Thursday, December 29, 2011

The BIG Day

Mr. and Mrs. White


Rehearsal Dinner turned out fabulous! 

Groom and Best Man and Brothers


How many groomsmen can you fit into a barbie car?

Best Man Best Toast

Dancing with my son

Daddy dancing with his baby

The whole clan


Picture perfect couple. PRAISE GOD!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

No Immunity

Head on over toElisabeth Foss' blog post that helped me a great deal.  I don't have all the outward signs of a child rebelling.  There is no pink hair, drugs, alcohol or other things.  But I have had an offspring make it clear that they do not want to be associated with me, the family, or our lifestyle. And it has been hard to understand.  I was one of those women soaking in all the magazines and newsletters and books on how to be a Christian wife and mama, how to manage a household, how to home educate, etc.  I had full expectation that all the children would grow up and carry on.....I guess I did think they would be immune to the ditches out there.  


So read, be encouraged.  While there may be no immunity, there is grace.  And I am seeking it too.


---posted by Queen Lucy

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Motto!

For a long while our prayer meeting group has had our meetings in a little cafe with a poster that has become our motto.  One of our ladies found pins with our motto on a trip to Seattle. It is very much needed for Christians these days.    This was an early winter gift to me from my daughters this week:

Thank you my darlings!!!!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Trying to Understand

Watched "The 5th Quarter" last weekend.  Cried my head off.  Not that it was a great movie. The story telling left something to be desired.  But loss, that I can relate to these days.  Great loss.  And Grief. A death like grief.  And grief inconsolable right now.  Not loss of life, but loss of relationship that was dear. And like death, I have no control over now.  Just trying to understand.  "Sorrow she comes a stealing..."  This poem was recited and looked it up and sharing now:


      To All Parents
"I'll lend you for a while a child of mine," He said.
"For you to love the while he lives and mourn for when he's dead.
It may be six or seven years, or twenty-two or three,
But will you, till I call him back, take care of him for me?
He'll bring his charms to gladden you, and should his stay be brief,
You'll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief."


"I cannot promise he will stay; since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught down there I want this child to learn.
I've looked the wide world over in My search for teachers true
And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes I have chosen you.
Now will you give him all your love, nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate Me when I come to call to take him back again?"


"I fancied that I heard them say, "Dear Lord, Thy will be done!
For all the joy Thy child shall bring, the risk of grief we run.
We'll shelter him with tenderness, we'll love him while we may,
And for the happiness we've known, forever grateful stay;
But should the angels call for him much sooner than we've planned,
We'll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand!"


-poem by Edgar Guest


---post by Queen Lucy

Monday, October 17, 2011

Worth

How do you measure your worth?  This question gets into my mind frequently in the course of trying to interact with other Christians.  Is your worth measured by "health, wealth, and prosperity"? That all seems to be going pretty great in your life?  Is that a measure of how important you are? How much you have accomplished?  How much people should admire you or respect you?


What about your house?  Do you have the Martha Stewart look down perfectly?  Can people come in and admire your perfection?  Is it your children and how well they behave or what they achieve?  Is that what we can measure worth by?  Status?  By which car we drive, which clothes we strut around in, which class of people include us in their circle? Or is it the number of friends you have?  People that you can invite to a family event?  Does that number reflect your worth?  Your importance? Your value?  Your life achievement?  


When I consider these things, I realize in comparison to so many Christians here in America, I am nothing.  If they were to give out passes for who could be worthwhile enough to save, I would not be on the list. Depending on who was doing the judging, I would fall short somehow.  And I think long and hard about this some days.


