Friday, May 18, 2018

Enlist!

Joel 2:7
They charge like warriors; they scale walls like soldiers.  They all march in line, not swerving from their course.

Danny's oldest son, Giovanni, recently makes a life-changing decision, one that has us bursting with pride.  He enlists in the U. S. Air Force!  As I write this, Giovanni is in Week 3 of basic training, and is slated to graduate on June 14th.  Then it's off to Air Force school for another four months, where he will learn the skills required to become an avionics technician.

When Giovanni graduates from high school several years ago, with no desire to go to college, but with four years of Jr. ROTC under his belt, Danny and I think he might join the military right away.  Looking back, though, we realize that he had neither the confidence nor the maturity to make such a choice.  Giovanni lives with us for quite some time, working different jobs and helping with some bills.  During these years, he develops a keen interest in guns, and takes part in many air-soft military mock-up events.  Here are a few photos from some of those occasions.







He certainly looks the part of a soldier, doesn't he?  All well and good, but now, it's the full meal deal!  We follow the weeks of basic training at this official Air Force website.  It's gratifying to get a glimpse into what Giovanni's life is like now.

What I deem most compelling in these videos is the fact that these soldiers in training, from all races, backgrounds and experiences, learn to work together, to watch each other's backs, and to march in line, not swerving from their course.  

I find myself reflecting, as I see the determined efforts of these brave men and women, on if we as Christians, no matter our denominations, would stand together, work together, for the Good News of God's kingdom, what a phenomenal difference we could make!  Just as these young soldiers come to realize that they are part of something much bigger than themselves, we, too, are part of the biggest fighting force ever, assembled in the name of Christ Jesus, and led by our God of the Angel Armies.

I'm ready to enlist!  Who's with me?

Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you've done everything, to stand. ~Ephesians 6:13

Prayers for Giovanni and his fellow soldiers who have voluntarily chosen to serve and defend our great nation are very much appreciated!

Amen!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Sweet Tooth!


Psalm 119:103
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

In her most recent visit with us, granddaughter, Virginia Rose, decides to don her Amazing Chef apron once again so we can make frozen chocolate-banana pops.  Yes, we've made these before, and Virginia, who asks me which one of her teeth is the "sweet" one, savors this treat, which is both healthy and indulgent at the same time.




She peruses the recipe card and retrieves the utensils we need.



I get out the chocolate chips and olive oil for the gooey coating.



Virginia peels and slices the bananas, and inserts each with a popsicle stick.



We then pop these babies into the freezer for thirty minutes.  About five minutes before they're due to reappear, we get busy with the chocolate mixture.  Virginia measures the chips, not without sampling a few!







Adds the tablespoon of olive oil,





and it's ready to go into the microwave for easy melting.  Once done, Virginia stirs the mixture until smooth, and dips each banana carefully, coating them as best she can.









And it's back into the freezer again to solidify the chocolate.  And though she has to wait two hours for that to happen, Virginia is rewarded for her efforts and patience.





Sweeter than honey?  You bet!

But even sweeter is the Word of God.  One day, Virginia will grasp that eternal truth and, I pray, will choose to live by God's "sweeter than honey" commandments.

May we all do the same.

Amen!


Friday, May 11, 2018

Shout for Joy!


Our respite in the mountains tells so many stories of the wonders of God's creation.  His Word far outweighs any commentary I can possibly write.  So let these verses from the Bible inspire you, and enhance the photos from our glorious time of recreation and renewal spent with one another and with the Lord.  My prayer is that you will be moved to shout for joy at God's marvelous works.

Isaiah 49:13
Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth;
burst into song, you mountains!
For the Lord comforts his people
and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.





Isaiah 45:12
It is I who made the earth and created mankind on it.
My own hands stretched out the heavens;
I marshaled their starry hosts.




Isaiah 60:20
Your sun shall never set; the moon shall not go down - 
for the Lord will be your everlasting light;
your days of mourning all will end.






John 14:2
My Father's house has many rooms;
if that were not so, would I have told you that
I am going there to prepare a place for you?





Psalm 1:3
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither - 
whatever they do prospers.




Matthew 6:26
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap
or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not much more valuable than they?








Genesis 1:18b
And God saw that it was good.

Amen!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The First Priority


Exodus 20:1-3
And God spoke these words:  "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  You shall have no other gods before me."

When my husband, Danny, and I reserve a mountain cabin for a much needed holiday, we make the conscious decision to limit our use of technology while there.  We don't bring the laptop, nor do we surf our cell phones with regularity.  Instead, we talk or read, play backgammon or pool, but most importantly, we spend hours observing and basking in God's glorious creation.



We have come, though, to expect the availability of cell service in the mountains, as over the last ten years or so, towers have sprung up all over.  But somehow, in all this "progress," our cabin, "A Walk in the Clouds," is a far cry behind the times.

Shortly after we arrive and settle in, I check my phone for any emails.  "No Service" glares spitefully at me from the upper left corner of my screen.  No service???  An unexpected and unwelcome tinge of panic starts to rise.  I pace the cabin rooms, the decks, the yard, the gravel drive, hoping and praying for just one bar to appear.  At long last, it does!  But my sigh of relief is short-lived.  When I try to call my mother to let her know we've made it safely to our destination, the phone refuses to comply.

Stubbornly, I continue to dial, but to no avail.  Maybe the Wi-Fi connection will help.  I'll have Danny hook my phone up to it.  "No internet," Danny announces when I reenter the cabin.  "I tried to log onto it just now, but either it's not working or the signal's too weak."

"That's just great," I grouse, teetering on the verge of whininess.  "It was supposed to be a choice not to use the internet; this is a mandate!"

And then, it dawns on me.  I'm ticked off because something I think I control now controls me.  I realize, to my chagrin, that technology has become more of an idol than ever I thought it would be or could be in my life.

No, it isn't wrong to want to stay connected to loved ones, but God convicts me that my first priority should always be to maintain my connection with Him, the One who first loved me and always will.

Contritely, I lay my idol down.  I pray for God's forgiveness.  I curl up on the comfy sofa, open my Bible, and immerse myself in His ever-comforting Word.

The only wireless link that never fails.

Amen!

Enlist!

Joel 2:7 They charge like warriors; they scale walls like soldiers.  They all march in line, not swerving from their course. Danny'...