Monthly Archives: April 2010

Off With the Old, In With the New

Clothed In Christ
Part One in a Series
*****

I don’t like getting rid of my old clothes. 

I like them. 
They’re comfortable. 
 Usually, I don’t get rid of something until someone else says something. 

“Mom, did you know that was Jana’s shirt when she was a freshmen in high school?”
She is now married with two kids. 
.
These three tank tops to wear under shirts were all hers,
purchased her freshman year for $.25 each.
Yes, I got a bargain. 
Yes, after about 8 years, we got a lot of mileage for them.
Finally, with a little prompting, I cut them up for rags.

My daughters are good to point out the obvious.
“Did you know you have a hole in that shirt?”
“M-AAWWWM, you need new clothes!”

New clothes. Of course, I want that cool new polished suave mom look. I don’t want to take the time to create the look. I don’t like the cost. I don’t like the effort. I want the Cinderella effect where I snap my fingers and I have this cool wardrobe with something for every occasion.

Sunday? No problem.

Casual coffee? No problem.

Writers’ meeting? No problem.

Old  and New is a theme in the Scriptures, too. The Old Man is the depraved flesh we were born with and the New Man is the spiritual creation we become when we experience the new birth through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

                                                  old brown shirt….old black shirt

These old shirts also went through several of my daughters before I adopted them.  Wow. What was I thinking?  I had to finally admit the obvious, they needed to go.

We also need to admit the failure of the old man, the flesh we were born with.  It needs to go.

We  take off the old man through salvation – by trusting Jesus as our Savior.

Romans 6:6  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Then, daily we take off our dirty clothes and put them in the laundry hamper to be washed to be used again.  Our flesh is no different.  Daily we take off the Old Man by confessing our sin.

Ephesians 4:22 That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts,

new brown shirt with pleats…new black shirt with ruffles

Every one loves new clothes. I bought simple brown and black t-shirts to replace the old ones. They have a little simple, ornamental detail, but were new.   I bought a new pair of jeans with no holes. (More to come on holy, holey jeans!)  Over time I bought a few nice jackets and even a few sets of matching jewelry.

Ephesians 4:24, “put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

Keeping the wardrobe up needs daily attention and action.  If I don’t keep purging my closet and replacing old items with new ones, I would eventually return to the same state I was in before – clothes destined to be rags.

We must  put off the old and put on the new.

Both actions are necesarry.  If we only put off the old, and didn’t put on the new, we would end up….well, um….remember the Emporer’s new clothes?

If we just kept putting on the new, we would end up with a disaster, the closet would be so full, we eventually wouldn’t know which clothes were wearable, and we wouldn’t be able to find anything.

Spiritually, we must do the same.

The old man, the flesh we were born with, has to be taken off.  Through Jesus we put on the new.

We must do both.

What’s behind the door of your closet?

What’s behind the door of your heart?

*********
Read Part Two – Puffed Sleeves of Parenting
Part Three – Holy, Holey Jeans
Part Four – In and Out of Season

Sumthin’ Outta’ Nuttin’

If there is one thing I learned working with Florence
at Box T Bible and Saddle Camp,
you can make
sumthin’
outta’
nuttin’
in the kitchen.
Along with her husband, Lewellyn,
they used their ranch in the middle of North Dakota
as a Bible Camp for many decades.
They were loved for their love for the Lord,
and their love for the young people that
stomped on their grass,
trampled their flowers,
wrestled on their furniture,
and broke things.
They had patience unlimited for youthful pranks,
immature and mature crushes,
smelly cowboy boots,
giggling after hours,
spiritual questions,
and mistakes in the kitchen.
Florence was amazing with food.
She fed the campers from a kitchen the size of
some people’s dining room table.
I watched her rescue desert when someone accidentally used
Russian tea mix instead of cocoa
in the brownies.
I laughed when a pan of baked oatmeal
was tipped over in the oven,
and the rescued portion miraculously became the
bottom of a creamy, fruity desert.
When my cupboards were bare,
her influence spurred on
thrift and creativity.
The kids hadn’t sealed the package of tortillas,
so the edges were all crusty.
A scissors took care of that mess.
I grated the chunks of cheese I found,
cutting off a few spots of mold
and the dried edges.
I guess the cheese bags weren’t sealed, either.
A wonderfully warm lunch,
that my kids thought was SO special.
It was just like in a restaurant!
They didn’t know how I had to literally cut and scrape
to make this meal.
It felt good to be so frugal.
It felt good to think about Florence,
 a woman who influenced my faith
even more than my culinary skills.
I was even wondering,
if I were living during WWII,
would I have even cut off the crusty edges?
Or would I have cut them off
and made something else out of them?
But, there is something more to consider,
than just a recipe from dry tortillas and moldy cheese.
Other than food,
we can waste time,
spiritual gifts,
abilities,
our homes,
our belongings,
our relationships,
and money.
We waste them by not using them for the Lord.
How are you making
sumthin’
outta’
nuttin’
in your life?
******
Read Jeff’s blog giving great tribute to
Florence and Lewellyn Tewksbury,
of Box T Bible and Saddle Camp.

