Thursday, October 18, 2007

precious moments for today

This morning I woke up with a headache (not unusual). As I was talking to Kelly and telling him about it, my 3 year old whirlwind jumped up on his chair put his hand on my forehead and prayed for it to go away!

After breakfast as I was cutting that same 3 year old's fingernails he looked up at me and said, "Mommy, you are my treasure."

My Samuel told me the other day that I was his 'golden star', "That means you are very beautiful, Mommy." Don't you love moments like that?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Observations from the farm

I should be making a poster for the Fun'N'Games night the youth are hosting on Oct 31 but am I? No, cause I'm tired and I want to go to bed but instead I'm cruising the world of my blogging buddies and enjoying this piece of my world. Blogging is so much more friendly than Facebook don't you think. The funnest thing about Facebook is playing Scrabble on-line - 7 games at a time!! No one to mess up the board, no one breathing down your neck to think! AND if you stink in one game, you're probably doing okay in another. My personal best - KLUTZ for 105 points!!!

Anyway, I actually came to post because I wanted to just say how much I enjoy homeschool AND public school. My kids are doing so well this year where they are. This evening I got to see Chris do math in his head (he has a severe learning disability, this is a major accomplishment). He has scored 75% and 76% on recent tests in science and social studies at his grade level, the school provided a scribe for him to either read questions, write answers or give him the spelling help that he needed to complete the tests. We are so thrilled for him, I'm afraid that success would most likely NOT be happening at home if I was his teacher.

On the other hand, my girl is doing fabulously well. She is so fun to work with. She catches on quickly, enjoys things I enjoy and we have a lot of fun together. She is doing well working on her own or with me. She is learning to sew, taking intiative in projects and cruising along at a good speed on all levels. She watched Anne of Green Gables for the first time this weekend and she is in love! I'm so happy. I had just started reading the book with her and the next day the babysitter brings the movie. How cool is that!

Another observation that I made this week. The reason city folk think we farmers are rich is because when we actually do get to the city we come in our good clothes with hair and make-up in place. We drop serious coin at the check-out because we buy everything at once rather than picking up a couple of things here and there. We have to get things when we're in town whether they're on sale or not because we don't know when we'll get back to the city again. That's my theory anyway. It is such a different way of shopping and spending money. It makes us look like we're rich but we're just like everyone else. Really.

Monday, October 15, 2007

fresh flowers for October 16

Open the Box
a fresh flowers original
copyright 2007, lani wiens

My husband is a giver. He loves giving gifts, it thrills him to no end. So when we got our first big payment for one of our crops he decided to do a little shopping and brought home presents for the kids, they were thrilled, too. Unfortunately, in the midst of all this merriment we had a little problem happening. It is not a new problem, it's been going on for awhile and we have had to work hard to change the course of things around here.

Our youngest son tends to take over his older brothers' stuff. He is particularly fond of whatever Samuel has, possibly because Samuel is a little softer than the bigger boys. Sasha has the mindset that if he likes it, he decides it is his and nothing you say will change his mind. At one point Samuel had saved up enough money to buy a train set he'd been wanting. When he got it, Sasha took over the train set. We tried everything we could to loosen his grip but eventually Samuel just gave up and decided he didn't want the set any more. It made us sad to see him abandon something he had worked so hard for. We didn't want to see that happen again.

Fast forward to this week. Sasha has received a very cool drum set and Samuel has received a little keyboard with a mike stand and everything. Everyone is happy for a little while until Sasha starts venturing too near Samuel's keyboard. We were curious to see what would happen, would history repeat itself? Samuel decided not to take any chances. As soon as he saw Sasha anywhere near his keyboard, he would stop playing and pack it into the box or he would pick the whole thing up and go to a different part of the house until Sasha came near again, then he would repeat the procedure. We tried to talk him out of continually packing it up but the fear of loss was too great to overcome. We were greatly saddened by his actions. He could not enjoy his gift for fear of his brother's interference.

This incident reminded of times in my own life and people I know who have been given a gift by the Lord Jesus Christ. They've been hurt because of other people's misuse of their gift and so they get a little shy about taking it out of the box and letting it be seen or enjoyed by others. The fear of getting hurt again is so great that they keep the gift hidden away. The gift remains in good condition but it never sees the light of day, it is useless. I am certain that our heavenly Father is greatly saddened when this happens just as we were.

As we encouraged Samuel to take his gift out and enjoy it, we also assured him that we would do everything we could to make sure Sasha did not abuse it. At first he wasn't so sure that he could trust us, and rightly so, his past experience indicated that perhaps our restrictions on Sasha's behaviour would prove to be fruitless. He watched us impose restrictions regarding the use of the other children's instruments. We established a rule that if one child was caught using another child's instrument without permission their own instrument would be confiscated. Slowly, Samuel let his gift out of the box. Not only did he begin to enjoy his gift and take part in the 'family band', he allowed his baby sister to enjoy his gift, too. We all took great delight in watching Elizabeth sing into his little microphone and dance to the music.

