2007 at 5:56 pm | by Kristin Chesemore
My boys and I have been enjoying a new kids worship CD—well, new for us that is. “Courage” by Seeds Family Worship was a Christmas present from some dear friends in our church. (Thanks Lowe family!)
Honestly, I really don’t know who likes it more, me or my kiddos! It’s permanent home is in our mini-van and normally you can hear it playing loudly even before we exit the neighborhood.
I love driving around on errands listening to my little boys enthusiastically singing God’s Word—even if their singing is sometimes closer to shouting! I am aware that right now they do not fully grasp the meaning or significance of the Scriptures coming out of their mouths but I am grateful that their little minds and hearts are being filled with the Word of God.
I’ve also realized that these songs serve me as much as they serve my boys. My time in the car has often been spent aimlessly contemplating my earthly cares and circumstances. But the truths of these songs enable me to focus my attention away from myself and onto my heavenly Father. I find myself popping in this CD even when my kids aren’t in the car. Now you know it must really be good for me to do that!
We only have this one CD, but I am looking forward to getting the rest!
2007 at 2:55 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Fun Stuff Baby Watch
Well, baby Tori’s head has dropped which means it can’t get any bigger (phew!) and we’re one step closer to her arrival into this world. Other than that piece of news, there’s not a whole lot to tell. Although my husband receives hourly, and sometimes minute-by-minute reports on every little ache and pain. He’s such a patient man.
This is a good time to let you know that Janelle will be returning my favor and “live-blogging” Tori’s delivery. Even if it begins in the middle of the night or on the weekend, she’ll post a “Tori Alert” and then provide updates periodically and pictures of the baby once she’s born. I hope you’ll check in as I would be truly grateful for your prayers.
As the day grows closer and I feel more tired and uncomfortable (and emotional!) I am more aware of my need for God. A friend recently gave me the following verse and quote by Charles Spurgeon. I plan on putting it in my hospital bag (which, by the way, I still need to pack!). I hope it encourages you today—whatever help you may need.
“I will help you, says the Lord.” Isaiah 41:14
“This morning listen to the voice of the Lord Jesus speak, ‘I will help you. It is a small thing for me, your God, to help you. COnsider what I have already done. What! Not help you! I bought you with My blood. What! Not help you! I died for you. Since I have done the greater, will I not do less? Your requests are nothing compared with what I am willing to give. You need much, but it is nothing for me to grant your needs. Help you? Fear not! I will help you.’"
2007 at 7:13 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
Today was full of sweetness. Since the birth of Caly, I have wanted a picture with my grandma and my mom and today we were blessed with the opportunity. You see, this is my prayer for my daughter, that she follow in the footsteps of these two women and display the beauty of biblical womanhood. My eyes fill with tears of gratefulness to God as I consider how often I will be able to point Caly to their godly examples as she grows.
These women are truly worthy of honor. If you have not already read the tributes we’ve posted previously, you can read about Mom here and Grandma here.
2007 at 10:18 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Fun Stuff Friday Funnies
This one from my friend Kimm is way cute. Have a great weekend everyone!
for Nicole, Kristin, and Janelle
Why Parents REALLY Need God.
A boss wondered why one of his most valued employees had phoned in sick one day. Having an urgent problem with one of the main computers, he dialed the employee’s home phone number and was greeted with a child’s whisper.
"Is your daddy home?" he asked.
"Yes," whispered the small voice.
May I talk with him?"
The child whispered, "No."
Surprised and wanting to talk with an adult, the boss asked, "Is your Mommy there?"
"May I talk with her?"
Again the small voice whispered, "No."
Hoping there was somebody with whom he could leave a message, the boss asked, "Is anybody else there?"
"Yes ," whispered the child, "a policeman".
Wondering what a cop would be doing at his employee’s home, the boss asked, "May I speak with the policeman?"
"No, he’s busy", whispered the child.
"Busy doing what?"
"Talking to Daddy and Mommy and the Fireman," came the whispered answer.
Growing more worried as he heard a loud noise in the background through the earpiece on the phone, the boss asked, "What is that noise?"
"A helicopter" answered the whispering voice.
"What is going on there?" demanded the boss, now truly apprehensive.