I fail at trying to lead a quiet life and mind my own business.  I fail at being a good steward of my time, gifts, and all that God has bestowed upon me.  I especially fail at daily having the mind of Christ, at laying my life down for the 10 most important people in my life, at managing my relationships to the glory of God.  Yet in Christ there is no condemnation.  In Christ, I am accepted in the Beloved.  In Christ I do not have to do one thing to be good enough, to measure up, to earn His love.  In Christ who is all in all.  His death, burial, and resurrection are my life.  Christ's sacrifice for me is the only measure of my worth.  And He says He has loved me with an everlasting love.  That when I come to Him, I am His beloved.  What else could possible be worth more in this world?  What else am I seriously going to measure my worth by?  Having Him is better than anything else on earth.  This is enough and I am forever thankful for His making me worth something.  Like the Psalmist said, having Him I desire nothing on earth. Amen


----posted by Queen Lucy   

Monday, August 15, 2011

U and U

Unity: the state of being united or joined as a whole; a thing forming a complex whole.  I like this word when it refers to Christians, or a local body of the church, or the visible church worldwide.  We are united into a complex whole by Christ. "For as we have may members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ and individually members of one another." (Romans 12:4-5 NKJV) Unity is something God does and a gift he gives.  When Christians have it, it is a beautiful thing.


Uniform:  of a similar form or character to another or others.  This word often describes the expectation within Christian groups, churches, organizations.  This is not what God defines as the body of Christ.  He specifically says that we are different with differing gifts and functions.  We are to be thankful for the fact that we are all different.  We do not all need to classically educate at day schools, we do not all need to be home educating, we do not all need to wear dresses all the time, we do not all need to be intellectuals, we do not all need to be exactly the same.  We do need to take our gifts and serve one another and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, graciously.  Unfortunately as Christians we seem better at wanting uniformity and being drawn to those who are like ourselves and being threatened by those who are not.  But God wants us to delight in unity, not uniformity.  


----posted by Queen Lucy

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

In the Room

As C.S.Lewis put it in the introduction to "Mere Christianity", we are in a room now and not living in the hall anymore. But the room does not have a fire, and meals are served cold, and there are limited chairs. It is not my favorite room.

My idea of what the room should look like and the atmosphere within are very different from the reality of where we are. I think there should be warmth, kindness, welcoming spirits, hospitality, love. Love is supposed to be the defining characteristic of Christians after all, isn't it? Love that someone can see? Know? Grab onto with their hands? Understand from not words alone but deeds? Deeds like loving one another fervently? Without dissimulation? With considering the other person's interests more important than our own? So what do you do if it is not there, but the room does have truth even if it is served on a cold platter?

I am not surprised by this room. I have been there before. The tenets of the community are very well defined. This room has rules of behavior and some of those rules include mocking, disdaining and scorning in conversation, in literature, and in attitudes home educators. Well that is one strike against me and my family. (There are others....)

When we lived in this room before, we expended all the effort to reach out, to invite to our home, to make connections with the rest of the inhabitants. They would grace us with their presence, but not once then and with one exception now (the pastor), none have shown hospitality to us. I do wonder why God has us in this room. What am I to learn? I know from past experience that any example of reaching out is not going to go anywhere.

So, we honor God by formal worship every Lord's Day, we eat at His table, we benefit from the teaching, we listen to Psalms played at chipmunk speed, we do our duty to please God, not men. And we wait until God works here or takes us to another room.

---posted by Queen Lucy

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Maturity

Devotions from a blessed monthly prayer time:

The goal of our life, our Christian life, is maturity. It is NOT personal peace and prosperity. It is NOT happiness. No, the goal of our life and the goal for our husband's life and our children's lives and our friend's lives and our church body's life is spiritual maturity. And whatever God deems needful to bring us to maturity, that He will do.

