Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Christ

I have been a bit contemplative these last days since several saints that I know have passed "over the vale" recently, Sam Narvaez, Adam's dad, went Home over the weekend, and I attended his viewing on Monday evening. I need to get back in to Alcorn's Heaven; it is so rich that I can only take small doses. :-)

Today, my eye caught a little blurb on MWB's Facebook wall, and I knew I had to find the source of such lofty lines. Here 'tis:



I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this today to me forever
By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river,
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spic├Ęd tomb,
His riding up the heavenly way,
His coming at the day of doom
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of cherubim;
The sweet ‘Well done’ in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
The Patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord
And purity of virgin souls.
I bind unto myself today.

The virtues of the star lit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave, the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
By Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

1000 words

week in review

This week was the annual achievement testing at CIAS. Last week, I had had Sendi and Aly check and double check the cumulative file records and make sure of last year’s test levels so that we would not have any oopsies this year. Last Sunday afternoon, Tricia and I went over to pack everything up and make sure that the pencils were sharpened, timers were boxed, and signs were printed.

We watched the first installment of PBS Masterpiece’s newest "Great Expectations" and really enjoyed the diversion. After that, I went to bed a little early, in anticipation of the exhausting week.  

Woke up on Monday morning early. Bro. Mike was there to help direct the table and chair set up.
Bless his heart.
He has always been such a blessing to us and the school. He is a true Christian, a man of character in word AND deed. We set up the tests, splitting the high school students into two testing rooms, one for me to proctor and the other for Tricia and Michael Carty. Mama and Dr. Bouvin proctored the 3rd-8th tests. Then, about halfway through the second testing session, I began to feel AWFUL. Just all of a sudden, I began to shake with chills and ache all over with slight nausea. I felt so bad, and since I very seldom sick, it hit me really hard.

I soldiered through the tests that morning, went immediately home to bed, and slept the rest of the day, even missing class and my diversity lesson plan presentation. I was able to submit the short-answer essay that I had forgotten to do over the weekend and shoot Mrs. LiCause off an e-mail explaining my absence. She emailed right back and said that I can present this week, so no problem. Yay! But I did miss completing 2.5 hours of observations that I have to get done this month. Then I got a splitting headache, ate a banana and crackers that night and began to feel slightly better. I felt so weak the next morning so Dr. Bouvin and Michael proctored my room for the Tues and Wed test sessions while I stayed home and slept. I showed up on Wed to help direct the “tear-down” effort and take pics of all the kids, but I accidentally left my camera memory card at home, so that was pffttt! 

I did get to complete 5 hours of observations on Tues & Thur evenings at Collegiate High. I am sitting in on Jerry Cox’s Algebra 2 class where the teacher teaches very little and the students learn even less. It is a high school class, so no problem kids or probationers, etc. It is eye-opening, to say the least. These kids’ lives are just falling apart; it’s so sad. I have 7.5 hours completed, out of a total 15 required. 

On Wed, I went to Nutrition lab class. It was about enzymes and the breaking down of food, all pretty interesting. Since I had been sick, I for once was a little “hands-off” so my team got to blast away while I held back and observed. We take weekly quizzes in that class, and I LOVE my lab mates: Lisa (awesome girl, married, 2 kids, born again), Linda (teacher, Christian, older lady) and Billy (former Navy Seal, stutters, wants to be a ROTC teacher).

Afterwards was our scheduled dinner introducing our family and the Osteen parents. This a part of our family's life that we don't talk about very much: my brother Daniel and his role in our family. I had met Mr. O before, but it was our first introduction to Mrs. Corrie Lynn and Juliana have not yet learned to stay in their seats in a restaurant, so it’s always a misadventure to entertain and cajole them while other aunts eat in shifts. Daniel hadn’t been over or seen the girls since Christmas, so they didn’t know him and were a little frightened of him. It was also so late (after church for Brian and Cori, after class for Tricia and I), and I was more than exhausted. Bleh! 

