Paul is our grandson. He was born with an encephalocele. There are some who think that children like this should be aborted while still in the womb. We know that God gave life, every life, for a divine purpose. Our daughter, Sarah, went through a radical cesarean section to give him the best chance of life she could. It was the most difficult time that she and her husband, Ryan, have ever experienced. The Lord let us know him for almost two years. Today marks two years that he has been in Heaven. His blind little eyes have enjoyed the greatest wonders of all time and eternity. Although we miss him very much, there are many things that the Lord gave us while he was here and even after his death. I thought the reading this morning in "Streams In The Desert" very appropriate for the day. I wanted to share it with you.
"For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble ..., that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead." 2 Corinthians 1:8-9
"Pressed out of measure and pressed to all length;
Pressed so intensely it seems, beyond strength;
Pressed in the body and pressed in the soul,
Pressed in the mind till the dark surges roll.
Pressure by foes, and a pressure from friends.
Pressure on pressure, till life nearly ends.
"Pressed into knowing no helper but God;
Pressed into loving the staff and the rod.
Pressed into liberty where nothing clings;
Pressed into faith for impossible things.
Pressed into living a life in the Lord,
Pressed into living a Christ-life outpoured."
The pressure of hard places makes us value life. Every time our life is given back to us from such a trial, it is like a new beginning, and we learn better how much it is worth, and make more of it for God and man. The pressure helps us to understand the trials of others, and fits us to help and sympathize with them.
There is a shallow, superficial nature, that gets hold of a theory or a promise lightly, and talks very glibly about the distrust of those who shrink from every trial; but the man or woman who has suffered much never does this, but is very tender and gentle, and knows what suffering really means. This is what Paul meant when he said, "Death worketh in you."
Trials and hard places are needed to press us forward, even as the furnace fires in the hold of that mighty ship give force that moves the piston, drives the engine, and propels that great vessel across the sea in the face of the winds and waves. --A. B. Simpson
"Out of the presses of pain,
Cometh the soul's best wine;
And the eyes that have shed no rain,
Can shed but little shine."
This song, though written about a little girl, reminds me of Paul.
"In God's Hands" by the Rochesters
Friday, May 18, 2012
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
(The following article was taken from the issue of Housekeeping Monthly, 13 May, 1955. Although it is lengthy, I thought you may enjoy reading it in its entirety.)
- Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed.
- Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people.
- Be a little gay (that means happy, remember?) and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
- Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.
- Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc and then run a dust-cloth over the tables.
- Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction.
- Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair, and, if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like seeing them playing the part. Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.
- Be happy to see him.
- Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
- Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first–remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
- Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real need to be at home and relax.
- Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
- Don’t greet him with complaints and problems.
- Don’t complain if he is late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor to what he might have gone through that day.
- Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.
- Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.
- Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgement or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have not right to question him.
- A good wife always knows her place.
(Now I know that most everyone that reads this list will be shocked at some of the things it says. Truthfully, I was sceptical at some things until I began to consider the "why" of their reasoning. How many divorced couples would we have in our country today if women would follow this guideline? How many little children of eight years and younger would have to experience the stress of seeing their parents conduct themselves the way they do today? And do you think that men murder their wives and children because of work-stress? Really? There are guide-lines in the Word of God for a wife, one of which mentions calling him, "lord". A little extreme? I don't think so. Not when a wife has the right kind of love and devotion for her husband AND for her LORD. Read it again with these thoughts in mind and see if you feel the same way you did when you read it the first time. Don't sit there and wonder, "Yes, but what's in all this for me?" If you do, you have some real problems! If you don't think men respond to this kind of treatment possitively, I dare you to try it.:-) )
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