"Many waters can
not quench love. Rivers can not
wash it away." Song of Solomon 8:7

Saturday, December 18, 2010

What I Learned About Life By Cleaning My House Today

Sometimes things seem so overwhelming.

I looked around this afternoon and in every corner of our home, there was a BIG mess.
It doesn't matter how it happened. It just did. And it didn't happen overnight.

It made me want to cry, and it made me want to shout and complain. The HOLIDAYS are coming up. Things are supposed to be SPECIAL and BEAUTIFUL, not messy and dirty.

I couldn't imagine how I would get things under control in the next twelve months, let alone by next week, or tomorrow (Sunday--another day that is supposed to be SPECIAL and BEAUTIFUL).

So how did I handle this dilemma? I was exhausted so I cried out to the Lord for help and took a nap. Not necessarily in that order. I can't remember which--maybe they were simultaneous.

When I woke up, everything looked the same, and I felt the same about it, but I did the only thing one can do in such a situation. I picked up one item and I put it away. Then I picked up another. And another. This went on and on all day. First the coffee table got cleaned up, then the living room floor. Then the worst things in the kitchen got put in the dishwasher. Thankfully, not as much as I expected had to be washed by hand (something I go to great lengths to avoid).

I won't bore you with the rest of the chores. They aren't all done yet. Are they ever? But I can look around my home and smile again.

About three quarters of the way through all of this, something occurred to me. It's not only our homes that can get to be hopeless messes. Our lives can get this way, too. Parts of our lives, or even all of it may seem that way at times.

These things make all the difference:
1. Tell the Lord all about it.
"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

2. Rest.

3. Deal with one thing at a time.

4. Don't ever give up--not ever " because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5

Are things not right between you and God? Just turn to him now because "if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9

"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans 10:13

Remember how there wasn't as much to wash by hand as I thought there was? Well, in your life, there probably isn't as much horrible stuff to deal with as you might think, but even if there is, God can handle it. He will do it with you, and some of it he might even take care of for you. (Even when he is doing it with you, he is doing it for you; he's just letting you take part in the process.)

It may not take as long as you think, but even if it does God will give you joy on the journey. Halfway through my Christmas week mess, things began to look brighter, even though there was a lot more to do.

New trials meet us every day, yet "Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."Lamentations 3:22-23

(I don't know why some of the words came out so large. I can't seem to fix it.)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Poem on Galatians 2:20

This is all I know:
Jesus saved me from my sins.
Nothing else matters.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I'm Thankful For Brushes and Brooms

For Christmas 1991, our oldest daughter, Melissa, received this gift from her Grandma and Grandpa Crawford:

Precious Moments Through the Year Stories by V. Gilbert Beers and Samuel J. Butcher

She was, and still is, Daddy's Precious Moments Girl in every way. Not long after that we had three in our quiver--Melissa, Malachi, and Cherith.

On Thanksgiving 1992, and on every Thanksgiving Day since then, I have read this poem from her book before dinner.

"I heard Mom say as she scrubbed today,
'I'm thankful for brushes and brooms.
I'm glad to clean my cozy house
That's filled with cheerful rooms.'

I heard Mom say at the washing machine,
'I'm thankful for dirty clothes.
I'm glad that I have a healthy child
Who can play each day she grows.'

I heard Mom say at the sink tonight,
'I'm thankful for dirty dishes.
I'm glad we filled our plates with food
Instead of empty wishes.'

I heard Mom say in her prayers tonight,
'I'm thankful for problems today.
If life never got a little bit rough,
I might forget to pray.' "

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

When Clouds Are Thick and Ominous, or A Real View of a Beautiful Church On a Dark, Windy Day

Blankets of clouds loomed
darkly above this church as
light lavished below.

Dismally covered,
cheerfully radiating
rays of resistance.

Who knows how and when the seeds of the Gospel that are planted will grow?

It can be so easy to hold back in sharing the Gospel because of fears, preconceived ideas, or perceived failures of the past. This testimony is an encouragement to always share the Gospel with everyone, everywhere.

"Cast your bread upon the waters,
for you will find it after many days.
Give a portion to seven, or even to eight,
for you know not what disaster may happen on earth.
If the clouds are full of rain,
they empty themselves on the earth,
and if a tree falls to the south or to the north,
in the place where the tree falls, there it will lie.
He who observes the wind will not sow,
and he who regards the clouds will not reap.