For us to understand this we need to "eat the mystery" as Ann Voskamp puts it in her book, 1000 Gifts. "When we find ourselves groping along, famished for more, we can choose. When we are despairing, we can choose to live as Israelites gathering manna. For forty long years, God's people daily eat that which is baffling. They fill on that which has no meaning. More than 14,600 days they take their nourishment form that which they don't comprehend. They find soul-filling in the inexplicable. They eat the mystery. and the mystery, that which made no sense, is "like wafers of honey" on the lips." (see pages 21-22 of Ann's book)

Here is some of my mysteries, that which is baffling and makes no sense to me:
---a faithful woman of God, who is elderly, and God gives her a husband who neglects her care or nurture, a man who chases off around the world to spread his "Christian" book and its message, and does not lay his life down for that woman
---faithful daughters who honor and obey God and their parents, who God still leaves without mates; while many unfaithful daughters, man-hunting daughters are given husbands, children, and homes (and they still complain)
---Christian parents with huge covenantal blessings and material goods, refusing to bless or share with their children what God has bestowed. Who demand that their 13 year old pay for everything or send their 16 year old out to fend for themselves, while the parents continue to enjoy God's blessings and kindness.
---church bodies that have reverent liturgy and true doctrines but are cold, inhospitable to others in their midst. Who hold the truth in unrighteousness yet pat themselves on the back for their spiritual maturity.
---God giving children to those who don't want them and either disdain children or kill them in the womb; while many who desire them cannot conceive or lose children.
---a godly man, father, husband, son, who labors around the clock to try and provide basic needs for his family struggling daily to do so; yet his ungodly, heathen brothers lead debauched lives and have more wealth than they can hold.
---faithful parents who live to see one of their children grow up to leave the faith
---Christian brothers and sisters in China, Indonesia, India, Africa, and the Middle East being killed, dragged to prison, raped, beaten, and persecuted. While we American Christians get fat and fail to build the kingdom of God fervently with what freedoms we have.
---that God loved Jacob and hated Esau.
---that God loved Jacob, Abraham, Samson, David, Solomon, Peter, Paul and even me.
---that God is mindful of us sons of Adam in any amount when He is glorious and made the stars and moon and earth and heavens and all that is in them.
---that Christ died for me, a miserable sinner.
---that Christ opened my eyes, and not those of many I know and am related to.

These are the mystery that I am to feast upon: those things which I don't comprehend, that are inexplicable, in which I am to find Christ, my daily bread. "Therefore let us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ (the Messiah), advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belong to spiritual maturity." (Hebrews 6:1, Amplified Bible) This is the goal: maturity.

---posted by Queen Lucy

Monday, July 11, 2011

Old School

My mother was converted just before I was born. Dad a decade later. Technically I grew up in a Christian home, but once I was in high school in public school, peer pressure and my own bent toward wanting to belong took over. I would go to church youth group Saturday night and once it was over head to the nearest party until curfew. Then get up and attend church Sunday morning without blinking. I could have recited Scripture verses to you and tell you what were the right things to do. But I was immersed in the worldly environment of public school and sports too. Daily spending 6 to 9 hours with my friends made them my compass and not my parents nor the faith I was taught.

When God awakened my soul and raised me from my dead condition, He changed me. Status quo was gone forever. He put steel into my heart that I would not turn back to those ways I had lived before. And one of the results of His life in me was in how I would teach and raise the children God gave me. Looking back over the past 20 years I can see that in many ways the pendulum swung to the opposite extreme. I was very strict about all influences I considered worldly. I adopted the attitude of "don't touch, don't taste, don't listen to, don't watch, and don't participate." We were very much isolated and insulated from most people and most of the culture. When my children were little this was easy to enforce.

Yet as God grows children, He grows His babes too. As I grew in Him, I saw that creating a monastic life for ourselves was not fulfilling His commission to disciple the nations. We needed to be strong in the Lord and teach the children to be strong in Him, to be strong minded through the Scriptures, and to learn how to confront the culture around them and to redeem what they could from the Egyptians. My goals for the children changed: I wanted them to be more than conquerors not a people that retreated from what was surrounding them.

One thing did not change, however, and that was how they would interact with members of the opposite sex. So now because we do not allow our boys to text, email, or online chat with girls (or the girls with boys)...we are old school. As my children have aged from children to teens and young adults, the dichotomy between our rules and the rules of those around us is stark. If I think through the roster of our family, friends, and acquaintances, I am pretty sure we are the only ones who still hold fast to these standards. And of course my children want to know why.

