Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Picnic

We had a picnic tonight.  Elliott set it up for us in the driveway yard.  The sun has been giving us that really good vibe lately, and we all enjoyed eating barbecue chicken salad while lounging around two pushed-together benches.

City folks outside walked past our mysterious fence and no doubt heard the sound of forks scraping against earthenware dishes as our dinner conversation revolved around make believe stories about the loquat tree behind us:  "What if Caiden was sitting under the loquat tree and we started shaking it and all of the loquats dropped around her in a pile, 'plop, plop, plop,' in a mound until it covered her?  And we started digging her out saying, 'Caiden! Are you okay? Caiden!' and when we finally found her, she would just being sitting there eating loquats and smiling?"  We all laughed and continued to eat while squinting from the glare of the sun as it drifted diagonally down the sky toward the bay.

I came inside while the sun was still making the day warm and peaceful and lazy to make some "Almost Flour-less Chocolate Cake" to eat with fresh strawberries while we watched the Giants beat the Dodgers for the second night in a row... Go Giants!

I feel like we're finally starting to settle in to summer and it feels so good.

This photo is by Dave

Summer = Magic.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Photo Cred: David

I always ponder David, from I Samuel in the Bible.  God said that David was a man after His own heart.  David is one my favorite people of the Bible and I always am amazed by the Psalms he wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  What impresses me most about David is that He understood so much about God's character, without ever even knowing Jesus, or clearly understanding God's plan to save the world.  David didn't have the Spirit of God living inside of Him like we have the privilege of experiencing--and yet, over and over again in the Psalms, David talks about the Lord, and about His lovingkindness, righteousness, and grace.

Tonight, I was thinking about David while struggling with the 1 million thoughts swirling in my head and suffering the effects of self-condemnation and inadequacy and suddenly thought for the first time, "What was it that David did to receive the accolade of being a man after God's own heart?"  And I realized... He didn't do anything.  He was a shepherd!  He literally did nothing with his time, but watch over sheep.  He didn't help anybody, or counsel anybody, or amass great provision, wealth, or fame for his family.  No, I picture David lounging under a shady tree while his sheep were grazing and resting, and just enjoying God's signature on everything that was around him.  David, it seems to me, spent his time not really doing anything very "productive" in life except for just enjoying the Lord and the knowledge of Him.  Eventually, after quite a few years, God did use David to do mighty things for Him and for His people, but that wasn't until after God declared that he had that heart.  God was pleased with David's heart that longed for God's presence, that wanted to be with Him.  God was pleased with the shepherd, David, lounging under that tree.

That changes everything.  How hard it is for me to simply enjoy God, for the sake of His presence alone.  To sit and be still.  What is it that the Westminster Catechism says? It says:

"What is the chief and highest end of man?  Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever."

"Oh, love the LORD, all you His saints!
For the LORD preserves the faithful,
And fully repays the proud person.
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the LORD."
Psalm 31:23,24

"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit."
Psalm 32:1,2

"Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD.
And whose hope is the LORD."
Jeremiah 17:7

"Even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.  For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus."
Romans 3:22-26

Amen!  He has done it.  I don't have to sort through all the junk in my mind.  I can rest in the good work that He has done on my behalf and know that He is pleased.  Thank you, Jesus.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Verse of the Week

Psalm 61

Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer.

From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy.

I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings.

For You, O God, have heard my vows; You have given me the heritage of those who fear Your name.

You will prolong the king's life, His years as many generations.

He shall abide before God forever.  Oh, prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him!

So I will sing praise to Your name forever, That I may daily perform my vows.