Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Merry's Big Day

Tomorrow my little girl will end her time as a baby. I can hardly believe its come so quickly!
It seems like just yesterday that she was lying in my arms, drinking her bottle and looking up at me with those big brown eyes.
Yet, tomorrow, she will take the first steps as a "big girl".
Tomorrow Scott and I will take her to her preschool visitation. She will meet her teachers, get aquainted with some new friends, and familiarize herself with her classroom. I will be standing beside her, choking back tears.

I've looked forward to this day ever since Kelsey was born, but now that its here...I'm not so sure.
I'm feeling this VERY strong baby is leaving me!

I take comfort in knowing that eventually I will get used to the first day of school, and will actually look forward to it!
I also take comfort in knowing tht MY momma managed to survive me "leaving the nest".
She even wrote a poem for me, and presented it to me. And I, at the tender age of five, actually comprehended the poem, and had to force myself not to cry. I remember the moment vividly.
I remember how much my momma loved me.

I hope that Merry remembers her first day, and that its a GOOD memory.
Hopefully it won't contain a memory of her mommy breaking down in tears in her preschool classroom!

On with life...
Congratulations on becoming a big girl, Meredith!
Mommy loves you more than you could ever know.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Traverse City, the PERFECT Place

Hi. Well, I promised that I'd post something about Traverse City.
Oh man! What a lovely trip!
My husband is truly wonderful. (In case any of you didn't know...he is what every woman wishes she had!) He booked us into the Best Western Four Seasons in Traverse City. It was a very nice, big room...very comfortable. The BEST part was this: the room had a large loft with a HUGE two-person jacuzzi in it! Talk about wonderful...I was soooo relaxed.

We spent alot of time wandering around Traverse City. We played miniature golf three times...mainly because Scott wanted to beat me at it. I won the first two games...he won the last. It was great! :)

We ate at Boone's...unquestionably the BEST steakhouse EVER. We ate there twice...thanks to the Hemmes' family! :) And we enjoyed every bite. :) (Oh...and we enjoyed fellowshipping with our friends, the Hemmes'.)

We went to church on Sunday morning. Bro. Hemmes and Scott conspired against me and I was forced to sing...sigh...
THEY said I did well, but you can never tell, maybe they were just trying to make me feel better!
After church, we attended a picnic with the church, that was fun. :) It was gorgeous weather for a picnic and the fellowship was so refreshing.

Later that evening we went rollerblading by Lake Michigan, and then went to our favorite pizza place, Paesanos, for a great meal.

All in all, it was a marvellous trip!
Thanks to my mom and dad for watching the girls and the dog, and also to my in-laws for a very generous birthday gift.
A special thanks to Jim McDonald, for his generosity as well!

I HIGHLY recommend visiting Traverse City for at least a weekend. You will NOT regret it!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A GetAway

I'm so excited! Tomorrow morning, my sweet husband is taking me away for a long weekend trip. We will be going up to Traverse City, MI, the city we hope to live in someday.
My wonderful parents are watching the girls, and the dog, and Scott and I are on our own for four wonderful days. :)
So...I probably won't be posting anything until we get back. I plan to sleep, sleep and sleep some more...uninterrupted little girls opening up the door in the middle of the night, or crying out in their sleep because they lost their pacifier!

I highly recommend that all of you try to visit Traverse City at least once. I promise you that you won't be disappointed.

See you Monday!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A Man After God's Own Heart

A Man After God’s Own Heart

Once upon a time, there was a young man named David, who was close to God. He was a tender of sheep and he would spend hours each day in the fields with his flock.
He would take his small harp with him every day, and while his sheep were grazing, he would compose songs of praise to his God.
One day a bear attacked his flock, and God gave the young man strength to kill the bear. Another time a lion caught one of his lambs, and God once again gave him the strength to kill the lion. He was close to God, and God was close to him.

When he was a little older, his country went to war against the Philistines. His older brothers went to battle, and he was left home to tend his flock and help his father. There came a day when his father sent him to the battlefield to bring food to his brothers, and to make sure that they were still alive. When he reached the camp, all the soldiers were hiding in fear from the enemy and their champion, a giant named Goliath.
David rebuked the army for their fear and distrust in the Lord, and he took his sling and some smooth stones and went to face Goliath.
He went to Goliath in the name of his God, and when he slung the stone at the giant, God directed the stone, and it sunk deep into Goliath’s head. Goliath fell, and David cut the giant’s head off with his own sword.

Sometime later, David became king of Israel, anointed by the hand of his God. He was a great king with much vision for his people, and he was loved by his subjects. However, he let himself get sidetracked and a little distant from God.