Can I encourage you today to try again? Take your dusty box off the shelf and lift the lid. The gift is still there, waiting for you. You may be a little rusty using it but that's okay, it will come back to you. Your heavenly Father will take great delight in seeing you use what He's given you. I pray that there will be those around you that you can trust to protect you from ones who may interfere. Try anyway, it will be worth it. Who knows what unexpected blessing may come to you and to others from your step of obedience. God doesn't give gifts to be hidden away, he wants to be a light on a hill, shining for all to see. Go ahead, use it, shake the dust off and give it a go. There is a great crowd waiting to cheer you on.

Paul's words to Timothy: "Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them so that everyone may see your progress." (1 Timothy 4:14, 15)
1 Corinthians 12 gives an excellent perspective on gifts given by the Lord for the good of the body of Christ, sit there awhile and let the Spirit minister to your spirit then open your box and let the gift out.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The 23rd channel

I read this in a newsletter I receive called Heart to Heart. While I don't watch TV (never hooked up our antenna) it certainly echoes my sentiments on the majority of television. Yes there are a few shows I wouldn't mind watching if given the opportunity but I think I'm leaning more this way lately.


Author unknown - Thanks to Paula Archer in Ohio for sending this!

The TV is my shepherd , I shall not want
It makes me lie down on the sofa
It leads me away from the study of the Scriptures
It damages my soul
It leads me in the path of sex and violence for the sponsor's sake
Yea, though I walk in the shadow of my Christian responsibilities,
There will be no interruption, for the TV is with me
Its cable and remote control, they comfort me
It prepares a commercial before me in the presence of my worldliness
It anoints my head with Humanism
My coveting runneth over
Surely laziness and ignorance shall follow me all the days of my life
And, I shall dwell in my house watching TV forever.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

fresh flowers of October 5

The Power of Some
a fresh flowers original
copyright 2007, lani wiens

Since becoming a part of the pastoral team here in our beloved province I have had the privelege of being part of a number of events related to our denomination. There has been a lot of debate about the value of the church as an organized body, denominations, small groups and everything else in between. As a result we've seen people back away from the church, throw rocks at the bride and smear mud on her dress. As our denominational pastors and leaders met together this week I saw the strength of being part of a spiritual family on a broader plane than the local church. I witnessed first hand the strength, love and power of the body of Christ as it exists in the familial bonds that I happen to be a part of. Those bonds extend not only to the churches in our neck of the woods but to our nation and around the globe. Those bonds don't stop at our denominational borders but go to all those who claim Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.

Early last week we took a few girls from our youth group to a Beautiful Unique Girl event. This was an excellent event speaking into the lives of young women of their beauty and purpose. Part of this event is a contest called the Power of One. It is an exciting challenge to the girls to see how they can affect change in their world as one person. They gave a number of examples of kids who have made a huge difference in the lives of exploited children and the homeless by simply choosing to do something about it. Our girls are very excited about this and have some excellent plans. However, after I thought about it I realized that these kids most likely wouldn't have been able to do what they did if someone else hadn't supported them in it. One example given was of a 5 year old girl who began collecting money for the homeless. Yes, it was definately her idea to do something, but her parents had to support her cause, drive her around and give her the go-ahead to do what she did. I'm guessing that our girls will only get so far with their ideas unless our church, our community and their families support what they want to do.

Our conference of pastors was most likely started by one brave soul who began pastoring a church, then there was another one and another one and here we are today over 30 churches strong in our province. During our retreat my husband and I had the privelege of being part of the worship team. As we practiced in the small room where our get togethers would be held our little team sounded loud to my ears. We weren't using any amplification but we seemed to fill the room...or so I thought. Then we all gathered together, pastors, wives, camp directors and ministry leaders. The room was full and so was the air. I could barely hear myself at all as my one voice joined with the others in praise to our God. It struck me how much louder and fuller the sound was with so many more voices blending together, I thought we might just raise the floor over our heads a few inches. It was an exhilirating time of worship and praise to our God.

Throughout the time together we shared joys, struggles, playful ribbing and times of prayer. It was an amazing thing to me to be joined together with so many others in the same purpose. We were not about our particular denomination or even our particular church. We were about fellows in the same ship, this business of shepherding, leading and nurturing souls towards the kingdom of God. Our denomination isn't perfect, our churches aren't perfect, our pastoral team isn't perfect but God is! We don't do church perfectly, we make mistakes, we let people down because we are imperfect human beings. But there is strength in being part of this team, in knowing that there is most likely someone else we can talk to who has had to walk through whatever it is we're walking through at the moment. This is the strength of spiritual family, the power of some!

May I be a voice to encourage you to go beyond your reticence and be a joiner. Get involved with your local church, encourage your pastor, cheer on your leaders. Grab someone else and bring them with you. When we all work together we will be a bright and shining light for the nations, a city on a hill that can't be hidden, a beacon of hope where there is none. Together.

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:25