Friday, December 30, 2011

Waiting is Preparation

There are times in life when we wait long. Waiting for answered prayer, waiting for a vision of a goal to come to fruition. Waiting for a time of trial or illness to pass...during those times we might have a vague question hovering in our heart, "Where is God?" 

Yes, we know He is always there, but it doesn't seem like it sometimes.

Similar to the trees, and the perennials during the winter, or a baby growing in the womb, we can trust that God is always up to something that we cannot see during our times of waiting.

I led a study through Isaiah 40:1-11 over Advent and a quote from my study drew me to consider and read about the two 400 year periods of waiting in the Bible: Israel waited for deliverance from slavery before Moses was called (and Moses had 40 years of waiting) and Israel waited 400+ years for deliverance  before Jesus was born...

The prophecy in Isaiah 40:3 of John the Baptist coming to "prepare the way for the Lord" prompted us to consider that "every great work of God begins with great preparation". The entrance of John the Baptist into the God's great drama was the transitional point, like the budding of a leaf in spring time...or the transition of labor into the delivery of a baby.  

The picture became more clear through our study that we {disciples of Jesus} are {participating currently; constantly} in preparation for the second coming of the King of Kings...mountains of pride will be leveled, valleys of unbelief will be raised up...a highway is being cleared for our King to return (Isaiah 40:3-4). We are in a time of Advent...waiting...and preparation just as God's people have been in the past...and I wonder...could we also possibly be seeing something transitional happening? 

I wonder.

May the Lord fortify us, establish us, and give us the perseverance to 'set our face like a flint' (Isaiah 50:7) and march on in our journey of faith wherever that finds us today..(likely waiting for something!), that salvation may come to His people and we will be watching and ready for His return!

Isaiah 40:1-5

Comfort for God’s People
 1 Comfort, comfort my people, 
   says your God. 
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, 
   and proclaim to her 
that her hard service has been completed, 
   that her sin has been paid for, 
that she has received from the LORD’s hand 
   double for all her sins.
 3 A voice of one calling:
“In the desert prepare
   the way for the LORD;

make straight in the wilderness
   a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be raised up,
   every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
   the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,
   and all mankind together will see it.
            For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

May your New Year be full of God's Peace and may you experience great awareness of His Presence!  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Combining Artistry

My men are hard workers and take very good
care of me. My main man (hubs) is working
out of state for the next six months, and 
situated me well to be cared for by our "boy"
of nearly 20 years...
who happens to be doing online college courses
from home, enabling him to haul wood and keep
the home fire burning  (I have been
very toasty in our below 20* weather!!!)
So...Ethan was hauling wood in his modified
and snapped this picture for me.
I then did a little "coloring" via picnik
and "VWALLA!"
Our "combined" artistry:
Here is a Christmas greeting for you from
our little farm in Wisconsin.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Cafe

I'm aware this doesn't look a lot like Christmas...
But the men who look as if they are AWOL from
the tree-stand are our delightful
Christmas Cafe pre-entertainment!!
(Christmas Cafe is our annual Ladies event)
They are called something different every year
and often have variations in participation.
One year they were "Men in Aprons"..
This year, "Merry Men" was all about being
~The men dressed normally are our servers!~
Here they are...performing. 
(The one stooping the lowest, btw, is our
Pastor...similar to the posture of his heart:
Our speaker was Pati Kachel. A heartwarming
storyteller from Shoreview, MN. 
We were beyond blessed!!!
 Pati is Scandinavian as you can see
by the props in my photos! my 
experience with Scandanavians 
(and there are many in "these parts"!), 
they are fullof life, and creativity,
 humor, and depth...
and Pati proved once again, it's true!
Her stories and songs tugged our hearts
back to childhood memories of
shopping & baking with mama, & 
White Christmas with the sound of Bing Crosby,
and then upward to the faithfulness 
of our ever-present Savior.
 Here is Pati:
We have a resident (very talented) 
song re-writer in our midst
my very own "other mother" Mary. 
(she adopted me and I her!
she is the one with the beautiful 
white hair in the center of the video!)
Here is one of the songs she wrote
and the Merry Men performed for us...
Tidings of comfort and Joy to you!