This is my explanation. God rescued me from the pit of easy believe-ism, of surface Christianity, of watered down standards, and hands-off parenting. I know the end results of those practices of flirting, man/woman hunting, easy attachments, private conversations, boy-crazy/girl-crazy silliness. Proverbs is full of wisdom about how young men should think, act, and behave. It is full of warnings that young men should avoid strange women. Young women should take heed of the descriptions and behavior of strange women elaborated on in Proverbs and seek to avoid any similarity in their own deportment. Just because our current culture says that it is okay for young people to carry on through social media does not mean that it is a holy activity for Christian young people to engage in with complete abandon.

God is clear that youth does not have wisdom and needs to learn it. But honestly sometimes I think the need for parents to learn wisdom is greater. Our goal is mature, godly, pure, holy, honoring Christian young people who are equipped to fulfill God's purpose for their life, prepared to seek a mature, godly, pure, holy, honoring Christian mate at the proper time, and ready to build the kingdom of God. Our time, emotions, relationships are all gifts from God. How should we and our young men and ladies be spending them? The way I see it, man/woman hunting or defrauding another person can happen through electronic devices even more readily than in person. Which means, we will be old school for years to come.

----posted by Queen Lucy

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Practicing Eucharisteo

The habit taught and lived out by Ann Voskamp....working on in my life. Today's additions:
#138...A belly laugh with my oldest
#139...Two little ones' joy over making pillows
#140...A great visit with wonderful girl my son is courting
#141...Misty clouds over a full moon
#142...G sharing the pink bottomed clouds at sunset
#143...Reading "The Magician's Nephew" aloud, again

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Days of Our Lives

Graduation time again. This year six young people we have known finished their course. Four of them completely home educated. Yesterday as we sat through the ceremony for two of them, I watched the slide show of their lives and I marveled. It was all those memories lived out day by day. The chocolate faces, hugging puppies, competing in fiddle contests and horseback shooting events, archery, snowmen, canoeing, traveling, making Lego models and so much more. Mothers were feeding little boys, doing wash, and planning lessons and activities. And then there they were handing out diplomas. The emotional moments hit home. My life is the same as theirs. Every day we wake up to mounds of dishes and laundry and someone needing help with math and another child trying to do their writing and another wanting me to listen to their 4H demonstration and I forget. I forget to drink it all in. To cherish and treasure every day that we are living in what seems mundane, but in the end it is wonderful, beautiful, glorious. The finite life we have passes quickly. My little girl is now a grown woman. My son is courting and headed into a career as a firefighter. For me there are still several years, Lord willing, to take up the daily labor of love of shaping and teaching the arrows of our quiver of school age. But the vapor is fading and I want to condense it into something I can hold on to more clearly in my heart and mind. And giving thanks becomes ever more precious as the days add up.

" Then King David went in and sat before the LORD; and he said, "Who am I, O Lord GOD? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far?" " (2 Samuel 7:18)

----posted by Queen Lucy

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Firefighter

He is tall and strong and handsome. He worked diligently and finished second at the Academy. He is determined, steady, sure of his calling. He is intelligent, creative, committed. He loves God and from a young age wanted to serve Him with his whole life. He is calm under stress, unafraid of the unknown, and dependable. He is naturally a leader. And one day he might be the one to show up when you need it most. He is our Firefighter that God has blessed. Congrats JD! We are so thankful for all your accomplishments and gifts being used by God in this vocation.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Christ's Strength

Christ knows his betrayer. Yet he spent time eating with him, serving him, instructing him, laying his life down for Judas. Jesus kept silence while all the false witnesses came forward to accuse him, never seeking to defend himself. Instead of condemning Peter for the denial, Christ restores Peter to His service and purpose with a loving question and command.

I have been contemplating Christ's strength lately. I have known betrayal after much time serving, giving, laying down my life. The hurt I felt after the fact was so great. Yet Christ did it knowing ahead of time the grief he would receive from that person. I don't think I could have done the kindness knowing the end result.