Israel was at war, and in those times, the kings went to war with their armies. In this particular season, however, David decided to stay home from the battle. He dismissed his servants and sat on his rooftop in the sunshine, sipping lemonade, and thoroughly enjoying himself. After awhile, he got up and went to the wall of his roof, and looked over. There, on a neighboring rooftop, was a beautiful woman, bathing herself.
Now, here was a man who was what the Bible calls, “a man after God’s own heart”, looking at something that he shouldn’t have been looking at! He was getting himself into some major trouble.
As he looked at her, he became obsessed with knowing who she was, so he sent a servant to bring her to him. He found that her name was Bathsheba, and that her husband was in his army, at war.
David decided that since he was king, he could have whatever he wanted, so he took Bathsheba and fornicated with her. Then he sent her home, back to her house.
Not long after, Bathsheba sent word to the king that she was pregnant. With his child. Hmmm….what was David going to do now? (I think if I had been him, I would be doing some heavy-duty praying!) David made another stupid choice.
He sent a message to the captain of his and requested that Bathsheba’s husband be sent home for a brief leave. Uzziah came home, but refused to leave the king’s doorstep because he felt guilty for being home in comfort when his fellow soldiers were fighting in the war. He would not go home to see his wife, and so David’s plan for saving his own hide went awry.
David sent Uriah back to the battlefront with a message to the captain. The message simply said that Uriah was to be sent to the front-line, which pretty much guaranteed that he would be killed.

Okay, let’s see here…what was it that we said before…that David was a man after GOD’S own heart??? Come on!! He sure doesn’t sound like a godly man at this point in his life.

Anyways, Uriah died on the front-line, and David took Bathsheba as one of his wives. He decided to try to make things right. Bathsheba gave birth to a baby boy, and all seemed to be well. But David forgot one little detail. He forgot to talk to God.
Pretty soon he received a visit from the prophet, Nathan, who proceeded to tell him a terrible story about a rich man that coveted and stole a poor man’s only sheep. David was furious and said that the man who committed such a crime deserved to die! And Nathan said to him, “You are that man.”
David was so ashamed and confessed that he had sinned against the Lord. Nathan told him that God would forgive him, but because of his sin, his son would die. After seven days, Bathsheba’s child died.

Now, the point of this story is not to tell you that you are going to be severely punished for your sins, so hold on a second. I’ll get to the point in just a minute!

After the incident with the prophet, and the death of his child, David got out his harp, and wrote another song. The song that he wrote has been sung and re-sung for thousands of years. If you look in your Bible in the book of Psalms, and read chapter 51, you will find why David was a man after God’s own heart.

“ Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stains of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt. Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my shameful deeds – they haunt me day and night.
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just.
For I was born a sinner – yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
But you desire honesty from the heart, so you can teach me to be wise in my inmost being.
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me – now let me rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt.

Isn’t it amazing how God forgives? That psalm of David proved that he was indeed still a man after God’s own heart. He knew that he had sinned, and he was sorry. Not only was he sorry, but he ASKED GOD FOR FORGIVENESS! Not only did he ask God for forgiveness, but he made a conscious effort in his heart to change, to be a better person, and to live and walk closely with the Lord.

Sometimes you and I mess up in our lives, kind of like David did. And although we feel sorry for what we did, sometimes its very hard for us to admit we were wrong and CHANGE HOW WE DO THINGS! Think about this for a minute…how do you suppose David’s country felt about their king sinning in such a way? I imagine that they were pretty disappointed in their leader, and I also imagine that David felt their disappointment. But somehow he managed to get up from the pit that he dug for himself, and in spite of his human nature, he repented. He didn’t just say, “God, I’m sorry.” He actually changed his way of living, and his way of acting. He became, once again, A MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART.

You and I can do the same, if we will purpose in ourselves to really WANT to live for God. We can be men and women after God’s own heart.

The Promise and The Hope

The Promise and the Hope

Written by Kendra Roberts

When Darkness starts to threaten,
And it seems you’ve lost the Light of Day,
When storm clouds roll on the horizon,
And the Sun’s brightness fades,
When no one stands beside you,
And you face the storm alone,
When all faces are those of strangers,
And all friends are gone,
When the great Unknown looms ahead,
And all that’s familiar is behind,
When the path is straight and narrow,
And the mountaintop is too high to reach,
When the Life is uncertain,
And you’ve lost the will to go on…

Just remember where you came from,
Where you were in the past.
Remember the trials and tribulations
That seemed would never end!
And remember the One who said He would
Be with you and stand by you,
No matter what the cost.
Just remember how He brought you out
Of the deep, miry clay.
Remember how He set your feet
On a solid Rock to stay.
Remember how He put a new song in your heart
To sing of His praises!

Although right now it may seem
That your circumstances are dreary
And it may seem that the Darkness
Will blot out the Light of Day.
It may seem that the storm is on the horizon,
And the Sun’s brightness is gone.
Perhaps no one stands beside you,
And you face the storm alone.
Maybe strangers surround you,
And you cannot find a friend.
The Unknown lies ahead,
And the familiar is left behind.
The pathway is straight and narrow,
And the mountaintop is too high.
Life has become Uncertain,
And you do not want to go on.


God is still before you,
Behind you,
On your right hand and on your left.
His angels still surround you,
And in His arms you will find rest.
He will not let you fall,
Nor will He let you slip.
His hand will guide you
Through the storm, through the night,
And on to the Brightest Light.
His voice will comfort you,
His hand will be in yours,
And no matter where you find yourself,
He will be
Beside you.
And He will give you sweet peace.

I wrote this poem a long time ago, during a trying time, and I have found it to be true that God is ALWAYS with us. It doesn't matter where we are in our lives, He is there beside us, taking care of us, comforting us, and guiding us.
May you find that truth as well.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Birthday Blues (Just Kidding!)

