Saturday, June 7, 2008

Attaining the Resurrection

My dear son-in-law recently lost his father to age and illness.  Jim was a godly, upright man who walked faithfully in the ways of the Lord, and is assuredly enjoying that walk in a full, new way - not as in a glass darkly.  These things bring us temporary sorrow, and rightly so, but we Christians can also rest in the hope of glory, for death was only the short transition from this life of toil and care to one of glory and rest.

In The Seaboard Parish, George MacDonald writes of the resurrection,
"In the animal world ... you behold the goings of the Resurrection.  Plainest of all, look at the story of the butterfly - so plain that the pagan Greeks called it and the soul by one name - Psyche.  Psyche meant with them a butterfly or the soul, either.  Look how the creeping thing, ugly to our eyes, so that we can hardly handle it without a shudder, finding itself growing sick with age, straightway falls to spinning and weaving at its own shroud, coffin, and grave, all in one-to prepare, in fact, for its resurrection;  for it is for the sake of the resurrection that death exists.
Patiently it spins its strength, but not its life, away, folds itself up decently, that its body may rest in quiet till the new body is formed within it; and at length when the appointed hour has arrived, out of the body of this crawling thing breaks from the winged splendour of the butterfly....... not the same body - a new built out of the ruins of the old - even as St. Paul tells us that it is not the same body we have in the resurrection, but a nobler body like ourselves, with all the imperfect and evil thing taken away.  No more creeping for the butterfly; wings of splendour now.  Neither yet has it lost the feet wherewith to alight on all that is lovely and sweet. Think of it - up from the toilsome journey over the low ground, exposed to the foot of every passer-by, destroying the lovely leaves upon which it fed, and the fruit which they should shelter, up to the path at will through the air, and a gathering of food which hurts not the source of it, a food which is but as a tribute from the loveliness of the flowers to the yet higher loveliness of the flower-angel:  Is not this a resurrection?

Its children too shall pass through the same process, to wing the air of a summer noon, and rejoice in the atherial and the pure."

Our Ebenezer

Ever heard the phrase "The Lord is my Ebenezer?"  I had, perhaps being from the South especially, and had always wondered what that meant.  Ever read through a portion of the Scripture countless times and then suddenly come across something you'd missed all those years?  I did, and finally had my answer to Ebenezer.  

In I Samuel 7:12 we read, "Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, "Till now the Lord has helped us."  Ebenezer literally means "a stone of help".  Jesus, our Rock, that stone, is indeed our Ebenezer.  I take joy in understanding yet a little more of the nature and character of our Lord.
So, Samuel set up a stone for the people to remember the great victory God had given the Israelites over their longtime, relentless enemy, the Philistines.  He knew, God knows, how quickly men forget the goodness of the Lord, and so Samuel set a stone of remembrance.  While we usually do not set up stones except in cemeteries, we do have other remembrances of the goodness of the Lord: a garden to remember the dear one He loaned to us for awhile, a photograph of the long-awaited child for which we prayed, an 8-inch scar that reminds me that the tumor was benign and I can still walk, and so many other things that we must not grow dull to.  Ebenezer - our Stone of help.

Friday, June 6, 2008

I Am No Man

It has bemused me over the last few years as to how God will occasionally call women to engage in the world of the battles of men.   As was said by Eowyn in Return of the King, "I am no man."  

Indeed, my shoulders are not so broad as to carry such weight as does a man; nor my heart so fortified.  Yet there I've been and here I am still, and only God knows the why of it.  My heart's desire is to follow where He leads, and it leads to some mighty tough places.  

One of the blessings of this walk has been found in that world of men itself, for I have found faithful, stalwart brothers, whom I trust with my very life.  They are friends in every aspect of meaning.  A gift from the Lord.  I am no man, but the Lord gives courage and strength to all His children, men and women alike, for the tasks He calls them to.  

"Hopeful contentment in the face of never ending responsibilities is a virtue that continually breeds in us anticipation for new beginnings, not old resolutions.  It is a virtue that provokes us to a fresh confidence in the present as well as in the days yet to come.  The question is how do we reclaim that glorious heritage?  By walking in grace, by walking together."   ~ Charles Spurgeon

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Grandpa Turns 80!

Grandpa, also known as Dad, Orv, or Great-Grandpa, recently became an Octogenarian!  To celebrate this worthy event, the family gathered in San Diego and Coronado for a days-long celebration with lots of fun and lots of food.  And lots and lots of food!

Dad with his three children; Connie, John, and Jim, looking through photographs of by-gone days.  They look pretty serious.  It must be a photo of when everyone was 20 pounds lighter.  Except Connie, of course.
Here's Great-Grandpa on the day of his party with his two littlest boys.
Four Generations!!!  From youngest to eldest:  Patrick, Gilbert, Kristin, John, and Orv.
               Dad with his three kids on Coronado.
Grandpa with all his grandchildren except Amanda, who was missed very much!
                    Lovely Molly with her birthday boy.
The other beautiful Scherrer sisters:  Laura, Sarah, and Lisa.
                               He doth protest too much.
Gilbert enjoys his vantage point atop Uncle Eric's shoulders.
A beautiful San Diego sunset makes for a great photo of Grandpa and the kids.

Let's Go!

                                                 As they say....
           "You are now free to move about the country."