Thursday, April 30, 2009

Take Your Daddy To School Day

"Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits,
The God of our salvation! Selah"
Psalm 68:19 (NKJV)

It wasn't a national event like "Take Your Son or Daughter To Work Day" was last week. "Take Your Daddy To School Day" was a personal family event we enjoyed a few weeks ago.

Joshua's teacher invited Jim to their class to share about Jim's recent trip to Israel. In addition, the economics teacher in our high school invited Jim to come in and speak about the Dow Jones Industrial Average and The Wall Street Journal to the economics classes. Jim humbly and enthusiastically accepted both of these invitations and combined his invitations into a one-day visit to school with our cherubs. It was a lot of fun for all of us. (It was a Monday, so I happened to be in our church working the day of his visit! I was able to clock out for a bit and visit Jim in the various classrooms of the school.)

Jim prepared for these school presentations as diligently and thoroughly as he does for his quarterly review meetings at work. Jim is a living testimony to our children (and everyone around him) of Colossians 3:23-34: "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

Here is Jim speaking to the high school economics classes.

In the afternoon, he visited Joshua's class and showed them 160 slides from his trip to Israel. Jim did a great job connecting each picture with an event from the Bible with which the children are familiar. The children asked great questions!

We served snacks that were representative of foods indigenous to Israel, such as oranges, figs and bananas.

Jim also brought in some interesting items he brought back from his trip, such as the salt formation that Joshua is holding, which Jim picked up from the bottom of the Dead Sea. Did you know you can't sink in the Dead Sea? It is so rich in salt that you float!

Bringing Daddy to school was the best Show-N-Tell our cherubs could ever want! He is their hero. Mine, too. I just heart my little family!

Yesterday morning we read some verses from Psalm 16 for our devotion time with the children. The verses seem suitable for this post. Smiles.

"I said to the LORD, 'You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing." LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; You have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance."

Monday, April 27, 2009

EXTRA EXTRA! Read All About It!

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.
It is the Lord Christ you are serving."
Colossians 3:23-24

The headline in our home last Thursday: "TAKE OUR SON TO WORK DAY". In celebration of "National Take Your Child To Work Day", Joshua joined Daddy at special day planned by Daddy's place of employment - Dow Jones & Company. Joshua even chose to miss a field trip at school with his class to see the Disney movie "Earth" that day so he could join Daddy! (Our daughter is still a couple of years too young to participate..she can't wait until she is a bit older!)

Joshua and Daddy enjoyed a memorable day together. Dow Jones hosted the children for a wonderful day with special meals, activities, presentations and a tour of the Wall Street Journal printing press! They even printed a special edition of the newspaper for the children attending (see photo above). What an exciting and delightful day for my hubby and our young gentleman. We think Joshua will remember this special day with Daddy for the rest of his life. Here are just a few pictures.

Back Home.

"The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him."

Proverbs 23:24

Friday, April 24, 2009

Lights, Camera, Action - "Regis & Kelly"

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."
Matthew 5:14-16

Once or twice a year I plan a girlfriends day trip to New York City to be in the studio audience of "Live! With Regis & Kelly"! Over the past few years, several of my friends have gone with me. My sweet sister, Anne, went, too!

This time, a fun friend of mine, Erika, was so excited to go. (As another friend of ours once said "Everyone needs an Erika in their life." It's true!) Her pretty niece, Kyndi, and our delightful friend, Ronna, joined us. We were up at 3 AM and on a 5:14 express train to New York City. We arrived at the studio by 7 AM. Here is a photojournal of our morning! (The great pix with the date on them were taken by Ronna -- she got some excellent shots!
Thanks, Ronna! You're terrific!)

To shine our lights, captured on the camera of God's heart, we took some action....
We brought Kelly a pretty gift bag filled with autographed books from my dear sister-friends at
Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Our fleeting moments on TV...if you blinked, you missed us!

The lady in front of us won the prize! So excited for her!There's no secret in getting tickets to be in the audience of "Live!". Tickets are free, and you can order them by CLICKING HERE.

Praying our shining lights, which we put firmly on their stands, brought a little bit of His light to that studio yesterday and to Kelly's heart through the wonderful books we gave her that point the reader to God's Word and Truth. As we all shine our lights before men through our good deeds in His name, MAY OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN BE PRAISED AND GLORIFIED! May He do wonderful and unexpected things for His Name!