The evening went as well as it could have, I guess. They seem to be very nice people. Even with as long as it’s been, I have still not come to grips with the fact that Daniel is divorced, let alone both of them dating and moving on. It is all so against the grain of the way we believe a Christian is supposed to live their life, in covenant with God and in the pursuit of holiness for eternity. I can’t wrap my head around it, no matter how hard I try. And I do try, in the spirit of God's agape, love him and his.

One of my former students was in my office with a younger sibling the other day, and made a comment about when Daniel does surrender to God’s call on his life, what a great testimony it will be. And unpremeditated, I replied, “No, I disagree. The greatest testimony of God’s saving power is of the person who has lived their whole life in relentless abandon to God, rejecting sin and temptation, and living wholeheartedly for the Lord. I would rather live a thousand of my life over again, than experience the regret and anguish over living half a life in sin and in the clutches of the devil. And the consequences for the decisions that he has made will haunt and dog him every day of the rest of his life. That is not the greatest testimony.”

Later, as I was retelling the incident to Mom, she commented on the fact that Daddy had regretted so much of what he had done as a young man before he was saved, so much so, that he never talked about it. And now that I think about it, I don't recall him telling stories from his unsaved days. Mom said he grieved over it. I began to think of Paul’s testimony recitation in Galatians 1, “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen.” Such pain and sorrow our family has been through, a sort of refiner's fire, with regards to our boy. I just want him to be saved, in the radical, life-changing way that the rest of us have! I have prayed so long, but I am not giving up. Never!

Well, the rest of the week went a little better. I felt better, so that helped! Thursday and Friday, I proctored the untimed students at the school from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm. Saturday was our only Saturday off from a wedding cake at the bakery, so I slept late, then took a little swimming dip with the babies in the pool, went to Johnson beach with “The Sarahs”- my sissy and Sarah Stevens White. The sun was warm, and we soaked it up for a long while. I enjoyed sun bathing on a sheet for the first time, instead of sitting in a chair; definitely going to do that again! But the wind was too brisk, so after several hours and millions of chill bumps, I was good-to-go! Dropped by Diamond Nails and got pedis and manis before heading home with Happy China takeout. I went with a bold n’ bright pinkish coral for both hands and feet, with their signature design on my big toes.

We watched “The Passion of the Christ” on TBN last night right before bed.  If anyone asks me what my favorite movie is, I say that one. I can only watch it once in a long while; it gets me so emotional about what Jesus did for me.  It is a life-changing experience just to see His agony and sacrifice. Words do not render it justice.

Up early this Easter morning to go shopping for dinner ingredients and Easter egg hunt supplies. Got incredibly cute white Easter baskets and fillings for the girlies’ eggs:
yogurt-covered raisins
pistachios
m&m peanuts
Brack’s jelly beans
Interesting, huh? Also got some candy for us big kids. ;-) I got busy prepping dinner while Tricia fried up some bacon and baked strawberry cheesecake muffins for breakfast. Mom  helped by stuffing the girls’ eggs while I cooked.

The Jones family Easter dinner menu: honey glazed spiral cut ham, sweet potato casserole, turnip greens, yeast rolls (our old from-scratch recipe), sweet tea, and yummy spiced peach cobbler with ice cream.
Cori and the girls and Sarah even joined us. The girls’ enthusiasm to find the eggs that I scattered all over the yard was slow to start but it picked up momentum. They just wanted to open the eggs and eat the contents!

I missed Daddy; our family is not the same since he is gone to heaven!
I am thinking that I may need a spiritual sabbatical, a time to retreat from social activities and evening interaction to spend extended time with the Lord. Since I can’t just check out of the reality of my life and responsibilities, I am thinking of doing it over the course of the next several weeks. I need a healthy dose of agape, because my “love tank” has gotten pretty stripped out. I have already taken to only listening to spiritually edifying music. Been especially enjoying Kari Jobe this spring.

“How He Loves” by John Mark McMillan:



He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I Realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

Pre-Chorus:
And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

Chorus:
Yeah, He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves.
Yeah, He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves.