MM Meditation – Isaiah, the Master Painter

Today the devotional was written by a dear friend in the Lord,
Max Johnson.
***********************************

Let’s take a long walk together down through the centuries and sit in on an art class.  The artist is the Holy Spirit; and He has a student by the name of Isaiah, who is gretting ready to paint a portrait.  It is not of one of his contemporaries – it will be a picture of One who was due to come several centuries in the future.

So, Isaiah approaches his canvas number 53.  He has his brush and his pallete, and is about to start his portrait.  But, we notice that the colors on his pallete are rather drab earth tones.

 As he paints, he explains what the various colors depict about the Person he is putting on his canvas.  He dips his brush into the first drab color and the word “DESPISED” appears.

Another color, “REJECTED.”

Still another, “A Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief.” 

At this point we interrupt the painter and say, “Isaiah, wait, that’s not a very pretty picture at all.”

He replies, “That’s true, but it is a very accurate portrayal I’m painting.”

Then he takes a few more strokes with another ugly color and the words “Rejeced of Men” appear.

As we mutter something about hiding our faces from Him and start to walk away he says “Wait, I have another canvas.” 

Leading us across the room to easel with a clean canvas marked “Number 6”, he takes a new brush and a pallete with the most beautiful, bright, vivid, living colors, and starts his second portrait. 

He dips his brush into the firt post ,”THE LORD.” 

Then another color, “High and lifted up.” 

Another color, “Sitting upon His throne.”

The portrait is completed with the Seraphim sitting around the throne and crying, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is filled with His glory.” 

We compliment Isaiah and say, “That’s a much better portrait.”

He reminds us both portraits depict the same Person.

Now, let’s fast-forward our spiritual computer a few centuries, and we find two men, Philip and Nathaniel, talking together.

Philip is all excited and says, “Nathaniel, come, we have found Him of whom Moses in the Law, and the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, son of Joseph.” 

Then, Nathaniel interrupted Philip and said, “Wait a minute, did I hear you say Nazareth, that dirty little town up there in Galilee?  How can any good thing come out of that despised place?”

Philip’s answer to Nathaniel was that most simple, yet most provocative invitation that could ever be given, “Come and see.”

That same invitation is good today for any agnostic who is willing to test it honestly and sincerely. 

When we find Nathaniel face to face with this Jesus of Nazareth, the words coming from the Lord’s mouth strike a chord deep in Nathaniel’s heart, and he knows that he is face to face with someone more powerful than anyone else on earth.  With all of his skepticism now dissipated, he addresses the Lord, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God, You are the King of Israel.” 

Now, we advance about three more years, and find ourselves approaching a hill called CALVARY, where stand three crosses.  The two outer crosses bear the bodies of two criminals, dying in agony for the crimes they have committed; but Who is that Man on the center cross?  It seems we have seen Him before.  Yes, he is the One fulfilling the two portraits painted by Isaiah, the One who confronted Nathaniel.

If there is still any doubt, we notice a sign placed above His head by Pontius Pilate, that nefarious governor from Rome, who wittingly or unwittingly identified the Man on the center cross, “This is Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”

Those two incongruous phrases describe two persons in one body.  Yes, He was that lowly Nazarene Who humbled Himself, we read; but He was also the One acknowledged by Nathaniel as the Son of God, King of the Jews.

In that moment, on that hill called Calvary, He surveyed His kindgom from a cross! 

Then, His body was taken down and put in a tomb; but only for three days.  Just as He prophesied and promised, THE KING arose from the dead; and He lives forever with His saints to reign!

