Friday, February 28, 2020

A Few Good Authors

Over the last year, I’ve written down names for some authors which have been new to me. I recommend these for an enjoyable time of reading. Faith, humor, suspense, mystery, romance—a great mixture.

Cathy Gohlke, Saving Amelie; Until we find home;
Stories of history, suspense and romance in World War II Europe.

Virginia Smith, Dr. Horatio vs. the Six-Toed Cat;
One of a series of family and community stories in Goose Creek Kentucky.

Jen Turano, After a Fashion;
1880s New York City. A story which takes you from rat-infested slums to a high society ball. The journey is fast and hysterical.

Dani Pettrey, Blind Spot;
Fast-paced romantic suspense.

Brandilyn Collins, Brink of Death;
Mystery and suspense.

Lisa Hauser and Dale Smith, Father-daughter writing team, Turn Back Time; Sunshine and shadow;
Story of a coal mining community in Kentucky during the Depression. Mystery, crises in the mines, family and community struggles and joys.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Sweet Memories: They still give me Butterflies in My Stomach

March 17, 1994: Yesterday, Caleb told us that when he grew up, he wanted to buy a ship. "I will tell the sailors to take it out into the deep ocean where there are sharks, so the people can see the sharks and tell me what they look like."

Right after midnight this morning, Rebecca knocked on our door. "Mommy, Sarah wants you to come in and lay down with her." Murray, figuring that Rebecca wanted something also, asked, "And what do you want?" "I want her to stop crying so I can go back to sleep," Rebecca replied.

Some friends were playing over today, and the little boy was playing with the girls' jewelry. Sarah didn't want him to, so his mother told him, "That's their private business." Sarah said assuredly, "No it isn't, it's just jewelry.”

Tonight, Rebecca and Ping-Hwei were playing Scrabble. Rebecca said, "I'll go first." Ping-Hwei said, "No, me." Rebecca answered him, "No, Ping-Hwei, I'm the little one."

March 25, 1997: The other day Sarah was asking me questions about Jerusalem, and then she said, "Is that where our God died?"

March 25, 1997: Tonight Rebecca and Caleb sat with Murray during a church service. The lesson was on forgiveness and the preacher, making the point that we all have difficulties in our pasts, asked the rhetorical question, "Who has perfect parents?" Rebecca and Caleb raised their hands.

March 26, 1997: Before the church service tonight, Murray wandered away to talk to someone. When he came back to the kids, Sarah was sitting on the lap of our friend Brenda, who had her hands around Sarah's waist. Brenda said, "She climbed up here by herself. Then she took my hands, put them around her, and said, 'My mommy puts her hands like this.' "Brenda, who doesn't have little girls anymore, looked pretty pleased.

March 28, 1997: Rebecca looked at the shopping list tonight, and said, "You put an 'e' on the end of tomato, and that's not good, so I'm circling it."

March 30, 1997: Sarah wanted to sit on Kathy's lap the other evening because, she said, "My forehead hurts." "I'm sorry," Kathy responded, "when did your forehead start hurting?" Sarah answered, "A few days ago."

April 6, 1997: On the way to church this morning, the kids were discussing heaven. "You can eat all you want there, and it won't give you a stomach ache," said Caleb. Rebecca responded, "Yes, you do get stomach aches, but you laugh at them."

We had dinner tonight at a restaurant with many people from our church. Murray wanted Sarah to come 3 or 4 seats over to sit next to him and told her, "Sarah, there's a chair right next to me." She said, "Well, I'm already in a chair."

Caleb told Kathy today, "When I shake my hands (and arms), I can hear something shaking in there."

Tonight, Ping-Hwei looked at the return address portion of a letter Murray wrote (Murray just uses street address and zip code), and said with concern, "No Murray McKinsey."

April 9, 1997: Yesterday Sarah was playing with the Mr. Potato Head game, and she got out the sheet of paper from the game which shows which accessories to put into which heads. She told me that when she was making the potato heads, "I obeyed the recipe."

Caleb had a program at school last night, and they were supposed to dress nicely. He told me, talking about a girl in his class, "Mercedes said she was going to go home and change herself into a dress."

April 11, 1997: Last night Sarah told Murray, "You can't take your seat belt off till the car stops rumbling."

Friday, February 14, 2020

The Love Holiday

Father God, thank you for the words of love you’ve given me to remember this Valentine’s Day.

Psalm 86:5
O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.

2 Timothy 1:7
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.

1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.
For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love.

Psalm 116:1-2
I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy.
Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!

1 Peter 4:8
Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.

Amos 5:14-15
Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live!
Then the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed.
Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice.
Perhaps even yet the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people.

Psalm 103: 8 and 13:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

John 3:16-17: 
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

1 John 4: 10-11: This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Father God, you show us such love to forgive us. You become our tender Father. You teach us to love each other and to love what is good.

1 Corinthians 13: 8A: Love never fails.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Grace and Truth, John 7:25-53

There was much division among the people about Jesus, with the common Jews, and even among the leaders.

Some in the crowds were confused, knowing Jesus was the one the leaders wanted to kill. Others believed in him because of his miracles. Jesus bravely declared He’d been sent by God.

Verses 28-29: Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”

The Pharisees sent to have Jesus arrested, but he boldly promised that the Holy Spirit would be given to anyone who chose to follow him.

Verses 37-39: On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

The people continued to be confused, and though some wanted to arrest him, because of his power, they were not able to at this time. Jesus was able to choose that time.

The leaders were only brave enough to scoff at Jesus and his believers among themselves, but Nicodemus, one of them, was willing to stand up and defend the truth.

Verses 50-51: Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?”

In John chapter 3, Nicodemus was not so brave. But with Jesus’ grace, he grew to have that courage.

Lord, help me to be brave for you, like Nicodemus.