"Come and see what God has done,
how awesome His works in man's behalf!"
Psalm 66:5

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Opening Our Home To The Lord

"As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him."
Luke 10:38

In February, I shared in a post titled "Lavish Love" about a surprise party for my husband that I hosted. At that surprise party, after dinner I had "open mike" time and invited our guests to share something about Jim that had been especially meaningful in their life. We laughed and cried as we listened to the many gracious things our families and friends shared about Jim. I was so thankful to the Lord that my husband was able to hear the many ways he is touching lives.

One of the things that touched my heart personally was a little unexpected theme that ran through many of the comments our loved ones shared. "Thank you for opening your home to us." I was silenced with overwhelming gratitude to the Lord. I thought, "Wow, it makes such a difference in other's lives when we simply open our home to them." Something that we did so simply in love was touching people's hearts and being used by the Lord, and we didn't even fully realize it.

I love Mary of Bethany and desire to genuinely follow her beautiful example of sitting at the Lord's feet and choosing the better part (Luke 10:42). In the same breath, I do sometimes feel as though Martha's narrow reputation of "being distracted by all the preparations" (v. 40) and "being worried and upset about many things (v. 41) outweighs another significant truth we find in Luke 10 that illustrates a part of Martha's character and reflects a genuine and obedient part of Martha's heart: "Martha opened her home to Jesus."

Simply opening our home to Jesus. For Jesus. We can serve Him in obedience and honor Him by opening our home. By His grace and strength, we can open our homes to Him in simplicity and without needing to have things perfectly clean or by being distracted by preparations. I believe that as we sit at His feet and choose the better part that will not be taken away from us (v.42), we can open our homes in humility and obedience for His purposes and glory.

We open our home to Him by honoring Him in it and through it. Being careful what is said and done in our home, what is on the television and the computer screens in our home. Maintaining our home carefully in a balanced way that honors Him and is a good witness to our neighbors. Nurturing the relationships we have with one another in this home. Meeting with Him daily in our home. Finding a special place in our home that is our personal sanctuary. Filling our home with songs of worship.

We literally open our home to Him by opening it to others for Bible study, Chuck Missler "Koinonia House" Bible studies, "Gather & Grow", "God's Princesses", "God's Squires", "Love and Respect" home fellowship, and "Home Builders" studies. Opening it for a meal, for prayer, for fellowship, for refuge, for shelter, for play dates and fun, for celebrations, for coffee with a friend.

While opening our homes at times may seem inconvenient or uncomfortable, as we do it in obedience as unto the Lord with joy, He blesses the gatherings and grants His life and light to us and those who gather in our homes.

We are thankful for everyone who opens their homes to us. We don't take their kindness, sacrifice or hospitality lightly. We pray God blesses them for opening their homes to us. And we pray He always grants us the ability to open the home , which He has given to us, to Him and for Him.

Share with us how you open your home to the Lord!

I love this scripture. The words "Jerusalem" and "Zion" in the Bible always represent "Home" to me.
"The LORD delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love. Extol the LORD, O Jerusalem;praise your God, O Zion, for He strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your people within you. He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat." Psalm 147:11-14

"As Jesus and His disciples were on their way, He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to Him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what He said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'" Luke 10:38-42

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My Father's House

"In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am."
John 14:2-3

Jim has always loved the fun song by Audio Adrenaline "Big House". Now, our children love it, too. (Turn up your volume if you'd like to hear it yourself....brace yourself for a little rock and roll.)

I realized recently how God has graciously given us a wonderful fulfillment of part of the lyrics of the song:
"A big, big yard where we can play's my Father's house".

In 1998, the Lord led Jim and me to our home. We had spent a year looking for a single home, after living in a cute condominium for the first six years of our marriage. As soon as we walked into this house, we both loved it. The sellers were lovely people with two young sons. We had not had any children yet, but the Lord graciously gave us a home that would bless our children, too...even though we didn't fully comprehend that blessing at the time we purchased our home.

The first time we were looking through the home with our realtor, the sellers' young boys came in from the back yard with golf clubs. They told us how they'd been in the back field hitting golf balls. As we walked outside onto the back deck, we looked at a huge open field just beyond the back yard. They explained to us that the field is "common area"in the development that is owned and maintained (whoooeeee!) by "the association". They further told us of the many neighborhood ball games that spontaneously spring up on that field and all of the fun the children have playing there.

