A Quiet Wood

A Quiet Wood

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mom's Day

Happy Mother's Day, Mom! This post is for you...especially - thus the fact that the whole thing is addressed to you personally. Does it feel weird to have a blog written directly to you? I guess it's kind of like an open letter. (Feel free to read on, those of you not my mom - which will be most of you...since I only seem to have one of them...mothers, I mean.) Anyway, since I actually remembered to send you a card and filled it with amazingly personal, sweet, and sincere sentiments, I shall only say a few things here. I was thinking earlier tonight about some of the traits I admire in you. One especially stood out. I love the way that you make every single person you come in contact with feel like he or she is the very best thing that happened to you all day. You know just how to make everyone feel special, needed, and loved. Your well timed words and simple gestures have snatched me often from an emotional downward spiral. Showing love is as natural to you as taking a breath. Thank you for giving me a home oozing with love, saturated with grace, and brimming over with joy. You made loving Jesus look as wonderful as it is.

I love you, Mom!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

National Day of Prayer, etc.

For the last few years, GBS has been privileged to be involved with the National Day of Prayer here in the Queen City. We lug all our gear downtown, and the choir and orchestra set up on the front steps of the court house. It's pretty cool. This year I was asked to pray one of the prayers in the program (The Prayer for Those Who Educate). Anyway, it was a good experience. I always enjoy partnering with various churches in the community. Although I know that there are extremely valid reasons for the existence of different denominations, etc., I think that it is a beautiful thing when different churches can come together around a common vision. Anyway, I thought I would just post a few pics of the event to give you an idea.

The gang's all here!

Praying the prayer while being distracted by the dreadful echo from the buildings across the street.

Dr. Ted Kalsbeek, former pastor of Covenant First Presbyterian. What a stately man of God!

Pastor Russell Smith, current pastor of Covenant Presbyterian and fellow Lewis fan. One can find kindred spirits in unexpected places! (Sorry the spirit of Anne came over me for a moment!)

Anyway, it was a really nice day. The only fly in the ointment was an occasional great gust of wind that took stands and music along with it. However, there was no great harm done. :)

Now to the "etc." part of the title. Just thought I'd throw in a short clip of my buddy walking. He just turned 11 months old this week. He's been walking for over a month now, but it just makes me laugh to watch him. Hopefully it will brighten your day as well.

So that's that. Just a bit of info from this past week. (Happy, Mom?)

One more thought for the day from Isaiah 35 (portions of vv. 5-10, emphasis mine), and if this doesn't encourage you, I'm not sure what will!

Then the eyes of the blind will be opened
And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped.
Then the lame will leap like a deer,
And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy...
The scorched land will become a pool
And the thirsty ground springs of water;
...A highway will be there, a roadway,
And it will be called the Highway of Holiness
The unclean will not travel on it,
But it will be for him who walks that way,
And fools will not wander on it.
...But the redeemed will walk there,
And the ransomed of the LORD will return
And come with joyful shouting to Zion,
With everlasting joy upon their heads
They will find gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away.

I was blessed this morning as I read this that, even in Isaiah's day, the concept of redemption was present. There had to be a sacrifice. They looked forward to the perfect Lamb as they continued offering theirs on the altar in the temple. Praise God that the price of redemption has been paid! It is freely offered to all of us, though we will never deserve it. We can walk on the Highway of Holiness, not because of what we bring to the table, but because we have had grace showered upon us. We join the saints of all the ages - the community of the redeemed. We have been ransomed, bought back, redeemed! No wonder they experience everlasting joy. No wonder they come to Zion with joyful shouting. I'm feeling pretty joyful myself right now!!