Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A day late but not old.....

I got this article from a friend from church ~ Van ~ he posted it on his Facebook page and he actually got it from Mark D. Roberts - from his blog I conclude he is a pastor. Anyway... it is a day late but I thought very useful information!! Thanks Van!

The Real St. Patrick

In my youth, St. Patrick’s Day was most of all a day to wear green. Be caught without green and you got pinched by your friends, maybe even your teacher. (That was a long time ago, when teachers dared such things!) To my youthful self, St. Patrick seemed to be the patron saint of greenness and pinching. And if he was ever pictured, he looked suspiciously like a leprechaun.On March 17, 1982, I found myself in New Haven, Connecticut. (Yes, a Harvard man in Yale territory, I confess.) Little did I know that I had wandered into one of the oldest and most enthusiastic celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day in America. All the downtown pubs sold green beer (!) for a dime. Crowds gathered for the annual parade. I was caught up in a tidal wave of humanity who were “painting the town green,” if you will.

At that time I had some vague idea that there was a real St. Patrick, a Christian missionary of days gone by. Yet it was hard to find the connection between St. Patrick’s Christian mission in Ireland and the mass consumption of green beer. Later I did a bit of research to find out something about the historical St. Patrick.

His story reads like an Indiana Jones-type adventure. Raised in Britain (yes, not Ireland), Patrick was captured by pirates in A.D. 405 when he was only sixteen years old. The kidnappers whisked him away to Ireland and sold Patrick into slavery. He spent eight years as a captive in this pagan land.

During his captivity, Patrick embraced the Christian faith of his upbringing, something that had mattered little to him beforehand. In his own words, Patrick explained: “And there the Lord opened the sense of my unbelief that I might at last remember my sins and be converted with all my heart to the Lord my God, who had regard for my abjection, and mercy on my youth and ignorance, and watched over me before I knew Him, and before I was able to distinguish between good and evil, and guarded me, and comforted me as would a father his son” (from The Confession of St. Patrick).

Inspired by a dream, Patrick finally escaped from Ireland and made his way back to his home in Britain. But, in time, he sensed God’s call to return to Ireland, of all places, in order to share the good news of Christ with the pagans there. Even though he feared he wasn’t sufficiently learned to be a missionary, Patrick returned to Ireland, where he found unprecedented success in his evangelistic endeavors. His experience of Irish language and culture during his years as a slave enabled Patrick to communicate the Christian gospel with unusual effectiveness. (Photo: A stained-glass image of St. Patrick, from St. Peter’s Church in Washington D.C. Photo from iStockphoto.com.)

Though we can’t be sure when Patrick died, tradition holds that he lived into his seventies and died on March 17 in the latter half of the fifth-century A.D. In twenty-five or thirty years of evangelistic work, he led thousands of Irish pagans to Christ and was responsible for Ireland’s becoming one of the most Christian nations in Europe. For this reason he is called “the apostle of the Irish.”

The story of Patrick reminds me, in a way, of Joseph’s experience in Egypt. In both cases, what kidnappers and slave masters intended for evil, God intended for good (Gen 50:20). Today I want to celebrate, not only Patrick’s example of faithfulness, but also the mystery and majesty of God’s redemptive sovereignty. It’s not unusual for people who have experienced some particular trauma in life to end up ministering to others who suffer that same trauma. A friend of mine, for example, who was sexually abused by her pastor when she was a teenager, now has a tenderhearted ministry to women who have experienced similar abuse. Thus, St. Patrick serves as an example of how God can work all things together for good, even things which are quite evil.
It is appropriate to close this piece with an excerpt from a prayer that is attributed to Patrick. Whether he actually wrote it or not, this prayer captures the boldness of his Christian faith:

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ within me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left, . . .
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity,
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I would rather give birth.....

So I have heard that having a baby is much less painful than a kidney stone - well I can now testify to that!! I would rather give birth to multiple babies than do this again!!

As many of you have heard by now last Thursday I found out I have a kidney stone!! You know my back had been hurting for a few weeks but I honestly thought it was due to my working out and caring for 3 boys and turning the dreaded 30. I never would have thought about a kidney stone. Even on Wednesday night when my back was hurting it just didn't seem like that big of a deal! I was carrying on as normal at church and all. BUT I am here to tell you Thursday morning I thought I was not going to make it - a little dramatic I know - but I have never felt pain like that!! I am so thankful for God's faithfulness in providing someone to take Nathan to school, for my mom being available to watch my kids, and for my dear friend Debbie calling me at just the right time. Her daughter had just had a kidney stone a week ago and she knew exactly how to help me. She took me to the ER and waited with me patiently until my husband could get back in town. I am so thankful for the body of Christ!!

So here is the update. I am home now fighting an infection. The stone is 7mm in size which is rather big in the kidney stone world. I have a less than 10% chance of passing it and it was causing 100% blockage - hence the infection. So while I was at the hospital Thursday they took me into surgery and put a stint in to help relieve some of the blockage. I received IV antibiotics there and I am taking a round of antibiotics here at home and they thankfully sent me home with some pain meds. The Doctor did not want to blast the stone while I had infection because of the risk of greater infection. So I return to the Dr. on Thursday and hopefully the infection will be gone and I will get into surgery soon to get the stone removed! Who knew something so small could cause so much pain?? I have a new found sympathy/empathy for those who have had kidney stones. I am so thankful to God and his mercy and that I am in the states where I am provided great medical care!! Thanks for all your prayers!!
Let's Have Church....

My kiddos love to play with their guitars and pretend we are at church. Last week Nathan was praying and the very last thing he prayed was "Open our eyes now that we may see wonderful things you have for us." It was so precious my heart just melted!! It actually proved to me that he is listening when he sits in church with us because our Pastor often ends his prayers the very same way!!

Our silly Luke just loves to sing. His most favorite song is "The Lord's Army" which he calls the riding in the cabinet song - he hasn't quite figured out it is riding in the cavalry! He also calls a microphone a "mighty wade." Go figure!! Here is a video of him singing some of his favorites! Enjoy!


video

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Like the weather??

I do!! It snowed here today!! But in case you didn't the old saying goes "if you don't like the weather and you live in GA just wait a week and it will change!" Funny the old cliche has proven a bit truthful ... just last week we had tornadoes today we had snow and next weekend it is supposed to be in the 70's!!!

So what did we do here this snowy day?? Well we started it off at church - where the snow began and what a great place to be!! Listening to the truth and watching the beauty of the snow - all compliments of our Creator God!! I just cannot find words for my thoughts right now as I think of how big our God is and all He encompasses! We rode home from church and watched the snow fall and listened to the excitement in the boys voices!! I did take a few pictures and will hopefully get a few more in the am before it all melts. It was very wet here and the kids didn't really get to do much other than throw a few snowballs they had made from snow on the van. Hopefully they will get to do a little more tomorrow before it melts! So while they napped this afternoon I curled up on my couch with a cup of hot tea and some good books!! I love my peach passion tea and I love to read I just don't have enough time. I actually finished Worldliness by C.J. Mahaney, I have been reading Taste and See by Piper it's one of those ongoing books so its a process, I began Piper's Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ and I have a stack in front of me that I want to read : Heaven and Safely Home by Randy Alcorn, Right Thinking in A World Gone Wrong by MacArthur, Fear Not by J. Ligon Duncan, Through Gates of Splendor by Elizabeth Elliott, Your Child's Profession of Faith by Gunderson and Instructing a Child's Heart by Tripp. Do you think that is enough??!!

Well I promised two little boys I would come and snuggle with them - they are both sleeping on the bottom bunk tonight together - so cute!

What did you do today in this winter weather and what books are you reading??