Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Fleurissant in Florissant

Well, Samantha, arrived in Colorado on Sunday, and in spite of spotty cell phone coverage, we've been able to talk a little bit. For the next 2 weeks, she's in Estes Park, CO training for her summer job as a camp Program Coordinator with Group Workcamps Foundation. And while we're having temperatures in the 80's here, she's been frolicing in the snow for the past 2 days.

It would seem that my previous posting about 'blossoming' was more appropriate than I'd imagined. Her camp assignment for the summer is in Florissant, Missouri (a suburb of St. Louis). "Florissant" was originally named by French settlers as "Fleurissant" which means, blossoming flowers! One of the town's original nicknames was Valley of Flowers. Florissant also means 'flourishing' in French, so here's hoping it's even prophetic!!

And speaking of flourishing... my computer's working much better with my new hard drive, and I'm loving my new iPod Nano... both gifts from my darling daughters/sil for Mother's Day!!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

American Beauties

The roses have 'blossomed', and their lovely fragrance attests to their presence even before you notice them in the room. I love roses. These 'beauties' were from my daughter, Leah, given to me on Mother's Day and they are still picture-perfect almost a week later.

One of the most special things of my life has been watching our daughters 'blossom'. I don't take any of it for granted, and know that God has a great and special adventure plannned for each of them. Sometimes, it's actually breath-taking to witness them stepping out into unknown territory, and watch them draw from deep within and 'open up' just like a lovely rose.

Samantha leaves tomorrow to go to Colorado for two weeks, and then to parts yet unknown for the rest of the summer, as a Program Coordinator for Group Workcamps Foundation. She's stepping way out of her comfort zone, and trusting in His plan for her personal growth and her personal ministry. I'll miss her lots... but I'm so very, very proud of her and her willingness to expand her horizons.

We were talking at breakfast yesterday about that ambiguous area between a word or promise from God, and its fulfillment. That time between the 'exodus' from Egypt and the planting of our feet in the Promised Land is a precarious place because sometimes the notion of going back to the 'comfortable' fools us into fretting, or settling, and missing the exhilaration of the expedition.

It likely wasn't pleasant camping in the desert, especially without an idea of how long it would last. Why stay here?... let's get going! And why do we have to keep all our livestock for the daily sacrifices... why can't we barbecue some steaks??? It likely wasn't a cruise ship mentality on the ark, either, ...with smelly animals, the same companions day in/day out, constantly bobbing up and down, and yearning to put down roots somewhere on dry land. Playing "I See Something... brown" had to get old! And yet, those scenes were the backdrops of His will, and the fulfillment of His promise was worth the wait!

When God says, "Go", but doesn't throw in a lot of detail, I think He's boasting in us and enjoys the adventure right along with us. There's always something good to focus on and wisdom to glean with a little effort on our part. I think it makes Him smile, to watch his kids 'blossom' into whom and what He's fashioned them/us to be.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I often need to remind myself to put things into proper perspective, and I find that my current mindset taints my perceptions. For example, when you look at this drawing, do you see an old hag with a big nose, or a lovely young woman?

'Additonal information' could help with your perspective.

If you see this picture first, you will likely see in the lovely young woman.

However, if you see this one first, your perception will be very different.

I noted this issue of perspective when reading the books of 1 & 2 Chronicles, which cover the same material as previously written in 1 & 2 Kings, but with a different spin. Chronicles was written (likely 425-400 B.C.) to provide encouragement and also exhortation to the remnant who had returned to rebuild Jerusalem, after having lived as captives in another land. They needed to be exhorted not to repeat the mistakes of the past, they needed to be reminded of their heritage and their covenant with God, and they needed encouragement to stimulate their faith and hope for their future.

Some 'addtional information' is thrown in, often seeming obsure, but by digging a little deeper, we learn that it is an intentional means of providing perspective. A prime example is the mention of Jabez, which seems to be an aside, but you could actually write a book on him ;-)

So that's why I did a little digging after reading 1 Chronicles 7:21-24. The first 9 chapters of 1 Chronicles are somewhat boring geneologies which trace the exiles's heritage. Then this passage throws in some of that 'additional information'. Ephraim (one of Joseph's sons) had lost sons in a skirmish with some Philistines. He mourned deeply for his dead sons. Then God gave him another son, whom he named Beriah (misfortune), because while he was happy for the new son, he still grieved his loss. Beriah's birth is symbolic of God's restoration, another chance at a new start after hard times.