Again, whispering, the child answered, "The search team just landed a helicopter."
Alarmed, concerned and a little frustrated the boss asked, "What are they searching for?"
Still whispering, the young voice replied with a muffled giggle…
2007 at 3:24 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
Series Girltalk Book Club
Happy Friday, y’all. Friday is book club day here at girltalk.
Last week we read chapter eight and received a front row view into the lives of the Prentiss family during the Civil War. Chapter nine (the first half of your assignment for next week) takes us right into life after war and Elizabeth’s full return to pastor’s wife duties. I found the most wonderful quote describing her perspective of her role…
“She counted it one of the joys of being a pastor’s wife that she had the opportunity of being the first on the scene of human tragedy or need, bringing consolation of Christ. She wrote to a friend: ‘You can’t think how sweet it is to be a pastor’s wife; to feel the right to sympathize with those who mourn, to fly to them at once, and join them in their prayers and tears. It would be pleasant to spend one’s whole time among sufferers, and to keep testifying to them what Christ can and will become to them if only they will let Him…’”
Being married to pastors ourselves, we can all attest to the truth of these words. However the caring for others is not solely the privilege of a pastor’s wife. Many of you have stories of how you have been carried through trying seasons in your life by the love and support of another. Perhaps it was your pastor’s wife or maybe it was the leader of your small group or a faithful mentor. We want to hear your stories. So the second half of your assignment for this week is to hop on your e-mail (by Thursday night) and send us a story of how a woman has brought you the “consolation of Christ.” The author of the winning story, and the woman who cared for them, will receive a copy of the next book club selection as a gift.
2007 at 3:57 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
Biblical Womanhood Living Intentionally
Our friend, Valori, sent us another quote about redeeming the time that was just too good to keep to ourselves. So here it is for your benefit as well:
“NO unwelcome tasks become any the less unwelcome by putting them off till tomorrow. It is only when they are behind us and done, that we begin to find that there is a sweetness to be tasted afterwards, and that the remembrance of unwelcome duties unhesitatingly done is welcome and pleasant. Accomplished, they are full of blessing, and there is a smile on their faces as they leave us. Undone, they stand threatening and disturbing our tranquility, and hindering our communion with God. If there be lying before you any bit of work from which you shrink, go straight up to it, and do it at once. The only way to get rid of it is to do it.” Alexander MacLaren
Okay! I’m getting straight up from my computer to go rid myself of that unwelcome pile of dirty laundry which I should have done yesterday, but didn’t!
2007 at 10:36 am | by Carolyn Mahaney
Early yesterday morning, John Piper’s father went to be with the Lord. John’s wife, Noël, e-mailed me the journal entry that John penned soon after his father’s passing. We are posting it here today not only to ask you to pray for this dear family whom we all love, but to allow the life of William S. H. Piper to inspire each of us to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called (Eph. 4:1).
Tuesday, March 6, 2007. 2 a.m.
The big hospital clock in room 4326 of Greenville Memorial Hospital said, with both hands straight up, midnight. Daddy had just taken his last breath. My watch said 12:01, March 6, 2007.
I had slept a little since the last morphine shot at 10. One ear sleeping, one on the breathing. At 11:45 I awoke. The breath’s were coming more frequently and were very shallow. I will not sleep again, I thought. For ten minutes I prayed aloud into his left ear with Bible texts and pleadings to Jesus to come and take him. I had made this case before, and this time felt an unusual sense of partnership with Daddy as I pressed on the Lord to relieve this warrior of his burden.
I finished and lay down. Good. Thank you Lord. It will not be long. And grace upon grace, hundreds of prayers are being answered: he is not choking. The gurgling that threatened to spill over and drown him in the afternoon had sunk deep and now there was simple clear air, shorter and shorter. I listened from where I lay next to him on a fold-out chair.
That’s it. I rose and waited. Will he breath again? Nothing. 15 or 20 seconds, and then a gasp. I was told to expect these false endings. But it was not false. The gasp was the first of two. But no more breaths. I waited, watching. No facial expressions. His face had frozen in place hours before. One more jerk. That was all. Perhaps an eyebrow twitch a moment later. Nothing more.
I stroked his forehead and sang,
My gracious Master and My God
Assist me to proclaim
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of thy name.