I have had my own flesh and blood bear false witness, all the while wanting to defend myself and make people see that the testimony given about me was not true. Christ kept silent. And to his dear disciple Peter, Christ looked past the weakness and sin, and forgave and renewed Peter. This is strength, strength that is amazing. I need to learn from Him whose yoke is easy and whose burden is light because that yoke and burden sometime seem too great to take up and carry. It is His strength, not mine, that will accomplish it. And if I fail I have the assurance of forgiveness and love from the resurrected LORD who asked Peter, "Do you love me?" He already knows my answer. Grace, Lord, grace. More grace please to do your will and let Christ be the aroma of my life.

----posted by Queen Lucy

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Invasion

"And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not." (1 Timothy 5:13) "But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another....but we urge you brethren,that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing." (1 Thessalonians 4:9-12)

The Geneva Study Bible notes say that in these passages the apostle is "condemning such as are curious in matters which do not concern them." Dictionary meaning for gossip is "idle talk especially about the personal or private affairs of others." And for busybody: "a person who pries into or meddles in the affairs of others."

Gossip and being a busybody are vices and sins long standing within the Christian church. They are sins that no one particularly thinks are too bad, almost accepted sins, as long as you are not spreading tales that are false. But this is not an accurate account of Scripture teaching on this matter. It is that we are NOT to be curious about matters which do not concern us. So we could ask ourselves certain questions. Does this matter have to do with me? Does it have to do with my spouse or children? Does it have to do with anyone that I am in authority over? Am I involved in the matter in any way other than by curiosity? Am I part of the matter? Do I have anything to do with a possible solution of a problem? Is it, before God, my business??

In first Thessalonians chapter 4, part of loving the brethren is minding your own business and seeking to live a quiet life. I cannot see how thinking we need to know the everyday events of everyone we know fits this particular instruction. So, what is my beef? It is social media that Christians use to look into the lives of everyone else they know. I can see, how the amazing interface of technology is such a benefit for marketing a business or keeping in touch with family and friends who are long distance. It is a great blessing to see pictures of newborns, weddings, toddler's first steps, a new house, an old friend and to catch up with the things that if we lived in the same community we would share with family or friends. BUT, when we live in each other's community and still have to nose around into what Jane or her kids are doing on a regular basis it seems to me that we are not wise. After all Proverbs 25:17 tells us, "Seldom set foot in your neighbor's house, lest he become weary of you and hate you." So how come we are setting foot into our neighbor's house daily via the internet? It is a disease called curiosity. We obviously have not learned the lesson of the elephant's child and his insatiable curiosity.

Besides, how does everyone have the time to spend sitting at the computer reading all that stuff???? I have a large family to care for and educate and to try and do it diligently I don't have the time to turn on my computer most days. If you don't have as many responsibilities as I do, then what are you doing to build the kingdom of God while reading every one's tweets or facebook posts?? Why are men and women my age friending young people in their teens and twenties? If they have that kind of time everyday, why aren't they devoting it to Christ and turning the world upside down for Him?

Why is that I run into a woman at the store and am shockingly asked personal questions about my family's happenings that I have not made public? Because I have an adult offspring who has been using social media and they found out through so and so who is friends with so and so and on and on. And though I hope and ask for discretion and wisdom on my young person's part, I no longer know how to protect my own household's inner life from exposure to unwanted busybodies. This is now an encroachment ("to intrude gradually, stealthily, or insidiously upon the rights or property of another") upon my personal privacy over which I have no control. So my suggestion is back to the questions I asked at the beginning of this post. Are you curious about matters that do not concern you? Are you directly involved in the matter or with people you are interacting with on social media or are you simply curious and wanting to know. If the answer is that you are just needing to know, it is time to consider your curiosity in light of God's Word and think of what the two greatest commandments require of us: love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.

