Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Christmas Greeting to share

I just recieved a greeting yesterday from a couple at Church. There are a few of you who know who this amazingly inspiring couple is. This Christmas Greeting was quite inspiring and encouraging and I had to share it.

Beloved Friends, Near and Far...
Like a silent mist descending upon a valley, the holy season of Advent has settled over our lives once again. As it has throughout the centuries, these blessed weeks of waiting help us focus on the holy birth soon to take place, a gift of time to prepare the manger of our hearts. This year especially, Advent provides our troubled souls a chance to pull away from the ceaseless images of suffereing thrust upon us throughout the past many months, and the vague feelings of apprehension, disquiet, and helplessness that yet remain. Dictionaries of facts and pictures have pummeled our tired ears and eyes; we drop our donations in the offereing plate or mailbox, but still the strange unrest lingers. And around the corners of our minds, unnamed and invisible, creeps a pervasive fear: will it-- can it-- happen to mine?
Why should we not be afraid when gale force windes pick up cars and buildings; city streets turn into navigable rivers; the cost of heating our homes and driving our cars mangles the budget; the earth roars, splits, and tens of thousands perish; and bird flu may be just a flight away? Fear marches in the forefront of our minds; behind it, like ominous shadows, slink its elusive cousins named anxiety and worry. what if the layoffs include me? What if the blood test isn't normal? What if the furnace gives up for good, and a new one wipes out the savings for Sam's braces? What if he, or she, or they...?
" not be afraid," the angel commanded Joseph, who being a just and merciful man was unwilling to expose Mary's supposed sin when she was found to be with child. "Do not be afraid," the angel Gabriel reassured Zacharias, after telling him that his years of prayer for a son would be answered. "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God..." the angel said, comforting Mary when she was troubled by his words. Do not be afraid...Do not be afraid! In every possible situation of life, God commands us not to be afraid. Why?
Because when the radiant star appears in the black sky and Christmas dawns at last, a Virgin shall bear a Son who shall be called Immanuel, "God with us." Always, He is with us-quiet, infinitely courteous, patient, listening for our words as a parent bends low to hear the whispers of a small child. He answers the cry of our hearts through the balm of holy Scripture, in the sacred sameness of our daily lives, and always, as we kneel or stand before Him in silent adoration and wordless prayer. He is everywhere, He has spoken, He speaks to each of us this very day, this very moment. Immanuel! God is with us!

Monday, December 19, 2005

A Blessing in Disguise

Every once in a blue moon Mr. Paradosis will pull his acoustic guitar out and start playing some of his favorite songs. He's gotten pretty good at many of The Lost Dogs songs we listen to frequently. Who am I kidding, he's gotten amazingly good and it is quite impressive and I have to say I absolutely LOVE it when he does his "every once in a blue moon" playing and wish he would do it more often. One of the things I fell in love with instantly was his voice, some 17 years ago (well before the time of our courting).

The other day when he was playing and singing I paid close attention to a song called "A Blessing in Disguise" and some of the lines in it really struck my heart. As I pray for the salvation and healing of my father who has recently been diagnosed with cancer I read the words of this song and see hope; hope for a man who has denied God for the last 35 years. "Sometimes the dark can move our hearts to long for the light of the Son. And our ways don't become His ways until we are undone."

A Blessing in Disguise

from the album "Gift Horse"

(Words and Music by Terry Taylor)
How often do we spot the angels?
Or feel the unseen hand?
Most times are tough, the going rough
Like there never was a master plan
Those steadfast doors won't open
And you pray...but you don't understand

Hold fast the hope that's in you
Don't always trust your eyes
Sometimes it takes a long time to see it as
A Blessing in Disguise

We live upon this dark surface
And God, He moves upon the deep
What is concealed will be revealed
There is no promise He won't keep
Still, we're confused by the shadows
We're awake, but we're half asleep


Sometimes the dark can move our hearts
To long for the light of the Son
And our ways don't become His ways
Until we are undone


And after you've been broken
You may not realize
That you are grace to the broken hearted
And a blessing in...
A blessing in...
You are a Blessing in Disguise

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Update on my dad

Thank you all so much for your prayers and for so many who have been asking about him.
Here is the latest.

He received his biopsy report this week and now has a name for his cancer, Squamous cell carcinoma involving supraglottic larynx. (There is some great information here if you are interested.) He has an appointment now with the oncologist at a cancer center for January 5th but is on a waitlist to hopefully go sooner. The doctor that gave him his biopsy results thought he would probably go through radiation for quite sometime to shrink most of the mass away (they are quite small) and then they would go in and clean the remaining out. But that is not coming from the oncologist who makes the final assessment and plan of action. His spirits are high as this seems to be quite treatable.

My specific prayer for him is 2-fold:
1. That this will bring him back to God
2. He wants/needs to quit smoking and is very concerned about the success of that. He says he doesn't worry about missing the nicotine as much as he will miss the "companionship" of it. It's his "friend" and he will miss it when he drinks his coffee, when he drives, when he reads, when he....(fill in the blank). He said it will be harder then any of this other stuff he is going to go through and I sensed a great concern on his part but yet he feels it's essential to his healing. He needs to do it before radiation starts. He says that 2 others in the park ( senior mobile home park) will be quitting with him so he's hoping there will be a support group of sorts.

Thanks again.

Also, I just thought of another prayer request...for the first time in 20+ years my dad will not be spending Christmas Eve with my Minnesota family. Since my parents divorce 20+ years ago we have always spent Christmas Eve with my dad. Since my move to WA I've missed it the last 10 years so it won't affect me as it will my brother and sister. He spends winters in FL now but always returned home for the holidays. This year he is not. I'm not sure my brother and sister realize how this may affect's going to be awefully weird not having dad home for Christmas. My brother said, "At least we know where he is." Good point. But please pray for peace and love. THANK YOU!

Thursday, December 01, 2005


I must report that it is snowing here at my house in Bothell, WA!!!! We are all VERY excited!! It won't last but I sure love to see it while it is falling in big flakes!
I grew up in Minnesota and I MISS THIS!!!