Saturday, August 26, 2017

Totally Eclipsed by the Son

What an amazing experience to view part of God’s power and creation on Monday.  Several people met in the church parking lot to view the solar eclipse.  There was much awe and excitement as the eclipse went through its stages.  We were able to view the wonder through special safety glasses, cereal box viewers, a pinpoint in a white piece of paper projecting onto another piece of paper, shadows on the sidewalk, along with pictures people were taking on their phones.  The excitement was contagious.  We were able to witness the partial eclipse, see a few stars, a planet, and the sky somewhat darkening.  As exciting as it was to see 67% of the eclipse, it must have been incredible to experience the total solar eclipse.  The reports and pictures of the people in Oregon, Wyoming, across Tennessee and South Carolina that saw the total eclipse were remarkable. 

April 8, 2024, there will be another total solar eclipse that will pass through several cities in Texas.  After viewing a partial, I’m more than excited about the possibility of experiencing a total eclipse in person.  I wonder if they are already taking reservations.

This week I’ve also pondered what it would be like to be totally eclipsed by the Son where when people looked at me they instead saw Jesus.   He has already covered all my sins.  Each day I am eclipsed by my faith, trust, obedience, words, actions, and deeds.  I don’t want to settle for 67% coverage.  Oh to be able to live a life that is totally eclipsed by the Son.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
     the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Psalm 19:1

Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
Psalm 32:1 (and Romans 4:7)

You forgave the iniquity of your people and covered all their sins.
Psalm 85:2

Praise him, sun and moon;
     praise him, all you shining stars.
Psalm 148:3

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
     Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
     and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
     Not one of them is missing.
Isaiah 40:26

Saturday, August 19, 2017

ABC's and 1-2-3's

The starting of the school year seems like a gift of a second chance to begin a new year.  Whether it’s first grade, junior high, high school, college, or the world of education after graduation, we’re all still in the process of learning and growing.

So as a new school year begins:
* Trust in the LORD and seek his ways.
* Choose your mentors and friends wisely.  You tend to become like those you are around the most.
* Be quick to listen.
* Think before you speak.
* Your words, responses, and tone of voice make a difference.
* Manners and respect still matter.
* Clean up your own messes.
* Be willing to go above and beyond what is expected.
* Seek out those who need a friend or help.
* Choose to do what is right, even if no one is looking.
* Express gratitude and appreciation.
* Mistakes don’t define you.  What you do about them could.
* You are investing in your future.  Make it count.
* Be strong and courageous.
* Don’t ever give up.
* And whatever you do, whether it’s doing chores, studying, taking a test, participating in a sports event, practicing a musical instrument, riding the bus, or visiting in the hallway, do it all for the glory of God.

Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Matthew 22:37-39

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
     and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
     and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
     be pleasing in your sight,
     LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Matthew 6:33

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Grace Fillled Lessons and Help

Kalynne, a Minneapolis mom, was sitting at a table in Starbucks, inside a Target store, when she witnessed an encounter with a young boy and someone she assumed was his father.  The boy accidentally spilled his red and blue slushee.  It splattered and made quite a mess on the floor.  Instantly the son began apologizing.  The father responded, “Hey, it happens.  Let’s go get napkins and I can show you how to clean it up.”  Realizing that response was one she wanted to remember, Kalynne opened the notes app on her phone and recorded the conversation.  After patiently helping his son clean up the mess and throwing away the messy napkins, the father continued, “You’re going to be a human being for a long time, and you have such a smart brain that it’s important you learn how to be more aware of what you’re doing.  So next time just be sure to pay more attention to your surroundings so accidents like this don’t happen.  Accidents like these can be prevented, but it’s still okay if they happen.  As long as you take responsibility for your mistakes, the cleanup is a breeze.”  While still sitting nearby, Kalynne heard the father further respond, “I know big messes seem overwhelming and you might feel like you can’t do it by yourself, but it’s okay to ask for help.  There is no problem with asking for help when you need it.”

That’s a conversation I can hear my loving Heavenly Father saying, too. 
“Lord, I’m sorry.  I made a mess.”
“You’re forgiven. I’ll show you how to clean it up.” 
“You’re human.”
“I’ve given you a smart brain to use to help avoid these situations.”
“It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and what you are doing.”
“Mistakes/accidents will happen.  Take responsibility and clean them up.”
“It’s okay to ask for help when you need it.”
 “I’m here to teach, encourage, and come alongside you.”

As I’m learning and cleaning up the messes, may I also be willing to be an encouraging and grace filled helper for others in the process.

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
Jeremiah 33:3

Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.”
Acts 13:38

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
John 1:9

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Beach Week 2017

Beach Week 2017 is in the books.  What an incredible week with family. 

This year:
* 29th Beach Week
* Welcomed three new family members:  Amelia, Della, and Charles
* Sarah came from Hawaii
* Had Jenn and Eric, of Heflin Photography, take professional pictures
* Michael Burgers and miniature golf on Friday
* Celebrated 3 birthdays Saturday morning:  Lena’s 2nd, Mary’s 5th, and David’s 7th
* Swam at friends’ bay house 

To officially begin Beach Week, we stopped by to see Mom on our way to Galveston.  Mom and Dad began the tradition of Beach Week in hopes of keeping our families close.  Their expectations and desires are being accomplished.

 Group picture - Missing 4 due to work schedules

Abby, Scott, Debbie, Larry,  Lori, Della (7 months), Chad
Mary (4), Daniel (2),  Ryen (4), Sawyer (2), David (6)

 Scott's Family

 Melinda and Brad

 Chad's Family

 Sister Robin's Family
Adam, Kirk, Andrew
Eli (5), Jordan, Robin, Lena (2), Melissa, Amelia (7 months)
Josiah (4)

 Brother Terry's Family
Toby and Stacy, Erich
Jane (7)

 Sister Micki's Family
Kevin, Amy, Charles (1 month), Mark, Micki, Sarah

 8 of the 10 Cousins
Erich, Kevin, Scott, Adam, Chad, Andrew, Stacy, Sarah

The 12 Great-grandchildren

Chad's family continues the tradition of going down to the beach on the
 first evening and "accidentally" falling in the water with their clothes on.  
This tradition started with the original 10 cousins.

Beach Time





Mary, Ryen, Robin, Amelia

  Mary and Ryen






Cutest shark sighting of the week

This is the quilt Sarah made for her nephew, Charles.

Kevin and his son dressing alike.

Lena and Daniel

Inside Fun

Bubbles and Painting the Deck
The kids spent hours playing with the bubble machine 
Brad bought for them and painting the deck.

Miniature Golf

Birthday Party Celebrations

Swimming Pool Fun

The Closing of a Blessed Week

We will not hide from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.
Psalm 78:4

For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100:5

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
Psalm 133:1

The LORD has done great things for us,
     and we are filled with joy.
Psalm 126:3