Mar 8

Unwelcome Tasks

2007 at 3:57 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Time Management

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!Stockxpertcom_id433542_size1_1

Mar 7

John Piper’s Father

2007 at 10:36 am   |   by Carolyn Mahaney

Bill_piper_and_jp_2_1 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

Mar 6

Tori Update

2007 at 11:50 am   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Motherhood

Stockxpertcom_id416797_size1_1_1_1_1 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.

Mar 2

Friday Funnies

2007 at 7:17 pm   |   by Janelle Bradshaw Filed under Fun & Encouragement | 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.
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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.
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Finnegan was resting in a nest in a cage just days before Giselle was due to deliver her puppies.
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Cantlon and her husband watched as the dog dragged the squirrel’s cage twice to her own bedside before she gave birth.
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Cantlon was concerned, yet ultimately decided to allow the squirrel out and inter-species bonding began.
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Finnegan rides a puppy mosh pit of sorts, burrowing in for warmth after feeding, and eventually working his way beneath his new litter mates.
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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.
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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.

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Finnegan and his new litter mates, five Papillion puppies, get along together as if they were meant to.
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Finnegan naps after feeding.
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Finnegan makes himself at home with his new litter mates, nuzzling nose-to-nose for a nap after feeding.

Mar 2

Book Club Week 8

2007 at 5:34 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Book and Music Reviews

085151926101_aa180_sclzzzzzzz__3 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.

Mar 1

Timely Encouragement

2007 at 4:59 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney

Hb3_1 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!