The apostle Paul writes in Phillipians 2:9, “God has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every nane, that at the name of Jesus every knee SHALL bow and every tongue SHALL confess that HE IS LORD to the glory of God the Father.”

How is this Man viewed by the world today?  As He stood in the Court of Justice on that day so long ago, the people cried out for His blood, “Crucify Him, we will not have this man to reign over us.”

That cry is magnified many times today, people are saying with more hatred than ever, “Away with Him!  Take Him out of our schools, our public buildings and public places, we don’t want Him.  Away with you!

The question is, How do YOU view him today? 

IS He just a forgotten man from a little insignificant town names Nazareth, or is He King? 
YOUR King?
Is He the King of YOUR life?

Waking Up In Heaven

Years ago, I was holding my precious baby Rebekah during the Sunday morning meeting we call Remembrance Meeting. Honoring the Lord’s dying request, we gather to worship and remember that our Savior shed His blood for us. Thoughts are shared from the Scriptures, prayers  are offered, and hymns are sung. It is a sweet, beautiful time of humble adoration, praise and thanksgiving.

In the midst of the meeting, she woke up from her little morning snooze.

She wasn’t startled, but awaked with the warm harmonious blending of voices in song. Her eyes and mouth were wide open in wonder, her  little toes lightly moving in rhythmic enjoyment.

My heart warmed with the thought of my precious baby waking up in the presence of worship.

I was struck with the profoundness of my revelation.

I wondered – is this what it be will be like for us believers at death?

After death, will we  just open our eyes into presence of worship and at the feet of  the One being worshipped?

It still causes my heart to rejoice that a little child literally demonstrated to me the beauty and wonderment of a believer who “sleeps.”

1 Thessalonians 4:14

For if we believe
 that Jesus died and rose again,
even so God will bring with Him
those who sleep in Jesus.
We’ll wake up and see Him.
What a glorious moring that will be!

What Happens at Gramma’s, Stays at Gramma’s

You think I would know better.
I began helping raise my five siblings
 when my Mom went back to work
the summer after I finished third grade.
I have been parenting my own children for almost 22 years,
and even though all six aren’t grown up,
they are all still alive, safe and normal…well, kinda’.
It was supposed to just be a nice weekend visit,
where I would dote on my darling granddaughter, hold her,
play with her and not feed her sugar
because her Mommy won’t let me.
How did I forget, in a few short years,
what damage and danger can occur
 if you lose track of a one year old…
for only 15 seconds…
or less?

“Splish, Splash, my hand is taking a little bath.”
I guess she wanted to fish with the Scrabble tile rack….
the toilet WAS flushed…..I didn’t guarantee clean…..
“See, Gramma, I’m playing with your Cabbage Patch dolls now.”
Yea, in my antique DOLL playpen…..
“Oh, so this is what candy tastes like! MMMMM Good!”
Relax, Mom, the cellophane was still on…….
“This lego guy doesn’t taste as good as the candy cane, anyway.”

Besides, I know from YEARS of experience
that most small lego pieces can be pooped out if swallowed….

“I think I better help un-decorate the tree.”
She grabbed my newest ornament,
the one I cherish in my heart,
the most irreplaceable…..
It is the ornament I bought last year that gives my newest title,
 my newest profession
and my newest source of damage, duty and distress.
Oh, yea, it also is the title of my newest source of love, joy and adoration.
The ornament she is clutching in her toilet-splashing, tree-mauling hands says
“Grandma.”

***************************

This blog was originally posted December 18, 2008.

I am reposting to participate in
Homesteader’s Heart Friday Funnies.
Drop by for a few laughs to begin your weekend right.

******************************
To follow further adventures of the much grown-up Brookelyn,
and her Chubby Bubby Brother Bradyn
check out my daughter’s blog
The Roli Poli’s.

216 Days Until…

Thanksgiving.

Yes, I am counting the days until Thanksgiving.  In fact, in honor of counting the days until other momentous occasions I have in my life, I added a “How Many Days Until” Gadget on my sidebar.  Go ahead, help yourself.  Drop by and use it whenever you need.

I’m a good sharer.

You’re probably wondering why I am planning so far ahead of time.  True confession –  I have already been shopping for several months already.  Not frantically shopping, just “casually browsing while I am shopping for other things” kinda’ shopping.

Why so anxious to get started? 

My MIL is coming. 

