Wednesday, February 20, 2013
A little background:
I work as a Teacher Assistant (TA) in a high school, conveniently down the street from where I live. Before I started working there, I'd sit on the porch of a morning with my coffee and pray for the students as they'd pass on their way to school...pray for the school, the community...
Well, when we show ourselves faithful in small things, God gives us bigger things. He plunked me in there where I had direct contact with students. And I'd pray that my assignments would be from HIM - that HE would orchestrate the youth in whose lives I'd participate for a season. ANd I still pray for ALL whose lives I've touched over the years, in whatever capacity - I've been a babysitter, a leader of Pioneer Girls and Missionettes, a teacher of art and Spanish...
It was a few years ago that I met JM, proctoring a final exam he was taking. He wasn't in any of my classes, so I didn't know him before. I brought one of my travel journals to read. He also had a book to read for when he finished his exam before they were allowed to be dismissed. Always nice to see a student who enjoys READING in this day and age!
Well, he was intrigued with MY book and asked if he could see it. But he couldn't read my chicken scratches. I write neatly enough, but since I was just writing for myself, my memories of mission trips, I wasn't really careful about penmanship. But we did have a nice little conversation before dismissal. And after that, we'd greet each other in the hallway if we saw each other. Once I even saw him at my grandkids' school - his stepdad was accompanying his smaller sibling and him to the school's pajama movie night.
We actually had a little classtime together last semester when his class came into the computer lab where I was assigned. He sat next to me, and we chatted as he worked, and we gave each other our facebook contacts and friended each other. Oh, he's not a prolific texter by any means - usually just a few words of greeting. But it's something.
And he'd occasionally come by during his lunch break just to talk - sometimes to unload and vent. And I eventually invited him to come to church with me. And eventually he did. And this Sunday he accepted the Lord.
He wants to be baptized, so the pastor told him there's a class tonight for the candidates. It's also Bible study night. I always WANT to go, but my early rising makes it difficult for me to make the effort to go out in the evening. For MYSELF. But this is for discipleship, for someone else. So...
Since we're off from school this week, I invited him over - left it to him to pick the approximate time - to chill before going to the class tonight. I'll be picking him up around 1, after lunch. He'll watch me make some animals in clay, and I found a movie on Netflix I'd like him to see. He'll have supper with us. And then we'll go to class together.
A seed was planted and watered and is bearing fruit!
Monday, February 18, 2013
My late husband used to call Brussels Sprouts "poison plants from Jupiter".(Ironically, he liked other members of the cabbage family.) But my daughter and I have loved them, now and then treating ourselves to the high fat-and-sodium frozen sprouts with cheese sauce. Well, we haven't been able to find THAT in awhile, but now and then when we go to the market, I buy the costly little things and we enjoy them. Especially nowadays when we are trying to include even more veggies.
Now, my grandson is wonderful with veggies - he will eat tomatoes (especially grape tomatoes) as readily as other kids will eat candy. In fact we had to convince his father that eating a tomato with breakfast was not a bad thing! He also goes for broccoli and carrots, RAW. But sometimes he is reluctant to try new things.
His sister, on the other hand, usually goes for the starchy things - corn and potatoes. It's always been a challenge to get her to eat veggies.
But we discovered a way to get her to try something new: cook just enough for OURSELVES. I roasted some brussels sprouts today, sprinkled with garlic and onion powders and just a bit of sea salt. I divvied it up between my daughter and myself, and we were making yummy noises about them. And sure enough, DGD asks if SHE can have some. So does DGS. So, we each gave up a few of our sprouts, and even Miss Picky liked them.
Next I roasted a couple of zucchini, same way. Having been so won over by brussels sprouts, I was hoping DGD would be willing to try THIS veggie too. But - I had enough to share, and OFFERED her some.She said no thanks.
So apparently, there's nothing like using reverse psychology. "No veggies for you." Must be that seed of rebellion that's bound up in the heart of a child!
Sunday, February 17, 2013
I was looking over some photos I'd put on my facebook, and came upon one to which I'd posted this. I think it will give folks a fun laugh today! I don't know who wrote this originally.
Most diets fail because we stubbornly continue to think and eat like humans. For those us who have never had any success dieting there is the new Miracle Cat Diet! Except for cats that eat like people -- such as getting lots of table scraps -- most cats are long and lean (or tiny and petite). The Cat Miracle Diet will help you achieve the same lean, svelte figure as a cat. Just follow this diet for one week and you'll find that you not only look and feel better, but you will have a whole new outlook on what constitutes food. Good Luck!
Breakfast: Open can of expensive gourmet cat food. Any flavour as long as it cost more than seventy-five cents per can. Eat one bite of food then look around room disdainfully. Knock the rest on the floor. Stare at the wall for awhile before stalking off into the other room.