As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.

In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good." Ecclesiastes 11:1-6

Friday, November 12, 2010

Jesus can always change people...

"God used a battering ram to kick down the door of my mother's heart and drag her to Jesus. And she has loved him ever since and is loving him now, and is beholding his glory...Sinners are always savable."--Heath Lambert

When it comes to loved ones headed for destruction, Jesus is not a gentleman who stands by and waits for something to happen, he is a rescuer who earnestly intervenes...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

100 Reasons to Give Thanks

Stop by Bible Baptist Church for an amazing series on thankfulness. Videos of the messages will be available at their website, as well.

And you're welcome to leave your reasons to give thanks in the comments here.

It will be wonderful if we can record 100 personal expressions of gratitude here during this month of thankfulness...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

BBB (By and aBout Bach)

For the glory of the most high God alone,
And for my neighbour to learn from.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach, epigraph to Little Organ Book, 1717

The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Why waste money on psychotherapy when you can listen to the B Minor Mass?
-- Michael Torke

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Possible Hand Surgery

Well, it looks like I am going to have to have surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome.
I hope that when it is over, I will learn some new ways to use the computer so I can continue this blog. We'll see...but for now, no more computer for me--I guess I have to really mean it this time.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Autumn's Ornaments

When I parked the car today
at the grocery store,
I was surprised by bright red and green
decorations in the parking lot,
not hung by a stock boy on the light posts
to welcome Christmas--
not in September, no!--
But miraculously mixed on maples' branches
by our loving Lord...

Friday, September 17, 2010

He Just Speaks!

How does God change our lives?
He just speaks!
Such a beautiful message...
(from September 13, 2010)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A View of Berry Mountains on Tuesday Morning, September 7, 2010

Golden foilage brushed
the tips of Berry Mountains
meeting autumn skies.

Green's grip is released
as summer stretches to rest
from her warm watch soon.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Tiny Word With Huge Meaning

I almost missed it. This morning I was making note of the words that are used the most in Hebrews 8. I noticed only four (other than articles, conjunctions, and other minor words) that were used more than two times: covenant, priest, Lord, and offer. I couldn't see a major theme shouting out to me as I had in other chapters. Then I saw it in verse 10. Will!

I backtracked and noticed nine "wills" (or "shalls") in all from verses 8-12:

"Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah,
not like the covenant that I made with their fathers
on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.

For they did not continue in my covenant,
and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, declares the Lord:

I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor
and each one his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,'
for they shall all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest

For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
and I will remember their sins no more."

These verses show us ten wonderful things that God will do:

1. Establish a covenant.
2. Make a covenant.
3. Put his laws into our minds.
4. Write his laws on our hearts.
5. Be our God.
6. Make us his people.
7. Make us understand it is not human teaching (verse 10 and Matthew 16:17)
8. Make us to know him.
9. Be merciful toward our iniquities.
10. Remember our sins no more.

Our relationship with God is based on all these things that he will do for us and in us.

If we want these things, we can ask him to do them, and we can trust that he will!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Jihad Could Not Quench Their Love

Adel and her husband Methu lived on the island of Dodi in an Indonesian village where nearly all of the residents were Christian. Adel's grandfather had been a preacher, and now she enjoyed reading Bible stories to the neighborhood children. At their wedding, her pastor told her, "Adel, only God can separate you and Methu now."

But on September 9, 1999, there was a commotion outside. About 30 men, women, and children from a Muslim village named Dahma, had come to Dodi carrying a banner with two words printed on it: "Cinti Damai," or "Love Peace."

One of the men in the group announced, "People of Dodi, we are your neighbors, and we should commit to each other to live in peace." Their children played together cheerfully that day, but just a few months later the men of Dahma, including many of those who had come in September chanting, "Peace to the island of Dodi," returned and burned the village. Adel's little boy, Christiano, his grandmother, and numerous other villagers were murdered with machetes.

Adel was forced to be the wife of Almin, one of the Muslim men, even though Methu was still living. Many months later, she wondered if her husband could ever accept her after she had been with Almin against her will and had his child. Her young daughter, Christina, had encouraged her while the baby was still in her womb.

After Adel escaped and Methu saw baby Sarah for the first time, he smiled and said, "So this is our new daughter." He had written a letter to Adel while she was still in captivity:

"Adel, you could have ten children by ten men, and you would still be my wife. Don't you remember what the pastor told you? Only God can separate us now. I love you."