"I got the birthday blues, take 'em away, take 'em away, take 'em away!"

Just kidding.
Even though I will be turning 28 in just two days...I'm still feelin' young. :)
I guess it helps that whenever people try to guess my age they guess me around 19 or 20...and if you look past the ever present grey hairs, I might even look that young!

I have heard so many people say that after 26 they just dreaded every birthday. I can honestly say that, so far, I haven't dreaded any of my birthdays. Unless you count that horrible 16th birthday. That one was pretty bad!
Really, I look forward to my birthday, and turning another year older. Hey, think of all the experiences I've had over the past few lost, love gained, marriage, pregnancy and then another pregnancy. Now I'm in the toddler years...the terrible two's and the traumatic three's.
I'm just thankful that NEXT year...when I'm turning 29...I'll be ALMOST PAST THE TODDLER YEARS!!!

This year, well, I'm just happy to be healthy and loved.
God has blessed me and my family.

Happy birthday to me!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

News On Merry

Hi. Just wanted to give you a brief update on Merry's condition.
She seems to be doing aLOT better today. Her fever was down, and the bite on her leg wasn't nearly as red and swollen as yesterday.
We are still keeping a very close eye on it, though, and really appreciate all your prayers.
God bless you all.

Friday, August 19, 2005

A Special Prayer Request Meredith and I had quite a scare. Scott and I noticed on Wednesday morning that Merry had a HUGE mosquito bite on her leg. It was really swollen and a bit red. We gave her Benadryl and kept an eye on it. By last evening it was starting to look quite a bit better, but was still a little swollen. We didn't think anything more of it until my mom saw it today.
Merry's leg had developed a blotchy red rash all around the bite, and was very swollen. She developed a fever very quickly and I immediately called her pediatrician.
They got her in this afternoon, took one look at her leg, and told me that if I had waited any longer, she would have had to go to the emergency room and probably would have been put on an iv antibiotic!
Apparently, during the night, an infection developed, and her leg is pretty bad right now.
They've put her on some very strong antibiotics and I have very clear instructions on washing and taking care of the bite. I also have very clear instructions on how quickly to get her to the ER if anything changes!
Please say a prayer for my baby. I want this thing to clear up as soon as possible!

Thank God my mom saw the infection in time.
We'd appreciate your prayers.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

A New Experience

I have recently been voted in as a member of our "southern gospel" quartet at church.
Today was our second time singing, and let me tell you, I had no idea it was so hard to sing southern gospel style! Its actually a bit more difficult than the singing I'm used to doing.
I was "plumb wore out" after singing today.
Hopefully I get used to this new form of singing, and make some improvments on my part.
Lord, help me! :)

Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Rivers Flow, Flow


The rivers flow, flow,
Rushing down into green valleys.
No one can quench them but God.

They cleanse the land
As they rush down the mountain,
Bringing health and purity.

The rivers flow, flow,
Running down my eyes,
No one can quench them but God.

I weep because they keep not Your law!
It is time for You to work, God.
For they have made Your law void!

The tears flow, flow,
Making tracks down my face.
No one can quench them but God.

My soul groans within me,
As I behold the transgressors
Who keep not Your Word.

The tears flow, flow,
Gushing from deep within.
No one can quench them but God.

In my distress I cried,
And the Lord God heard,
And delivered me!

The rivers flow, flow,
Making fertile the soil of my soul.
No one can quench them but God.

They cleanse our souls
As they run down,
Bringing health and purity.

Rivers of waters run down mine eyes,
because they keep not thy law.
Psalm 119:136

And he shall be like a tree planted
by the rivers of water,
that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither:
and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Psalm 1:3

Written by Kendra Roberts
June 27, 1997

Friday, August 12, 2005

A Fun Night Out

Tonight we took the girls up to the kiddie waterpark, here in Canton.
They looked so cute in their little purple bathing suits!
Meredith loves to go up there and watch the other kids get wet. She will stick her toes in here and there and get splashed a little, but we haven't reached the point of total oneness with the water. As for Kelsey...well...she HATES the waterpark! I'm hoping that eventually she gets a little less watershy, and jumps right in.

Tonight was "Oldies" night at the waterpark. There was a dj there playing oldies but goodies, and the kids got to play games like musical chairs and have dance contests. They also had a hula hoop contest. My kiddos are a little young for all that, but Kelsey LOVED the music!

Scott and I sat in our camp chairs and Kelsey stood on the sidewalk in front of us. She entertained us (and everyone around us) for a good 20 minutes with her dance routines. I haven't laughed so hard in ages! The kid actually looks like she knows what she's doing! At one point she had her arms in the air and was pumping them up and down, pointing her index fingers to the sky. It was hilarious!

Merry spent most of her time running back and forth between Kelsey's dance and the sprinkler. We had a really good time, and it felt great to be out as a family.

Its amazing, but as I watched the girls tonight, I felt such awe at what God made...two beautiful little beings. And they are MINE to love!!! What a treasure!

Thursday, August 11, 2005


I wrote this poem this morning for a very special little boy.
Daniel is in my Sunday School class and is such a sweet little guy.
He's had some traumatic things happen in the past year, but he's stayed so sweet, and God has blessed him with some special gifts.
I hope you enjoy the poem.