"...He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live."
Acts 17:26

Many details showed us God's leading in our purchase of this home, including a whopping provision by God. You see, our highest financial offer for the home as buyers was many, many thousands of dollars less than their lowest price to sell. Even our realtor, who was a Christian, told us we'd never get the house with our offer. "But God..." God led us perfectly with His miraculous provision for this: The seller's employer (a large pharmaceutical company) paid him the difference (the many thousands of dollars between our offer and their lowest acceptable price) directly so they could relocate their family to another city and state quickly. This was totally a work of the Lord, and we give Him all the glory.

We know the Lord has given us our home. Our promise to the Lord is to use our home for His purposes. (I'll be doing a post later this week about this.) To others, our humble home may be nothing special, perhaps too small, perhaps needing updated interior decorating or fancy lighting and faucets (all contractor standards). However, to us, it is "the exact place where they should live" on this earth, and we are so thankful. While no match for the mansion He is preparing for us in heaven, we love the home He has given us here and want to honor Him with it.

Now, almost 11 years after first purchasing our home, we have two young children who play continually with each other and their friends in our "big, big yard"....actually the big, big field beyond our sweet backyard.

And our son LOVES playing football in the big, big yard of his daddy's house. Little did we know years ago as we began singing along to Audio Adrenaline's song that one day God would so graciously bless us with a "big, big yard where we can play football". Perhaps this big, big yard is indeed a little preview of our heavenly home. Come and go with us to our Father's house.

May we always honor Him with our home...and our "big, big yard" that beckons children to come and play. As unto the Lord.

As Joshua's birthday football cake (from 2 years ago) says:
"We make it our goal to please Him." (2 Cor. 5:9)
Lyrics to "Big House" by Audio Adrenaline
I don't know where you lay your head or where you call your home
I don't know where you eat your meals or where you talk on the phone
I don't know if you got a cook a butler or a maid
I don't know if you got a yard with a hammock in the shade
I don't know if you got some shelter say a place to hide
I don't know if you live with friends in whom you can confide
I don't know if you got a family say a mom or dad
I don't know if you feel love at all but I bet you wish you had
Come and go with me to my Father's house
Come and go with me to my Father's house
It's a big big house with lots and lots a room
A big big table with lots and lots of food
A big big yard where we can play football
A big big house
Its my Father's house
Ibidibidee bop bop bow whew! yeah!
All I know is a big ole house with rooms for everyone
All I know is lots a land where we can play and run
All I know is you need love and I've got a family
All I know is you're all alone so why not come with me?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Apples of His Eyes

"...for whoever touches you, touches the apple of His eye..."
Zechariah 2:8

"Keep me as the apple of Your eye;
hide me in the shadow of Your wings."
Psalm 17:8

"He shielded him and cared for him;
He guarded him as the apple of His eye."
Deuteronomy 32:10

Presenting a photo journal of the "apples of our eyes" from our Easter celebrations with our families.

(I happen to LOVE looking at other people's pictures. However, if this is torturous to being forced to watch grandpop's slide show of his road trip out west, then please feel free to come and visit Joy In The Truth another time! I undertand.)

Remember, God's children are the apples of His eye!

At home, Jim and the cherubs gave me lovely cards and surprises.

Gabrielle and Joshua at our home with their Easter baskets from us.

On Good Friday, we visited my mom (Nan Nan) and then took her to dinner where Uncle PJ, Aunt Nancy and cousin Greg met us for a Good Friday meal.

On Saturday morning, we headed to the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania for the annual Easter celebration with Jim's parent (Pop Pop and Nana) and family. Pop Pop's annual egg hunt is unmatched. This year, each of the five grandchildren hunted for 82 eggs....82 eggs EACH! Inside each egg is a surprise. And 10 of the eggs they each receive contain a slip that says "See Pop Pop For A Prize". The excited egg hunter then runs to Pop Pop, who is perched on his chair surrounded by bags of gifts for his grandchildren. It's so much fun for the cherubs! And Nana makes a delicious 6-course Easter meal! Her escarole soup is out of this world!

Can you find the egg? This egg had Joshua's name on it! He loves basketball!

Joshua organizing and displaying his egg stuffings!

On Easter morning at Pop Pop and Nana's, our little family went to a sister church of our home church in Philly, which is just a few miles from Pop Pop and Nana's mountain home. In Sunday School, the children made a "Lamb of God" cake, which was precious...and delicious!

"Behold the Lamb of God, which taken away the sin of the world!" John 1:29

"...guard my teachings as the apple of your eye." Proverbs 7:2