You can read the rest of Adel and Methu's story in Hearts of Fire from The Voice of the Martyrs.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The House Sleeps

The house sleeps here while
faraway friends fight for a
way home desp'rately.

We rest by still streams
recklessly, but our brothers
find this peace in pain.

"He who dwells in the shadow of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, 'My refuge and my fortress,
my God in whom I trust.' " Psalms 91:1-2

"Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you are also in the body." Hebrews 13:3

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

They'll know we are Christians by our love and faith comes by hearing the Word of God--not by bizarre manifestations...

"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 13:35

''So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans10:17

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Floods Cannot Drown the Love of Jesus

You can help the people of Pakistan in at least two ways:
1. Pray.

2. Send an Action Pack.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Summer break is over...

Snacks are all cleaned up
now. No more scattered books or
laundry warm this space.

A prayer for the students and the people they are serving today...

John 1:29

Come and Behold Him (John 1:29) by John Chisum and George Searcy

Come and behold Him, come see His glory
Come with an honest heart
To see all He is
We will discover all of His beauty
His light will burn away
All the darkness we’ve known

Come and behold Him
Come and behold Him
Come with an hon – est heart
To see all He is
Come and behold Him
Wait now before Him
Come with an hon – est heart
To see all He is

Verse 2:
Come and behold Him
Come see His mercy
Come find His tenderness
Reaching to you
Just as a mirror
Shows a reflection
His word and Spirit come
Now reflecting His love

(Repeat Chorus 2 times)


Come with an hon – est heart
To see all he is
Come and behold Him
Come and behold
Behold Him
Album : Firm Foundation
Artist : Various Artist

Monday, August 9, 2010

Little Loving Things Today--August 9

Standing over the trash can eating cherries with my sweetheart and spitting out the pits...

<3 <3 <3

Why are you all dressed up today?

Just for you...

<3 <3 <3

Shopping together for a thank-you gift for the dogsitter...

<3 <3 <3

Oh, I didn't take my eight o'clock meds yet.

Want me to get them for you?

No, you don't have to.

But I will.

You were going to change into shorts, too, but I guess you didn't.

This is different. I'm going to get them for you.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Oh, praise the One who paid my debt!

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked,
following the course of this world,
following the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—
among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh,
carrying out the desires of the body and the mind,
and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,
even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—
by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him
and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace
in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

For by grace you have been saved through faith.
And this is not your own doing;
it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:1-10

Oh, praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Musings on a New Season of Motherhood

Well, we're leaving now. Call us if you need anything over the weekend...

Okay, have a safe trip, Mom.

Have a safe trip, Mom? I'm supposed to be the one saying, Have a safe trip, as he leaves for camp, or tour, or school, or whatever the next adventure is... Now instead of him leaving for a trip without us, we are leaving for a trip without him.

1:00 AM The phone rings in our hotel room as we sleep.

Mom, I think I have to take Cherith to the Emergency Room. She might have appendicitis or something.

Oh, I am not supposed to be 200 miles away when something like this happens. I should be panicking, but I'm not. He is calm and caring and ready to do whatever it takes to be sure his sister is safe.

Although he is not a parent yet, our son has stepped out of childhood and begun his journey of manhood. Not that it began with this incident, but I just became more conscious of it at this time, I guess.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Summer Break

Scattered snacks litter
space that waited all year for
dormancy to end.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Conneaut Lake Sunset Illustrated

Conneaut Lake sun-
set obscured by lacy tufts
sheds rose rays on waves.

Photo by Bill Danielewicz

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Conneaut Lake Sunset

Conneaut Lake sun-
set obscured by lacy tufts
sheds rose rays on waves.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

On the Eve of Independence Day

Songbirds serenede
While Bill washes the gray car
And I prune roses.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

El Camino

I love the story of John and Wilma. I'm not sure how long Wilma had been following Jesus before her husband John signed up to go on a missions trip with the men of her church, even though he was not yet a Christian.

While working alongside the men, John was amazed. When things went wrong, they did not curse and argue. They praised God and worked hard together to solve whatever problems arose without bickering or blaming.

Not too long after that, John surrendered his life to Christ and began to volunteer on the missions committee at their church. "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:35

At a point in their lives when many people are finishing their life's work by slowing down and settling in at a warm, sunny retirement community, John and Wilma's life had just begun, and they decided to spend their golden years assisting a missionary family in Central America.