A bright little smile on a shy little face
Hands in his pockets, tie in its place
Shoes neatly tied
Shirt tucked in
It’s Daniel, on Sunday morning,
Neat as a pin

He’s always happy to be there
And never has a complaint
He asks for prayer
For his daddy dear
And bows his head
When we pray

I love to see him come to Sunday School
His smile just lights up the room
I think that God gave him special gifts
Of love and joy, not gloom
He brings good cheer with him
And shows me such respect

My, how I’m going to miss him
As he joins his daddy far away
Sundays just won’t be the same now
Without Daniel and his joy
But I’m so happy that he once again
Can be Daddy’s little boy

Keep smiling, sweet Daniel
Don’t ever lose those gifts
Of love and cheer
And spreading joy
Such wonderful things from
A precious little boy

Written with love by Sis. Kendra for Daniel Manuel
August 11, 2005

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Feelin' the Pressure

Today is going to be "one of those days". I can tell. I've crammed in so many things today, that I'm already feeling the pressure, and its only 9 a.m.!
Merry got me up at 8:30...big surprise...and wanted to play with her new dolls.
I have to clean the house, because company's coming over this evening.

I have to grocery shop, because I promised to make my famous mostacholli for the assistant pastor and his wife tonight. Dinner is at six...and I'm hoping to have time to cook it!
I have to take my kids to my mom's, hurry to the store, hurry home to put away the groceries, and then hurry to my voice lesson!
I'm feelin' worried about my voice lesson, because I just found out that I have to sing in a receital in just a couple weeks, and the song I chose to learn is really,really difficult!
As soon as my lesson ends, I have to rush back, pick up the kids, rush home and start cookin' up supper.
I'm expecting the assistant pastor and his wife to stay until about 7:30, then I have to rush over to a friend's house to stay with her for a couple hours. (she is having a stomach biopsy today, and her parents have church tonight, and I need to stay with her while they are gone.)
So...there you life today in a nutshell.
I hope I survive the day! :)

p.s. I'm not complaining, mind you, just observing how today will be.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

More Than a Savior

More Than a Savior

“Isn’t that the carpenter’s son up there?” a hushed voice asked.
“Yes, that’s the son of Joseph, “ answered another.
“He grew up here in Nazareth.”

The crowd in the synagogue buzzed and murmured, whispering their disapproval of the man who was teaching.

“He’s just an ordinary Nazarene. His whole family lives in this village!”
“Where did he get all this knowledge?”
“Who does he think he is?”

The comments flew back and forth, and the people grew frenzied.
The Man they were speaking of ceased His teaching. His eyes searched the crowd, looking for just one who would believe. He found none.

He looked perfectly ordinary as He stood there in front of His people. His clothes were rough and plain as befitted a poor man from Nazareth. His hair was just plain brown, greying a bit at the temples. He was of medium build and by no means was He considered to be handsome.
But something stood out about the Man. Something was different about Him. Something stirred people when He was near.
Was it the way He spoke with such gentle confidence? Was it the way His hazel eyes seemed to look right through, all the way to the soul? Was it His unorthodox teachings? No, it was something much deeper, much bigger – something no one could explain.

The Man rolled up His scroll, and held it close to His heart. Then He spoke, and His voice quieted the murmuring for a moment.
“A prophet, “ He said. “has honor wherever he may be – until he comes to his home. There he is given no honor. “
His eyes roved the congregation once more, then He walked down, through the crowd, and out into the street.

Wherever the Man, Jesus Christ, went, the people were disquieted. Somehow His very presence changed a place.
By just a word from His mouth, the sick were healed, the dead lived again, and people’s lives were changed.
His teachings were remarkable. Many disagreed with His theology. He talked of loving your enemies. He spoke in riddles that very few understood. He said that He was sent from God. He said that He was God!

People either loved the Man, or hated Him. They either believed His teachings, or they thought Him a complete fool. There were no grey areas. Love or Hate. Belief or Unbelief.
Many questioned Him. How could he be God? He was just an ordinary man, a carpenter! Wasn’t he?
But others just believed. He was God, robed in flesh. The Messiah, come to deliver them. Wasn’t He?
Who was He? Just a man? Or was He truly the sovereign God? Who is He to YOU?

Mary straightened her head covering over her honey-brown hair. She gripped the broom in her hand and began to sweep the dust from the house. She hummed a little tune under her breath as she worked.

Suddenly a bright light, brighter than anything she’d ever seen, filled the room! She dropped to her knees, still gripping the broom.
“What is it?” She whispered, her body shaking with fear.
“Fear not, “ a gentle voice spoke from the light. “You are blessed among women. God has chosen you, Mary, to bear the Messiah.”
“What?” she gasped, clutching the handle of the broom so tightly that her knuckles were white. “Me? I’m the one to bring the Messiah into the world? But how?”
“God’s spirit will overshadow you, and you will be with child, “ spoke the angel of Light.
“The Messiah, “ she breathed. And she believed.

Some months later, in a stable in Bethlehem, the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in the only bed she had for Him: a manger, filled with hay.
Mary’s husband, Joseph, watched as she cared for the babe. There was something different about this baby, Jesus. Joseph knew, and in his heart he believed.
Shepherds and wise men, instructed by angels of the Lord, came to see the child. When their eyes looked upon Him, they fell to their knees and worshipped Him. And when they left, they took His presence with them. They would never be the same.

