Monday, March 31, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
One of my fondest memories of Julie (and I have many, many) is the night we went on a double date....to the men we would both one day marry. Robb and Jules were just getting back together and it was my first official date with Tom. The guys had really gone all out and planned a boat trip from the Bible college campus we attended in Florida to the restaurant we would eat at where we would dine outside and watch an electrical boat parade. Well, the plans went just a wee bit awry when Julie and I BOTH fell getting into the boat. We both scraped our legs up pretty bad on the cement dock....but acted like we were fine because we didn't want to go back. If memory serves me correctly Julie fell first....but I went down right after her with a loud exclaimed "ouch!"....to which she later told me she was so relieved to hear because she was hurting so bad but not wanting to look lame....I sorta covered the "lame" part for her! To make a long story short...the boat had problems, we had to turn around and go back, ended up going to a different restaurant after all...but the evening ended with a balmy walk along the intercoastals of Palm Beach (doing one of my still favorite things to do with my now husband) just talking about everything and anything.
Over 15 years later, we still have the scars to remind us of that crazy yet beautiful night. We now have 10 children added to our collective families, and the memories just keep growing with our expanding families.
Now it's your turn: I thought that some of you who went to school with Julie might enjoy sharing your favorite memory of Julie....or better yet, dig out the old pictures!
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I loved the quote on the back of the book by editor Rosalie De Rosset (lit prof, Moody), "Augustine never thought of God without thinking of his sin, nor of his sin without thinking of Christ." It is a daunting task to think of writing a spiritual biography in which you lay open an account of your sin for all to read. I can't imagine attempting to do so for public consumption...but that is just what his account is.
Our reading group found his relationship with his mother to be rather co-dependent, though certainly a beautiful picture of a mother's unrelenting hope for her child to be in Christ. His relationship with his concubine, his illegitimate child, his view of women in general, and his parents insistence on a "suitable" marriage our all such foreign concepts through our 21st century lenses.
His knowledge of Scripture and ability to quote it and weave it into his memoirs incessantly is nothing short of incredible. In books 1, 7 and 10 he talks about the nature of sin, how it is really just a perversion of the good that God has created...and ultimately seems to say that the cause of sin lies in free will. Augustine is a true seeker and in the end comes full circle to the saving faith his mother raised him in (from book 1, "I was sealed with the mark of His cross and seasoned with His salt"), and prayed over him fervently in all his years of wonderings.
"Too late loved I Thee, O Thou Beauty of ancient days, yet ever
new! Too late I loved Thee! And behold, Thou wert within me
and I was outside, and there I searched for Thee; deformed I,
rushing amid those beautiful forms, which Thou hadst made.
Thou wert with me, but I was not with Thee. Things held me
far from Thee, which, unless they were in Thee, would not exist
at all. Thou calledst and shoutest, and burstest, my deafness.
Thou flashest, shonest, and scatterest my blindness. Thou
breathes odours, and I drew in breath and pant for Thee.
I tasted and hunger and thirst. Thou touchest me, and I
burned for Thy peace."
Although my life is very different than Augustine's if you were looking at them from the outside in, you may be surprised to see the similarities...left to myself I would "darken" every affection (Romans 1:21) I set my eyes upon...but left to the God who calls, shouts, bursts through, and shines blinding light upon my darkness...this God I need...He is the air I breath....my water and food...my peace.
Around the same time I was finishing Augustine, I received a copy of one of Selah's cd in the mail and I was moved to tears by the second song "There is a Fountain." The writer, William Cowper, struggled all his life to experience the assurance of God's love he penned so beautifully in these lyrics. He suffered a nervous breakdown, attempted suicide several times, and was even confined to an insane asylum for a time where he was straitjacketed for his own protection. It is said that on his deathbed, however, he looked upward with amazement on his face and said, "I am not shut out of Heaven after all."
There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel's vains
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains
The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day
And there may I, though vile as he
Wash all my sins away
E'er since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply
Redeeming love has been my theme
And shall be till I die
And therein lies my journey mapped out...to ever remember what I am saved from...but also to truly lose the guilt of my stains (by Christ's atoning work on the cross) and allow Love to redeem my life's song.
Amy & Kim
Kim gave me a great resource while there called "Gather Round the Table." It is a Lenten devotional you can do with your families...very applicable for smaller children...purchased at www.creativecommunications.com for around a dollar. Next year I am buying them for all the kids I come in contact through childrens ministries.
Brooke & Laura (from Michigan)
Michelle, Melissa, Heidi (from up here),
& Jill (recently moved away)
"Good-bye" came too soon!