Sunday, July 31, 2011

Jesus is in the house.

As Pastor Chris Dahse (First Baptist Church, Ingram, Texas) preaches through the Book of John, today was chapter 11 verses 28 through 37 about Lazarus, who has died, and his sisters, Mary and Martha, and Jesus, there was one particular thing that resonated in my spirit:  As with Mary and Martha, who were grieving for their dead brother, Jesus’ great desire for us is to get to that point where we realize that “bad things” happening to us or in our lives just doesn’t matter.  Our “bad things” are minute in His presence.  In light of the fact that “Jesus is in the house,” He desires for us to come to the point where we realize that “bad things happening to us” is irrelevant.  Bad things are going to happen to us.  We are not always going to be happy, but when we trust Him, fear flees.

God doesn’t need to prevent us from dying an earthly death; He created us, for Pete’s sake.  He has the power to resurrect us today or when He returns, it’s His call and it just doesn’t matter which one He chooses.  Whatever brings Him the most glory.  In the case of Lazarus, Jesus chose to resurrect him to reveal his resurrection power, not because He wanted Mary and Martha not to be upset with Him anymore for delaying His arrival or because He felt sorry for them.

He resurrected Lazarus because He wanted those present to recognize Him correctly. 

Do we recognize Jesus correctly today?

God is not a Preventer, God is the Creator.

Jesus was so moved as to be angry, because the people there did not recognize Him correctly, that He wept. 

He wept because we have such low expectations of Him, The Creator.  How high should our expectations be of The Creator?  Can they be too high?  I don’t think so.  Mary and Martha tried to bring Jesus down to their level of expectations: “Jesus if you had been here, our brother would not have died.”

He wept because His friend, Lazarus, is in heaven with God, The Father, and Jesus must is going to bring him back to this old earth… all because He loved those grieving for Lazarus.  He loved them so much that He wanted them to recognize Him correctly.  He resurrected Lazarus, not because He wanted Lazarus to be walking on this earth again, but to reveal His power.  In a few days, he’s going to be in a tomb Himself and He wants us all to remember His resurrection power… to see Him correctly.

I’m not sure that I have adequately related to a reader the “light bulb” moment I had this morning.  It may not happen for you and that’s okay.  Maybe it will depend on how much bad “stuff” you’ve been through.  I’ve been through quite a bit and I learned a long time ago that it’s not about me being happy.  It’s about me trusting God.  It’s about the intimate relationship He knows I need to have with Him, which by the way, does bring joy and peace.  It’s about the furtherance of the Kingdom.  It’s about others.  It’s about love, forgiveness, grace and mercy.

God is so BIG, that it doesn’t matter what bad stuff happens to us… JESUS IS IN THE HOUSE!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

An apple a day or Cat comes to lunch.

Don decided that Stephanie and the boys should experience the Apple Capital of Texas today.  He also thought Stephanie should experience Highway 16!  She was almost car sick when we got to Medina and she was the driver!

When we parked at the Apple Store for lunch, we spotted this sign down the road.  Papa Don is what his Grands call him.100_4843

We were all starving very hungry, so the priority was ordering lunch.  After placing our order, we found a picnic style table and sat down to wait for our food.  Suddenly, we had a guest at our table and before we knew what was happening….100_4844

Calico hopped up on the table and headed right toward Don!!100_4845

But she wasn’t welcome at our table, so she moved on to our “neighbors.”  “Look, Daddy, a kitty!”  Noticing the sawdust on the floor, we decided that we should probably watch our step. :-)100_4846

Taylor is about to enjoy the only reason I wanted to go to the Apple Store…. apple ice cream!!!  It was a hit with the boys.100_4849

This plaque caught my eye. 100_4851

We could have dined outside, but we chose to eat inside, however, there was not air conditioning; only fans.  We did enjoy our ice cream out here, though.100_4853

A view of the tribute to the Medina apple history.100_4857

Before leaving the Apple Store, we got directions to the Love Creek Orchard where we met the owner.100_4858   He purchased the orchard in 1990 and now there are over 15,000 apple trees.  Presently, his best business is selling Maple trees and the apple orchard is more like a hobby.  We were wishing we had a place to plant a Maple tree as they have the most vivid colors in the fall.  I asked him how many employees he had to work the orchard and he said, “About twice as many as I really need, but I just hate to lay them off because there’s no work anywhere else for them.”  What a compassionate spirit. 100_4860

We stopped by the Camp Verde General Store on the way back to the Q and the bougainvillea hanging on the front veranda were so pretty.100_4862

We got a package in the mail today!!  Our friend from Michigan, Dave Sutton, sent us this cross that he made for our ‘yard’ to show that we believe that America is still a Christian nation.