The years passed, and the boy grew, just as any child. But there was always something different about Him. There was something that made Him stand out from the rest of the children in Nazareth. But what was it?
Soon He was a man, working along with Joseph in the carpenter’s shop. He was good with His hands, and no one ever complained about His work. But still He was different.
He spent much time alone. He would walk through the fields or sit alone in the shade, watching the people. He never married, and the townspeople whispered that, yes indeed, that Jesus was a strange one!

For the most part, folks left Him alone. That is, until one day when something strange took place.

It was just an ordinary wedding feast, at least, that is what everyone thought! But something happened that day that changed lives.
During the feast the wine ran out. People were asking the servants for more wine, but there was none.
Jesus was sitting with His mother and His disciples, and Mary realized that there was a need.
“Jesus, “ she said. “They have no wine.” She looked up to Him with complete confidence, her hazel eyes shining. Then she turned to the servants and said, “Whatever He tells you to do, do it.”
“Fill the waterpots with water, “ Jesus said to them. And they filled them to the brim.
“Now draw out of them and serve the master.”

And when they drew out of the pots, the water had turned to the finest of wines. The servants were in awe of Him, and that day His disciples believed on Him. To them He was no longer just a man – He was a miracle-worker.
That was the beginning of miracles. From that day forth Jesus changed lives. For the next three and a half years He traveled through the country, healing the sick, raising the dead, and mending broken people.
Countless people were touched by His hand – never to be the same. The worst of sinners were loved by Him – and believed in Him. But still many wondered, “Who is He?”

Wherever He went, thousands of people would gather to hear Him teach. They would sit, spellbound, for hours as He taught them about love and forgiveness. Some

even followed Him from city to city – just to be near to the Great Teacher. Word of the man, Jesus, spread like wildfire. People would travel many miles, bringing their sick to be healed by Him.

But there were those who did not believe, and they did their best to destroy Him. They feared His power and His influence over the people, so they tried to stir up trouble. They would ask Him questions that were meant to trap Him, but He never answered them quite like they expected Him to! Somehow they were the ones who ended up being questioned! And so their hatred for Jesus grew. Even as their hatred grew, the belief of the people grew!

Then one day they killed Him. One of Jesus’ own disciples betrayed Him, and handed Him over to His enemies. He was given an unfair trial, in which He was accused of blasphemy against God. They stripped Him and beat Him until He was nearly dead. They plucked His beard, spit in His face, and hit Him. They put a fine robe upon His wounded body and thrust a crown of thorns upon His head, and then they mocked Him.

“All hail the King of the Jews, “ they cried. “Bow down to the mighty king!” They laughed and jeered as He stood before them, tears running with the blood down His cheeks.
The Creator stood, wounded and weary, as His creation mocked Him. Those that He had formed with His own hands had beaten Him and laughed at Him, and soon they would kill Him.
Finally they placed a rough, heavy cross on His shoulders, and pushed Him toward Golgotha. There they laid Him upon the cross and drove nails through His hands and feet. And they left Him there to die, thinking that they had claimed the victory!

But Jesus Christ was no ordinary man. Even death could not diminish nor defeat His power, for He was God robed in flesh. He created Life and Death, and neither could overcome Him.

Even as He hung and bled and died on that cross, people believed on Him. Even in death He changed lives and saved souls. And even in death His amazing love was evident.

After He died on the cross, He was buried. But, although His human body had died, His spirit lived on. He resurrected Himself, and even more believed after He rose from the dead.
His enemies had tried to defeat Him with their hatred, but His love overcame that hatred. No matter how they tried to squelch belief in Him, they never succeeded.
Those who believed that Jesus Christ, the Man, was God, the Savior of the world, spread their belief to others. They passed the truth of Him down from generation to generation. And still belief in Him grows.

Who was He? Who IS He? The questions are still asked today. Was He just a man? A great teacher? A magician? A scholar? Or was He truly the Messiah? A Savior? Is He God?

To me He is many things. He is the sovereign God, my Savior! He died on the cross to save my soul. He took my sins and gave me new Life! But He is more than just a savior. He is my Friend. He hears my every cry, He knows my deepest secrets, and yet He still loves me! He is my God, my Savior, and my Friend.

Who is He to you? Is He just a man who lived long ago? Is He your savior? Or is He the Lord of your life, your Friend?
Maybe you have never asked yourself those questions. If that is the case, perhaps now is the time to search your heart. Who is He to you?
If you will seek Him, you will find Him. And when you find Him, you will find your Best Friend.
So go now, seek Him, and find the One who will be more than a Savior to you!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Emmanuel, God With Us

by Kendra Roberts Lynn

“Emmanuel, “ a whispered prophecy,
Passed down from generation to generation.
Father told it to son, mother to daughter.
“Emmanuel, God with us.
Someday. “

“Emmanuel, “ a hope given year after year.
“He will come, “ said the fathers.
“With a mighty army! “
“He will deliver us, “ said the mothers.
“Someday. “

“Emmanuel, “ a song sung to the children,
As their mothers rocked them to sleep.
“Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God,
The Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
Someday. “