-----posted by Queen Lucy

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Book of the Year

Reading Ann Voskamp's blog, "A Holy Experience"(www.aholyexperience.com), for the last two years has been such a blessing. I love the way she writes and the content. She shares her heart and desire to grow in holiness in every area of her life. She is a poet, lyrical in the written word. So when she wrote a book, I knew I wanted to read it immediately. I purchased "1000 Gifts" (onethousandgifts.com) and devoured the first two chapters. Then I, who never bend corners or underline so that I can re-read a book fresh, started bending and underlining. And thinking and meditating on the words more deeply. And I started counting and learning the language of eucharisteo. And I bought more copies to give away. Pick up a copy of her bestseller today. It will change your life and renew your walk with God. It is my 2011 book of the year.

----posted by Queen Lucy

Monday, April 18, 2011

Healed by Wounds

You who are called I AM, Holy, Glorious, and Majestic---Is there a balm in Gilead? Is there healing in Your touch? For the wounds You inflict, the grief You bring, the tearing to pieces You cause? You--the Living Word, who came in the flesh--who had hunger pains course through Your veins---do You feel the hunger pains of a soul starved and in need of You? You touched lepers, lame filthy beggars, diseased souls, blind eyes and...healed. You commanded seas and elements and they were changed into calm, delicious liquids. You thwart armies, stop the sun, flood the Earth, name stars.

I have known blazing sunset vistas over salty bays and the wet, slippery skin of my newborn babies and sensed You near for a glimpse of time. And I have not thanked You enough for the millions of grace moments of time---slow motion in memory now but gifts from you. Yet those overshadowed by stress-filled everyday living for thousands of days in between. And I am tired, weary, defeated, worn-out...all that I am not supposed to be. The heaping mountain of pain, insecurities, fear, and hopelessness has crushed. My prayers have been to You. My expectation was all in You.

YOU! ---who knits babies, who gives breath, who designs snowflakes, who thought up kittens, who causes hearts to break. And my feeble arms cannot wield a shield of faith. My weakness shows no sign of Your strength or sufficient grace. And then....

You remind me that a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering came and took up my infirmities and carried my sorrow. A man taken away by oppression and affliction that by Your will You crushed and caused the suffering of his soul until he was cut off from the land of the living. You point out the ultimate paradox...that by his wounds we are healed. And I cry out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me!" (Isaiah 53, Matthew 20, Lamentations 3 NIV)

----posted by Queen Lucy

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Soul Surfer

The only way I knew about this movie was from watching another surfer movie called "Walking on Water". That was a documentary about a professional surfer mentoring two young surfers and taking them around the world to surf, see how other people live, and to interact with Christian professional surfers. The interesting part of that show was that I had never known that there was an incredibly Christian influence within the surfing community. In "Walking on Water" the surfers spent time with and interviewed Bethany Hamilton in Thailand. In the clip of her interview, she testified to her great trust in Christ and that He was the center of her life and purpose for living.

At the end of the documentary there was a preview of "Soul Surfer". Since we ended up with free tickets, my husband and I went to see the Hollywood version of Bethany's life story. The main focus of the show is the shocking shark attack on her at age 13 when she lost her left arm and miraculously survived. Then she made a remarkable return to surfing and competition and eventually went pro.

Bethany's story is inspiring. We all look to stories of triumph and victory in the face of overwhelming odds and this story delivers. It helps encourage us that we can overcome our own difficulties. Her faith and determination have inspired many handicapped people globally. Bethany also has a heart for ministering to people. And these things came through in "Soul Surfer". Focus on faith is sprinkled lightly in the movie with a nod to a few verses and moments of prayer and a worship service.

Yet, I came away disappointed. In the documentary, Bethany's first hand testimony to the greatness and goodness of her God was crystal clear. In her own biographical movie, it was portrayed but not with the same distinction that Bethany gave herself. After discussing with my husband, we wondered whether or not the Hamilton family hope was that the widespread distribution of the film would still be used by God to reach people with Bethany's story and then they would look into her life more and find Christianity and the Gospel. Overall I give it a B-

---posted by Queen Lucy


Sunday, March 27, 2011

King's Speech

I know the point of the King's Speech movie is to show the amazing perseverance of George VI and the friendship given to him by his speech therapist, Lionel Logue. However, for me, the story is a sad commentary on the state of the royal family of Britain.