Dave, you did a great job.  Thank you very much!!  We love it.100_4864

Monday, July 25, 2011

Let’s go to Fredericksburg today!

Stephanie is our chauffeur!100_4785
But first, let’s stop at the James Avery headquarters!  We love James Avery jewelry.100_4795
The campus is very pretty.  100_4789
The walkway between buildings. 100_4791
This nice lady has been working at James Avery Craftsman, Inc. for thirteen years.100_4792
This gentleman has been working here for thirty years and is now the “boss” in this area of the floor. 100_4793
While everyone was getting in the car, I was taking a picture of the entrance gate with the logo when a nice man named Greg Michner (or something like that) walked up and offered to take my picture.100_4797
On to our destination:  Fredericksburg.
I’m disappointed that I did not get a picture of the purple sage bushes when they were covered in purple blooms a few weeks ago.  I didn’t realize that they only bloom like that for just a few days.100_4799
We’ve decided on a dining spot and are walking there.100_4801
We chose: 100_4802
Now we’re checking out the menu. 100_4803
There’s an outdoor dining area, but we chose the A/C. 100_4804
Taylor, waiting for his lunch. 100_4805
Taylor didn’t like this picture because his mom’s hat was covering part of his face. 100_4806
He liked this picture much better! 100_4807
We all chose something that contained an Opa’s sausage, except Stephanie… she had a Reuben sandwich. 100_4809
After enjoying our lunch, we started out walking the shops on the main street.  This is the city library.100_4812
Logan found a hat for his ‘gangsta’ pose.  I couldn’t talk him into modeling the bling-bling flip flops.  100_4813
The Christmas Store was overwhelming. 100_4814
While the boys looked around in the Fun Zone shop, Don and I sat on a bench and waited.  The Nimitz Museum across the street is something that Don wants to see while we are here in the Hill Country. 100_4816
While sitting on the bench, we saw the skinniest person I have ever seen in person. 100_4817
Red Bird of Paradise.  It’s so dry here that there are not very many flowers to be photographed.100_4818
This afternoon, Logan played in the pool and Don and I rested in the air conditioned Q.  It’s soooo hot.          

Saturday, July 23, 2011

More fun at the creek with the Grands

Feel free to put your own caption on this picture.  Whatever you come up with, I’m sure he’s already thought of it.100_4978

Taylor, patiently waiting for his breakfast burrito. 100_4970

After breakfast, we all head back to the creek where the kids found the Big Bertha 2ber.100_5005

Our little doll, Emma, looking for pretty rocks and minnows.100_5008

Blaine is keeping his Aunt Leslie company. 100_5006

Getting into the big tube was quite a challenge.100_5009

Logan and Lydia… noodles don’t make very good oars. 100_5014

Blaine was skipping stones… I missed it. 100_5016

Logan enjoying the pleasant water of the creek. 100_5017

They found the boat!  Emma decided there were enough in the boat, without her.  Smart girl.100_5019

Us old folks marvel at how the young ones can walk on the rocks in the creek. 100_5018

Khalil oversees the fun while relaxing in a chair someone left in the in the creek.100_5020

They had lots of fun going up the creek as far as allowed and back down. 100_5021

Johnson Creek’s version of the “Lockness Monster.” 100_5023

For dinner, Khalil made reservations at the Alamo Springs Cafe near Fredericksburg.  Most of the adults have be saving up for this meal.  I had to rely on Leslie and Stephanie to take pictures as all my camera batteries were down. The Alamo Springs Cafe was a big hit with everyone (thanks Leslie!!!) and after dinner, Leslie, Khalil and the kids headed back to Waco, after more pictures and hugs, of course.

It was wonderful to have them with us for a few days.

Stephanie, Logan, Taylor, Don and I got back to JCRV and we got them settled into the cabin that Les and gang were in. 

Wow, we are tired!  But it’s a good tired.

Observing granddaughters…

See Lydia’s bangs?000_0001

Her little cousin wants to be just like her.000_0004

Just a few months ago (picture below taken in May), Emma had bangs and since that time, she has been “growing them out” like Lydia’s.100_3149-1

Having all four grandchildren/cousins here has been so much fun and it’s such a blessing to see how much they love each other.