Saturday, November 27, 2010

Scraps to Scrumptious

I have two friends who are avid quilters ----their dedication, their joy, and their skill delights me. As I was driving through Kentucky on the road to Iowa, I noticed a sign for the National Quilt Museum. I stopped to pay homage on behalf of my friends.
I once wrote about the Guilt Quilt I owned, wrapping myself in it and snuggling in the warmth of blame and shame. It had bits and pieces of bad decisions, sinful actions, missed opportunities - each contributing their own square. It took me years to understand Jesus came to trade my GuiltQuilt for His righteousness--- I no longer cowered beneath the enemy's recriminations for I was free.
Even though I don't quilt, I thoroughly appreciate the artistry and the love. The colorful patterns reflect the craftsmanship, creativity, and perseverace of the creator. I am so thankful His Righteousness is a cover of many colors, many blessings, and many rejoicings. I am thankful for Janet and Sue who are keeping this treasured handicraft alive and will pass their work down for generations. I am thankful His love endures forever and I am forever released to walk in His freedom.

Hey, Mom ---It's Cold

Will Horch is 5 weeks old and already working on his frequent flyer account with Delta. While Dad Jeff worked on his sermon, Mom Anne and I took the boys to the mall in Davenport,IA.
Life has been full for this dear little boy... he has come into a world full of movement. He takes it all in stride. What stories we will be able to tell him.

Old Man River

Sunrise through the fog on the Mississippi River is a grand experience. The Great River Road goes from Minnesota to Louisiana....American highway afficionados know this as the GRR ---a road with a roar.This is mile 497 according to the marker.
During this week I traveled beside the old man, crossed it back and forth, and remained reverent. This is a river of substance!
As I drove through river towns, I envisioned Mark Twain and his journeys. Growing up in Cincinnati on another fine river, I was used to seeing the Delta Queen docked on the Ohio. This lovely paddle boat ignited my desire to amble from headwaters to the mouth and the Mississippi delta. A friend from St. Paul, MN. tells me at the very genesis of the Mississippi you can cross it by foot. To imagine this magnificent riverway could ever be a quiet, almost trickle of a stream is unthinkable.
The signs on the road constantly reminded me I was on the GRR. I gave some thought to that word "great" as I passed along this delightful, intriguing byway. My mind wandered to the songs referring to our God as great.....and to His attributes. I hummed Great Are You, Lord and Great Is Thy Faithfulness. No matter how great that old man river is or the road clinging to its shoreline, it will never live up to the greatness of our God. I love that!

Jack the candidate's son

A little boy won the hearts of the congregation at EFree/Clinton. After running around the fellowship hall for an hour, his sweaty little head showed how much he enjoyed himself.

Jeff the candidate

Jeff is a candidate for the role of Associate Pastor at the Evangelical Free Church of Clinton, IA. He preached Sunday morning (powerfully, I must add) and attended the Sunday evening Thanksgiving service and fellowship dinner. I grabbed the senior pastor (Tom Loyola) and asked for a picture with Jeff. Tom is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and pastored there for years. He and his wife Sue Anne graciously and warmly hosted Jeff, Anne, Jack, and Will. It was such a blessing to be there with them as they experienced the love of Jesus through the people at EFree/Clinton.

He went "that-a-way"!

Clinton, IA. has a Children's Discovery Center ---- good thing to do on a chilly Friday when Mom, Dad, and brother Will were busy at a "get to know you" lunch.
Jack directs his world with his finger.....he absolutely manages everything and everyone through the masterful use of his pointer digit.
Amazing what power resides in that little 19 month old appendage. Clearly he has me wrapped around that finger.
I was thinking about fingers and the Sistine Chapel came to mind.....with the finger of Adam and the finger of God nearly touching. What an image. Of course, I believe if any touching occurs it is because God reached to us, not the other way around. We can point and point but until He extends His hand of love, mercy, and salvation, we point in vain.

Friday, November 19, 2010

These Feet Were Made For Walking

Jack Horch and I are good buddies this week in Clinton, IA. His Dad (and my son) is candidating for an associate pastor's position. The whole family has traveled to the heartland (Mom Anne, Jack, and 5 week old brother Will). I am here to be Jack's playmate for the week. What fun! He is 18 months old and absolutely full of amazement in all life experiences.
Yesterday we took an afternoon walk so Mom Anne could rest a bit. With his hand in mind we headed out across the parking lot. The whole time he talked and talked and Jack talk. He was so animated and brought such delight to all who heard.
It made me think about the old Maranatha praise song expressing the hope that God is pleased with all He hears from us. Oh, that my words, my thoughts, and my actions would bring such pleasure to my God as Jack's words do to me.
Scripture talks a lot about walking.....Jack teaches me the practical lessons.