Lunch: Four blades of grass and one lizard tail. Throw it back up on the most expensive carpet in your house.
Dinner: Catch a moth and play with it until it is almost dead. Eat one wing. Leave the rest to die.
Bedtime snack: Steal one green bean from your spouse's or partner's plate. Bat it around the floor until it goes under the refrigerator. Steal one small piece of chicken and eat half of it. Leave the other half on the sofa. Throw out the remaining gourmet cat food from the can you opened this morning.
Breakfast: Pick up the leftover chicken from the sofa. Knock it onto the carpet and bat it under the television set. Chew on the corner of the newspaper as your spouse/partner tries to read it.
Lunch: Break into the fresh French bread that you bought as your part of the dinner party on Saturday. Lick the top of it all over. Take one bite out of the middle of the loaf.
Afternoon snack: Catch a large beetle and bring it into the house. Play toss and catch with it until it is mushy and half dead. Allow it to escape under the bed.
Dinner: Open a fresh can of dark-coloured gourmet cat food -- tuna or beef works well. Eat it voraciously. Walk from your kitchen to the edge of the living room rug. Promptly throw up on the rug. Step into it as you leave. Track footprints across the entire room.
Breakfast: Drink part of the milk from your spouse's or partner's cereal bowl when no one is looking. Splatter part of it on the nearest polished aluminium appliance you can find.
Lunch: Catch a small bird and bring it into the house. Play with on top of your down filled comforter. Make sure the bird is seriously injured but not dead before you abandon it for someone else to have to deal with.
Dinner: Beg and cry until you are given some ice cream or milk in a bowl of your own. Take three licks/laps and then turn the bowl over on the floor.
Breakfast: Eat six bugs, assorted varieties, being sure to leave a collection of legs, wings, and antennae on the bathroom floor. Drink lots of water. Throw the bugs and all of the water up on your spouse's or partner's pillow.
Lunch: Remove the chicken skin from last night's chicken-to-go leftovers your spouse or partner placed in the trash can. Drag the skin across the floor several times. Chew it in a corner and then abandon.
Dinner: Open another can of expensive gourmet cat food. Select a flavour that is especially runny, like Chicken and Giblets in Gravy. Lick off all the gravy and leave the actual meat to dry and get hard.
Our Cats, Butter and Angel, planning their next barfing...
Thursday, February 14, 2013
While I usually prefer the NIV, I do like the "phrasology" of the KJV for this particular portion of scripture.
I have had many occasions to turn to 2 Cor. 1:3-7 over the years. And my recent break-up with Levi gives me another such occasion.
You see, when I go on mission trips, I LOVE hanging out with the youth group at my host church. I love to go to their devotions, to their practices, to their services. One time we even had a little "slumber" party.
I've known some of these kids for some 8 1/2 years now - not "kids" any more, but young adults. We interact on Facebook. I write them letters. When we're not doing "church" things, we just hang out when we can.
I was 20 when I got married. We were together a little over 37 years. I guess I may have forgotten the pain these kids can go through in "matters of the heart." So I think what I went through is kind of a "Refresher Course" - so I can relate better to them when THEY go through these things. It won't be so long ago for me! I can tell them, "I know how you feel...But believe me, God's grace IS enough. God's love CAN sustain you. He does indeed heal the broken hearted!"
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort."
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
So, I was feeling a little down starting yesterday, as I was facing the anniversary of DH's passing, and having broken up, not having a "sweetheart" for Valentine's Day.
We'd gotten a new phone so I had to restore some frequently called numbers to it. I wanted to make sure I had the right number for my friend/sister Pastora Sabina in Lima - the one who has coordinated for me. When she recognized my voice she asked how I was, and I tearfully told her what was going on. She said, "Oh, my husband told me that he had the feeling Sister Shelley was very sad, and that we needed to pray for you, and I told him that I sensed it too. So we've been praying for you." It was such a comfort to know that my Heavenly Father knows what I need before I ask Him (Matt. 6:8).
He's done that before. A couple of days before my Dad and step-mother were killed, a friend of mine whom I hadn't seen for a long time "happened" to come to the convenience store where I was working at the time. She said, "Oh, Shelley, I have been so burdened for you - I've just been praying! What's going on?" I told her that nothing was going on at the time, but by all means to keep praying. So I know God was preparing me for the blow.
He's used me, too, in the past - putting someone on my heart so strongly that I just keep praying for that person.
It's a blessing to the person who is the object of prayer - and when it's possible to confirm that they are hearing from the Lord, it's a blessing to the intercessor to know.
So I was thinking about how I love how God does these things, and it reminded me of an old song. One could change the lyrics around a bit - but He has definitely swept me off my feet.
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