For the first time in the 24 years I’ve been married to her son, she and her husband, that would be my FIL, are coming to celebrate the holiday with us.

I am nervous.  She always worked so we have celebrated very few holidays together, and I have never hosted a holiday in my home with the MIL and FIL attending.

She has taught me a lot about hospitality.  She is organized, cooks delicious food, sets a beautiful table and thinks of every detail. I don’t feel it is a competition, I just want to show her what I have learned from her and make her feel comfortable. I want her to enjoy a nice holiday, for once,  without having to do any of the work.

But, I am nervous. 

Did I say that already?  I know that if I plan far enough ahead of time, it should go smoothly. It may be the only Thanksgiving we have together. I want it to be special.

This was the first item I bought, a tablerunner at the thrift store.  It has all the colors I always use, but this year I am emphasizing the greens and golds.
I have tablecloths in solid colors in the light green, gold and maroon. I just buy inexpensive linens to layer over them.
It’s a cost effective way to change looks with each season or holiday.
I found a few yards of this beauty next.  A vintage reproduction, it is heavy, non-wrinkling and reminds me of Minnesota, my husband’s home state. I am not sure how I will use it.  I contemplated making cloth napkins, but I’m not sure I can stand to cut it up.
This piece of gold, shimmery, crinkly stuff should be a great accent.  Maybe swirled around some wooden pumpkins, maybe strips tied around candles? 
When I found these heavy duty glasses, I knew they had to come home with me.  A bit ironic to be buying Harvest Gold and Avocado Green since I HATED these colors when I first got married. All our early apartments had green stoves, but since I decorated mostly with red, I could always blend it in fine. My kids sometimes make fun of my love for vintage, but they are enjoying the feel and the color of these glasses.  They may end up loving vintage after all!  Maybe one of my kids will someday scour the internet looking for an avocado green stove.
I will be decorating with these.  Since I display them in my house all year ’round, I will just need to add more cinnamon oil to them and enjoy the holiday aroma.
As I plan for the upcoming holidays, I am not just thinking about linens and dishes. I am thinking about my heart attitude, my spiritual purpose and my ability to show Jesus to those that are in my home.
This is the true essence of hospitality.
Without love, which is Jesus, all the dishes and the linens would be in vain.  They are the least important.  It is just something to do to cover my nervousness and my excitement for the opportunity.
I am praying. I am praying that our hearts will be bound together and that I might bless them as the Lord guides my actions and my heart.
The best part of planning ahead, is that I have 216 more days to pray. 
***********************

Speaking of Thanksgiving, I think it is about time to post the recipes my daughter, Grace, used for Thanksgiving last year. 

Roast Duck

New Green Bean Casserole

Vermont Cheddar Mashed Yukon Golds

Maple-Ginger Glazed Carrots

A Simple Method for Cooking a Whole Bird

Roasted Turkey with Tangerine Glaze

Any advice?  Any suggestions for the fabric?  Any new recipe recommendations?

Take your time in answering.

I have 216 days to plan and pray.

My Stomach Benefits, My Stove Suffers

People often say to me,
“You’re SO lucky your kids can cook!”
They seem to think it was a genetic disposition
that brought my kids into the kitchen
to cook and create,
dream and destroy.
I don’t always get credit for teaching them,
wiping up after them,
forfeiting my right to have any set of glasses longer than two years,
and committing to about one half hour of cleaning
for each 15 minutes they spend cooking.
“LUCK”
had nothing to do with it.
It was patience,
mixed in with a lot of tongue-biting,
stirring in a little eye rolling,
folding all ingredients together with love.
  
Maybe I should have kept these drip pans
to give to the next person
who wants to tell me how
“lucky”
I am.
 
They looked this good in October,
a few months old.
I tried scrubbing them.
It was a waste of time. 
I didn’t want to spend the money to replace them
after only a few months,
So,
I looked at this for months.
EEEWWWW!!
I was SO excited to discover enamel drip pans in Target
last month.
They were a little more expensive,
but I thought they would be worth it. 

They’re still dirty,
but not rusty,
and are not impossible to clean.
The enamel is slightly damaged in this one already,
but it doesn’t show up very much.
Why do I take this abuse?
Because I don’t have to cook 
the Thanksgiving meal,
or make breakfast anymore.
We like to challenge people to
“count the cost.”
So, I can cook less,
but buy new drip pans more?
Sounds like a bargain to me!