What stands out for me is that Albert's (George VI) parents did not discover a nanny's mistreatment of their son for three years. How can that model of aristocratic child raising be passed on for so many centuries? After all, King David obviously did not have much input into the raising of his many sons or daughters and was disconnected from the molding of their character. Yet, this continues to be how royal children are raised.

Second, at one point, Bertie and his speech therapist are discussing the possibility of Edward's abdicating the throne because of his relationship with the twice divorced Wallis Simpson. The men wonder why he can't just carry on privately with the woman. So they had no moral concern about Edward's ability to manage the duties of the throne even though he was deep in immorality. And as Edward's one year as king demonstrated, he did not manage his duties because he was too engrossed in his lurid affair.

I learned more about the covenantal heritage of the British royal family than I needed to know. It did explain much of the lack of morality of Prince Charles in his treatment of his now deceased first wife, Diana. The lack of decency has been an ongoing story of their family. No wonder that although the United Kingdom has a history rich with Christian tradition, its high court has just outlawed Christians as potential adoptive or foster parents. For some time, through their rulers, this nation has been suffering examples of complete ungodliness. Oh, for one King Alfred the Great to show up now....

Colin Firth's performance certainly made him worthy of the Oscar. It is noteworthy for an inspiration of overcoming difficult circumstances, but Christians should cringe at the underlying revelation of the state of Christian rulers there.

---posted by Queen Lucy

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Boston Thoughts

Thomas Boston (1676-1732) a Scottish preacher wrote The Crook in the Lot. This small booklet has been the source of much contemplation and learning for me the last couple of months. Boston writes based on Ecclesiastes 7:13 "Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight which he has made crooked?" He defines that crook in the lot as "that train or course of events, some fall out, cross to us, and against the grain; and these make the crook in our lot. While we are here, there will be cross events, as well as agreeable ones, in our lot and condition. Sometimes things are softly and agreeable gliding on; but, by and by, there is some incident which alters that course, grate us, and panes us, as, when we have made a wrong step we begin to limp." This could be anything in our lives which goes against what our wishes, desires or wants are. It affects us in some or all parts of our life and is often in the tenderest part, that which is more difficult for us to bear. This can be in regard to our physical nature, our outward circumstances, or our relationships. Boston wants to bring the teaching of the Word of God to bear upon our understanding of these "crooks in the lot" because he says "a just view of afflicting incidents is altogether necessary to a Christian deportment under them."

Boston reinforces what we should already know: that any and all crooks in our lot are directly from the hand of God. "There is a certain train or course of events, by the providence of God, falling to every one of us during our life in this world. And that is our lot, as being allotted to us by the sovereign God, our Creator and Governor, "in whose hand our breath is, and whose are all our ways." This train of events is widely different to different persons, according to the will and pleasure of the sovereign Manager, who orders men's condition in the world in a great variety, some moving in a higher, some in a lower sphere."

For me, the three great lessons to be learned from crooks in the lot are these:

1) these disagreeable things in our lives are a result of sin. Sin in the world has made all of our lots to some degree or another miserable or unhappy. It is often hard to see in our culture when it looks as if the wicked especially are thriving and have few troubles compared to the righteous, but they have more serious troubles than us, that is the loss of their souls for eternity. Also, sin has made our way in this world more difficult. It may not be a particular sin we are guilty of, as in the case of Job, but sin is in the world and Jesus said we would have tribulations in this world.

2)the most important thing for us to do under our particular crooks is to tame our spirits and bring down ourselves to the lot God has designed for us. We all want that crook to be made straight, but "let us then set ourselves rightly to bear the crook in our lot, while God sees fit to continue it. What we cannot mend, let us bear Christianly, and not fight against God, and so kick against the pricks." We must do so patiently, with Christian fortitude, and without sinking into discouragement. He goes on to expound Proverbs 16:19 where it tells us that it is "better to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud." We should also not want for it to be removed until it has accomplished all that Spiritual fruit desired by God, lest we considered to be useless by the Master. "It is not always best for folks to get their will." "All men strive to raise their outward condition; most men never mind the bringing down of their spirits, and few there are who apply themselves to it."