Daddy, how many thousands awaited you because of your proclamation of the great gospel. You were faithful. You kept the faith, finished the race, fought the fight. “Make friends for yourselves with unrighteous mammon that they might receive you into eternal habitations.”
I watched, wondering if there could be other reflexes. I combed his hair. He always wore a tie. The indignities of death are many but we tried to minimize them. Keep the covers straight. Pull the gown up around his neck so it looks like a sharp turtleneck. Tuck the gappy shoulder slits down behind so they don’t show. Use a wet washcloth to keep the secretions from crusting in the eyelashes. And by all means keep his hair combed. So now I straightened his bedding and combed his hair and wiped his eyes and put the mouth moisturizer on his lips and tried to close his mouth. His mouth would not stay closed. It had been set in that position from hours and hours of strained breathing. But he was neat. A strong, dignified face.
I called Beverly first, then Noël. Tearfully we gave thanks. Get a good night’s rest. I will take care of things here with the doctor and the nurses and the mortuary arrangements. I will gather all our things and take them back to the motel. “I wish I had been there,” Beverly lamented. Yes. That is good. But don’t let that feeling dominate now. In the days to come you will look back with enormous gratitude for the hundreds of hours you gave serving daddy. It is my turn to be blessed.
The nurse came to give him his scheduled morphine shot. As she walked toward me I said, “He won’t need that any more.” “Is he gone?” “Yes. And thank you so much for your ministry to him.” “I will notify the doctor so he can come and verify. I will leave you alone.” “Yes, thank you.”
The doctor in his green frock came at 12:40 and listened with his stethoscope to four different places on daddy’s chest. Then he pulled back the sheet and said, “I must apply some pain stimuli to his nail base to see if he reacts. Then he used his flash light to text daddy’s eyes. “The nurse supervisor will come and get the information we need about the mortuary.” Thank you.
Alone again I felt his cheeks. Finally cool after the fevered and flushed fight. I felt his nose, as though I were blind. Then I felt mine. I thought, very soon my nose will be like your nose. It is already like your nose.
The nurse came. No thank you, an autopsy will not be necessary. Mackay Mortuary on Century Avenue. My name is John, his son. My cell phone is . . . . “You may stay as long as you like.” Thank you. I will be leaving soon.
Now I just look at him. Nothing has changed in his face here in the darkness of this dim light. Just no movement. But I have watched his chest so long, even now was that a slight rise and fall? No, surely not. It’s like sailing on the sea for days. On the land the waves still roll.
He has four-day’s beard and dark eyes. I lift an eyelid to see him eye to eye. They are dilated.
Thank you, Daddy. Thank you for 61 years of faithfulness to me. I am simply looking into his face now. Thank you. You were a good Father. You never put me down. Discipline, yes. Spankings, yes. But you never scorned me. You never treated me with contempt. You never spoke of my future with hopelessness in your voice. You believed God’s hand was on me. You approved of my ministry. You prayed for me. Every day. That may be the biggest change in these new days: Daddy is no longer praying for me.
I look you in the face and promise you with all my heart: Never will I forsake your gospel. O how you believed in hell and heaven and Christ and cross and blood and righteousness and faith and salvation and the Holy Spirit and the life of holiness and love. I rededicate myself, Daddy, to serve your great and glorious Lord Jesus with all my heart and with all my strength. You have not lived in vain. Your life goes on in thousands. I am glad to be one.
I kissed him on his cold cheek and on his forehead. I love you, Daddy. Thank you.
It was 12:55 as I walked out of room 4326. Just before the elevators on the fourth floor in the lounge a young man in his twenties was sitting alone listening to his iPod with headphones. I paused. Then I walked toward him. He stopped his music. Hello, my Father just died. One of the greatest tributes I could pay to him is to ask you, Are you ready to meet God? “Yes, Sir.” That would make my father very happy. You know Jesus is the only way? “Yes, Sir.” Good. Thank you for letting me talk to you.
As I drove out of the parking lot I stopped. The moon was a day past full. It was cold—for Greenville. I looked at this great hospital. Thank you, Lord, for this hospital. I will probably never lay eyes on it again.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Piper family. We trust that God will continue to reveal to them His sweet nearness and sustaining comfort.