Verse 2:
We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
So Heaven meets earth like a sloppy, wet kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way…

Verse 3:
Well, I thought about You the day Steven died,
And You met me between my breaking.
I know that I still love You, God, despite the agony.
Cause people...they want to tell me You're cruel,
But if Stephen could sing, he'd say it's not true, cause...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Jesus is ALIVE!

Has anyone else seen the stage production of "The Thorn"?

WHOA!!!!

It is the Passion of Christ, told from Thomas' perspective, and his narration is quite lively and humorous!
But Jesus' beating and death is the most realistic of any that I've seen on stage, ever.

"What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus"

I have heard it said that Christianity is the ONLY religion whose God rose from the dead and is now alive. And His Word says that His Kingdom is among us, here on earth, being lived and worked out in and through us.

I am convicted that most times my life is small and petty, silly and peckish. And then I am reminded that being boldly faithful to live a peculiar life puts me in the company of a HOST of servants and saints who have lived and served the Lord for millennia. If I am His hands and feet, His voice of healing in a world of hurt, then I am doing my job. My *real* job.

We are in a war, a battle for the souls of humanity. The devil wants to steal, kill, and destroy. And as God's blood-bought sons and daughters, we don't truly grasp the rights that role gives us. In real life, I can think of innumerable instances with my own parents that my rights as their daughter came into play to benefit not only my life, but also theirs as well. And it brings a great responsibility too.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Passover and the Resurrection

I attended the Passover Seder at Rhema tonight. My favorite part of the recitation of Psalm 136, the "For the lovingkindness of the Lord is everlasting" Psalm.

The matzo bread cover
Several things impressed me about the seder. So many thoughts whirl through my mind from today, everything from Sarah White's blog about thankfulness to watching/hearing both Joyce Meyer and Banning Liebscher preach moving sermons back-to-back on tv tonight. I am overcome with the urgency of our time.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

hope and change

Is it really true that only 53% of Americans pay taxes?

In other words, that *I* am part of the 53% that everyone else wants to disable and disarm?
Occupy your family, folks. Occupy your role as mom and dad. Occupy seats at your kitchen table. Occupy job cubicles. Occupy "9-5" jobs. Occupy ballgame risers. Occupy concert seats. Occupy church pews. Occupy life.

I'll keep my finances, freedom, and faith, thank you.
You can "hope" for "change," but I'll bet it'll have eaten a hole in your pocket.

I am so tired of political rhetoric. I was talking to a 40-year math teacher at PSC's Collegiate High tonight, Jerry Cox. I am completing 15 hours of observing in his classroom this month. He told me tonight that he is liberal and slammed Santorum for some ignorant comment that he had made on the tv news last night. Mr. C has me pegged a right-wing, card-carrying Republican. He answers my educational questions with random observations about politics, invariably. But tonight, he got me to thinking...

I quit watching debates months ago.
They had quickly become pointless and foolish.
Soon after voting in the primary, I was put off by most of the media coverage that I was seeing, so I turned it all off. What politician keeps his campaign promises anyway?!

I am unhappy with the economy.
I don't like my own Republican party and detest the Democratic party too.
Promises are made easily to gain verbal advantage, and then none are kept.
And why have most of the "conservative" ticket runners undergone "conversions" to voting prolife after being in office for years?

They are either too controversial...Newt.
Come on, how many marriages can one guy have before it's ridiculous?!?
I like your politics, but not your personal life.

Too young...Santorum.
He still has young kids at home, for crying out loud.
Go home!
Although I do like him best, I think.

Too impotent...Paul.
Just vote NO! Just vote NO!
Mr. Paul, just what have you done for your constituents, buddy?

And too rich...Romney.
Too scary "spirit-baby" Mormon.
Too stuck up.
How in the world can he even remotely identify with the middle men.

I don't think any of them can do anything to rectify the disabling of the dwindling middle class.
I have little faith in anyone on the ballot anymore.
I am not optimistic about "winning America back."
I sincerely think the judgment of God is being played out on the US of A for so many moral and social evils...
Primarily two.
Abortion
and the systematic dishonoring of God as our leader and foundation.

I remember that this world is not my home. I am a citizen of heaven.
Come, Lord Jesus! We are ready for eternity with You!
This world must pass away.


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