3) besides seeking to humble yourself under your particular lot, the best way to manage the painful cross or affliction God gives each one of us is to "dwell much on the thoughts of God's greatness and holiness, and of your own sinfulness; so will you be humbled under the mighty hand of God; and in due time He will lift you up." To consider that "those who cannot quietly keep the place assigned them of God in their afflictions or relation, but still press upward against the mighty hand that is over them, that mighty hand resists them, throwing them down, and often farther down than before; whereas it treats them with grace and favor that compose themselves under it to a quiet discharge of their duty in their situation; so, eyeing this, we must set ourselves to humble ourselves."

I find that modern Christianity has not taught me or fitted me for such a disposition as outlined in Boston's work. Yet it seems that we must needs learn to humble ourselves more under the mighty hand of God. For the entire work of Boston visit the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at www.ccel.org


-----posted by Queen Lucy

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fruit

He ran down the court with a smile of sheer delight on his face. It had been a long season and now the joy of all the labor was written all over his grin. He pushed his more than tired legs to run up and down for one more game...the all star game. He played like he had all season, as a member of the team. He did not seek glory for himself. He passed, assisted, looked for the open man, and played with a desire to make the team successful. Others grabbed for glory, dancing in front of the crowd when they scored a bucket, but not him. He stayed humble.

I watched with tears in my eyes. The long season had brought forth fruit. In his life and in mine. We had talked, prayed, worked, and prayed some more. He has always been a child who wanted to know the rules so he could try to abide by them. It was hard for him to try and work with some team mates who disregarded rules or expectations and played for themselves. He had to learn discipline of spirit and body and soul. To play in a godly way when others did not. To seek the good of the team when others sought their own glory. To lead through service and example, when others did it through bravado, or demanded recognition. And he demonstrated godliness in game after game after game. He kicked himself if he did not reach his own standards or help the team as much as he wanted. He wrestled with the selfishness of others and their lack of concern. He dealt with inconsistencies in men. And he was the faithful, quiet (okay, maybe not so quiet), servant player of the team. And I was proud of him, game after game. But when God granted him the honor of recognition, I was even more proud of the fruit brought forth in his life. He is a beautiful example of Christ, and by God's grace gave forth the beautiful aroma of Christ in every place he played this season. He is my son and I am so proud of him and give God the glory for it all.

----posted by Queen Lucy

Monday, February 7, 2011

Illuminations

Josh Groban's latest album called Illuminations is wonderful. My daughter says it is Indie style, but to me it is just poetry put to great music. I love his apocalyptic love song called 'Straight to You' and his soberly grand London Hymn. His Italian singing is fabulous. Enjoy an afternoon with Josh. You will love it.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Two or Three

It is not earth shattering. You won't find it on the community calendar. We don't have a waiting list. It is just us, the three of us. We meet once a month for prayer. It is plain and simply lovely to me. I get the inspiring privilege to meet with two other women to pray.

We share coffee and tea and lately some scones. We go over our prayer list and update requests, noting thanksgiving for special answers. We take turns bringing something that God is teaching us and then we pray. We pray for one another. We pray for loved ones, our brothers and sisters in Christ, and for those we know suffering across the globe. We pray for our families, our churches, our community, state, and nation. We pray for God to grant repentance to His people and to bring healing to our land. And we leave refreshed.

These women encourage me with their faithfulness and I get the privilege to gather with them and our Lord Jesus Christ. "For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them." (Matthew 18:20 ESV) And I wonder, after all is said and done, if in fact our prayers will be used by God to shatter the gates of hell and build the kingdom of God and in retrospect it will be astonishing what are the results from our simple act of faith.

----posted by Queen Lucy