“Emmanuel, “ said Joseph’s father.
“He will come soon. He will deliver! “
“Yes, Father, “ answered Joseph.
“He will free us from bondage.
Someday. “

“Emmanuel, “ Mary’s mother told her.
“May come any day. Perhaps today! “
“Yes, Mother, “ agreed Mary.
“He will come in glory and majesty.
Someday. “

“Emmanuel, “ the angel told Mary.
“Will be carried by you. “
“Emmanuel, “ breathed Mary.
“He has finally come! No more
Someday. He is here. “

“Emmanuel, “ said the angel to Joseph.
“You will be a father to Him. “
“Emmanuel, “ whispered Joseph.
“I will be a father to Him,
Someday soon! “

“Emmanuel “ was born in a stable.
He came, but not with an army.
He came, but not as a King.
He came as the babe, Jesus,
But He was still “Emmanuel. “

“Emmanuel “ grew as any child.
But He was strong in spirit,
Filled with wisdom.
And the people still said,
“Someday He will come. “

“Emmanuel, “ the people whispered.
“How can a carpenter be the one? “
So they scoffed and ridiculed Him.
They ignored the mighty works
That were done by the Man, Jesus.

“Emmanuel “ a Man not received by His own.
They hung Him on a tree,
His blood dripping down the Cross.
They mocked Him, even as He died.
Still they said, “Someday. “

“Emmanuel “ rose on the third day,
And then the world began to know,
That the prophecy was fulfilled.
The hope came to pass, and the song was true.
God with us!

“Emmanuel, “ proclaim His name today!
Tell all the nations of His might!
Testify of His unconditional love!
Shout to the world that

“God Is With Us! “

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Slippery but Beautiful

Hey there.
Last night I drove to Marshall, Michigan for another campmeeting at our church's campground.
I dolled the girls up in their beautiful Mexican Princess dresses and headed on over. It took over an hour to get there, so I took the portable dvd player and let them watch a "mooie" while I drove...they were VERY good!
We got there and I unloaded them and attempted to herd them through the crowd into the sanctuary. I have discovered that cute little princess dresses are lovely, but totally SLIPPERY!!! I couldn't keep ahold of them for anything!
My parents corralled them in between them in the pew, so they were all set during service. However, as soon as service ended, and while I was trying to catch up with all my old friends, those slippery cuties took off!
I spent a good half-hour chasing them down repeatedly in between conversations.
By the time we were ready to leave, it took my mom, my dad and myself to get them out the door and buckled in the van!
I was beat by the time we made it to our hotel!

A word of advice to all you mothers with gorgeous little girls who LOVE princess dresses. When you take them to a big, crowded place in those slippery dresses, where rubber gloves so you can grab hold and keep them in one place!