I hope that you will read the rest of the story here.

Lord, please give us an El Camino in our golden years!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Nit Picking Can Be a Blessing, or, A Friend Loves at All Times

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17

Dave and Carol came down to see us this weekend. From the first time I visited them in their country house we were friends. Dave was a close friend of Bill’s who was instrumental in leading him to the Lord.

Once we were married and I finally became pregnant, we planned to sell one of our cars so I could quit my job and stay at home full time. Unfortunately the car didn’t sell, so when our new son was a few months old I was able to find some temporary office work to help out. I had already taken a six-month maternity leave from my teaching job and with summer vacation upon us, the budget was getting really tight. My first assignment was a half hour away from home, but just a couple of miles away from Dave and Carol’s place, and they graciously agreed to care for our baby while I worked that summer. There were a lot of “big brothers and sisters” at the Loringer’s house and the kids are good friends to this day.

When our younger kids were babies and toddlers, it didn’t matter to them that there was such an age difference between our kids and theirs. This was the one place where we could visit and I could totally relax. Carol had a way of dealing with everything that could possibly arise with grace, humor, and ease. As my mother-in-law used to say, “Nothing ruffles that woman’s feathers.” How I longed to be like her!

Years later, when head lice was going around at school, I acquired it, too. As sweet and loving and sacrificing as they normally were, even through hard times, none of my family members would come into our house while I was dealing with it. Carol not only came over to see me, but she patiently sat on the sofa and picked the nits out of my hair while I sat “crisscross applesauce” on the floor in front of her.

Now that we live 300 miles away from each other, our visits are few and far between. It meant so much to us that they drove down for Bill’s 50th birthday party this weekend—the only folks from our northwest PA homeland who were able to make the trip. Our time together was precious and our friendship of more than 22 years is something we are really grateful for.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Unconventional Date

The doctor's office was very busy today.
Almost all of the seats in the waiting area were taken.
But we found two together
Just for us.

Then the room seemed almost empty
And we were like a couple seated in a booth at a restaurant
During the dinner hour,
Surrounded by many,
yet just we two.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

While Proverbs 31 is remembered mostly for it's description of a godly woman, it is good to take notice of the first part of the passage, which describes a godly man.

Happy Father's Day to Bill, my Proverbs 31 man...

"O my son, O son of my womb,
O son of my vows,

do not spend your strength on women,
your vigor on those who ruin kings.

"It is not for kings, O Lemuel—
not for kings to drink wine,
not for rulers to crave beer,

lest they drink and forget what the law decrees,
and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.

Give beer to those who are perishing,
wine to those who are in anguish;

let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.

"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.

Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy."

Many blessings to you, Bill, today and every day...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Promise Remembered

Lord, why is it that whenever things are going really, really well, then something happens to pull her away from us?

No, it's the other way around. Every time something pulls her away from you, I always bring her back.

"...greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world." 1 John 4:4

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Lord, it's been 12 years! I didn't think we would be waiting so long!

"Then I will make up to you for the years That the swarming locust has eaten, The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust..." Joel 2:25

I trust you, Lord.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Little Loving Things Today

Aren't you going to cook the vegetables in the gravy?

Well, not everyone wants vegetables in their gravy. Can't you just mix them on your dish?

I guess so. [Goes outside to check on the green beans and radishes that he just planted.]

Hmm, I do have another pot. I'll just cook some of the veggies and half of the gravy in that one.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Oh, I thought everything on this pile was insurance information...but the larger packet is an anniversary present!

Isn't it a little late?

No, it's not for our anniversary; it's for your 10 year anniversary at work--a letter, a plaque--and here's a catalog for your to pick out a gift...

Well, take a look at it and see what you like.

Auntie: It's his anniversary--he should pick out what he wants.

[She keeps looking through the catalog anyway.] The jewelry box on the first page looks nice. Clock? No. Watch? Uh uh. Jewelry--some lovely things there, but I like the special things I already have. Um, Rachel Ray sautee pan? Maybe. Lots of stuff in here, more stuff--luggage, grill--pretty nice stuff!

I really like the jewelry box...

That would be good for you to have.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Irritative specks
frustrate sweethearts sworn to love.
As tears fall, pearls grow.

Each tear, sigh, earnest
plea for understanding, strings
lustrous, living strands.