Verse 24 says, "He had a daughter named Sheerah. She built the towns of Lower and Upper Beth-horon and Uzzen-sheerah." It's rare that a woman is mentioned in Jewish geneologies, so this bit of information stands out as being important. Sheerah, one of Ephraim's descendants, built cities! And, her name means remnant. So the remnant returning was being encouraged with the perspective that their heritage included city-builders, women of honor... and they too, were to rebuild, and not give up. What's more they had God's promise that He would restore them, and give them a new beginning.

Jabez, make room on the book shelves for Sheerah.

Free WiFi

Wow... it's been a while since I have posted. It's not that I haven't tried. Really. I've been battling computer issues for the past few weeks, and losing, it would seem. I'm not even sure this posting will actually get published, ... I've lost a few of them already due to a problematic PC. I've literally spent hours talking with help desk techs, chatting online with computer service personnel, installing, uninstalling and re-installing software, rebooting and rebooting, and holding my breath. I think I'm whining, too.

One of the computer issues involved having to replace our printer and it seemed to make sense to get one that could be networked via our wireless router. The router is connected to the Internet, and enables other computers in the network to share the connection. The wireless router can also receive input from networked computers, allowing them to share the printer. If the connections are correct, and the hardware and software are functioning properly, it can be a beautiful thing.

We attended a retreat this past weekend, and one of the speakers, Johannes Amritzer, gave a teaching on the ministry of healing, which I found to be profound, and yet simple. He referenced the scripture verses Matthew 10: 7,8, "As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near.' Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give." He challenged us, as followers of Christ, to give to others what we have from Him, to pass it on. He said that our function is not to "heal", but to announce that it's already been done ... by Jesus on the Cross (Isaiah 53:5). Faith releases the supernatural and changes the atmosphere. Johannes commented that if we carry His anointing, we will be a "lead wire" to God, a conduit meant to share the connection.

Kind of like a wireless router.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Proud Parents Day

This past weekend was Parent's Weekend at our daughter's college. We went to Grove City College early on Saturday morning to attend a recognition breakfast in honor of this Spring's new inductees to Mortar Board, a distinguished national honor society for college seniors. Samantha was one of those chosen from her campus, and we were so proud of her and delighted to share in the recognition convocation. Only 50 rising seniors are selected for membership each year at GCC. Here is a photo taken Saturday morning of Samantha and her once/future roommate and friend Kaitlin.

It's been a special year for Samantha and we've watched her 'bloom', as she's had opportunity to use talents we always knew she had, and to discover others, stepping out of her comfort zone into the adventure zone! She's grown into a beautiful and charming young woman of exemplary character and integrity, with a compassion for people, and a passion for the things of God.

AND... to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, we had lunch at Compadres Mexican restaurant. It was a wonderful and fun day, spent with some of my favorite people! Olé!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Walkin' the Talk

Our daughter Ashley sent us this article that she read recently on (Virginia Tech Sports). It's not about Virginia Tech, but it is about recovering from tragedy. It's an inspirational account about living out a faith message and using life's experiences to help others. Here's the link :

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Monday in the Park with Roger

When our kids were little, we often went to Pirates games, at Three Rivers Stadium. We liked the baseball, but Leah and Ashley were also fascinated with the Pirate Parrot. After Samantha was born, we'd take her, too, but she usually slept through it all.

Last night, Bruce and I went to a Pirates game, but now they play at PNC Park. It's a great park, and they say there's not a bad seat. I'm sure that's true, but of course, some are better than others. Our seats were really high, but at least we could see everything, and had a really pretty view of the river and the city as well. They also have added a mascot... a Pirate, named Jolly Roger. Clever.

There was a decent crowd for a Monday night. Oliver Onion won the Pirogi Race. Jason Bay hit his 100th homer, getting the go ahead run in the bottom of the 8th to come from behind and beat the Cubs 3-2!