Ordinary Moments

This morning, I was reading in my bedroom and I could hear Kate and Anne talking in the living room. Anne was confiding in Kate the way typical sisters do.

“Kate, my friend at school can walk. She doesn’t have a wheelchair like me. I don’t want this brain injury anymore.”

“I’m sorry Anne.”

“Please don’t ever leave me, Kate.”

Then I heard giggles, whispering and Kate’s footfalls approaching my bedroom. “Mom, can I make pancakes for me and Anne?”

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This is my view…Anne in her chair watching Kate work in the kitchen. An ordinary moment between sisters.

The ordinary moments are beautiful. They aren’t frenzied, anxious or forced. They remind me of God’s grace – often overlooked in these ordinary moments of life.

God’s mercies are new every morning!

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Anne is amazing :)

Sometimes I look at Anne and I’m struck by the magnitude of the brain damage. She’s just so impaired in so many ways. But then other times, Anne amazes us…

Yesterday, Anne stood up from her chair at the dinner table all by herself. That was amazing. Then I put her on the sofa and asked her to stand up, and she did it! The whole family was amazed!!

Anne said this morning… “I want a dog. And I think we should name her “Grace” because I bring Grace to other people and my name means “Grace.” That was pretty amazing.

But what she did last night was really amazing…When Eric puts Anne to bed, he always reads to her from the children’s bible, “The Jesus Storybook Bible.” In fact, Eric reads the same bible to Canon and Kate when he puts them to bed. And at times, Anne is able to connect to the stories on a deeper level than Canon and Kate.

Eric was reading a story (that he had never read to Anne) from the New Testament about the field of great price. Remember the story? A man learns that there is treasure in a field, so he sells everything he owns in order to pay the price for the field. In the middle of the story, there was a question: “What is God’s Treasure?” Anne immediately piped up, and said, “God’s children.” Eric, amazed, continued to read the next line of the story…”God’s children are God’s treasure.” And then Anne offered, “The price God paid for his treasure was his Son’s life.”

God seems to have given Anne a special ability to understand his Word. We think that’s… amazing!

My Year Through the Bible: Day 3

Genesis 6-8; Matthew 3

Genesis 6-8 is the story of the flood. I actually taught a bible study on this not too long ago. The idea of God destroying the earth caused me to wrestle… really wrestle. I struggled to see how God’s goodness was revealed in destroying every living thing on the earth (except those few on the ark). Seriously, what good was the flood?

I believe God patiently endured my questioning and gave me not just one, but several glimpses of his goodness in this passage of Scripture.

  • Firstly, I believe God gave the world the opportunity to repent and be saved. Remember, I’m no bible scholar, but think about it… It took Noah and his sons a VERY long time to build that ark. Scholars debate on the specifics, but it was somewhere between 75-100 years of building. Don’t you think news would have spread about this crazy guy building this humongous boat? Don’t you think Noah tried to warn people of the coming flood? They had a chance to repent, believe and be saved… But they didn’t. And they perished.
  • Secondly, (and this is a hard one for me) every living thing deserved to be destroyed. The bible says “every intention of the thoughts of [man’s] heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5). God showed his grace by preserving a remnant.
  •  Thirdly, (and I love this) I see God’s tender, personal care for Noah and his family in verse 7:16, “And the Lord shut him in.” God, himself, shut the door to the arc and protected them from the deadly flood. He, personally, saved them.
  • And finally, Noah’s story is both a warning and a joyful proclamation to us. Just as those who were in the ark were saved from the flood… If we are found “in Christ” we will be saved from the judgment that is to come. God, in his mercy, warns over and over that there will be judgment for those who do not turn to Jesus for help. None of us are good enough to earn entrance into heaven. Jesus offers us a trade: we get his perfect record, and he gets our tarnished one. As a result, he received the punishment we deserve, and we get the reward that only he deserves. That’s good news. That’s the gospel.

P.S. You can follow the rest of my journey through the bible at bible365blog.com

My Year Through the Bible: Day 1

Genesis 1-2; Matthew 1

I love how Genesis 1 is an overview of the seven days of creation and Genesis 2 zooms in to give more detail – especially re: Day 6. When I read Genesis 2, I imagine God as a loving, meticulous artisan… Listen to the verbs:

formed
breathed
planted
caused

And God’s most amazing creation happened on Day 2… forming woman, of course!! (That was a joke, by the way;-) Female-ness makes an appearance in Matthew 1, as well, where we see the surprising addition of women in Jesus’ genealogy. Tamar, Rahab and Bathsheba (Uriah’s wife) all have scandalous stories, and i believe they are mentioned in the family of Christ as a reminder that no one is outside the reach of God’s amazing grace.

And amazing grace is what I will need to continue my journey. Day 1 – check. 364 to go…

P.S. You can follow the rest of my journey through the bible at bible365blog.com