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Alabaster Box

The Alabaster Box
by Kendra Lynn
“Ah! Hello, stranger, “ called the wizened, old merchant to the man passing by. “Come, see the treasures I have for you! The best gold, silver and precious stones; all at a very good price of course!”
The passerby scowled at the merchant and hurried past his stand. The merchant scowled back, but quickly changed his look as another prospective customer wandered by.
“You, sir! Come, view my wares! The finest gold, silver and precious stones in all the land!” He grinned as the man paused to look over his goods.
“Perhaps a fine gold bracelet for your wife, or a silver platter? A ring, sparkling with diamonds or rubies?” The merchant’s eyes widened as the man pointed to a small box, nearly hidden behind all the finery.
“The alabaster box! Ah, yes, master. This is a very fine box, made of the purest alabaster.” He picked up the box and opened the lid. “And, as you see, sir, inside is a vial of the most precious of anointments. Myrrh.”
“How strange that you, a merchant of fine gold and precious gems, should have such a box in his possession, “ said the man. “What is the story behind this box?”
“The story…ah, yes, the story, “ smiled the merchant. “ Do you have a few moments to spare, master? For the story is a very curious one!”
• • •
The three travelers made their way to the door of a tiny house, gifts in hand. One of them knocked on the door, and as they waited, they hurriedly checked their robes for dust and smoothed their long beards.
The door opened and a man peered out at them. “Yes?” he asked.
The oldest of the three stepped forward.
“We have come from the East to seek the newborn King. Is He here? We bring gifts to honor Him.”
“Come in, “ said the man. “I am Joseph, and this is my wife, Mary.”
“Thank you, Joseph, “ said another of the men. “We have traveled so far to see this child. Where is He?”
Mary picked up the baby from His bed on the floor, and the three men fell to their knees and worshipped Him.
“We bring You gifts, O King, “ said the oldest wise man. “ I bring You gold, so You may never know want.”
“I bring You frankincense, “ said the second wise man.
“And I bring You myrrh, O King, “ said the third, and youngest wise man. He gave to Mary an alabaster box with a small vial of the precious perfume within it.
And once again they knelt and worshipped their King.
• • •
“But, good merchant, why are you telling me this story? Why should I care that three crazy men came and gave gifts to a poor baby?”
“Ah, “ replied the merchant. “He wasn’t just any baby. Listen, master, and I will tell you who this child was.”
• • •
Not long after the visit from the wise men, the angel of the Lord came to Joseph in a dream.
“Take Mary and the child, Jesus, and flee to Egypt, for Herod the king wishes to kill Him, “ said the angel.
So Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt with the child, and that same night Herod issued a decree that all males under the age of two should be killed, for he feared that his kingdom would be taken from him.
• • •
“Good merchant, I have no more time for such a foolish tale, “ sighed the man.
“Wait, wait, “ said the merchant. “ I am almost finished!”
The man shrugged his shoulders. “Go on then.”
“I was selling my wares on the road that leads to Egypt, “ said the merchant with a smile. “A man and woman with a small child stopped and wished to trade with me.” The merchant paused, waiting to see if the story was sinking in.
“Hmph…” said the man, rolling his eyes.
The merchant continued his tale. “I asked the man where he was going in such a hurry, and he told me his story. Then he pulled out this alabaster box and asked what I would pay him for it. I wondered how such a poor man had come to possess such a box. And then…” Once again the merchant paused. He looked at his prospective buyer.
“Well?” demanded the man. “Did he tell you why he owned the box?”
“Yes,” answered the merchant. “ He did. He told me that the baby, named Jesus, was the Messiah.”
“What?” exclaimed the man. “You expect me to believe this tale, merchant?”
“O, master, do you believe me, a humble merchant, capable of creating such a story?” asked the merchant, bowing low to the man.
“Well, no, I guess not. Please finish.”
“Joseph claimed that the child was the Messiah. I, of course, did not believe their story, but I gave them some silver for the box. And that is how I came into possession of a beautiful alabaster box.” He looked expectantly at the man.
“How long have you had this box?”
“About thirty years, master. I set it out each day, along with my other wares. You are the first to ask about it in all these years.”
“Thirty years? Amazing! I wonder what happened to that family?” The man scratched his head thoughtfully.
“I never saw them again, “ said the merchant. “But I have heard of a man called Jesus, who is traveling the countryside. They say He may be the Messiah. He performs many miracles, and I have heard that He even offers forgiveness of sins! Can you imagine?” The merchant laughed heartily as he handed the box to the man.
“Well, master, what do you think? Ten pieces of silver and the box and its story are yours!”
“Hmmm…ten pieces, you say? All right. I’ll take it, and perhaps someday I’ll actually find this Jesus!” He chuckled and poured his silver into the merchant’s waiting hand. “Shalom, good merchant,” he said, and he walked down the road with the alabaster box in his hands.
• • •
The city was teeming with people, as the man with the alabaster box entered its gates. He looked about him somewhat puzzled.
“Jacob!” He turned at the sound of his name and saw a friend making her way toward him.
“Ah, Elizabeth, how good to see you.”
“Jacob, have you heard? Jesus is here!” Elizabeth shifted her heavy basket from one hand to the other.
“Jesus, who is He?” asked Jacob. His hand went to the bag at his side, where he had placed the precious alabaster box.
“Who is He?” Elizabeth threw her head back and laughed. “He’s just the most famous man in all Judea! He travels, teaching and healing people. Its rumored that He has even cast out demons! He’ll be speaking today on the hill just outside the eastern gate. Go, listen to what He has to say.” She patted Jacob’s arm, hefted her basket higher, and said, “Well, I must be going. Shalom, Jacob.”
“Shalom, Elizabeth, “ he muttered to her retreating back.
The crowd around him started moving and talking excitedly. A woman pushed him back, and cried, “Move aside! Here comes Jesus!”
A group of men came into view and he immediately recognized the one called Jesus. His countenance was gentle, yet commanding, and His eyes, when He looked at Jacob, seemed to burn right through into his very soul.
The crowd rushed toward Jesus, calling His name, trying to touch Him. But the men moved on quickly. One of them called out, “Jesus will be teaching on the eastern hill today. You may see Him there.”
The people quieted as the men walked away, and Jacob sighed in relief. He walked to the well to relieve his parched throat with a cool drink of water. A woman was there, dressed in the colorful clothes of a harlot, only her eyes visible above her veil. He looked at her out of the corner of his eye as he drew out a drink of water.
She was quite pretty, he decided, and she looked available. He cupped his hands and drank the water. The woman just stood there, her eyes downcast. He spoke to her.
“Hello.” He smiled his most winning smile, and she lowered her head even further, offering no response to his greeting.
“I said, hello!” He grabbed her arm and she stepped back from him. His face turned angry, and he grabbed her arm again.
“You have no right not to answer me,” he growled. “You are just a woman of the night! Speak, woman!”
“What is it that you want, master, “ she asked. She lifted her head as she spoke.
“Ah, yes. I think you know what I want, “ he replied with a grin. She lowered her head again, as though she were ashamed.
“Come, “ said Jacob. “Take me to your house. I will pay whatever price you name.”
She looked at him, eyes blazing.
“The price will be high, master.”
“I really don’t care, “ he said, taking her again by the arm, this time more gently. He put his free hand to the bag at his side.
“What is in your bag, “ asked the woman.
“Hmmm? Oh, nothing much, “ lied Jacob.
“My payment is in that bag, “ the woman said to him.
“Oh, no, “ said Jacob. “I cannot pay you with the contents of this bag.” He clutched the bag protectively.
“You said that I could name the price. I named it. Your bag, or you can find another to keep company with tonight.”
“Fine, “ he growled. “Now let’s go!”
“Give me the bag beforehand.” She held out her hand. He stared at the outstretched hand for a moment, then he took the bag and gave it to her.
“Follow me, “ she said.
Later, after Jacob had gone, Mary Magdalene sat on her bed, holding in her hand a beautiful alabaster box. Her shame overcoming her, she put her face in her hands and cried out, “God, please help me!”
• • •
Jesus and His disciples were dining at the house of Simon. A small crowd had gathered outside the house, talking among themselves, waiting to see Jesus. Suddenly the people grew quiet.
A woman, dressed in the clothes of a harlot, made her way toward them.
“Its Mary Magdalene, “ a lady whispered. The people grew angry. Some picked up small stones and began to threaten to stone her. She did not look to the left or the right, but made her way to the door of Simon’s house. Mary hesitated for a moment, bowing her head.
“Father, forgive me, “ she said, as she raised her fist to knock on the door.
A knock sounded at the door. Simon rose and opened the door. Before him stood Mary Magdalene, clutching a bag to her chest.
“Get out of here, “ said Simon. “Your kind is not welcome in my home!” He went to shut the door in her face, but she stepped halfway in.
“Please, “ she pleaded. “I must see Jesus! I need to see Jesus!”
“You cannot, “ said Simon. “He is eating. You’ll have to see Him some other time.” He tried to shut the door once again, but a voice from the room behind him caused him to stop.
“Simon, let her come in, “ said Jesus.
“But, Master, “ began Simon.
“Let her in, “ repeated Jesus.
Simon reluctantly opened the door. Mary timidly stepped inside, her eyes downcast. Simon hurried to Jesus’ side.
“Lord, there is no place in my house for such a woman!”
“Hush, Simon.” Jesus looked at him, and Simon sat back down.
“Come here, Mary, “ He said, and He held out His hand to her. She raised her eyes to His and made her way to where He sat.
Without a word she knelt before Him. She opened her bag and took out the alabaster box. She kissed His feet, wetting them with her tears. Then she opened the box and took out a bottle. She broke the seal on the vial, and poured the expensive ointment on the feet of Jesus.
The disciples murmured among themselves in low angry tones, but Jesus only held up His hand and they quieted.
Mary rubbed the ointment into Jesus’ feet, tears running down her face. The she pulled back her head covering, and with her long hair she dried the Master’s feet.
Then Jesus spoke, as Mary continued to kneel at His feet. “Simon, “ He said.
“Yes, Master?”
“I entered your house today, and you gave me no water to wash my feet. This woman has washed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair.” Jesus looked at Simon, and then again at Mary.
“Simon, you did not greet me with the kiss of a brother, but this woman has not ceased to kiss my feet since she entered this house.”
Simon squirmed in his seat, his face red.
“Simon, you did not anoint me with oil, but this woman anointed my feet with precious oils. I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven because she loved me so much. But the one who loves a little is only forgiven a little.” Then Jesus turned to Mary and spoke.
“Your sins are forgiven, your faith has saved you. Now go in peace.”
Mary kissed His feet once again, and left the house of Simon. She walked through the streets with her head held high and a smile on her lips, never again to be the same.
• • •
“I guess that small alabaster box changed her life. Mary never saw Jacob again, but I’ve heard that he, too, has become a believer of Christ! Now, I’m not sure what I believe! But I was in Jerusalem on the day that the man, Jesus Christ, was crucified. Strange things happened that day. I remember there was an earthquake, the sky turned black, and I’ve even heard of graves being opened! But I don’t really want to talk about that! I do wonder sometimes, what if I hadn’t sold that box to Jacob? What if I had been the one to take the alabaster box to Jesus? What if I had given my all to Him? I wonder…but I really don’t want to think about that right now, its just too strange! But, what if it had been me? I wonder….”
The End

