Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dust to Dust

A day of indulgence on Fat Tuesday followed by smudged foreheads of ash. Today is Ash Wednesday. A day when priests and pastors mark parishioners foreheads or the palm of the hand with a black smudge of ash. It is the first day of Lent in which many take the six weeks before Easter to prepare their hearts for resurrection day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The distribution of ashes is to remind us all that the life we live now will end and we need to seek repentance for our an about face turning from our sinful nature. It is a time to focus on our spiritual lives and maybe even set some spiritual goals for ourselves. Hopefully the goals we set will become a habit and thus continue far beyond the Easter season. So, I challenge you all to set three goals for yourself this Lent.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I was told by my uncle this past weekend that I have "tenacity". I've pondered his statement for most of this week wondering if my personality reflected this word. Tenacity is derived from the root word tenacious. The definition of tenacious has some good things, but maybe some things that aren't so good as a reflection of ones character. The synonyms for tenacious are very animal like...bullheaded, dogged, pigheaded, and mulish. I prefer not to relate myself to these snorting, barking, oinking, he hawing creatures.

So let's just say I tend to hold persistently to my Jesus and cling to the nail pierced hand of my Master. I hold fast to the Word of God and try earnestly to retain it to memory. If I am obstinate or stubborn, it is only because I truly believe in the my Immanuel and His great and precious promises.

I am a tenacious child of God!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Gift or Talent?

When I'm down I love to dance! So today I put one of my most loved Christian groups, Selah, into the player and blasted the music. I sang. I danced. I praised my Father. It was an awesome time with my Lord. I held the mic, pointed to the crowd (even though I was the singer and the audience), and tears flowed freely as I thanked my Jesus. The whole half hour was a grand time and made me think of the one gift I had not yet touched since we moved to Pennsylvania. Actually, I had not opened this gift in nearly two years. The last time I held the gift in my hands, Satan made me feel...I allowed Satan to make me feel terribly unworthy and incapable of the gift. The kids came home and I once again pushed the desire of the gift to the back of my brain.

Later, after dinner, I wanted to listen to my music again. I sent the kiddos upstairs to study AWANA books and read their Bibles and I pushed the play button. As I listened, quite restrained from earlier, the urge came back to get my much loved gift out. I raised my body from the couch, climbed the stairs, went through my bedroom, got on the floor in my walk in closet, and began to search for my gift. It didn't take long to find the black case. It had seen it's better years and no longer has a handle. So I picked it up, cradled it in my arms, carried it to my bed, and opened the case.

The red crushed velvet kept the the stringed instrument clean. I just stared at the beauty of the violin for a moment and then glanced at the two bows with loose horse strands that needed a good pulling. I placed the chin pad on the instrument and then the fiddle in the crook of my neck. I plucked the strings and fine tuned it. The "A" peg still slipped as I remembered. I began to play..."I Need Thee"...fiddled "Power in the Blood"...went into "Dance"...then ended with "I Love You Lord". I attempted "Old Rugged Cross" and then played my favorite..."Amazing Grace".

Some might say to play a violin is a talent and maybe not a gift. I should have to agree. The gift the Lord has given me is...I do not use music...I play by ear. I can read music, but I just like to see if I can kick the tune out without the music. Actually, the talent and the gift probably intermix with each other, but all I know is...I pleased my Heavenly Father tonight. I played for Him.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Petition Congress for a Bailout

Two chocolate cupcakes with butter cream frosting, four chocolate chip cookies, two handfuls of m & m’s, and countless pieces of pepperoni and cheese has been my indulgence or should I say my comfort the last four hours. Do you think I’m stressed? Apparently the Lord feels I need a little character development at this point in my life. I strongly disagree with Him and continue to plead for a resolution to our current situation.

I’m distraught, tired, tearful, and angry all in one breath and the next breath is followed by the same until I’m left gasping for air and feeling as though I’m going to suffocate. I just want to hide in a corner with a blanket over me, close my eyes, and hope for a kiss from my King to make all things better. I just want to get away from the madness around me.

Here is the scenario. Imagine 24 below zero with a wind chill factor of -44. The furnace trips, the pipes freeze, followed by pipes bursting, and 4,000 gallons of water gushing in epic proportions from the second floor down to the basement. Have you ever seen the movie Titanic? The unexpected water flow was not found for days. Hence, ice everywhere and four foot of water in the basement. This is what happened to our vacant home in Iowa that we have been trying to sell since April 2008. We were just days away from selling it to the company and ending our tumultuous double mortgage payments. It’s been a struggle to say the least. If this were not enough, the company will only give us until February 22nd (three weeks away) to have the home in top condition or we loose the opportunity to have them buy us out. The damage to the home is extensive. The insurance company is dragging their feet and our cash flow is dwindling. I’m thinking about going to congress and petition for a bailout. It they can give out billions to dishonest people who made bad choices, what about the honest American who is trying desperately hard to stay afloat and make good choices. My husband and I have actually discussed letting the home foreclose, but know as Christians it is not an option.

I don’t often ask this on my blog, actually I’ve never asked this before, but please pray for us. It is an unprecedented amount of stress for us and our marriage. I keep thinking, today God will bring an answer…give us hope, but it seems to hide from our sight. But then again, maybe I’m just not seeing so well. So pray we see the hand of our Savior and feel King kisses gently upon our cheeks and that we might continue press on toward the goal to win the prize for that which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Kathy Trocolli is singing in my ear right now..."that's how much I love you, that's how much I want you, I gave up my own life that you might live...that's how much I love...that's how much I want you to see that you are my child and you mean so much to me"....Thank you Lord for the sweet kiss goodnight!