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. Psalm 116:15
2007 at 11:50 am | by Nicole Whitacre
Fun Stuff Baby Watch
Yesterday morning, I dug out Jack’s birth records in preparation for my doctor’s appointment. My little guy did not—and still does not—have such a little head. According to the birth information, he was 7lb 13 oz and 21 inches long and his head circumference was a whopping 14 inches! I don’t remember thinking my baby was all head when he was born. I thought he was perfect—as only a mother does.
My reason for checking on this was to be able to tell my doctor (who did not deliver Jack) what size head I was incapable of delivering naturally. He laughed when I told him the size of Jack’s cranium. “You know they say a big head means a big brain,” he said. I know, all too well. My son already has a better memory than I do.
After examining me, he said that my little girl’s head isn’t so small either. I guess I’ll be outnumbered in the memory department shortly. The doctor is not prepared to make a decision about whether I will have a natural delivery or a c-section. But he has plenty of time, as nothing much seems to be happening at the moment.
As he left the examining room, he said, “I’ll see you next week, unless you surprise me.” So, I’ll update you all next week too—unless Tori surprises me.
2007 at 7:51 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
I’ve been busy with my camera lately and wanted to give you a peek at how the kiddos are growing…
2007 at 7:17 pm | by Janelle Bradshaw
Fun Stuff Friday Funnies
My friends will tell you that I’m not fond of animals. Okay, I really don’t like them! But I did find this little story sent to us by our friend, Julie, pretty funny and…maybe even cute. Enjoy!
Janelle for the rest of the girls.
Debby Cantlon, who plans to release Finnegan, the young squirrel, back into the wild, bottle-fed the infant squirrel after it was brought to her house.
When Cantlon took in the tiny creature and began caring for him, she found herself with an unlikely nurse’s aide: her pregnant Papillion, Mademoiselle Giselle.
Finnegan was resting in a nest in a cage just days before Giselle was due to deliver her puppies.
Cantlon and her husband watched as the dog dragged the squirrel’s cage twice to her own bedside before she gave birth.
Cantlon was concerned, yet ultimately decided to allow the squirrel out and inter-species bonding began.
Finnegan rides a puppy mosh pit of sorts, burrowing in for warmth after feeding, and eventually working his way beneath his new litter mates.
Two days after giving birth, mama dog Giselle allowed Finnegan to nurse; family photos and videotape show her encouraging him to suckle alongside her litter of five pups.
Now Finnegan mostly uses a bottle, but still snuggles with his "siblings" in a mosh pit of puppies, rolling atop their bodies and sinking in deeply for a nap.
Finnegan and his new litter mates, five Papillion puppies, get along together as if they were meant to.
Finnegan naps after feeding.
Finnegan makes himself at home with his new litter mates, nuzzling nose-to-nose for a nap after feeding.
2007 at 5:34 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Series Girltalk Book Club
With the Prentiss family in Europe this week, we thought it would be a good time to let you know about a radio interview with the author of Elizabeth Prentiss: More Love to Thee, Sharon James. You can hear Mrs. James share how she became interested in the life of Elizabeth Prentiss, how she went about researching the book, and learn further details about the life of this extraordinary woman. Listen here, and read chapter eight before next Friday.
2007 at 4:59 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
In response to yesterday’s post about Shopping for Time, a dear friend sent us the following quote by nineteenth century Scottish pastor and poet, Horatius Bonar:
“Let us ‘redeem the time.’ Desultory working, fitful planning, irregular reading, ill-assorted hours, perfunctory or unpunctual execution of business, hurry and bustle, loitering and unreadiness,—these, and such like, are the things which take out the whole pith and power from life, which hinder holiness, and which eat like a canker into our moral being.”
And if you, like me, were wondering what in the world “desultory” meant, my friend wisely included the definition in her email. It means: marked by lack of definite plan or regularity or purpose; jumping from one thing to another.
Hmmm, I’m not sure I like that new word! It too closely describes the way I approach my work at times. And to think that my “desultory working” can “eat like a canker into my moral being”—that’s certainly not a pleasant thought!
Seriously, Mr Bonar’s words provide a fresh challenge for us to be careful and wise in how we use our time. Thank you, Valori, for sending this quote our way!