"Our" Virus

Whew. I tell you...we are all sick around here. Yesterday, when I got to choir practice and got Kelsey out of the car, I realized that she had a whoppin' fever. Scott had to set up the projector system during choir practice, and I had to direct and sing, but as soon as choir was over, I checked Kelsey's head again.
The fever had broken, but she was still super cranky and flushed.
I called in the emergency babysitter, and Scott ran both girls home to Mari while I taught my Sunday School class.
After Sunday School I called Mari to check on my baby (she was sleeping) and then headed into service.
I was planning on leaving church after the choir sang and heading home to be with the girls, but God had other ideas.
I think I directed the choir for 20 minutes or so...we sang a couple blowout songs, and there were people worshipping and praying everywhere.
Half my choir wasn't even singing. I think they were dancing and praying most of the time.
I was ready to walk out the door when the guest preacher called for praise singers on the platform. I dropped my keys, water and cell phone and ran back up to the platform where I continued to sing/direct for another 30 minutes or so. about an awesome move of God! It was great!
Today, however, I am shot. Scott, Meredith and I have apparently acquired the same virus as Kelsey. Fevers, sore throats, and no appetite. We all took a nap this afternoon.
I had these great plans to clean the kitchen, and am totally exhausted, even after a nap.

I hope this virus doesn't hit you. Although it reportedly only last for 24 hours, its a doozy.
Stay healthy and happy...and say a prayer for us sick ones over here in Canton.